September 01, 2008

McCain Will Win.

Peter Robinson of the Wall Street Journal has some great analysis on why the John McCain of 2000 is not the John McCain who is running today.

I have no idea whether he had a hand in the headline for his editorial, "Why McCain Still Has a Chance to Win." But it's more than a chance, Mr. Robinson. I'm pretty certain at this point that it's going to happen.

He even offers an explanation as to why McCain attempted that ill-fated misstep on the road to financial reform, McCain-Feingold:

The John McCain of 2008, journalists and activists understandably assumed, would be the same man they encountered during the campaign of 2000. The irreverent, wisecracking John McCain. The John McCain who cared about the good opinion of reporters at least as much as he cared about the good opinion of Republican voters. The John McCain who had proven -- let's face it -- unserious. Why expect anything different this time around?

In the set of his jaw, the cast of his eyes, and the whole attitude of utter sobriety he displays whenever he discusses foreign policy, Mr. McCain has provided the answer. In 2000 the country was still enjoying the untroubled decade that followed the Cold War. Today it faces warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan, an Iran racing to acquire nuclear weapons and a North Korea that has already done so, a Russia intent on reclaiming its old empire, a China busy devoting heaping portions of its new wealth to its armed forces, and the constant, inescapable threat of another terrorist attack.

If he sometimes treated his 2000 campaign as a mere attempt to move up the ladder, Mr. McCain treats this campaign as a duty. And this, I think, represents the underlying reason Mr. McCain has been able to defy the odds, keeping the presidential race wide open. Whereas Mr. Obama remains a complicated, enigmatic figure -- in the profile it published the day he delivered his acceptance speech, the New York Times called him "elusive" -- Mr. McCain has come into focus, becoming a candidate voters can understand.

The man is a patriot. Grasp that and you have grasped John McCain. Refusing 40 years ago to accept early release from his imprisonment in the Hanoi Hilton and running for president today -- both are of a piece. Seen in this light, even Mr. McCain's shortcomings make a certain kind of sense. McCain-Feingold? Bad legislation. But you can almost understand why he backed it.

Mr. McCain sees the money sloshing around Washington as an insult to America -- and he takes such insults personally. Patriot though he is, Mr. McCain is too imbued with the military ethic (which of course eschews ostentatious displays) to trumpet his patriotism.

And this brings me back to the question with which I started. To place himself in the company of President Reagan, I believe, Mr. McCain need only overcome his inhibitions for an hour, using his acceptance speech on Thursday night to tell the American people about his feelings for this Republic.

Well. Scaling back the GOP convention in favor of foregoing the Gulf State delegates (and GOP governors from that region) shows what Senator McCain's sensibilities may not quite allow him to say out loud. As does the fact that we are now being encouraged to donate to Red Cross and similar organizations instead of McCain's campaign (despite the fact that his campaign cannot accept donations after Thursday, and is being carpet-bombed with funds from conservatives and feminists who are impressed by the Palin pick).

I'll give to the Red Cross on Friday, if they need it. Before then, any stray funds I can scrape up by rolling quarters and taking them to the bank are going to the McCain campaign.

And I'll be knocking on doors and/or manning the phone banks this November, just like I did four years ago for G.W. Bush, about whom I may sometimes have mixed feelings.

But these aren't times to indulge my feelings; these are times to put . . . oh, what is it they say? Oh, yes: country first.

Posted by Attila Girl at September 1, 2008 06:18 PM | TrackBack

I've never voted for any Republican and I'm 56. Until now I was more anit-Obama than pro McCain. I just sent $90 to McCain-Palin. Even thinking about getting yard signs and bumper stickers. Been a long time since I was this enthusiatic about an election. Not since the NDP won in BC and my MLA from Van East became premier. That's when I began to see that democratic and socialist are mutually exclusive concepts. Let's just say no to Socialism in the good ol' USA, my home sweet home. We have a chance here to get two genuine reformers into the White House. That's golden.

Posted by: Gary Ogletree at September 2, 2008 12:31 AM

The point being, we're not writing off our candidate. We are, however, being more cautious, because these things can sometimes be up in the air.

Case in point, Australia's recent elections. Under the Liberal Party, Australia's economy has gone from strength to strength, and all kinds of progress was made. And yet, Labor came in with a bang under Kevin Rudd, with Pater Garrett, a Minister of Environment so nutty and so extreme they needed a woman of Malaysian origin to do the actual work (yes, she's also the Minister of Environment).

And yeah, McCain will pretty much crush Mr BHOmbastic under his little finger now, so that's that. Unless some major FUBAR event occurs between now and November (is it November? Holy crap, that's close!)

Posted by: Gregory at September 2, 2008 05:30 AM

Uhhh maybe you should look at the post convention post Palin polls. 2 (Rasmussen and USA Today) have Obama over 50%, CBS has him up by 8% Gallup up by 6%.
Palin's unfavourables are approaching 50%, nearly 50% think she is unqualified and she has been on the ticket a little more than 72 hours.
You really ought to get out of the coccoon now and again

Posted by: Scott at September 2, 2008 05:53 AM

Scotty are you surprised at her unfavorables given the relentless barrage of negative media attention over the last 72 hours? Let the people get a clear, objective look at her and watch that turn around.

Of course the objective on the left is to never let that happen.

The truth is that Palin is the only one with executive experience on *either* ticket, and outshines the *top* of the Democrat ticket. That fact will not remain obscured forever.

Posted by: Desert Cat at September 2, 2008 09:45 AM

Scott, you ought to leave England every now and then.

Posted by: Attila Girl at September 2, 2008 11:31 AM

Ain't he (Scott, I mean) Canadian? At least, his email addy would seem to indicate as much...

Posted by: Gregory at September 2, 2008 07:27 PM

I was just looking at the spelling . . .

You mean there's a difference?

/ugly American

Posted by: Attila Girl at September 2, 2008 07:43 PM

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic "Let the issues be the issue.

About Joy W. McCann: I've been interviewed for Le Monde and mentioned on Fox News. I once did a segment for CNN on "Women and Guns," and this blog is periodically featured on the New York Times' blog list. My writing here has been quoted in California Lawyer. I've appeared on The Glenn and Helen Show. Oh—and Tammy Bruce once bought me breakfast.
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