McCain as Churchill - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
McCain as Churchill

Regular readers here will of course know how critical I am of John McCain. What you may not know is that I revere Winston Churchill. It may therefore come as a surprise that I think this Weekly Standard column is right on target. It posits that McCain is very Churchillian.

Now how can I not like McCain, while revering Churchill, yet applaud a favorable comparison of McCain to Churchill? Well, first, because I do think that McCain has greatness in him. It is a greatness too often unrealized, too often subsumed to bitterness and meanness and pettiness, but it is undeniably there, at least in potential.

Second, I may not have liked Churchill either if I had lived then — although, just as I have agreed with McCain EVERY STEP OF THE WAY on the big issues of the Iraq war, I flatter myself that I would have agreed with Churchill about the Nazis during the 1930s even if I didn’t like him personally.

Third, the one good quality I will always ascribe to McCain is his deep, passionate, undeniable love of his country and dedication to advancing its strategic interests as he sees them — which is exactly what Churchill felt about Great Britain. Meanwhile, I literally was just thinking yesterday (before this column in the WStandard came out) that McCain reminded me a bit of Churchill in these ways, and in his bellicosity, and in his vanity and self-absorption — and, too, this time to his credit, in his recognition of the nature of the enemy and the need to stop the enemy and insist on our own nation’s moral superiority to it.

Now if only McCain would learn how to make gradations of distinctions between temporary political adversaries and mortal enemies, then we really might get somewhere with him. He often gives the impression that anybody on the right who disagrees with him is as corrupt and immoral as Al Qaeda is. That attitude of his is one of the things that makes him, quite simply, a jerk. But he is a jerk of a Churchillian bearing, and he may get the opportunity, as Churchill did, to lead a great nation in a moral cause against true evil abroad.

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