I remember reading about Cindy McCain telling her adopted daughter, Bridget, who was deeply hurt by the slurs of South Carolina 2000 that it was politics. Nasty business, but politics.
Maybe that level of tolerance of vile tactics, the "good man" rationalizing using any means necessary just to survive, is what informs the current strategery of the McCain campaign.
Maybe he tells himself it's like back in the years in 'Nam, when yes, he did sign papers against America while a POW. You do anything necessary just to survive.
Unless you don't.
Joe Klein's commentary on John McCain's friendship with David Ifshin, an anti-Vietnam war protestor, "McCain's Radical Pal," is telling. That friendship was far closer than any serving-on-a-board-together collegiality by Obama and William Ayers. But what if it were an identical level of friendship.
Like the dark characters of the Bush Administration, notably Dick Cheney, and the callow, unethical charlatans of Republican consultancy, notably Karl Rove and his acolytes, there is evident in McCain these days a willingness to rationalize that anything goes.
That dishonor--breaking the Honor Conduct code of the Naval Academy and the naval tradition of the McCain family--is situational and acceptable in furtherance of the goal...survival.
Survival of a campaign mired in sleaze and smear. But the McCains' self-denial tells them that's okay. It can be washed off. It can be made right...once the election is over.
After all, it's just politics.
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