Is it just me, or has David Brooks written a column this morning explaining that John McCain is fundamentally, irredeemably ill-suited to being President of the United States?
My worry about [Sarah] Palin is that she shares McCain’s primary weakness — that she has a tendency to substitute a moral philosophy for a political philosophy.
There are some issues where the most important job is to rally the armies of decency against the armies of corruption: Confronting Putin, tackling earmarks and reforming the process of government.
But most issues are not confrontations between virtue and vice. Most problems — the ones Barack Obama is sure to focus on like health care reform and economic anxiety — are the product of complex conditions. They require trade-offs and policy expertise. They are not solvable through the mere assertion of sterling character...
But if you are going to lead a vast administration as president, it really helps to have a clearly defined governing philosophy, a conscious sense of what government should and shouldn’t do, a set of communicable priorities...
On top of these conditions, he will have his own freewheeling qualities: a restless, thrill-seeking personality, a tendency to personalize issues, a tendency to lead life as a string of virtuous crusades.
He really needs someone to impose a policy structure on his moral intuitions. He needs a very senior person who can organize a vast administration and insist that he tame his lone-pilot tendencies and work through the established corridors — the National Security Council, the Domestic Policy Council. He needs a near-equal who can turn his instincts, which are great, into a doctrine that everybody else can predict and understand.
In other words: a McCain Presidency will be a shambles! But vote for the guy anyway!