My Cardboard Box

Of Centrism and the Presidency

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There’s a liberal commentator who wants GOP-centrist candidates. Fine. Tell me where they are amongst the Democrats. And please don’t say “Obama”.

Joe Lieberman was sort-of one, until the left tried to dump him. He’s an independent, in case anyone forgets, And by the way, he did a 180-degree course change on some of his positions when he ran with Mr. Gore. Guess that’s the advantage of being middle-of-the-road – you can move to either side of the line when it suits you.

Another big complaint is the lack of civility. Never mind that it’s been going on for 40-plus years.  Asking for a return to ” civility” reminds me of growing up in New England in the 60s. Our family was associated with, but not in, politics. Civility in the ‘good old days’ meant the Democrats and Republicans drank together after the legislative day. But the Democrats were in charge – always. The Republicans played the genial second bananna. It was the nerd-kid hanging amongst the cool-kids. Once in a while, the Democrats threw them a bone by passing a piece of their sponsored legislation. Ninety-nine percent of the time though, they’d reflexively vote against it because, as one now-retired legislator turned newsman said, “a Republican was going to vote for it” .

Senator McCain is supposedly facing a 61% disapproval rate in his state.  Funny – liberals love him – sorta. He’s their kind of republican – sorta.  They might have even voted for him “if it weren’t for that whack-job Palin”.  Most GOP voters voted for him reluctantly. More voted for him because of his VP candidate.  It’s interesting that, during G.W. Bush’s first term, McCain veered to the right when faced with a recall petition in Arizona that was gathering both signatures and momentum. As soon as it was safe, he tacked back.

A practitioner of centrist politics’ is a lousy sole-qualification for the Presidency. There’s other skills needed.

Being successful in politics requires a certain degree of skill that the less-charitable would describe as ‘sociopathic’. Having those skills when being (or trying to be) a leader means ruin – for the individual and too often for whoever is being led. One can be both a politician and a leader, but one side will dominate.

McCain used to be a leader, of a sort. He isn’t one now. Dole was a leader-turn politician one and still is a bit of both, in a lesser but important way. Reagan was a rare mix of both, as was Lincoln, FDR, and Truman. Kennedy was a politician who might have become a good leader. Nixon was a politician. The Clintons, both of them, are politicians.

Politicians alone make lousy Presidents.


Written by PappyBro

October 1, 2009 at 17:03

Posted in Politix

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