Thursday, October 09, 2008

Let McCain Be McCain

In this week’s lackluster debate something seemed to be holding John McCain back. This was supposed to be the debate where McCain finally took the gloves off, but he seemed uncharacteristically restrained as if he was trying with all of his willpower to keep the real McCain bottled up inside. Many conservatives were disappointed that McCain didn’t call his opponent a “terrorist” or threaten to kill him as some of his supporters at rallies have done. I know I wasn’t alone in thinking that McCain just wasn’t mean or angry enough during the debates. So with one more debate and less than a month to go before the election, it’s time his handlers let McCain be McCain. It may be the only chance we have to keep That One from winning the election.

You would think the McCain campaign had already learned its lesson when it excessively coached Sarah Palin. Trying to get her to read newspapers and study the issues of the day was a disaster. Americans saw right through their attempts to make her seem like someone she was not. But once she was free to be herself and no longer constrained by the idea that she actually had to answer questions posed to her, Palin was able to wink herself into the hearts of the American people. Americans love the unleashed Palin and I'm sure they would love an unhinged McCain, too.

But the McCain that his colleagues have grown to know and love is not the man who showed up at the last two debates. Sure, there were flashes of the real McCain in the first debate when he refused to look at his opponent (which David Broder thought was very manly), and in the second debate when he referred to Obama as “That One” and refused to shake his hand. But these refreshing moments of candor just made his supporters wonder where the real McCain had been stashed away the rest of the time.

Where was the McCain who had a “spirited exchange” (as McCain’s spokesman called it) with Sen. John Cornyn about the immigration bill and said to him, "F--- you! I know more about this than anyone else in the room." Where was the John McCain who called a questioner “you little jerk” and responded to questions of the Des Moines Register editorial board with sarcasm and contempt? Where was the John McCain who delighted audiences and the press with jokes about Chelsea Clinton’s looks and women who enjoy rape and sang “Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran”? Where was the John McCain who angrily poked Sen. Tim Wirth in the chest and shoved the wife of an MIA? This John McCain has himself been missing in action at the debates.

Many pundits are saying that McCain needs a game changer. If McCain had poked Obama in the chest or slapped Tom Brokaw or called one of the questioners a “little jerk,” it certainly would have changed the election. McCain can’t afford to miss another opportunity to shake things up.

Back in September pollster Peter Hart said, "John McCain has become the Howard Beale of this election," referring to the “mad prophet of the airwaves” played by Peter Finch in the movie Network. When Hart compared McCain to Beale, I don’t think he was referring to the fact that Beale threatened to commit suicide live on the air (although, admittedly, a lot of people would tune in to the next debate to watch McCain self-destruct), but to the way Beale channeled Americans' anger with passionate rants about “bull----” and the moment he urged Americans to go to their windows and shout, "I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore." Imagine if in the next debate John McCain told Americans (or "my fellow prisoners" as he likes to call us) to go to our windows and scream at the tops of our lungs. The election would be over.

Americans don’t want a President like Obama who is calm and cool in a crisis and never seems to break a sweat. They want a President who is as angry as they are, someone who will lash out unpredictably at our enemies. They want a President who thinks with his gut instead of his brain. They want a man who will pick up the phone at 3 a.m. and tell the person on the other end what he can do with himself before slamming the receiver down. Do you think anyone will dare to mess with America when a man like John McCain has his finger on the button?

If only Americans could see the real John McCain, instead of the one who calls everyone “my friends” when he doesn’t really mean it and hides his contempt behind a smile of gritted teeth. And let’s see how calm Obama is when McCain gets in his face and shoves him off his stool. So in the next debate let McCain be McCain and let the chips fall where they may. At this point it may be his only chance to win.

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Matt said...

Best analysis since David Broder himself.

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

I can only foresee one problem in the "Let McCain be McCain" scenario: the liability insurance (for any innocent bystanders accidentally mauled during the debate) would be a bitch. Perhaps that's when McCain's healthcare plan would spring into action.

Comrade Kevin said...

Yes, we certainly haven't seen the fullest expression of angry John McCain, have we?

You never know. If he lost his temper, that could excite the base.

kathleenmaher said...

You have a good argument, Jon. But if McCain slapped Tom Brokaw, certainly Brokaw would slap back--and then some. If McCain knocked Obama off his stool, wouldn't Obama be able to grab the stool and smash it over McCain's head? The man could get injured.

Hawkins Dale said...

This makes a huge amount of sense.

Recall Nixon's "Madman Stragegy," when Nixon ordered the US military to full global war readiness alert, without any provocation.

The issue was that the Paris peace talks (about Vietnam) weren't going well.

According to the Boston Globe, Nixon said: "I want the North Vietnamese to believe that I've reached the point that I might do anything to stop the war. We'll just slip the word to them that for God's sake, you know Nixon is obsessed about communism. We can't restrain him when he's angry, and he has his hand on the nuclear button, and Ho Chi Minh himself will be in Paris in two days begging for peace."

It didn't work, of course, and all it did was to get us all thiiiis close to nuclear annihilation for a few weeks in 1969.

But it was a cool strategy.

Kathy said...

I'd like to see something like the cage-match in the 3rd Mad Max. McCain on a giant rubber band! Be very afraid!

Monkay said...

Will the real John McCain please stand up?

zencomix said...

Yes, let's let McCain be McCain. The next debate should be held on the deck of an aircraft carrier, and McCain should arrive by crashing his plane into the water next to the ship.Mission accomplished!

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure I agree with what you've written here. I can only speak for myself, but I prefer a cool, calm, collected President. I don't want to see the candidates get into huge arguments and throw insults around.

Anonymous said...

This might make sense to someone who posits that it is "reasonale" to depend on information from Rush Limbaugh and Fox News, but tot hose of us lingering in reality, it is outright crazy. McCain's problem is not rallying "the base" (which by definition is what you don't NEED to rally!); it is making an appeal to the middle. Being a madman is going to do that? Even if the economy were NOT melting down? In opposition to one of the coolest po9liticans around? Yeah, right.

Clark said...

I'm with Anonymous. In fact, I wish I cold BE anonymous.

Anonymous said...

Unchain McCain

Bitofwisdom said...

Dear fellow Americans: In just four short weeks you will heading to the polls to choose your leaders at both the local, state and federal level. I want you to consider my candidates as you make your choices at the ballot box. I have candidates running in all fifty states for many positions. You can find my children in both political parties but in the past few years the democrats have the strongest zeal for doing my will. For technical reasons my followers can't come out and identify themselves as belonging to me but rest assured you will know them by their fruits. I am an advocate of change and hope. You need to get this nations Judeo Christian heritage behind you and move on. Its time for America to be enlightened like the rest of the world. Here are some of the tell tale signs that you have found one of us:

1. My children are pro choice. We believe every women should have the right to kill their children. If they can't afford it the taxpayers should fund the procedure.

2. We believe in free love. It two men or two women want to marry or have relations with each other more power to them. Yes lets liberate ourselves from God rules and allow couples in all fifty states to be joined together.

3. We believe in progressive judges to be placed on the bench. Judges are in the best position to decide what is right and wrong. We don't want to be hamstrung socially by the will of people or the rule of law. Actually the law is whatever we say it is at any given time.

4. We believe in open borders. As part of our war on Judeo Christian values we need to diversify America and bring in millions of non english speaking citizens.

5. We are advocates of public education. Actually we would like to see all Christian and private schools shut down. We believe the government should instill our worldview on Americans children so they will see things the way we want them too. We can break down deep seated religious beliefs in America's children if we can marginalize their parents and their foolish beliefs. My enlightened children in government will decide what is right and wrong and teach it to children as early as possible.

6. We believe in national health care. For all too long individuals and their doctors decided on what medical procedures would be used to treat their diseases and ailments. With a national health system we can hire thousands of people to decide who gets health care and where. My children will use their Satanic wisdom to decide who lives and dies. Give us time and we will cut off handicap and elderly citizens from wasting health dollars. Look at what wonders we are doing in Europe in their socialized systems. In some countries now in Europe we refuse medical treatment to terminal patients to make room for others. We will even empower doctors to assist those who want to die.

7. My children believe in passing a far reaching hate crime law to silence these Christians still holding on to the past with outdated morals and beliefs. For too long Christians have stymied our efforts to promote homosexuality and sexual perversion. With a strong hate crime law we will round them up and silence them for good.

8. On military matters we believe in peace. We will strip the military of the tools they have to defend the nation and freedom. We want to make America equal to all nations. As long as we have a strong military other nations cannot influence and control us. We will give more authority and money to the United Nations. (We have a surprise. In the near future we will have a one world currency and government but we can't talk about it.) We hate the war that was waged in Iraq. Hey Saddam was one of our brightest lights. Trust me....we hate Bush just as much as you do.

So when you go in the privacy of the voting booth next month keep these telltale signs in mind. On behalf of all the forces of darkness we can't wait to take over and do what we have been blocked from doing for so many years. Yes my name is Satan and I approved this message!

Anonymous said...

To the misnamed Bitofwisdom: it is exactly your sort of xenophobic, intolerant and, frankly, meanly ignorant bigotry that is causing the Obama landslide. Thank goodness: the politic politic needs cleansing.

Anonymous said...

I think we have seen the real McCain. We have seen him start a campaign and say he was going to run a clean campaign. His first promise in the campaign he has broken. He is angry and acting petty and even more so, fearafully erratic. I am disgusted by him and Palin encouraging and inticing violence to a fellow collegue of his. He is not someone I want to lead or to be a role model to my children. I want my campaign contribution back.

After hearing this week that someone at a Palin rally yelled "kill him" and she as a self proclaimed Christian pro-lifer, did nothing. If she isn't woman enough to deal with a someone in the audience, then she is not equipped to deal with any of the problems that this country will facae.

I am all for letting McCain be McCain...he has already lost the race, and we have seen too many faces of him, and we know very little about Palin who he didn't even vet.

Porlock Hussein Junior said...

Somebody thinks he's C. S. Lewis. He's wrong.

See, my friend, in other words, the trouble is that Satan has to learn to delegate. If he'd got Screwtape to write the letter, it would have been funny.

Oh well, at least no one will accuse bitofwisdom of being on Satan's side without knowing it; that happens only to someone who writes too well.

Anonymous said...

Bitofwisdom: I'm afraid that you, with your Left wing Bolshevism, have failed to grasp several points in our society:

#1: I didn't know that pro-choicers wanted to shoot every child in the head. Thanks for clearing that up!
#2: Seperation of church and state?! Who needs it!?
#3: Since judges can pull legislation out of thin air, they have too much power. In fact, the legislative branch has too much power, too. Unless a Democrat is President, we need to adhere to unitary executive theory.
#4: John McCain will secure our borders, as he's always voted to do. Oh, and maybe he'll put a huge electrical fence up, too!
#5: I've seen lots of legislation that proposes outlawing private schools!
#6: Self-interested medical corporations are actually for the people. If you don't have health care, you can just die. Why doesn't Iraq Hussein Osama admit that his plan requires the government to run it?
#7: We, as Christians, should be legally allowed to spew bile in someone's face. In public, no one has any right to any privacy, even if they are literally in our faces.
#8: Liberals have been confirmed to chant Saddam Hussein's name in approval, while they have also been confirmed to wish to completely dismantle the military. The air force deserves several new billion dollar bombers every year, even if they aren't going to use them!

John McCain knows the will of the people; specifically, xenophobic blame games for the government to play. Praise Jesus, not Allah, Buddah, Ba'al, or Beelzebub! This is not an issue that is adiaphora, children!

wobblie said...

I'm going to have to go with the esteemed Mr. Swift on this one. Let McCain be McCain. Get him off whatever anti-depressants and high-blood pressure medication they have him on. Nothing says President McKickass like a throbbing vein on the forehead, and possibly an aneurysm.

Testing said...

Testing (apologies).

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