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Works and Days

More McCain Agonistes

May 20th, 2008 - 4:08 pm

So ME, ME, ME…

So we won’t drill off our coasts or in Alaska, we won’t build nuclear power plants, or develop shale and tar sands, or go into massive conservation modes or burn clean coal–but the House will sue Saudi Arabia? Our generation is back at it, in a 60s time warp, screaming at our parents that we can’t have it all…In this case we want to burn lots of fossil fuels but won’t develop any new sources, but are MAD at those who do…

McCain and The Vast Leftwing Hit Machine

We have already seen, to paraphrase the Democrats, the elements of the vast leftwing hit-machine to come in the fall. So we will get even more amplification of what we have seen thus far:
a) McCain is “unstable” and not in control of his temper (more liberal Senators will reluctantly offer testimonials.)

b) McCain is warlike, being from a “militarist” family of admirals. He also missed out on the critical anti-war years at home that evolved more sensitive veterans like John Kerry into thoughtfully questioning the military-industrial complex. He in contrast was stuck in a time warp in Hanoi and never emerged from his Manichean “war mode.” (cf. The New York Times on this narrative).

c) McCain is demented and “old” (cf. more subtle suggestions from Obama like the “losing his bearings” quip).

d) McCain is a sell-out and hypocrite, who has disappointed liberals who once enjoyed his attacks on Bush in the 2000 primaries (cf. the Huffington Post stories on these crocodile tears).

Expect, as the campaign goes on, that McCain begins to drop his reluctance to reply in kind. I think he is beginning to fathom how he can surely lose: accept the “Obama rules” that apply one set of taboos for McCain, and open-season for Obama, on everything from amnesty for his wife as she rants and raves; broadcasting his middle name for foreign consumption, alleging racism at home for any who follow suit; getting personal as he decries just such “divisiveness;” and counting on racial block voting and passes for occasional racial stereotyping as he laments the racialization of the white working class that distrusts his elitism.

Does McCain Have a Chance?

For McCain to win, two things have to happen. He needs to become angrier at the attacks, and, in general, Obama’s worldview of more spending, more taxes, a timetable withdrawal from Iraq, more UNism, and a Harvard Law School view of the courts in order to energize his base. Limbaugh and others distrust McCain, but they will slowly grow incensed at what they hear from Obama and Co. as this campaign unfolds.

Second, very few Senators with three-years experience can conduct a national campaign without daily gaffes. Every time Obama speaks extemporaneously, he astounds, whether talking about how Americans eat too much of the world’s food or calling those “low class” who reply in kind to Michelle’s slurs. He has over 160 more days of this and insidiously these remarks will add up.

A Real Scrap

I apologize for sounding cynical. But the Democrats smell blood, and will be willing to do almost anything to win—note the media posse that turned on the Clinton roadblock to Obamatopia.

I am afraid I never bought into the sincerity of the messianic “hope and change” gospel, but instead went back and looked exactly at the Obama past in Chicago, his voting record in the U.S. Senate, and his pronouncements on the campaign. If one were to forget the undeniable eloquence and verve, what one finds in all three cases is something indistinguishable, first, from Jesse Jackson’s Chicago politicking; second, hyper-partisanship and doctrinaire no-prisoners liberalism; and, third, the same old rough-and-tumble campaigning we have seen for over 200 years, albeit dressed up with a sort of elite, above-the-fray aristocratic disdain.

In my own experience, messiahs usually become the nastiest when crossed. Look at the Carter pieties that quickly devolved into “kick his ass” slurs about Ted Kennedy, suggestions that Bush Sr. was effeminate, and blanket condemnation of the United States while lobbying for the Nobel Prize.

McCain has a touch of this self-righteousness—so the Obama-McCain collision will not be a McCain-Feingold post-politics lovefest, but one of the hardest hitting campaigns in recent history.

Just watch…

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