Saturday, September 6, 2008

St. Paul Appeasement

Maverick McCain wanted Joe Lieberman for his Vice President. Military McCain, not the first in his family to graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy, trusted that he would always have his back covered by his Independent buddy from Connecticut. Senior Republican fundraiser Charlie Black, hack-in-chief, said, no, and Karl Rove, GOP Wizard of Oz, said, hell no. Machiavellian McCain appeased his right-wing and announced Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska as his running mate, and the Republican convention in St. Paul loved it. McCain and Palin together on the podium gave the photographers few opportunities for the classic poses. No joined hands raised in victory and promise, no arms draped over one another’s shoulders like teammates. In fact McCain looked awkward as a school boy, avoiding standing next to her, even guiding his wife Cindy between them.

In his acceptance speech, John McCain, decorated POW survivor, vowed to put his country first, not his party. His Presidency would reach out to Independents, even Democrats. I must have blinked. I missed the wild demonstration of enthusiasm by The Republican Convention for this proposal of post-partisanship. Sen. McCain included the nomination of the first African-American for President among things that made him proud to be an American. I must have blinked again. McCain believes he is a bi-partisan maverick with nothing but the patriotic interests of his beloved country at heart. McCain is the nominee, but it remains to be seen if he can lead the Republican party in his direction. Mike Murphy, manager of McCain’s 2000 campaign against George Bush, was caught on an open mike, the landmine of taped television broadcasting, expressing his unguarded opinion of the choice of Gov. Palin as the Vice Presidential nominee. “This is cynical,” said Murphy. That’s the problem. Even if McCain really wanted to bring the country together, he is the servant of those who do not.

McCain told the convention about his POW experiences in modest terms, with a touch of confession that heroism is not without its failures and weaknesses. No doubt POW McCain suffered at the hands of his Vietnamese captors. When Bob Dole, a WWII hero, ran for President against Bill Clinton, a veteran of college deferments from the Vietnam War, the voters were not swayed by Sen. Dole’s service and sacrifice. Of several U.S. Presidents who served in WWII, the one whose wartime experience may have been a serious qualification was Dwight Eisenhower, General of the heroes in the field.

Honorable as McCain’s service to his country has been, suffer as he did, a grateful nation will not likely elect him President as its way of saying thanks. He will need an idea or two for cleaning up some of the messes left by George Bush. Even if the polls show voters are ready for change, McCain can not just christen himself the candidate for change, while clinging to the failed policies of the Bush economy and Bush war. He will need the cynical Wizards of Oz to produce incriminating photos of Barack Obama or at least a swiftboat full of eye-witnesses willing to swear on everything that is sacred.

Copyright 2008 by William C. Cotter

1 comment:

Tina said...

There has to be a difference in being a maverick and having poor impulse control.


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