Thursday, April 03, 2008

Peter Keating Republicans

In his latest TIA Daily email, Robert Tracinski observes that McCain promises more multilateralism in foreign policy. (I'll provide a link if the column shows up on Real Clear Politics.) Tracinski writes,

But what is especially galling to me is that John McCain knows better. On national defense, I believe he is a sincere patriot who loves America and values what our military has accomplished in the cause of freedom. So why all this talk about America having to show that it is a "good citizen" and having to "shoulder our responsibilities"? Isn't serving as the world's strongest and most resolute bulwark against tyranny and terror, bringing down two evil empires and working on preventing a third—shouldn't that be enough to earn the world's gratitude? What other, greater "responsibilities" could anyone reasonably demand of us?

Why would McCain talk about being a "good citizen," the kind of nonsense one would expect from leftists who want to bind America's foreign policy so that we do nothing in our self-interest?

I will offer a guess. John McCain, as long as I have been watching him, has shown a remarkable talent for saying what the establishment liberal media want to hear. This has made him the media's favorite Republican. It has made him a "maverick" among Republicans. It has earned him hours of criticism from conservatives such as Rush Limbaugh.

I can understand McCain's pandering to the media up to a point. We live in an age in which the MSM shape our culture by selecting what to focus their attention on and ignoring other news. Thus, a Republican can say the word "macaca" and the media go into their feeding frenzy, blowing it ridiculously out of proportion to its importance and focusing all their cameras and column inches on that utterance -- until a politician ends up destroyed. Avoiding this selective focus is of life and death importance to a politician's career. The temptation must be great for every Republican to issue the standing order to his subconscious: let me say what the MSM want me to say.

Of course, this is a disastrous policy. If your statements are molded, Peter Keating-like, to what other people want to hear, then you will become what they want you to be. If those people are the MSM, then you will become more liberal.


Anonymous said...

All of which makes me wonder what RWT is thinking when he says that McCain "is a sincere patriot who loves America and values what our military has accomplished in the cause of freedom." No way in hell! That's like saying that Peter Keating really loved architecture, but just couldn't help trying to appease popular tastes.

Anonymous said...

"All of which makes me wonder what RWT is thinking when he says..."

IMO Tracinski has been seriously infected with Neo-Conservative premises and has thus become relatively worthless as a commentator. There are Conservatives who are more insightful than Tracinski and don't butcher Objectivism in the process. The quote on McCain loving America is one of the more egregiously stupid things he's written that I can remember.

John Kim