Friday, September 26, 2008

McCain Wins Debate Before It Occurs- Rest Of Us Thrilled We Don't Have to Watch It

From today's online Washington Post:

Now, I understand that these ads generally HAVE to be designed and distributed before the debate in order to launch them as soon after the debate as possible, and that no matter what happens, both sides are going to declare themselves the winner. (When was the last time anyone left a political debate saying, "Well, you know, I kind of sucked. Gotta bring the A Game next time...") I have no doubt that the Obama camp has already created an ad that praises his own performance.

However, this particular instance seems to prove two things:
1. The McCain campaign is incompetent- how could they not make sure that this wasn't released early?
2. John McCain never had any intention of skipping the debate, as many of us had already figured out.

Of the two points, (1) is the minor one- after all, the only people who haven't noticed how off-the-rails the McCain campaign has gone are the "true believers" who will wrap their minds around six or seven contradictory concepts just so that they don't have to face the reality of what they're voting for. And believe me, that isn't a swipe at Republicans- plenty of them have been quoted in recent times making statements that all pretty much add up to "OMG, WTF" in teenager-speak.

No, what is truly appalling is point (2), proof that the McCain campaign will do anything- ANYTHING- to get ahead, including cynically manipulating the worst financial crisis in America in decades to engage in cheap political theater. McCain's choice to "suspend" his campaign for several days (something which did not ever actually happen according to volunteers across the country on the local level and MARK SALTER HIMSELF, ( and was a good distraction from the disastrous interviews he and Palin have been giving- when, of course, they ever let the media talk to them.

Far more importantly, it is clear that his little roadshow production of "Mr. McCain Goes To Washington" had the effect of doing actual harm to the bipartisan effort to get a bailout bill passed- an effort that was within hours of succeeding until McCain rode in on his pony to speak to John Boehner. (Side note- at this point, many people, even on the left, may be thrilled- after all, nobody with any sense of morality or intelligence really wants to start doling this kind of corporate welfare out, especially in the form of the bill that was originally presented. But it's going to happen one way or another, and Democrats were on track to making it happen the right way- with oversight, possible equity, and concessions for the non-rich people who have been affected. Now, who knows?)

I don't think its much of a leap to suggest that McCain's help in stalling things was as calculated as everything else about this campaign. After all, with a bill passed and some idea of what is going to be done about the economy, the biggest story of the next two news cycles would, of course, be the debate and the aftermath (the swell time when both campaigns declare "victory" (usually after the debate has actually happened) and everyone else starts pointing out the lies and half-truths that were spat out). Now we enter the debate with an America that is as confused and in flux as before- and the media can keep up the business of discussing this economic disaster and what anyone is doing about it rather than focusing on the utter bankruptcy of McCain's "ideas."

The one bright spot to all of this is that, knowing McCain has already "won," I may just go out and do something more entertaining than screaming at my television for an hour tonight. After all, the McCain camp has yet to let reality actually enter in to their plans up until this point- it would be naive to think it will now.

© 2008, Christopher Stansfield. Some rights reserved. This work is licensed to the public under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License, and may only be distributed according to the terms of said license. To view a copy of this license, please click here.

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