So now that McCain has co-opted every meaningful platform plank from the Democratic agenda and claimed it as his own, Democratic-minded voters have two presidential candidates to choose from: Obama or McCain, since they're both basically running as Dems now. This became all the more clear yesterday when Uncle Fester (as Bill Maher calls McCain) finally bit the bullet on The Last Taboo by openly trashing a sitting president from his own party. I suppose he felt he needed to Judas/Brutus the president once and for all in order to take the wind out of Obama's incessant cries of "Do you really want four more years of George Bush?" in these critical last 10 days. (And to be honest, I think Obama needs to get off that now. Enough already, Barack. Go after John McCain for being John McCain. You've got plenty of ammo to work with.) So that's the good news.
The bad news is that McCain also continues to run as a Republican, embracing most of the ideology with which the GOP has historically been identified. And he doesn't seem to give a damn about reconciling any of the obvious philosophical incongruities that result.
I...don't quite know what to say anymore. I'm almost speechless, which is not a good thing for a writer/blogger. I've said this before on SHAMblog, in each case thinking I'd just witnessed the nadir in McCain's I'll-Say-Anything-To-Get-Elected-Before-I-Die campaign. Yet he always manages to outdo himself next time. Like, say, yesterday: After attacking Bush in the morning, he actually did himself one better by attacking Barack Obama as "four more years of George Bush" in the afternoon!
McCain apparently doesn't care if something he says on Tuesday bears no political resemblance to what he said on Monday. Moreover, if he blurts something that seems to gain the slightest bit of traction, it becomes his entire new campaign strategy (a la Joe the Plumber). Maybe I just haven't been watching closely enough, but in 40 years of observing national elections, I have never seen anything quite like it. I'm not talking about the sleaze factor, per se, because sleaze has always been with us; as actor/activist Ron Silver astutely pointed out the other night on Larry King, there was a time in American politics when candidates used to publicly impugn the sexual mores of each other's wives (although who knows, that may still be forthcoming from McCain if he thinks he can get away with it). I'm talking more about insanity. I'm talking about speeches that aren't even internally consistent, or that contradict what McCain said just a day or so earlier. I'm talking about statements and accusations that display a total disregard for truth, or coherence, or logic, or facts. Does the man have no shame left at all?
As I see it, there are only a few things left for McCain to say, and we'll probably hear them soon:
- that in this, the Year of the Woman, John McCain is actually the first female presidential candidate. (For the record, Sarah Palin is in truth a man who has not yet completed gender-reassignment surgery.) Yes, it's true. She's been hiding it up to now, even from Cindy, but it's time to come clean with America, because women voters at long last deserve to see "one of their own" in the White House.
- that those rumors about Barack Obama being an alien are true...not in the sense that he was born in Africa, but in the sense that he was hatched on Uranus.
- that Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, FDR and Ronald Reagan all came to McCain in his sleep and assured him that he was the man, the only possible person, to lead America out of the mess it's in; and even though none of those former presidents can be here now to affirm that, all have agreed to show up for McCain's inauguration, should American voters give him the honor of being their leader