Ramesh, your point that Hastert’s comment
could have come as the answer to a reporter twisting the question is a fair
one. I’ll concede that. I don’t think it’s out of bounds either for
Republicans to point out that McCain is voting with the Dems on this one (or
any one), but you know as well as I do that RINO-ing McCain is common in GOP
circles. I don’t think it’s right (and let me say I think McCain was wrong
on campaign finance, so nobody come back on me about that). It’s not enough
to say that McCain is wrong on this or that; some Republicans have to call
him a Democrat, which he certainly isn’t. Reminds me of a very conservative
friend of mine who sat on a planning board in his town, and came out against
something developers wanted because he thought it was bad for the community.
He was publicly denounced by the head of the planning board as a RINO. That
tactic bothers me.
I don’t think pointing out that Hastert escaped Vietnam service with a
medical deferment is a “cheap shot” in context of an editorial criticizing
him for saying that John McCain needed to learn the meaning of sacrifice by
visiting wounded soldiers. I don’t think it’s right to hold a medical
deferment against anybody. But why is it wrong to point out that Hastert
didn’t serve in Vietnam, but was criticizing in a way we found disreputable
someone who did serve, and with distinction?
Finally, you write, “And by the way, the editorial comment was that McCain’s
argument was ‘entirely legitimate.’ In now saying that maybe McCain is a bit
of a hypocrite, you’re shifting ground.” Wait a minute. The editorial is
clear that by “McCain’s critique,” we meant his pointing out that neither
party — but particularly his own, which is supposed to be the party of
fiscal responsibility — is doing anything serious to reign in spending. How
can that be disputed? Besides, how does my conceding (for the sake of
argument) that McCain may be a a bit of a hypocrite on this score make me
shift ground on the legitimacy of his argument (such as it is)?
I regret that I will be computer-free the rest of the weekend, and won’t be able to
answer if there’s anything else on this debate. When SBC tells you they’ll
get your DSL hooked up in a jif, run screaming for the door. We’re at almost
three weeks and counting on our order, which they’ve screwed up twice. It’s
probably John McCain’s fault.