Wednesday, April 23, 2008

McCain - A Dyed In The Wool...Liberal!

North Carolina Lieutenant Governor, Bev Perdue, and State Treasurer, Richard Moore, are like most Democrats these days: they can't stand each other. Lusting after their Party's gubernatorial nomination the two Raleigh insiders have been smearing, catcalling and sniping at each other for the past year and a half like bitter spouses bent on mutually assured destruction in a divorce case that went thermonuclear from day one. They have only one thing in common, their commitment to the Great Unifier himself, Barack Obama.

With the North Carolina Democratic primary looming the state GOP saw an opportunity for a spot of creative meddling and were onto it like a hare through a gap. Here is their ad.

John McCain, who admits he hasn't seen the ad, immediately mounted his white charger and set out, sabre rattling, shield aglint, after his favorite targets - fellow Republicans! He lobbed a deadly e-mail into the “enemy” camp:

From the beginning of this election, I have been committed to running a respectful campaign based upon an honest debate about the great issues confronting America today. I expect all state parties to do so as well. The television advertisement you are planning to air degrades our civics and distracts us from the very real differences we have with the Democrats. In the strongest terms, I implore you to not run this advertisement.

This ad does not live up to the very high standards we should hold ourselves to in this campaign. We need to run a campaign that is worthy of the people we seek to serve. There is no doubt that we will draw sharp contrasts with the Democrats on fundamental issues critical to the future course of our country. But we need not engage in political tactics that only seek to divide the American people.
Once again, it is imperative that you withdraw this offensive advertisement.

The RNC entered the fray on the Senator’s side: "[W]e do not believe the ad is appropriate or helpful and have asked that they refrain from running it,” proclaimed spokesman Danny Diaz.

Linda Daves, North Carolina GOP Chairwoman was unmoved. This is not about the RNC," she stated. "It is about North Carolina, our values and two Democrat candidates who are out of synch with the values of North Carolina." In response to subsequent rumors that the ad would be scotched, she didn’t yield an inch: "I can't be emphatic enough that we're running the ad. We are not pulling the ad. It has never been a consideration for us to pull the ad."

It will air from Monday next, April 28.

The responses to all this unnecessary brouhaha have been varied.

McCain is a wily old pol. He wants to be seen to distance himself from negative campaigning so as to burnish his image with independents and conservative Democrats who this year of all years are vital to his chances come the Fall.

McCain is a duplicitous genius on a par with Machiavelli. He denounces the ad, covering himself in high-toned moral glory while at the same time ensuring the maximum publicity for and widespread free airing of the offending ad.

McCain is a straight shooter. The image is the man. He doesn’t lie. He doesn’t smear. He doesn’t do guilt by association. He stands on the issues, all the issues and nothing but the issues. A blessed throwback to an era before the sleazebags colonized both parties and reduced the process to a confrontation between packs of rabid dogs over a hunk of poisoned meat.

McCain is a self-serving po-faced craw-thumping windbag who likes nothing better than to stroke his ego with holier-than-thou displays of his own righteousness in contrast to the ethical ineptitude and stunted moral sensibility of all other members of his own party.

McCain is an idiot. Whether his attitude is mere posturing or reflects a genuine repugnance towards political hardball he’s missing the point big time. He’s got a real fight on his hands and here he is not only pulling his own punches but attempting to shackle his friends and allies to his own high-minded but out-dated gentility.

McCain is a bumptious busybody and should butt out. This is North Carolina not Arizona. These folks know which way is up in their own backyard. If he believes that the states should individually decide on such an overwhelming moral issue as abortion, then he should not interfere with Republicans running ads tailored to what they see as their own state’s political requirements.

I’ve written on McCain’s approach to campaigning previously but here he is entering upon new and very dangerous territory that goes beyond questions of principles, style and tone. His permission for the NC ad was not asked because it is not needed. It is quite bluntly none of his business. It concerns an internal North Carolina primary contest and has nothing whatever to do with his presidential bid which is all that should concern him. If he disapproves, as he does, he could say so in a few short words - if and when he is asked for an opinion - and leave it at that.

That’s not our Johnny’s style, though. Before the ad in question has become even a regional issue, before he’s even seen it, he turns it into a national controversy at the presidential level by immediately firing off a condemnation freighted with more high-flown rhetoric than an Inaugural Address.

In this way he sets himself up as not only ready and willing but eager to ride herd over every section of his party in all 50 states in respect of anything and everything that any and all Republicans will say and do in any campaign, local, state or general, between now and polling day.

This means that when some local pol breaks campaign wind in Methane Gulch, Idaho, the MSM pack will be all over McCain to hurl another Jovian thunderbolt upon the transgressor. In other words they’ll expect him to do their job for them i.e. to rubbish Republicans dawn to dusk

This has two very significant consequences. McCain’s comrades in arms are tainted by their own presidential candidate’s condemnations, and the candidate himself, while earning faint and worthless kudos from his sworn enemies in the media, is in a constant low-intensity conflict with his own party, frustrating his friends and alienating a none too enthusiastic activist base wary of him from the get go.

The implications of his condemnation of the NC Republican party go even further.

Pastorgate is plainly a very legitimate issue and acknowledged as such by everyone of whatever political persuasion except, for obvious reasons, the Obama faction of the Democratic Party. It not only goes to the question of Obama’s character, judgment and integrity, it raises grave concerns, as I have argued constantly, about his essential ideological orientation.

This, surely, is exceptionally relevant to where Obama stands on McCain’s much-vaunted “issues”: the ad is right, the Democratic front-runner is too extreme for North Carolina and everywhere else this side San Francisco’s Billionaires Row. And the two Democrats pilloried in the ad support him instead of Clinton.

Therefore it is not a smear to suggest they share his extremism, it’s merely rational political judgment. In so roundly denouncing it as a smear tactic McCain is not only selling the pass himself he is severely circumscribing the strategic capacity of his party to engage with the opposition on ground very favorable to Republicans.

Furthermore, McCain has – with breathtaking inconsistency – taken on Obama’s Weatherman connection, as he should. However, the Illinois Senator, if he is clearly tied to Ayres and Dohrn, is joined at the hip to Jeremiah Wright as not only his twenty year pewship shows but as his two books explicitly celebrate.

It is said that McCain wishes to stay away as far as possible from the radioactive issue of race and is therefore as wise as an owl in all this. What piffle! All Republicans at all times have been and will continue to be smeared with racism. It’s the Democrat way. None but they are free from such deplorable atavisms.

Between now and next week, next month, next August, next October McCain will also be thus maligned - as sure as a newborn’s diaper needs changing. It is the way of things. Immutable. Ordained. Writ in the very stars. The only commandment the Liberals acknowledge. O, Senator, do not forgive them for they know exactly what they do!

But McCain, the Straight Talker, the Fearless Maverick, the Grinch Who Doesn’t Flinch, rolls over and plays dead like a trained puppy. He plays the game by the enemy's rules, a bizarre approach for one whose military prowess is touted as being his paramount qualification for being Commander in Chief. And he does so because they’re also his rules.

He still gives credence to the long imploded pieties of the post-war Liberal Age in which he himself came of age. He is in fact an Old Style Acheson Liberal who seems to have wandered into the Republican Party because the Democrats were no longer what FDR had bred them to be. His big buddy, Joe Liberman, is now in the process of doing the same.

In an article in the WSJ, written after his Pennsylvania defeat, Karl Rove likens Barack Obama to Adlai Stevenson as does E.J Dionne of the Washington Post. However, it is McCain who in terms of sensibility, values, self-image and an ineradicable primness is more the Stevensonian legatee though with the street cred of an heroic military record.

McCain is Adlai, shall we say, with more than a soupcon of JFK toughness to give the added dash of vinegar necessary that makes him palatable to the GOP.

Jack Kennedy scraped home and then only on foot of vote-rigging shenanigans McCain would shrink in horror from.

And Adlai lost.



christmasghost said...

Liam....what did you think of the cheap shots that the "Rev." Wright took at the Irish yesterday?
Classy, huh?
Who knew he was going to get this specific....I wonder who is next?

liamascorcaigh said...

Hi, christmasghost!

Unfortunately the Left are everywhere and in Ireland are as anti-Irish as they are anti-American in the US. (The Irish Left are also rabidly Anti-American of course. That's the mental equivalent of a Ché t-shirt, a necessary fashion statement.) So whatever JW says about us, we've heard it all before - from our own.

BTW, the Reverend's name in Irish is 'Diarmaid Mac a' tSaoir' or 'Dermot MacAteer'. Cool or what?