McCain: A Victory to Defy Reason?

In a bold, yet not remotely sassy move, John McCain delivered his acceptance speech as Republican nominee for president, promising ‘change’. He clearly forgot an important point which Obama did not:

“I can’t wait until I introduce her to Washington. And let me offer an advance warning to the old, big spending, do nothing, me first, country second Washington crowd: change is coming,” McCain said.

Pardon me? How can change be coming when you admit you voted with the idiot Bush over 90% of the time? But of course this isn’t the only instance of McCain double speak:

As I put in a previous post, his entire campaign now depends on Sarah Palin, and the (mis) perception (already evidenced in the first comment on my last post) that the election is about her. I mean after all he admits he’s a liar who’ll say anything to get elected (skip to 5:47 for the evidence):

He apparently wants an end to partisan attack politics:

We need to change the way government does almost everything: from the way we protect our security to the way we compete in the world economy; from the way we respond to disasters to the way we fuel our transportation network; from the way we train our workers to the way we educate our children. All these functions of government were designed before the rise of the global economy, the information technology revolution and the end of the Cold War. We have to catch up to history, and we have to change the way we do business in Washington.

The constant partisan rancor that stops us from solving these problems isn’t a cause, it’s a symptom. It’s what happens when people go to Washington to work for themselves and not you.

Yet conveniently seemed not to notice that Sarah Palin’s entire convention speech was based on partisan rancour. Hypocrisy much?

This is a man who can give an entire speech about the wars America is fighting, and never use the word “victory” except when he’s talking about his own campaign. But when the cloud of rhetoric has passed … when the roar of the crowd fades away … when the stadium lights go out, and those Styrofoam Greek columns are hauled back to some studio lot – what exactly is our opponent’s plan? What does he actually seek to accomplish, after he’s done turning back the waters and healing the planet? The answer is to make government bigger … take more of your money … give you more orders from Washington … and to reduce the strength of America in a dangerous world. America needs more energy … our opponent is against producing it.

Victory in Iraq is finally in sight … he wants to forfeit.

Terrorist states are seeking new-clear weapons without delay … he wants to meet them without preconditions.

I think one thing which can be said is that McCain, as Palin, did a very good job of preaching to the converted.

And though the crowd in the arena dutifully jumped up and down, it was surely not intended to energise and electrify the wider audience beyond. In that, at least, it surely succeeded.

And he offered no vision and nothing to the wider electorate:

Substance, you ask? Well, he did make about a three-minute nod toward discussing what he would do about the economy. But it was thin, superficial. A feint toward demonstrating that he understands the problems working people are facing. A dollop of rhetoric about job retraining.

But that, I suspect, sounds perfunctory and insincere to the average person, because the average person thinks that Democrats are more sincere about things like that, just as it probably sounds insincere to the average American when Democrats talk about being tough on the crime. Crime is the GOP beat. Job retraining is the Democrats’ turf.

Beyond that, it was lower taxes (with an outright lie about Obama’s tax proposals) and reduced spending. But there wasn’t … well, there wasn’t anything. There were no specifics and worse, there was no passion. To say that he will have to sharpen his economic message is akin to saying that Britney has a little work to do to restore her reputation.

Even on foreign policy, McCain wasn’t assertive. He went through the motions on Iraq and the surge, but, a vision for the world, or anything like that? He spelled out nothing.

The speech proved conclusively that despite their frantic, last minute attempt to rebrand as a different party to the governing one, the Republicans still have nothing to offer. McCain is a man who voted for Bush policies the majority of the time, who has a serious temper problem, who is advocating strong anti-abortion, anti-gay and even more militaristic positions than Bush. He’s also massively overstated his foreign policy credentials and has supported (and supports still) megalomaniacal economic policies.

Yet the electorate’s heads are actually being turned by this odd couple:

In a tidal shift that could prove decisive, enormous numbers of women who previously favoured Barack Obama have had their heads turned since the introduction of Mrs Palin, according to a new ABC/Washington Post poll.

And it could prove fatal:

More troubling was the ABC News-Washington Post survey which found McCain ahead among white women by 53% to 41%. Two weeks ago, Obama had a 15% lead among women. There is only one explanation for that turnaround, and it was not McCain’s tranquilliser of a convention speech: Obama’s lead has been crushed by the Palin bounce.

Is it really conceivable that an secession-supporting, extremely pro-life, extremely religious, pro-military vice presidential candidate who is being investigated for abuse of power and is a complete hypocrite on reining in government spending, could get a simple majority of Americans to forget the Republican Party has done to America? I’m still finding what appears to be the floating voting bloc which both sides think will win the election, very difficult to get a handle on. Is it white women voters in general or does it break down by social class and other markers? Are enough women stupid enough to vote for Palin as Vice President merely because she’s the same gender as them, or are the polls too simplistic to make much overall sense?

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6 responses to “McCain: A Victory to Defy Reason?

  1. Great analysis, and LOVE your sense of humor.

    Ya have to wonder how stupid they think we are.

    They find Clarence Thomas, the only black man in America who hates civil rights and make him a Supreme Court justice.
    They invent death from the sky and call it a Patriot Missile.
    They rape the environment and call it the “Healthy Forests Initiative”
    They spy on Americans and call it the “Patriot Act.”

    Now they put up Bush in bra and call it “change!”
    Give me a break!

  2. “Are enough women stupid enough to vote for Palin as Vice President merely because she’s the same gender as them, or are the polls too simplistic to make much overall sense?”

    Isn’t that why pollsters advised Obama to keep Hillary on his ticket?

  3. Well perhaps. I did think it wise to defy expectations and keep Hillary on as Veep anyway. The media were always likely to latch on to that as the least likely thing to do, which would have the benefits of a) proving his ‘change’ credo by letting bygones by bygones and b) sticking in the minds of the media till November. Biden is already yesterday’s news, despite the strengths he brings.

    The question remains though whether enough women are just plain stupid enough, which multiple polls and articles are suggesting, to vote for a misogynist who is guaranteed to vote against many if not most of their interests!

  4. Biden finished dead last in the presidential primaries, and I don’t think he brings that many strengths to the ticket. No one is going to pick Obama because of Biden, while some might pick McCain over Palin.

    Not to be misogynistic, but women have historically voted in large numbers for very bad candidates, typically putting charisma over experience. going all the way back to the beginning of the female vote in 1920, when they swept Warren Harding into power because of his charisma. Never fail to forget that most voters choose presidents based on popularity and feelings not issues.

    Still it’s better to think the best of our fellow humans than the worst, since that opens us up to despair.

  5. Oh I think Biden did bring strengths to the ticket. Thing is, they’ve mostly been superseded by the unexpected strengths which Palin brings for McCain. The tracking polls however are showing that Palin for the most part remains preaching to the converted. The fuss being made about her is happening in states which were unlikely (or never) to go to Obama in the first place, but that in turn is at least having the effect of tightening a race which was a free run for Obama right up to his convention speech. Are the PUMAs going to determine this after all? Could putting Hillary on the ticket have been the slam dunk which even Obama’s most forgiving commentators have long been yearning for? We’ll have to wait and see.

  6. I don’t think having Bill Clinton wag his fat finger at us would have helped Obama, and that would have happened if Hillary was on the ticket.
    Polling has Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio slipping by 5 points to McCain. If the polling holds and the margin of error isn’t a lie, than Obama is loosing in the key states he has to hold in order to get elected.
    It’s not been a good week for Obama’s campaign and he he wants to fix it he better start running against McCain and stop running against Palin. The election has revealed him to have a rather thin skin and it’s definitely showing at this point of the election cycle. This is the same thing that lost the race for McCain in 2000 and seems to be a lesson he learned from.

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