Wednesday, September 03, 2008

How Is This Even a Question?

When I find myself wondering how it's possible that Barack Obama leads John McCain by only four or five percent (depending on which recent poll you look at), I have to wonder, are the people who support McCain living in the same world, breathing the same air, reading the same news, watching the same TV reports, that I am?  Given McCain's ethical collapse in recent months, as he's swung from "maverick" to GOP right-wing hypocrite; given his support for the spectacularly-failed policies of the Bush administration; given his age, health, and well-known shoot-from-the-hip, hot-headed temperament; given the blatant cynicism and disregard for good governing that his selection of Sarah Palin for his running mate clearly illustrates... how is it possible there's anyone other than die-hard GOP fan-boys who supports this man for President?

The argument that John McCain is somehow a better choice for commander-in-chief because he has "experience" is specious.  As many have said before, there is no set of experiences that prepares you for the presidency.  It is a unique office, part executive, part inspirational, part strategic, part managerial, and wholly make-it-up-as-you-go-along.  Herbert Hoover was one of the most "qualified" presidents we've ever elected, with a resume that promised great things.  He had everything you'd need for president, except the one trait that mattered most: the ability to lead, to inspire, to speak to those better angels of the American republic.  Abraham Lincoln, as most of us know, was probably one of the least "qualified" candidates to run for the highest office, but while his resume was thin, his talents were unmatchable.  So let's agree that experience, by itself, is no predictor of how a candidate will do in office once he's elected.

What matters is character, judgment, and the ability to lead and inspire.  And in that regard, given how McCain has behaved over the last six months, in contrast to Obama, why does this race remain so close?


Unknown said...

I suspect that the polls are way off - possibly deliberately - so that if/when the GOP moves to rig the election it can justify an otherwise mystifying Republican win by saying, "The polls were close. This is within the margin of error," etc."

You know, kinda like 2000 and 2004.

Am I paranoid? Maybe. Certainly enough so that the fact that I'm leaving this comment scares the crap out of me.

Joseph Tages said...

Fear of the unknown for one thing, since I don't want to assume that race is the key factor. (Obama holds a six to eight point lead as I write this, however.)

Palin did her speech tonight, basically blasting the media and Obama as out of touch with the common folk. She offered no true solutions. She stuck to talking about helping small businesses and defending us from "Big Oil" when she is a part of this crowd herself.

When I mention fear of the unknown, I'm referring to people like the GOP diehards who feel better about the "Maverick" because he's been around the longest. They are blind to all of the points you mention and
indifferent to the idiocies of McCain's campaign.

Misinformation can be a dangerous thing. But we saw Obama beat the Reverend Wright smears, the Muslim connection, and far worse things. He'll get through this and come out the winner, you'll see.

Meanwhile, Palin just made herself a sitting duck by blasting the press, the people whose job is to let folks know who the heck she is and why she should be on the ticket.

This will cost her dearly two months from now.