In 5/19/2008’s issue of Newsweek, archetype conservative George Will posits a series of questions for John McCain, varying in the degrees of sense that they make. There is one question I generally take issue with, and this is not meant to be an apologetic position in support of Senator McCain.
You say that you are not “ready to go to war with Iran,” but you also say the “one thing worse” than “exercising the military option” is “a nuclear-armed Iran.” Because strenuous diplomacy has not dented Iran’s nuclear ambitions, is not a vote for you a vote for war with Iran?
Me: Mr. Will, the only nation with which we have entered “strenuous” and ongoing negotiations with regarding nuclear proliferation during the during of the current President is North Korea. The six-party talks we have conducted with North Korea have provided limited success in assuring that North Korea will limit its nuclear program. This President has made clear that he has had no desire to negotiate diplomatically with the current regime in Iran, rather engaging in a series of veiled and unveiled threats between the two nations, referring to Iran as being a member of the infamous “Axis of Evil” (yes, I do remember that), and even vaguely hinting to the American public that he would consider war as an option in the near future. Mr. Will, my question for you is this: How can a vote for Senator McCain be linked to war with Iran when the strenuous diplomacy you purport to have occurred during this President’s tenure has not in fact occurred?
Is McCain still having a hard-time shoring up support from the “intellectual” conservatives like Mr. Will et al? If these problems and questions persist for this group into the fall, what impact will (no pun intended, Mr. Will) these strong-willed (pun most definitely intended, Mr. Will) people have upon the Presidential race? This is something that rank-and-file Republicans will need to consider going into the fall.