THE BLOG
11/13/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Try Leading, Mr. McCain

I am unwilling to believe that Senator John McCain is running his own campaign. Though as a candidate for the presidency, Sen. McCain is deeply flawed, I am unwilling to believe that the ugly campaign his Party is running truly reflects Sen. McCain's genuine views.

I don't believe that Sen. McCain understood what he was doing when he picked Gov. Palin as his running mate.

I don't believe that Sen. McCain understood what he was doing when he selected the architect of the destruction of his 2000 presidential campaign in South Carolina, Tucker Eskew, to advise Gov. Palin.

I don't believe that Sen. McCain understands that lobbyist and influence peddlers are NOT drawn to him by his charm, savoir-faire and mavericity.

I don't believe that Sen. McCain understands that "I have a plan" does not constitute a viable policy.

I don't believe that Sen. McCain thinks Sen. Obama is a terrorist or supports terrorism.

I don't believe Sen. McCain is a racist, and I don't believe he understands the Civil Rights Movement. He wasn't there.

I don't believe that Sen. McCain understands the dark forces he's unleashed.

I don't believe that Sen. McCain has been leading his own campaign. I hope.

And, I don't believe that Mr. McCain understands the damage to this nation and our people that the Republican party has wrought.

Sen. McCain's failure, I hope, lies in his acquiescence to the Republican "base" and to those who for years have pandered to that base, stoking the fires of its intolerance and ignorance and selfishness and greed. Sen. McCain's failure-by-acquiescence is not a modest failure. And it is that failure which presents the danger of his candidacy.

Aside from the manifest damage to the public conversation and the genuine danger of inspiring criminal acts, the lesson is that Sen. McCain has failed to lead his own party. The party has led him, by the nose. And, should that party win in November, it is that Party which will continue the dismembering of the American dream.