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Neocons and Pragmatists Compete over Influence on McCain

The so-called pragmatists in the Republican party are concerned that Senator McCain "is susceptible to influence from the neoconservatives," write Elizabeth Bumiller and Larry Rother write in the New York Times (HT: Alex).

John McCain has long made his decades of experience in foreign policy and national security the centerpiece of his political identity, but he might not be "as fully formed on foreign policy as his campaign advisers say he is:"

While he speaks authoritatively, he operates too much off the cuff and has not done the deeper homework required of a presidential candidate.

In a trip to the Middle East last month, Mr. McCain made an embarrassing mistake when he said several times that he was concerned that Iran was training Al Qaeda in Iraq. (The United States believes that Iran, a Shiite country, has been training Shiite extremists in Iraq, but not Al Qaeda, a Sunni insurgent group.) He repeated the mistake on Tuesday at hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Related post on Atlantic Community: Why We Should Fear a McCain Presidency

And on Dialog International: John McCain a Danger for Europe


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franchie on :

well, MacCain has a sense for the opportunities as big as his ability for "good words" ; he can adapt his opinion according to the person he has in front of him : just, as does an untertainer ! no problem though, there would be the "staff" behind, same men, same policy

Joe Noory on :

If you knew how well the leftists are pandering to any event that comes up in the news, you wouldn't be saying any such thing. Any turn in the market, any security matter that arises, any social issue that comes up on the radar, and suddenly, by a miracle, they're experts. And the press agrees with them. That's just the way it works with the mainstream press. They are a miniscule elite that imagine themselves populous and populist, and that they get more than one vote - one in the ballot box, and the other with the microphone in their hands. McCain is the civilized candidate by every measure, but he's relegated to the end while the media try to make out one male and one female first term senators in their fifties as wise, young, experienced, general-like, and gaia's gift to man at the same time. McCain, on the other hand, was offered the rank of Admiral (RALH), and turned it down. I guess that makes him a warmonger.

franchie on :

Joe, you wouldn't believe me, my sources are neocon

Noory on :

"Neocon" isn't a religion. They aren't monolithic, and they aren't Stepford children. If you find an opinion, you may have an indidual on your hands.

Pat Patterson on :

It's not really a matter of what source is dentified as a "neocon" especially as that term has a very narrow group of thinkers it encompasses. But in the showing of these inconsistencies, ie., examples where Sen. McCain or even the other two candidates have changed, aside from saying the name of the right city they are making a speech in, the substance of their beliefs much like that mentioned entertainer how appears as Lear and then Puck on successive nights. Ugh, that image does make me squirm a bit. I am a reluctant John McCain supporter but unlike some he has not suddenly revealed that he really believes the opposite of previous statements or his votes in the House or the Senate for the last twenty plus years. In fact it will be difficult to play the gotcha game here as McCain has already staked out several positions that I feel are arguable but that I have confidence in the consistency and honesty of these positions. I mean its not like promising in the Illinois legislature to restrict gun ownership and then talking about how important the 2nd Amendment is in a delegate rich state where over a million hunters reside. Or claiming that she has years of experience being near the president, oh, but by the way, completely disagrees on the two major succeses of that administration. The Welfare Reform Act and NAFTA. I suspect that if there is a McCain administration the headlines and the think tank articles will generally consist of various arguments that he is either leaning to much towards the neocons or that he is listening to much to the pragmatists and should do more of the other. And since the US has a system of checks and balances the president will have, has and had at points in time to carry out some acts that could be seen as pragmatic and sometimes as idealistic. The trick will remain to not end up succumbing to the cynicism of the former and the overly romantic possibilities of the latter.

Merkel on :

Got it!

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