McCain’s Temper Makes It Too Risky To Have Him As President In The Nuclear Age

In his acceptance speech John McCain portrayed himself as a moderate who would cross party lines and consider ideas from both parties. His record shows otherwise. McClatchy reports:

John McCain made a quick stop at the Capitol one day last spring to sit in on Senate negotiations on the big immigration bill, and John Cornyn was not pleased.

Cornyn, a mild-mannered Texas Republican, saw a loophole in the bill that he thought would allow felons to pursue a path to citizenship.

McCain called Cornyn’s claim “chicken-s—,” according to people familiar with the meeting, and charged that the Texan was looking for an excuse to scuttle the bill. Cornyn grimly told McCain he had a lot of nerve to suddenly show up and inject himself into the sensitive negotiations.

“F— you,” McCain told Cornyn, in front of about 40 witnesses.

It was another instance of the Republican presidential candidate losing his temper, another instance where, as POW-MIA activist Carol Hrdlicka put it, “It’s his way or no way.”

There’s a lengthy list of similar outbursts through the years: McCain pushing a woman in a wheelchair, trying to get an Arizona Republican aide fired from three different jobs, berating a young GOP activist on the night of his own 1986 Senate election and many more.

The article gives considerably more detail on McCan’s history, including his early days in the Senate:

When John McCain came to the Senate in 1987, he quickly got two reputations: a Republican who’d do business with Democrats on tough issues and an impatient senator who was often gruff and temperamental.

In January, Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., told The Boston Globe that, “the thought of (McCain) being president sends a cold chill down my spine. He is erratic. He is hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me.” (Cochran has since endorsed McCain.)

Added Sen. Christopher Bond, R-Mo., who has a long list of vociferous, sometimes personal disagreements with McCain, “His charm takes a little getting used to.” (Bond, too, supports him.)

Democrats are less guarded.

“There have been times when he’s just exploded, ” said Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa.

“Look, around here, people lose their tempers once in a while. But it doesn’t happen very often, and it usually happens in some contextual framework. A lot of times there’s just not much of a contextual framework for his blowing up.”

While he had a dual reputation in the past as someone who would cross party lines and as being temperamental, in recent years he has flip-flopped on many issues, siding with the George Bush wing of the Republican Party and no longer showing consideration of opposing viewpoints. This leaves us with a far right Republican with a temper, which raises concerns:

Independent experts have some concerns about McCain’s irascibility.

“Diplomacy is not often dealing with reasonable people,” said Steve Clemons, an analyst at the New America Foundation, a centrist public policy group.

“In the nuclear age, you don’t want someone flying off the handle, so it’s a critical question: Can McCain control his temper?” asked Thomas De Luca, professor of political science at Fordham University in New York.

It was one thing for John McCain to sing, “Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran.” It’s another thing to trust him with the ability to make this decision. It is just too risky to have John McCain in the White House.

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