Nation-Building >> good blood: Obama and McCain put Country First | return to front page

"America has two great dominant strands of political thought - conservatism, which, at its very best, draws lines that should not be crossed; and progressivism, which, at its very best, breaks down barriers that should never have been erected." -- Bill Clinton, Dedication of the Clinton Presidential Library, November 2004

Add to Google Reader or Homepage Subscribe in Bloglines Subscribe in NewsGator Online Add to netvibes

website stats

Previous Posts
Netflix, Inc.
ThinkGeek T-Shirts will make you cool!
illy coffee - 2 cans, 2 mugs for just $26.

Monday, January 19, 2009

 

good blood: Obama and McCain put Country First http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/19/us/politics/19mccain.html?_r=1&ref=Washington

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, January 19, 2009 permalink View blog reactions
During the election, the McCain campaign slogan was "Country First". This was seized upon with glee by GOP partisans as a rebuke against Obama, who (it was implied) put himself first instead of his country. Now, however, in losing the election, these same fair-weather patriots would prefer that McCain put Party above Country - clearly their concept of Country was a subset - the so-called "Real America" - that shared their political views and agenda. John McCain's principles and patriotism have now become a point of contention instead of pride for these small-minded partisan fools.

Case in point - RedState has already told McCain to go "suck a lemon". A more official rebuke comes from Rick Santorum, former GOP Senator for PA, who frets that John McCain might seek to re-burnish his credentials as a maverick by working amicably with president Obama:

McCain was once the mainstream media darling, back when he joined Democrats on a host of issues. He prized his maverick moniker and used it to propel himself onto the national scene in the 2000 Republican presidential primary. Early in the Bush years, he shored up his status as the media's favorite Republican by opposing Bush on taxes and the environment.
...
In McCain's mind, however, losing the presidency will not be the final chapter of his life story. He knows the path to "Big Media" redemption. Working with the man who vanquished him in November will show them all the real McCain again.

Remember, it was this onetime prisoner of war who led the charge to open diplomatic relations with Vietnam. If that past is prologue, and McCain's legislative record is any guide, he will not just join with Obama but lead the charge in Congress on global warming, immigration "reform," the closing of Guantanamo, federal funding for embryonic-stem-cell research, and importation of prescription drugs.

Santorum's concerns are well-founded, as it turns out. The New York Times has more detail on the evolving Obama-McCain relationship:

As contenders for the presidency, the two had hammered each other for much of 2008 over their conflicting approaches to foreign policy, especially in Iraq. (He’d lose a war! He’d stay a hundred years!) Now, however, Mr. Obama said he wanted Mr. McCain’s advice, people in each camp briefed on the conversation said. What did he see on the trip? What did he learn?

It was just one step in a post-election courtship that historians say has few modern parallels, beginning with a private meeting in Mr. Obama’s transition office in Chicago just two weeks after the vote. On Monday night, Mr. McCain will be the guest of honor at a black-tie dinner celebrating Mr. Obama’s inauguration.

Over the last three months, Mr. Obama has quietly consulted Mr. McCain about many of the new administration’s potential nominees to top national security jobs and about other issues — in one case relaying back a contender’s answers to questions Mr. McCain had suggested.

Mr. McCain, meanwhile, has told colleagues “that many of these appointments he would have made himself,” said Senator Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican and a close McCain friend.

Fred I. Greenstein, emeritus professor of politics at Princeton, said: “I don’t think there is a precedent for this. Sometimes there is bad blood, sometimes there is so-so blood, but rarely is there good blood.”

Reaching out to a former rival is unprecedented in American politics, but that's the entire point of Change. Obama is wise to solicit McCain's counsel, because the real solutions ahead will require working together for the sake of the nation rather than any one party or electoral cycle.

Related - discussion at myDD and at Washington Monthly.

Labels: , , ,


Discussion

Post a Comment

Archives

View blog top tags
The Assault on Reason

Obama 2008 - I want my country back

I want my country back - Obama 2008

About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.