Friday, October 17, 2008

"He won't have the luxury of studying up on the issues before he acts...."

Senator John McCain gave this doozy of a statement in Florida today:

"The next president won't have time to get used to the office. He won't have the luxury of studying up on the issues before he acts. He will have to act immediately."

Well, I submit that whichever candidate is elected, he will have the same amount of (non) time to get used to the office, because as Senator McCain (finally) figured out in the last debate, he's not George Bush. Which also means, he doesn't have any experience in the office of president.

But that's not my real point, rather it is this...

"He won't have the luxury of studying up on the issues before he acts."

When, exactly, did becoming informed about decisions become a "luxury"? Since when is "act[ing] immediately" before learning about the issues a preferable trait to trying to become informed about the decisions one has to make?

Yes, I know, that he was trying to say not that he acts without thinking or being informed, but that's sure what it looks and sounds like. Certainly Senator McCain is right that the office of President may be accelerated--professional athletes, particularly football players, often talk about the speed of action the higher one rises--but this sound bite makes it sound like the only substitute for speed is to eliminate preparation. In fact, if anything, the Bush administration has shown that simply going by your gut is a pretty good way to run things into the ground.

Two other points. As far as the idea that one needs to be prepared rather than learn on the job, I think it has been Senator Obama and his campaign that has been more efficient, specific, and otherwise indicative of a readiness to begin to implement ideas rather than trying to figure out what to do. The second point is that the acceleration of pace of office makes stamina important (so, yes, age is an issue) and (more importantly) means that staffing is important as well. It is precisely because the president can't learn everything about everything that he or she needs to be surrounded by a staff that is capable of advising, briefing, challenging, and otherwise working with him. Senator McCain's pick of Sarah Palin as a running mate, along with his insistence that she is ready to be president should anything happens to him, not only evidences questionable judgment but gives a powerful clue to the sorts of people he would surround himself with and what he sees as their function and value.

4 comments:

39charlie said...

You're so right on this! McCain has put the United States of America Presidential Election on even keel with the Jerry Springer Show. His ridiculous comments are an embarrassment. I'm embarrassed to be a Republican. I know many others who feel the same way, but they would rather just not vote than cast a vote for Obama. Just as I was, they're stuck on Ayers & Wright so McCain's lapses in judgment get a pass.

Anonymous said...

I want to know... I WANT to know... what is the "hockey mom" doing to help all those wanna-be hockey moms? What is she doing to help those parents who would love to be able to pay for their children to play in organized sports, but can't afford it? What is she doing for all those parents who "bang on the penalty box glass and yell at their child"? What a bloody disgrace!!!!

39charlie said...

Anon,
I'm 69 yrs. old and I retired last month. In my field, I saw many working people who wondered where the next family meal was coming from; struggling to come up with the $ for the electric bill and other basic necessities. I saw some of these same people in fervent support of Bush/Cheney and now, McCain/Palin. There's a disconnect between their daily lives and their politics. Their President & their VP SHOULD be millionaires and have expensive hobbies. So what if they themselves worked 40-60 hrs a week and still couldn't afford to pay their share for the medical service I provided them! The party just isn't FOR the majority of
Americans; the working class.

Katie said...

Hear! Hear! McCain has shown time and time again that he is unprepared. Making decisions --even if they need to be done in a hurry -- should always be an informed process. One which Obama has so far shown he excels at.