Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Craven Cynicism and Chaperoned Campaigning

As I watched last night’s Town Hall style debate between Senator Obama and Senator McCain, I was puzzled by the fact this was the format that Senator McCain preferred and wondered why. It was not the format (especially with the Botoxed audience) that would allow Senator McCain to keep hammering his recent personal attacks against Senator Obama in an effort to change the subject away from the economy.

So he instead had to rely on his tired stump speech sound bites that are full of lies and distortions. Time and time again, Senator Obama, coolly and thoughtfully, answered with detailed persuasion and vision, which led to Senator McCain’s slightly visible but undeniable frustration. Obama even, properly I thought, disrupted the format to counter the oft repeated “he will raise your taxes” lie. Why does McCain keep saying that? Only his rich and semi-rich base will respond to that.

Having the last word, Senator McCain closed with one of his biggest falsehoods, “I have always put my country first.” I won’t call it a lie because I think his mind has rationalized his torture experience to justify his right to put himself first.

Eight years ago in the primaries against then Governor Bush, Senator McCain had serious issues with Bush’s policies. In order to win his party’s primary; he catered to the Republican base, developed by Carl Rove, using the same rhetoric and positions of the last eight years. Any claim to be being a Maverick, if ever true, disappeared a couple of years ago.

But, I do know that selecting Governor Palin to be his VP was not a putting country first decision.

From Garrison Keillor's column today--“It was dishonest, cynical men who put forward a clueless young woman for national office, hoping to juice up the ticket, hoping she could skate through two months of chaperoned campaigning . . .”

This statement is so accurate and precise, that it raises my sometimes shaky belief that truth is more powerful than cynicism. Thanks Garrison Keillor. Wishing Molly Ivins was still here to enjoy.

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