Righteous Good Stuff, Best with a Grain of Salt,
Where my mind wanders away from giving this book five stars is in the “white lie” and “lie by omission” arena. As we all now recognize that Karl Rove cheated John McCain out of the South Carolina election, and that Dick Cheney lied to Congress and the public and John McCain probably knew it, I come down wondering to myself why McCain chose to lie down for the extremist Republicans when he would not do so for his Vietnamese torturers? Why did he not declare himself an Independent, join with John Edwards, and found a new party?
Also, since Senators are too busy to write books, this book was clearly written by Mark Salter. Why not have him be the author, with John McCain writing the Foreword? Another little “white lie” that troubles me.
This is a fine book. It can and should inspire others. However, it should also inspire Senator McCain himself to look deeply, and decide if–as Eisenhower once was forced to decide–is he an American first, or a Republican first? From where I sit, he is sacrificing the Republic's character to preserve an inherently evil aspect of the extremist Republican party.
Character is easy to demonstrate against an obvious enemy. It is more difficult to display when you are betrayed by our own, the enemy is within your close circle of political alliances, and you are forced to choose between We the People, and the entrenched interests that own Congress and the White House.
Character is indeed destiny, and I for one pray that John McCain will rise above the Republican Party and focus on being an American first. John McCain and John Edwards, with a coalition cabinet declared in advance–that would be character. Anything else is business as usual.
This book comes at a good time, and its greatest value may be in giving John McCain, as prompted by Mark Salter, an opportunity to review the cards he holds and the cards he wishes to discard from his very full deck.