September 25, 2008

The accidental populist

For months, John McCain has been trying to goad Barack Obama into attending his "town hall" meetings, events where McCain wanders around fielding softballs bunted by tiny gaggles of partisan yokels. (Sample question: "How do we stop The Bitch?")

Obviously Obama has several far better things to do, such as run his own presidential campaign, and has rightfully laughed off McCain's silly ploy.

Now, literally on the eve of the first of three nationally televised presidential debates with only a month remaining until the next quadrennial general election, McCain claims he is "suspending" his campaign, a move that is nothing except more campaigning.

Facing tanking poll numbers and a running mate continuously revealed as a clueless, hapless novice despite his campaign's best efforts to shield her from scrutiny — including a hijacking-by-lawyer of a State's legislative process — this is by far McCain's most cynical maneuver yet.

Suddenly McCain, who has missed 412 of the last 643 Senate votes — 100 more missed votes than Tim Johnson of South Dakota, who was out with a brain hemorrhage for eight months — wants you to believe that Congress can't function without him.

In fact that belief is so manifestly ridiculous, the only person who's buying it is Joe Lieberman, a former Democrat who received a standing ovation at a slightly larger gaggle of partisan yokels called the Republican National Convention.

That was also where Sarah Palin, the governor of a State containing fewer people than Winnipeg, Manitoba, delivered her "masterwork" of a prepared stump speech. Since then, Palin has mouthed the exact same series of cornball quips and outright falsehoods to her sudden fans, 99% of whom had never heard of her before last month.

And also since then, Palin was carefully released from her protective cocoon precisely thrice: once for a brief luv-a-fair with a desperately fawning Sean Hannity, once for an embarrassing encounter with Charles Gibson, and yesterday for an appearance with Katie Couric so horrifyingly cringe-inducing that McCain is evidently prepared to do anything to avoid placing her in an extemporaneous situation even with a notorious "gaffe machine," Senator Joe Biden.

McCain had already attempted to jerry-rig the rules of the October 2 debate with Biden so that Palin would only be subjected to regurgitating a set of index cards prepared by her harried coaches. That didn't work, although McCain did obtain some concessions.

Now, by attempting to reschedule tomorrow's debate to October 2 and putting off the vice-presidential version indefinitely, McCain is effectively owning up to the brazen farce that is his running soulmate, an individual so inept she can't even be trusted to fill in for her prospective executive department boss on a late night comedy talk show (much to the amusement/dismay of its host).

John McCain is but one of 100 Senators, and but one of 535 members of Congress. Both the Senate and the House of Representatives have already been working on legislation meant to address the current economic "crisis" since McCain was out declaring that same economy's "fundamentals are strong." He's also had 27 years to do something about it previously, but fought tooth and nail against regulating corporate excess at every opportunity.

Now he wants us to believe he can descend from the Washington, D.C. clouds like the Second Coming, the reincarnation of Fightin' Bob La Follette but with eight more houses and 12 more SUVs and a beer heiress in tow bedecked with $280,000 worth of precious jewels.

To single-handedly save the economy, something even John McCain admits he knows very little about. Who's buying this, apart from McCain's toady, Joe Lieberman? Nobody, that's who.


Thomas Joseph said...

If McCain can descend from the heavens, onto Washington DC and save us from this crisis ... he can HAVE my vote. Heck, I might even vote for him twice!

Other Side said...

Do you have ID?

Anonymous said...

If the campaign is going to go Dadaist, I think the coverage should as well. The Granuiad leads the way (what a great picture - thousand words and all that).

The following entry is sublime:

Palin’s address to the Alaska Independence Party earlier this year shows the offbeat style that she displayed as governor. Here she pairs a periwinkle parka with a lime-green flowered scarf and a matching green necklace.

Jim Bouman said...

Never the twain....

Anonymous said...

Now that's what I'm talkin' about.

"Every cultural phenomenon can be studied as communication," Mr. Eco tells us.

And you know we're living in interesting times when Zizek sounds more sensible than candidates for constitutional office.