I don’t always agree with Jack Cafferty; but this time he’s got just about the right tone and timing. What was the name of the little kid who shouted that “The Emperor Has Nothing On”? McCain and Bush should be covered with goose bumps.
Commentary: Is McCain another George W. Bush?
By Jack Cafferty
NEW YORK (CNN) — Russia invades Georgia and President Bush goes on
vacation. Our president has spent one-third of his entire two terms in
office either at Camp David, Maryland, or at Crawford, Texas, on vacation.
His time away from the Oval Office included the month leading up to 9/11,
when there were signs Osama bin Laden was planning to attack America, and
the time Hurricane Katrina destroyed the city of New Orleans.
Sen. John McCain takes weekends off and limits his campaign events to one
a day. He made an exception for the religious forum on Saturday at
Saddleback Church in Southern California.
I think he made a big mistake. When he was invited last spring to attend a
discussion of the role of faith in his life with Sens. Barack Obama and
Hillary Clinton, at Messiah College in Pennsylvania, McCain didn’t bother
to show up. Now I know why.
It occurs to me that John McCain is as intellectually shallow as our
current president. When asked what his Christian faith means to him, his
answer was a one-liner. “It means I’m saved and forgiven.” Great scholars
have wrestled with the meaning of faith for centuries. McCain then retold
a story we’ve all heard a hundred times about a guard in Vietnam drawing a
cross in the sand.
Asked about his greatest moral failure, he cited his first marriage, which
ended in divorce. While saying it was his greatest moral failing, he
offered nothing in the way of explanation. Why not?
Throughout the evening, McCain chose to recite portions of his stump
speech as answers to the questions he was being asked. Why? He has lived
71 years. Surely he has some thoughts on what it all means that go beyond
canned answers culled from the same speech he delivers every day.
He was asked “if evil exists.” His response was to repeat for the
umpteenth time that Osama bin Laden is a bad man and he will pursue him to
“the gates of hell.” That was it.
He was asked to define rich. After trying to dodge the question — his
wife is worth a reported $100 million — he finally said he thought an
income of $5 million was rich.
One after another, McCain’s answers were shallow, simplistic, and trite.
He showed the same intellectual curiosity that George Bush has —
Where are John McCain’s writings exploring the vexing moral issues of our
time? Where are his position papers setting forth his careful
consideration of foreign policy, the welfare state, education, America’s
moral responsibility in the world, etc., etc., etc.?
John McCain graduated 894th in a class of 899 at the Naval Academy at
Annapolis. His father and grandfather were four star admirals in the Navy.
Some have suggested that might have played a role in McCain being
admitted. His academic record was awful. And it shows over and over again
whenever McCain is called upon to think on his feet.
He no longer allows reporters unfettered access to him aboard the
“Straight Talk Express” for a reason. He simply makes too many mistakes.
Unless he’s reciting talking points or reading from notes or a
TelePrompTer, John McCain is lost. He can drop bon mots at a bowling alley
or diner — short glib responses that get a chuckle, but beyond that
McCain gets in over his head very quickly.
I am sick and tired of the president of the United States embarrassing me.
The world we live in is too complex to entrust it to someone else whose
idea of intellectual curiosity and grasp of foreign policy issues is to
tell us he can look into Vladimir Putin’s eyes and see into his soul.
George Bush’s record as a student, military man, businessman and leader of
the free world is one of constant failure. And the part that troubles me
most is he seems content with himself.
He will leave office with the country $10 trillion in debt, fighting two
wars, our international reputation in shambles, our government cloaked in
secrecy and suspicion that his entire presidency has been a litany of
broken laws and promises, our citizens’ faith in our own country ripped to
shreds. Yet Bush goes bumbling along, grinning and spewing moronic one-
liners, as though nobody understands what a colossal failure he has been.
I fear to the depth of my being that John McCain is just like him.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the writer.