Super Lawyers
William C. Altreuter
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Monday, August 30, 2004

John McCain is, we are told, a popular politician. Courted by both Kerry and Bush, he allowed the idea that he might accept the VP nomination from Kerry to float out there, but then shut it down. He has been critical of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ads, and he is praised for this, but it seems to me that it shouldn't be too hard for someone who was smeared by the same people the same way to come out against this sort of unscrupulous politics. In a way this is sort of typical of McCain's integrity: his big issue is campaign finance reform, and that's because he got caught out once himself. I am leery of that sort of virtue-- the reformed can be quiet about it, or they can become missionaries, and I suppose I prefer the former.

I also question the integrity and independence of someone who would stand with George W. Bush after having been attacked by him. Obviously McCain is doing this because he sees an opening, and in most politicians I suppose this wouldn't warrant much comment. From someone who enjoys McCain's reputation and popularity, however, I think we might be excused for expecting something more. I have never thought McCain was anything special-- he's a conservative Republican, as far as I can see: there is nothing in his voting record that suggest to me that he stands for anything that I agree with.

The Senate is a funny place: because it is small, the members have to learn to work with each other in order to get things done. This can lead to some very strange bedfellows: Ted Kennedy and Orrin Hatch are best buddies, for example. It is hardly surprising that two Vietnam Vets like Kerry and McCain would find that they had enough in common to become friends. I believe that the principals and the country believe that this election is important-- I think the most important in a generation. I think that it speaks poorly of McCain that with considerations of friendship and country on one side, and considerations of personal ambition and party loyalty on the other, he chose to stand with Bush and his own prospects four years from now.

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