Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

More foolishness from John McCain

The man's had his share of idiotic moments which is why he's not doing well in his latest bid for the presidency. But stating that he'd reject Secret Service protection if elected has got to be one of the worst verbal gaffes he's made in a long time:

John McCain often says on the campaign trail that he wants to take on the system in Washington. Usually, he's talking about congressional spending and pork-barrel projects. But he also wants to challenge the system of protection that forces presidents to live life in a bubble.

"It's my intention, if we win this nomination, to reject Secret Service," he said during one of his many conversations with reporters on his Straight Talk Express this weekend. "Why do I need it?"

He adds: "The day that the Secret Service can assure me that if we're driving in the motorcade and there's a guy in a rooftop with a rifle, that they can stop that guy, then I'll say fine. But the day they tell me, 'well, we can't guarantee it,' then fine, I'll take my chances."

McCain rejected Secret Service protection in 2000, after winning the New Hampshire primary. But he wants to go further, rejecting the massive security apparatus should he become president."It's the inconvenience," McCain said.

"It's the inconvenience it causes people. It's a waste of the taxpayers money. It's just everything I don't like."

McCain admitted that a modern American president can't live without Secret Service protection. But he said presidents have let the protection get out of hand.

He recalled a time during Bill Clinton's presidency, when Clinton and his wife, the first lady, both had events in New York City, each traveling with large security caravans. "The island of Manhattan was gridlocked," he recalled.

The security overkill, he said, causes presidents to work differently than they otherwise might, he said.

Let's take a look at the idea of assassinating the president, shall we? There have been eighteen attempts to assassinate sitting or former presidents. Four were successful (McKinley, Lincoln, Garfield, and Kennedy). The Secret Service has a long and proud heritage of being willing to put their lives on the line to protect the president. At times, some have complained of their tactics of protecting the president, but these are skills they need to make sure that the president stays alive.

The president is a keeper of secrets, all relevant to the functioning of the nation. You don't have to have witnessed Kennedy's assassination, or lived through the aftermath, to know that the nation grieves deeply when the president is killed. In fact, even when Lincoln was shot, and despite the fact that the South had lost the Civil War, as Booth was about to flee to Virginia, he wrote in his journal that he found little sympathy for his action:

"[W]ith every man's hand against me, I am here in despair. And why; For doing what Brutus was honored for ... And yet I for striking down a greater tyrant than they ever knew am looked upon as a common cutthroat"

Point being is that while we can see the frustration the president may have with the way the Secret Service does it's job, they are there for a reason. They are there to protect him at any and all costs. Yes, when the president travels across the country, the security involved does snarl traffic, and makes things a general nightmare for citizens of the city he's visiting. But if this didn't happen, there would be far more attempts on his life. Cranks and nutcases abound, especially int his world we live in today, and there's no shortage of crazies that would be willing to trade their life to kill the president.

John McCain doesn't need to worry about this, though. He's not going to get the nomination, nor will he be elected to serve as the president. But his rebuke of the Secret Service and the job they perform shows just how little he understands about the presidency itself.

HT: Gabriel at Ace of Spades

Publius II


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