Friday, October 17, 2008

Dear Senator McCain...

I am an independent, non-partisan voter.

Much as I admire Barama's intellect and his remarkably even temperament, and much as I resonate with the message of his speeches, I would have voted for the 2002 John McCain in this election.

One thing's for sure: we don't need more of the past sixteen years (the partisanship started with Clinton, and was merely perfected by Rove/Cheney/Bush). We need, amid this escalating economic crisis, someone the country can rally around, who's unafraid to state hard truths, and who has the credibility and high-sightedness to lead. A president, in other words, who is able to be a statesman as well as a politician.

Obama strikes the right tone and sends the right message. But, as you say: he's unproven. And while I've disagreed with a number of your stances over the years, the 2002 John McCain was at least an independent thinker; a throwback to the time before the Republican party became infested with neocons, brutes and holy rollers, and included some moderates who didn't froth at the mouth about pinkos. He seemed likely to carefully consider his actions, to seek consensus, and to listen to dissenting voices. He seemed to be a centrist, who everyone disagreed with a little, but who no one could despise. We're all so very sick of despising our leaders. I'd have sacrificed some policy preferences to vote for a soft-spoken pragmatic centrist.

But you hired the Roger Aisles machine to run your campaign via tactics you despise. You've turned unrepentant hawk and pandered to the whack-jobs. You've spent four years reversing principled stands against Bush administration policies (e.g. tax credits for the rich) in order to establish your partisan credentials for 2008. You carried water for an administration you loathed, and when its popularity waned, you were left in the agonizing position of having abandoned principles to join the wrong team.

Backed into a corner, you might have reverted to your straight-talking 2002 self and recovered my esteem. But your instinct was to cling to the losing gambit, lying and attacking relentlessly for the Fox News set. You selected a hayseed demagogue as your running mate, dashing any hope that your hawkish neocon partisan hack shtick was a mere pose to be hastily abandoned upon taking office. And when the economic crisis hit, you resorted to cynical grandstanding (jogging memories of the Bushies cynically using 9/11 momentum to advance their long-standing agenda to invade Iraq). You ought not try to make political hay with a crisis, Senator. That's not the sort of president I want. 

You've continued to act the part of the sort of politician you yourself always detested, and this cynical pose will drag you to defeat. I pity you. But you will not get my vote.

We need cool and steady. And while Obama may be nothing
but steady coolness, he's obviously smart and capable, and at least he mostly says the right things. It's been a very long time since a politician even talked the talk.


Pat said...

What McCain as president would bring to the country could be titled "Bag of Hurt: Part 3"

Big Fella said...

I think the word "erratic" best explains John McCain.

The flip flopping between the "old John McCain" and the current, in terms of his positions only brings to mind a bi-polar personality.

While I am sure the piece linked to here:

is one sided, it sure does give one pause to think about putting such a personality "in charge".

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