Saturday, October 11, 2008

A ray of hope, as we await Big Mac's next whopper.

Comes word that author Christopher Buckley, son of perhaps the most famous conservative ideologue and writer in American history*, has thrown in for Obama. As quoted in Tina Brown's The Daily Beast, Buckley says, among other things:

"This campaign has changed John McCain. It has made him inauthentic. A once-first class temperament has become irascible and snarly; his positions change, and lack coherence; he makes unrealistic promises, such as balancing the federal budget 'by the end of my first term.' Who, really, believes that?"
Who indeed. Especially now that McCain is going to buy up everyone's mortgage as soon as he takes office. (On the other hand, maybe he's going to do it by borrowing some small portion of what Cindy normally would spend on clothes, shoes, that silly hair, and honing her overall Barbie-goes-AARP image.) Although I'm not so sure about whether the campaign has changed McCain all that much, given some of the eye-opening material in the new Rolling Stone's much-linked profile, "Make-Believe Maverick."

But moving on, a good while back, Stephanie Miller, talk-show host and daughter of William E. Miller, who in 1964 was the running mate of arguably the most famous conservative politician** not named Reagan, lined up solidly behind Obama. And of course, such leading conservative voices as George Will, Charles Krauthammer and Kathleen Parker also seem poised to defect in this most surreal of presidential seasons. Parker bluntly labeled Sarah Palin "out of her league," writing, "My cringe reflex is exhausted."

With the battleground states leaning increasingly Democratic, and the national polls showing Obama picking up a point each day, or so it seems, I wonder if it's too much to hope for
: that the scenario about which I mused in late September may come to pass by Election Day, wherein McCain withdraws and we simply make Obama president by a show of hands or something. Then again, Johnny Mac doesn't have that kind of class. And I'm sure he's still got some bad, bad stuff up his sleeve.

* That would be the late William F.
* And that would be the late Barry Goldwater.

15 comments:

RevRon's Rants said...

Steve, I take umbrage at your thinly-veiled attempts to inject facts and reason into an otherwise off-planet campaign. :-)

When I read the Rolling Stone article, I had to go back and research some of the events described therein, because I really believed that prior to 2000, McCain was an honorable man. I figured that Rolling Stone had merely done a biased hatchet job on him. I learned instead that, negative bias aside, the article was spot-on factually. I had bought into the McCain PR persona, just like so many others, because I'd not bothered to look past his claims.

Now that it's become obvious that the majority of citizens - conservative, liberal, and centrist alike - are rejecting McCain's platform, he has shifted gears and is now showing us what he's really made of. Sending Palin out to stir up hate, while feigning concern about the anger she's inciting in his name is about as disingenuous and hypocritical as you can get. And more people are recognizing it every day. About all he has left are those who will swallow whatever the Republican ticket feeds them. It's either going to get uglier by the day, or McCain will realize he's fighting a losing battle and will put an end to the Rovian attacks. At least that way, he could claim - with a modicum of integrity - that he went out on a high note. I would think that preferable than having earned the title of hate-monger at what should have been the pinnacle of his career.

Steve Salerno said...

Right. I heard a similar sentiment expressed by one of the talking heads on CNN, I believe, last night: If McCain doesn't manage to pull this one out somehow--since it's pretty clear there will be no further tries at the White House, for him--is this really how he wants to be remembered? Is this the taste that he wants to leave in the collective American mouth after three decades in public life? Such an ugly legacy at the end of what I--like you--always viewed as an honorable career.

Hard to believe. But I guess that when you're that close to the U.S. presidency, you'll do almost anything. Or some folks will, anyway.

Anonymous said...

"...A once-first class temperament..."

John McCain has never, ever had a first class temperament. He's always been a cranky, snarly coot. It's always been his way or the highway.

The democrat hate machine has been cranked up against Bush so long that it's been easy to direct all that venom towards Gov. Palin.

After Obama becomes president, where will they direct all that hate? The democrats have been a great opposition party, but Reid, Pelosi and the rest of the gang have proven they can't lead when they are in power, they can only obstruct.

Anonymous said...

'Such an ugly legacy at the end of what I--like you--always viewed as an honorable career.'

A leader doesn't have to be perfect, just as well as none of us are, but with a good team even a mediocre man could do a reasonable job. I'm not suggesting that McCain, on the current showing, even makes it to mediocre.

What bothers me about him is that he started off dirty, bankrolled into congress by the kind of people no sane person would allow himself to be in hock to.
I doubt he was ever honourable.

'Then in 1982, McCain ran for Congress. That takes some quick money, and McCain had access to it'

full text:
http://tinyurl.com/57u8u8


'The mob has come close to setting up camp in the Oval Office more then once, through Truman, Kennedy and Nixon, but their ultimate dream never actually comes to fruition, for one reason or another.'

Full text:
http://tinyurl.com/3ta2z7

They always collect.

Stever Robbins said...

Anon, 12:16 writes:
> After Obama becomes president, where will they direct all that hate? The democrats have been a great opposition party, but Reid, Pelosi and the rest of the gang have proven they can't lead when they are in power, they can only obstruct.

How funny! The Democrats say exactly the same thing about the Republicans.

I, as a social liberal and fiscal conservative, do my best to look at measurable results.

At this point, I can count on the Repubs (Reagan, Bush I & II) to get me $10 trillion in debt. I can count on the Dems to ramp up social programs and pay with taxes. At least there's no perpetual interest obligation with taxes.

As for hate? I think the Dems don't even begin to approach the level of vitriol and hatred-stirring of the Rovian machine. Members of McCain's audience are yelling out violence. You simply don't get that with Dems. They're way too soft.

In short, neither party governs well.

Fiscally, Dems match current expenses and taxes, so we at least feel the tradeoff immediately.

Socially, the Dems stay out of my bedroom and out of my religion (which isn't Catholic or Protestant), while the Repubs seem to want to watch me have sex and make me pay for their "faith-based" initiatives.

So for now, I align more with the Democrats. Not because of hate, but because by the measures I value (fiscal responsibility, respect for the individual), their behavior track record is superior.

Anonymous said...

Its a bit off topic but this struck me as the kind of radical rethinking needed to address some of our current woes-- and an illustration of how the tired old remedies just give us tired old results.
Beloved of shysters and business gurus everywhere, the phrase 'think the unthinkable' has merit on occasion.

http://tinyurl.com/3p4d57

Steve Salerno said...

In case anyone's wondering, yes, there is a reason I took the art off this post. (Isn't there always a reason?) I will explain in due course.

Anonymous said...

'Especially now that McCain is going to buy up everyone's mortgage as soon as he takes office.'

For a bit of fiscal sham, an eyeopening article in the NYT on the 'Oracle', Alan Greenspan and the folly of listening to financial gurus.

full text: (a long one)

http://tinyurl.com/46rzpl

some bits I liked:
“He was able to say things in a way that made people not want to question him on anything, like he knew it all. He was the Oracle, and who were you to question him?”

'Mr. Greenspan’s authority and grasp of global finance consistently persuaded less financially sophisticated lawmakers to follow his lead.'

'the titans of our legislature didn’t want to reveal their own inability to understand some of the concepts that Mr. Greenspan was setting forth,” Mr. Levitt said. “I don’t recall anyone ever saying, ‘What do you mean by that, Alan?’ ”

There was also a woman in the story, (isn't there always?) a Ms Born who:

'In 1997, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, a federal agency that regulates options and futures trading, began exploring derivatives regulation. The commission, then led by a lawyer named Brooksley E. Born, invited comments about how best to oversee certain derivatives.'

Poor Ms Born was found guilty of not being one of the boys and encouraged to make a hasty exit.
(Not making a gender point here, just someone elses observation.)

Elizabeth said...

Barack “Osama” Printed on NY Absentee Balots

Election officials in Rensselaer County in upstate New York sent out hundreds of absentee ballots with this unfortunate spelling error. They are denying any intentional wrong doing despite a statement that three different people proof read the ballots and the fact that “S” is no where near “B” on the keyboard.

http://tinyurl.com/3scsuw

RevRon's Rants said...

Observing the issue-deficient and rancorous tenor of McCain's diatribes, I am reminded - what with this being a Presidential Campaign - of a line from a campaign past: Where's the beef?

Cal said...

Isn't it interesting that Stephanie Miller and Ron Reagan, daughter and son, respectively, of the two fathers of the modern conservative movement are very liberal?

Anonymous said...

"Isn't it interesting that Stephanie Miller and Ron Reagan, daughter and son, respectively, of the two fathers of the modern conservative movement are very liberal?"

Not really Cal. That is quite common for children to reject their parents' politics. Many liberal flower children of the past have conservative children. The conservative children do not get as much press though as their liberal counterparts.

RevRon's Rants said...

Irony aside, it comes as no surprise that Buckley is no longer with the National Review, the magazine his father founded in an effort to encourage the intellectual appetites of conservatives. I can only imagine what the late William F. would say about that irony: a contributor being shown the door for questioning the movement's abandonment of its fundamental ideology. No doubt, he would conjure up a plethora of synonyms for "horse's ass," his trademark staccato tongue-flicks punctuating the outrage he preferred to confine in cages built of five-dollar words.

Dimension Skipper said...

"In case anyone's wondering, yes, there is a reason I took the art off this post. (Isn't there always a reason?) I will explain in due course."

Well, I must admit that ever since you mentioned it I have been wondering about the reason. I'm beginning to think you forgot about providing the explanation. Thanks.

;-)

And speaking of Big Mac's next whopper, I won't be watching the debate tonight. Sure, I could record it, but I think I'll just rely on the investigative sites and their post-debate wrapups tomorrow.

Me?... I'll be watching the Billingsley-Hamels debate, hoping the Phils can somehow wrap it up out in L.A. without having to drag out the suspense. Besides, if Hamels doesn't get it done then the whole series becomes iffy for the Phils in my mind because I'm not sure how much they can count on Myers or (even less so) Moyer.

Steve Salerno said...

DS: Go Rays! I don't know whether you heard Joe Biden's interview with one of the local network affiliates here in Philly today, but he was asked how he was going to handle the debate/playoff overlap. And he replied, "That's easy. Whenever McCain's talking, I'll switch over to the game."

As for the missing art, I'm afraid that'll have to remain my little secret till a certain pending background matter is resolved. And no, it's not a lawsuit or anything of the kind.