Friday, August 22, 2008

Four Questions for McCain

Those that live in my head know that I have an active fantasy life. In one of my fantasies, presidential candidates are asked real questions during debates, instead of being lobbied softballs. For instance, I fully expect this question to be asked of McCain at some point in the three debates:
Senator McCain, you have claimed that your experience as a prisoner of war has prepared you to lead this great nation during troubling times ahead. Would you care to pontificate about the qualities you gained during your noble sacrifice for this nation and how they have prepared you to lead this great nation to glory? And if you have the time, please, try to think of anything your opponent may have done that rivals your great sacrifice for this great nation.
The questions I compose are, as you may imagine, different. They are not necessarily original, but I liked to hear them asked. I like to think they are tough, but fair. I try to avoid cheap shots, like asking if a candidate's position on the death penalty might change if his wife was raped, or if a candidate realizes that even running against a sitting president in a time of war could embolden our enemies.

All I lack to make my fantasy a reality is a degree in journalism, experience working in politics, laser surgery, voice conditioning, and your impassioned demand to the networks that they ask these powerful questions. (No links. Just type "networks," "debate questions," and "where can I demand that you ask specific questions written by this guy on the internet?" into Google. I'm sure appropriate links will come up. Is there nothing Google can't do?)

On to my penetrating and disturbing questions:

1. Senator McCain, you have said repeatedly that you would you would follow Bin Laden "to the gates of Hell" if necessary to capture or kill him. You have, however, criticized your opponent for saying that he would launch unilateral strikes into Pakistan, if he believed there was a reasonable chance to capture or kill Bin Laden. How can you pledge to pursue Bin Laden to the "gates of Hell," but not Pakistan?

2. You have repeatedly said that the American economy is on a solid footing, but your campaign is running a commercial on the economy that says, "We're worse off than we were four years ago." Will you name three ways that a McCain administration would differ from the Bush administration on the economy, and where do you see the economy economy headed six months from now?

3. You have strongly opposed any timetable for withdrawing troops from Iraq, often equating timetables with defeat, and strongly criticizing your opponent for his support of timetables. Now that the Bush administration and the Iraqi government have signed an agreement that stipulates a timetable for troop withdrawal, have you changed your position on troop withdrawal and, if not, do you reserve the right to break our agreement with the Iraqi government if you believe it is in the interest of the United States?

4. On several occasions in the 1980s you opposed and voted against a national holiday in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. and you also opposed the establishment of a state holiday in your home state of Arizona. You recently said that you regret your opposition to a holiday for Dr. King, saying that you were "slow" and "a little late" to recognize King's "greatness." Can you tell us your original rationale for opposing the holiday for Dr. King and exactly what lead you to "realize" his greatness?

No comments: