The Corner

Tommy McC

John Miller, I’m with you: I half wish McClintock had pulled out last week, throwing his support to Der Arnold. By doing so he could have a) claimed a place in Arnold’s budget councils, b) ended his reputation as a loner and spoiler, and c) signalled that he intended to remain a player for years to come. And he could have earned comparison with Reagan himself. The Gipper, after all, established his basic approach to politics as president of the Screen Actors Guild. What does a union leader have to know how to do? Stake out a position–and then settle for the best deal he can get. On tax cuts, on arms deals–Reagan displayed this pattern again and again.

McClintock, alas, seems to know only how to stake out a position, not how to cut a deal.

He’s still young, of course–a decade younger than Der Arnold–so he might become a force yet. I hope so. But in the meantime I’d urge him to study up on the Gospel admonition. We are called to be not only innocent as doves, but wise as serpents.

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