Monday, August 18, 2008

What's The Bottom Line On McCain?

Kevin today writes:

Is John McCain an unrepentant warmonger who wants to cut taxes so his beer heiress wife can take home a few more dollars per year? Beats me. But as a campaign attack tactic, it ain't gonna work. Instead, why not concentrate on character critiques that have some real grounding in reality? Just to give a few examples:

McCain is old and gets confused occasionally.

McCain is running an ugly, smear-based campaign.

McCain has a legendarily short fuse.

McCain is annoyingly self-righteous.

McCain's straight talk has evaporated in the face of his need to win evangelical votes.
A more believeable way of putting it than "unrepentant warmonger who wants to cut taxes so his beer heiress wife can take home a few more dollars per year" is to say that he's a racist who believes in the plutocratic system. He's public-spirited in a psychotic sort of way, and he likes the security, acclaim and sense of achievement he gets from fighting effectively for his little cause. And he probably doesn't mind if becoming President ups his chances of becoming hugely rich and influential, either.

And I disagree much that "as a campaign attack tactic" this "ain't gonna work." Note that the main thrust of the Republicans' propaganda is to convince people that they are "of the people" and we're not. Since we're the populist party, and ultimately populism is always a winning argument in a democracy, they try to deceive people about it as much as possible. I think we can be more persuasive and substantive by using my description of McCain above instead of solely by using Kevin's suggested lines.

I think Kevin's suggested points about McCain are alright, but the most devastating critique of him is the one Kevin seems to be trying to kick under the rug so we won't see it-- that McCain doesn't really care about regular people. I think it's important not to come across as if all we have to say against him are that he has a few character foibles. If we overdo that, then we may make ourselves look real bad in the eyes of ignorant people who will for no other reason start wondering if McCain's policies are really better than ours. Actually, over-focusing on Kevin's points, escpeically to the avsolute exclusion of others, sounds like it could be a formula to get elderly (core-voter-demographic), racist Evangelicals (i.e., the conservative base) caring about this campaign again, and up off of their tuckasses to work against us.