A testament to just how delusional John McCain is has to be his apparent thought that he could win the presidency this year in the first place.
Okay, before I begin, let me tell all voters to please go out and vote, and vote in mass numbers. Most of the bad voting machines are gone, but there is so much other evidence out there of attempts by Republicans to steal as many votes as possible, you have to show up, and you have to demand your right to vote. It's not just about president anymore; even if they can't steal the presidency this time, they could conceivably steal back some House and Senate seats, and even state and local races. Face it; these people want power, they are all about the power, and they will do anything to keep the power.
That said, who in their right mind ever gave a Republican a legitimate chance of winning the presidency this year? I predicted that, no matter who won the Democratic nomination, that person would win the presidency. There were so many signs out there, you'd have to be a right winger not to see them.
First of all, did you see who ran for president on the Republican side this year? They all wore the same suit, the same tie, and they all talked about George Bush and Ronald Reagan as if they were Gods, and they were all so stupid, politically speaking, they were pandering to people who were going to vote for them anyway. In the annals of Democratic politics, nothing could possibly match the 1984 presidential field, in which they pretty much handed a second term to Reagan, but this year's Republican field came close.
Second, have you taken a look at the "right/wrong track" numbers recently? The number of people who think the country is on the wrong track hasn't been below 70% in about two years, maybe three, and right now, only NINE PERCENT think we're on the right track. And make no mistake, folks; voters blame Republicans.
Third, the president sitting in the Oval Office has done nothing right for at least the last three years, as voters see it, although I think it's been more like, um, eight years. The incumbent is a Republican, who enjoys the lowest approval ratings in history, despite the fact that he's Commander in Chief of TWO wars, in which soldiers are fighting. I've always surmised that having troops in battle gives a president at least 5-8 extra points in the polls, so Bush is in "beyond awful" territory, and he was always destined to bring the Republican candidate down with him.
Yes, of course, the economic turbulence brought everything home in a very real way, but let's face it; it's not the only reason why the Democratic nominee was always going to win. People are sick to death of the way the government is being run into the ground by these morons, and they have always known who is at fault. Even now, as the far right is crowing about Congress' low approval ratings, people know the reason why Congress sucks; it's because Republicans are gumming up the works, and they're filibustering everything any Democrat or moderate Republican proposes. The deregulation scheme they have been pushing for years has caused incredible pain on the part of American families and businesses, and the deficit is a problem, and must be solved. Again.
And don't discount the effect of young people on this process. The current generation just becoming old enough to vote is looking at a bleak future, in part because right wingers gave the rich a boatload of tax breaks, borrowed a bunch of money to make up the difference, and left them with the bill. Our young people are looking at paying higher taxes for many years to come, just so Bill Gates' kids pay less in taxes, when he dies and leaves them their inheritance. It's an absolute fact that the families of most of these kids are being hit with most of the tax burden, and reaping the least benefit, and they are justifiably pissed off.
It was in this atmosphere that John McCain apparently labored under the delusion that he could buck the odds and come up a winner. He doesn't even seem to grasp the fact that he only won the Republican nomination by default. He won, mainly because the rest of the others essentially canceled each other out. He never really received a majority of Republican votes in the primaries he won until everyone else dropped out; he was simply the most recognizable name, who wasn't a true fruitcake.
(You have to be loving this conventional wisdom that's floating around now, that says Mitt Romney could be the frontrunner for 2012. That would actually spell doom for the true wingnuts out there, because all wingnuts know that Romney is a "pro-abortion, anti-gun rights cultist, who believes in welfare and socialized medicine." Okay, so that's a paraphrase, but to become governor of "Taxachusetts," he would have to be something like that, right?)
John McCain has a record of 26 years in the Senate, and while he could try to run away from his record, it wasn't likely to happen. His 26 years are marked by unerring support for the policies that got us into most of the messes in which we find ourselves at the moment. Oh, sure, he's had a few choice moments, in which he bucked his party in some way. In the wake of the Keating Five scandal, for example, he actually showed remorse for his actions; something his Democratic Senate colleague from Arizona, Dennis DeConconi really never showed. Of course, during the last eight years, he looked the other way as the Bush Administration committed a plundering of the Treasury unlike anything seen since the Roman Empire. (Seriously, folks; there were 25 million people in Iraq at first, now, it's about 19 million, and the country is still a shambles; what the hell cost $1 trillion, anyway?). He also spoke out against the Bushies use of torture, at first, which was a bold move, I guess. But then, when he ran for president, he embraced it again, thus reversing that "maverick" stance. Oh, and my favorite has to be the immigration bill he crafted with Ted Kennedy, which he now renounces, to the point that he has said he will refuse to vote for it. Yes, McCain will not vote on the McCain Kennedy bill, because it might cost him some wingnut votes, among those idiots who still think the immigration problem in this country is being caused by Mexicans streaming across the Rio Grande by the millions.
Of course, even if this hadn't been a year of destiny on the part of Democrats, McCain sealed his own fate several times, as well. Start with the fact that McCain himself said he knew little about the economy and business, early on this year. That sort of thing sticks with people, folks, even when the economy is only a little shaky, as it seemed to be earlier this year. Anyone who thought the economy was not going to be the big issue for this election season, even before the mortgage-backed securites market imploded, wasn't paying attention at all. And for a presidential candidate to announce to all that he was not knowledgeable about the one issue that was absolutely going to be on the final was a potentially fatal death blow.
But seriously, the stupidest political move I have ever seen in my years as a political watcher has to be the choice of Caribou Barbie as his running mate.
Choosing Sarah Palin to be a heartbeat away from the presidency of a candidate who, just a month or so before, even noted to a reporter that his choice would be important because of his age, was either a moment of supreme hubris or stupidity, but either way, it spelled the end to what little viability McCain's candidacy had by that time. These are serious times, and we face serious problems; did he really think the choice of Sarah Palin would make anyone happy, outside of the lunatic right wing fringers who agree with her asinine stances on issues such as abortion (if the choice is fetus or mother, fetus wins, and a raped woman must be forced by the government to keep that reminder for nine months, no matter what) and the separation of church and state (God chose her; there is no separation of church and state.. are you kidding?)?
And it's obvious McCain thought he could win this. He's been pulling out all the stops. Compare his campaign with that of Bob Dole's in 1996. Dole had an idea he was going to lose, but he made sure he kept his dignity in the process, and refused to pander to the extremist right. He came out of his campaign battered and bruised, but with his dignity intact.
McCain, on the other hand, has squandered every little bit of political capital to try to get this thing, as if it wasn't out of his reach. He's compromised on every belief he ever held, he's reversed his own principles all through the campaign, and he's lost respect from almost all quarters. He's shown himself to only care about winning the presidency, not doing what's best for the country. He's allowed his crowds to get away with vile, filthy racism, and has barely fought back against it. I know John McCain is no racist, but he's gi
ving racists and other bigots permission to be that way, and to vote for him. And that's simply not right; it undermines his reputation, and his legacy.
As long as everyone out there refuses to be complacent, and gets their asses, and the asses of everyone they know out there to vote, Barack Obama will be the next president. And if Hillary Clinton, or even Joe Biden, or possibly even John Edwards, would have won the nomination, they would have won also. This is the Democrats' year, and now that the ridiculous DLC has been rendered moot, it is unlikely that Democrats will blow it this year.
Unfortunately for John McCain, he may have been the only one who ever thought he could win…