NOT THE BEST WEEK
11 October 2008
I suspect that John McCain is wishing he were just about anywhere else right now. This has not been his best week.
I also have to admit that I almost feel sorry for him.
The disintegration of the McCain campign over the past couple of weeks, with the escalation of ugly, ugly, ugly smear tactics against Obama has turned my stomach. Watching Palin standing at a rally enciting supporters to shout "Terrorist!" and "Kill him!" make my blood run cold. In all honesty, it makes me fear for his life if he should be elected.
I've voted in every election since I was old enough to vote and I've never seen a campaign as ugly. While Obama is running negative ads too, they seem to be only in response to a McCain ad, and they refer more to McCain's record and his stated policies than to question his patriotism, to hint that he might be a terrorist, to denigrate his ethnicity.
The disappointing thing about the McCain campaign was that when he ran for president the first time, I actually liked the guy. I probably would not have voted for him, but he was a man I felt I could feel comfortable with, should he be elected.
But as I see all the shit that is coming out of his campaign, all I can assume is that he wants this job so badly that he has been willing to sell his soul to the devil in order to get it.
Even Cindy McCain is on the attack, standing on the stage with scary hate written all over her face as she accused Obama of refusing to send money to help her son in Iraq. She never mentioned why Obama voted against a funding bill, or mentioned that her own husband also voted against one of the funding bills because it included a timeline for withdrawal. The attack on Obama out of the blue just sounded mean-spirited....and the dark look of hatred on her face will live in my memory for a long time.
The backlash from all this negativity is surprising.
McCain is being criticised even by conservative columnists and talking heads.
Even some on Fox News are complaining. Susan Estrich writes: Its
bad enough that 100 percent of the ads McCain is running are negative. Thats a sign
of a campaign in free fall, with nothing affirmative to say and nothing positive to offer;
a campaign that cant win with the support it has now, that needs to find some way to
move voters out of the other guys camp.
Another article that I heard quoted today (I can't remember who it was or where I saw it quoted) actually said something on the order of if something happened to Obama, his blood would be on McCain's hands. It wasn't quite that graphic, something about the inciting of radicals being the thing that can lead to assassination.
I saw a line of people coming to a McCain rally interviewed about Obama and they each said he was an Arab, or a Muslim, or a terrorist or a traitor, that he should be killed, should be strung up, should be thrown out of the country. Scary, scary stuff--all incited by this atmosphere of negativity that the McCain camp has created and for which Sarah Palin has been the cheerleader.
The anti-Obama stuff shouted at one McCain rally got so bad that McCain himself actually had to stop and explain to the audience that his opponent was a good man with whom he had disagreements, but that they should continue to treat each other with respect. That Obama was not someone they should fear should he be elected. The crowd booed McCain!
In that moment, I wondered if he suddenly realized, as did Joe Boyd, in the production of Damn Yankees I reviewed last weekend, that winning wasn't worth the price he was having to pay. I sincerely hope that somewhere in whatever is left of McCain's heart there is a shred of the good, decent man I once could have accepted as President, and that he can live with himself when this election is over, no matter who wins.
But in the middle of all of this, I have to be just a tad gleeful to discover that the moral compass of the Republic Party, the Sainted Sarah Palin was just found guilty of misuse of her powers as governor in trying to have her brother-in-law fired. It is not a criminal offense, but it was a betrayal of the public trust when she and her husband decided to put the squeeze on Public Safety Officer Walter Monegan.
It couldn't happen to a nicer lady.
MILES TO NOWHERE: 77 miles