Friday, November 07, 2008
Sol at solomonia.com quotes with approval from Byron York, in a lengthy essay about Sen. John McCain and the good job he did under exceptionally trying circumstances. In the process, Sol has quite a bit to say himself.
I agree completely. For all of McCain's faults -- which he has, just like the rest of us -- he ran a hard campaign, kept his dignity and his honor intact, and did much better than most 72-year-olds could dream of doing. He recognized from the beginning that he wasn't willing to win at too high a price -- and for that, we should be commending his restraint, not blaming him for failing to win at any cost.
It would have been all too easy, given the atmosphere of venom that surrounded this campaign -- and that Republicans have been living with for the past eight years! -- to have fought fire with fire, in the process deepening the divisions in American society and pitting blue against red all the more. McCain chose not to do that. He did not flinch from criticizing Obama's statements or his actions, but he refused to smear Obama personally, or to level the sort of personal attacks against him and his family that Gov. Sarah Palin, for instance, had to face daily from Democrats.
And for all McCain's restraint, he still picked up 47% of the vote -- better, as Sol and Mr. York point out, than Bob Dole or George H. W. Bush did against Clinton, neither of them facing the challenges that McCain did.