Thursday, February 28, 2008

McCain's Ethics Have No Clothes

Candidate Sen. John McCain had better check his back pocket, the conservative vote still isn't there. Even with the help of the ham-fisted New York Times report on his appearance of inappropriate behavior with a lobbyist that temporarily rallied the faithful to his banner.

Conservative columnist George F. Will makes the case in "McCain in A Glass House." (WaPo) He calls McCain "a situational ethicist" regarding "big money" in politics. Plainly put, McCain showboats while shadowboxing.

For example, while chairman of the Commerce Committee, McCain "founded the Reform Institute to lobby for his agenda of campaign restrictions. It accepted large contributions, some of six figures, from corporations with business before the Commerce Committee (e.g. Echosphere, DISH Network, Cablevision Systems Corp., a charity funded by the head of Univision).

"The Reform Institute's leadership included Potter [general counsel of McCain's campaign] and two others who are senior advisers in McCain's campaign, Rick Davis and Carla Eudy."

While McCain judges the behavior of others, and their corrupt appearances, Will points out, "Such is his towering moral vanity, he seems sincerely to consider it theoretically impossible for him to commit the offenses of appearances that he incessantly ascribes to others.

"Such certitude is, however, not merely an unattractive trait. It is disturbing righteousness in someone grasping for presidential powers."

There is a world of meaning in Will's use of "grasping." It says McCain's grab for power doesn't match the reach necessary for our next president.

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