Angry Whiteboys Bill Clinton and John McCain have been harshly criticized for standing up for what they believe. Is there something wrong with that?
I have a great belly-laugh when I hear people sniping at John McCain or Bill Clinton or any other political leaders for a flash of anger here and there. There's plenty to be angry about, according to all sources, and you have only to cruise the poltical weblogs to see the virulent and angry level of American political discourse. By comparison, the mild fulminations of Bill Clinton are pale compared to the repressed and latent nastiness of Howard Dean and other fans of the Passive-Aggressive modus operandi.
John McCain turned on a priggish audience member who brought up the matter of McCain's "temper' in a town-hall meeting the other day. Here's a brief of what McCain said:
Look, I will confess to you, my friend, that I get angry," he told the man. "I get angry when I saw a guy named Abramoff that ripped off Native Americans for millions and millions and millions of dollars and people ended up, including him, in federal prison. I get angry when I see 233 million of your tax dollars going to an island, to a bridge to an island with 50 people on it. And that's your dollars. I get angry when I see corruption to the point where we have former members of Congress residing in federal prison."
And you know something? The American people are angry, too, and they're not gonna' take it any more! And they're mad and they've lost their temper, you know? These town-hall meetings, ask 'em if they're not mad. Ask 'em, ask 'em!"
So the alternative to real leadership is scripted leadership, the type where you put at least three seconds between each word and try to remember what your campaign manager told you to say. I know which one I prefer.