Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Missing the John McCain of 2000

I miss the moderate maverick who called Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson "agents of intolerance" and called the media his "base."  I don't like this cranky old man who's yapping at Barack Obama to get off his porch.

In the same way that the Clintons this year adopted Rovian tactics against Obama and almost literally became the "vast right wing conspiracy" they once faced off against, McCain too has become the very thing he once opposed.  The John McCain of 2008 is not quite an agent of intolerance, but he has devolved into a cranky, bitter old bum who isn't the least bit attractive.

I'm a Democrat, but I'm not a fucking ideologue.  I can find lots of good things about the other side - if there are good things to be found.  Case in point: Chuck Hagel - one of my favorite politicians ever.  Truth be told, the only thing we have in common is Iraq, but he's honest and honorable and tells it like it is - things that McCain used to be.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, ludicrous as it may be, and I'll always respect the rights of others to disagree.  Just show some fucking class, and don't lie about things just because you're in the heat of a hard-fought campaign.

2008 may be the year America elects its first black president, or its oldest president ever.  We don't know yet.  What we do know is that 2008 is the year in which John McCain plummeted from his perch atop the totem pole of diplomatic American politicians.  I mean, think about it: how ironic is it that the died-in-the-wool patriotic war hero who bleeds red, white and blue is the pathological liar airing ads that feature Britney Spears?

A Letter to John McCain

Dear Senator McCain,

Your career in the United States Congress is long and accomplished enough that you have the luxury of running your presidential campaign based solely on your distinguished record and service.  You don't need to resort to simply trashing your opponent.  You certainly don't need to resort to shameless, petty twistings of the truth that would have Karl Rove nodding his head in approval.

On that note, please stop lying about Senator Obama's nixed visit to the Landstuhl military base in Germany last week.  Obama, who was traveling with his presidential campaign staff and not his Senate staff, was told by the Pentagon that there were concerns that, were he to visit the base as a presidential candidate with his campaign staff, his meet-and-greet would be seen by some as petty political campaigning - which I'm sure you would have quickly and appropriately criticized him for.  He canceled his visit as a means of avoiding politics as much as possible.  (And, oh, by the way, he spoke with troops by phone, to assuage any concerns that they might be getting "slighted" somehow - though it's ridiculous to even suggest that.)

Now, you have an ad airing in battleground states that purports that Obama canceled his trip to "go to the gym" - as if he were more concerned with his six-pack than American servicemen and women.  Senator McCain, this is, frankly, bullshit, and I expected better of you.  You are downright lying - twisting innocent actions (or, in this case, non-actions) in a desperate attempt to make your opponent seem like some selfish, insidious, unpatriotic sleazebag.

Areen't you supposed to be the candidate of "straight talk?"  I would think that, considering you are a veteran and war hero, you'd think twice before concocting a fake controversy involving our nation's troops (albeit indirectly).  You should be ashamed of yourself.  You are running an angry campaign littered with flubs (Iraq/Pakistan, Sunni/Shia, Czechoslovakia, Iraq-was-the-first-major-conflict-after-9/11) and falsehoods (gas tax holidays and offshore drilling will make it all better!) - to say nothing of the fact that your second run for the presidency is unenthusiastic, uninspiring, meandering, directionless and, at this point in time, purely reactive to the actions of the Obama campaign.

I wasn't going to vote for you anyway, but I sure as hell used to like you - a lot.  For a long time, you were my favorite Republican, though Chuck Hagel has long since taken that title from you.  And I must ask, shouldn't your campaign be about something?  Your first one was.  But you're not a maverick anymore, you're wrong on just about, well, everything (in my opinion) and now you have resorted to lying.  Lying!  You.  John McCain.  That's not a "leader we can believe in."

The kicker in all this?  That crock-of-shit ad you're airing blasting Obama for not respecting our troops?  In the ad, you include video of Obama - in a room full of troops.

Somewhere along the line, your Straight Talk Express got derailed.  For all of our sakes, get it back on track.  You're embarrassing yourself.

No to Offshore Drilling!

Barack Obama, by virtue of being a Democrat, is widely seen as having an edge over John McCain on the overall issue of the economy.  The economy, as we all know, is not in great shape right now (but we should stop whining, I suppose), and McCain himself has even stated that it's not his area of expertise.

McCain's (lack of) expertise + McCain is a Republican = Obama wins on the economy


Well, not so fast.  The Republicans, believe it or not, may indeed have a winner on the issue of offshore drilling.  See, with gas prices rising and the Mideast oil supply diminishing, it seems logical to think that tapping plentiful oil reserves off the American coastlines would solve a bunch of our problems.  The real problem, however, is that drilling offshore won't lower costs, at least not initially.

This is to say nothing, of course, on the effect that offshore drilling would have on our environment.  This is a golden opportunity to wean ourselves off of oil, not look for more of it.

Think about it: Do you really want to see an oil rig while you lounge on a previously pristine strip of Florida coastline?