mardi 30 septembre 2008

Don't shoot until you see the whites of their eyes



John McCain, aka The Name Dropper. Still hanging out with dinosaurs.

America! Nation! What is wrong with you? How can this election even be close? How can anyone who watched last Friday's debate walk away saying "McCain won," or worse, "I think I'll vote for McCain," or horror of horrors, "McCain is the one I want negotiating for my peace and safety in a dangerous world"? How can this be?
You should all listen to me because I was the number one debator in the great State of Washington (on a clear day, you can see Japan from my doorstep) back in the day when that meant something. Here's this master debater's take on last Friday's entertainment. First of all, it was nice of John McCain to show up. Apparently, his intervention in Washington was not enough to get the bailout plan passed, which is probably a good thing because we don't even know what we're bailing out exactly. Anyone ever hear of due diligence? That's what corporations do before they think of shelling out money to buy business assets. Shouldn't our government do the same? Just thinkin' aloud, folks.

Personally, I thought Obama did a very good job of remaining calm and polite in the face of this assualt from a hunchbacked mad man with a huge chip on his shoulder, overshadowed only by the tobacco or whatever it is he's constantly chewing. Here in the US, people tend to think of debates as punching matches, so some were initially disappointed that Obama was not more combative. But when they started analyzing the content, I think it was clear who knew what he was talking about and who did not. McCain seems so out-of-touch with.... everything.

I do wish Obama had been a little more aggressive at times. For example, when McCain was dropping Henry Kissigner's name (how many names did McCain drop in the course of the debate?), Obama could have said: "With all due respect, John, Henry Kissinger was wrong 30 years ago, so why are you still looking to him for advice on foreign policy?"

In any case, it struck me watching the debate that in today's world McCain's way of dealing with other people is not only arrogant and condescending, it is downright dangerous. I would rather have Obama's hand on the trigger when things get hot because I don't think he would need to pull it. He would sit down at the table first, look his adversaries in the eyes and talk. By now many have noted that McCain refused to look at Obama or even say his name during the debate. I find that degree of scorn and condescension utterly appalling in someone who aspires to the role of statesman. Whether McCain is or is not a maverick and what that really means are issues worth looking at, but in the meantime how can you trust someone who brags about "reaching across the aisle" to work with others and yet cannot look at someone standing a couple of feet away and with whom he is supposedly engaged in a debate?

In fact, he could barely bring himself to shake hands with Obama. I have a theory about that: I believe that John McCain actually does have one remaining shed of moral decency, buried somewhere deep within his heart (or maybe that's what he's got trapped in that chipmunk cheek of his?), and that shred was telling him he should be ashamed of himself for (1) placing politics over country and common sense by choosing a ludicrously inexperienced running mate; (2) trying to use a national economic crisis to his political advantage; and (3) using Ted Kennedy's personal situation for political gain. People keep talking about toxic assets on Wall Street. What about this toxic ass on the Republican ticket?

Okay, I will calm down now. But one last thing. This business about Obama's lack of experience also ticks me off. I only hear it uttered by white males (and a few white females) who think it sounds better than coming right out and saying they could never vote for a black man. I mean, it sounds better than saying basically, I'm a racist. Don't you think?And elitist sounds better than uppity, for sure.

Well, I don't mean to be elitist or anything, but I think my country stands in dire need of a professional, a thinker and a leader whose outlook is broad enough that he knows who the president of Spain is. Or at least recognizes the name!


Even veterans are against McCain (http://tinyurl.com/44l3fy). Perhaps they understand that he needs to be in a residential anger management program, not in the Oval Office or anywhere near the White House.

Nation! What are you thinking?