Thursday, October 16, 2008

Even McCain Knows It's Over

Slip of the tongue: John McCain reacts after almost leaving the  stage the wrong way following his debate with Barack Obama.
Debate number three is in the books now. This picture pretty much sums up the state of affairs. Senator Obama is walking away from Senator McCain, who will now be forced to kiss the ass of his opponent in order to get anything done in the Senate.
Unintentional, this photo may be (McCain tripped slightly as he pivoted to leave the stage), but in our unintentional moments, we reveal more about ourselves than when we try to mean something.
I purposely missed the debates this year after the early ones that the Democrats had (once I made up my mind, I saw no reason to make comparisons any longer). I was more interested in the reactions others had, and I wanted to be a clean slate, having no opinion of my own.
The Christian Science Monitor has been following the campaign with a "Patchwork Nation" theme: carefully selecting communities across the country that represent different sectors of voting Americans (some surprisingly sophisticated and nuanced choices there), they've contact representatives of each community at critical points along the way.

Down in Clermont, Fla. (our aging "Emptying Nest" community), Ann Dupee, a retiree, wrote, "For the first time he came out feisty. Too bad he hasn't been showing emotion all these months."

And in Baton Rouge, La. (our heavily African-American "Minority Central" community), Ed Pratt, a media-relations representative for Southern University, wrote that he didn't think McCain won but that he "was stronger tonight than at the other debates." Mr. Pratt added, "He was aggressive and tough."

But another correspondent in Clermont, who asked not to be named due to local sensitivities, was less taken with McCain's approach. "Senator McCain was often agitated and seemed at times that he was coming unglued," he wrote.

Out in Lincoln City, Ore. (our lower-income "Service Worker Center"), Patchwork Nation blogger Kip Ward, owner of the local Historic Anchor Inn, wrote that McCain's approach turned people off. He watched the debate with a half-dozen people at the hotel.

"All felt Obama won hands down," he wrote in an e-mail. "It doesn't really matter what either said. Most people will forget most of that by tomorrow. What matters again is that Barack looked cool, and presidential. McCain's head looked like it was going to pop, his eyes were bulging, and his face was contorting."

So the consensus seems to be, "Too little, too late". Obama's strong emphasis on policy over attacks seems to have won the day for him, and McCain has neither the intellectual forebearance nor the intestintal fortitude to deviate from the boilerplate Republican strategy: attack, smear, and attack some more.
"Fear is the mind-killer". Someone should really tape that up on the RNC headquarters wall. Abraham Lincoln is famously quoted as saying, "You can fool some of the people all of the time (ed. note: you listening, evangelicals?) and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time."
Unfortunately for true political dialogue and the good and welfare of this nation, the GOP has run a campaign based on what amounts to a flea circus, trotting out the next distraction before you realize there was nothing in the first distraction but some wires and a motor.
Yes, I just called Sarah Palin a Stepford Wife!
This "Joe The Plumber" trope was an interesting debate point: neither side seemed to have real answers for him:
<iframe height="339" width="425" src="" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe>
Based on those comments he's made to NBC news since the debate, one has to think that he's not crazy about either candidate, but is leaning towards McCain. Even then, it sounds like he's holding his nose to vote.
It's a pity that someone hasn't made clear to Joe that his business is not likely to make a whole lot more than $250,000 a year for a while if ever and that, you know something? If it does, God bless him and now it's time to give a little bit back to the folks who make it possible to own a business and run it, and to help pave the same path he's just chopped out of the forest of opportunity.
It's the Christian thing to do!
So, Johnny, pucker up! Because it's going to be a long cold lonely winter for you.