The above line relates quite nicely to a report from the New York Times today stating that John McCain may have had an affair. Or that he may have acted unethically as a legislator. Or, that he may have simply committed the sin of giving the appearance of both. What it has revealed, most importantly, is that John McCain has trouble living up to his own standards, no matter how inadvertently he strays from them. (Full disclosure: I used to work for the Times as a researcher in the editorial department with libertarian columnist John Tierney. My office was in the Washington Bureau, and so I freely conversed with the journalists there — including a few of the reporters who worked on this story.)
It was inevitable that McCain would be questioned on ethics, considering his visibility on the issue. But the pseudo-muckraking philosophy underlying McCain-Feingold, “ethics reform,” and other “do-gooder” bills that placed him at odds with conservatives has come back to bite him in a Times article that highlights moments in his career where he could have been seen as doing something unseemly. Though his campaign vigorously denies doing anything wrong, it’s well worth noting that McCain’s philosophy would still require punishment for groups of citizens wishing to exercise their first amendment rights prior to an election. In other words, citizens are expected to take McCain at his word when he won’t do the same for them.
Make no mistake: The Times story is thinly sourced, and heavy on already-reported information. Admittedly the former is necessary to investigative political reporting, and drives campaign teams up the wall (which makes it worth it). But the timing is key. According to Jonathan Martin and Jim Geraghty, this article had been leaked to Drudge in December, when it was to be published among other articles in a series (“The Long Run”) about the candidates running in the primaries. At that time, the Times had already published a rather favorable piece about McCain as a father. The editors, apparently, decided to hold this story rather than run it earlier, with the bulk of the series, which places them (and not the reporters) squarely in the center of yet another bias controversy. Those flames were fanned by Matt Drudge’s headline: “NOW THAT HE’S SECURED NOMINATION: NYT DOWNLOADS ON MCCAIN.”p>Taken from the perspective of former McCain staffers, the new report leads with its chin, as “waves of anxiety sweep through his small circle of advisers”: br> /p>
A female lobbyist had been turning up with him at fund-raisers, visiting his offices and accompanying him on a client’s corporate jet. Convinced the relationship had become romantic, some of his top advisers intervened to protect the candidate from himself — instructing staff members to block the woman’s access, privately warning her away and repeatedly confronting him, several people involved in the campaign said on the condition of anonymity.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?