When the books are closed on the McCain campaign, I think that the final verdict will be that their chief mistake will not be that McCain moved too far to the right in a year that punished Republicans, but rather that he believed that he could move to the far right while still maintaining centrist credentials. His loss will not be attributed to running a sleazy campaign per se, as other people have won the presidency by doing that, but rather that McCain believed he could run such a campaign while keeping his sense of honor intact. He won't be remembered as just being out of touch in talking about the issues, but in being of the mistaken belief that he could tell voters what issues should matter to them while ignoring the issues they told him they cared about. And, lastly, John McCain thought that he could maintain an image of cool, steady leadership while acting erratically, panicking and overreacting every time Barack Obama managed to win a news cycle, and ultimately coming off as a man who is all talk and no action, who speaks of honor and decency all the while he equates his opponent to a terrorist and won't look at the guy during a debate.
Make no doubt about it: John McCain made a bet this year, and that bet was that the American people were too stupid to see through his bullshit. As it stands right now, it hasn't worked. And, if nothing else, we all should feel good about ourselves for that.
The Man, The Myth, The Bio
- East Bay, California, United States
- Problem: I have lots of opinions on politics and culture that I need to vent. If I do not do this I will wind up muttering to myself, and that's only like one or two steps away from being a hobo. Solution: I write two blogs. A political blog that has some evident sympathies (pro-Obama, mostly liberal though I dissent on some issues, like guns and trade) and a culture blog that does, well, cultural essays in a more long-form manner. My particular thing is taking overrated things (movies, mostly, but other things too) down a peg and putting underrated things up a peg. I'm sort of the court of last resort, and I tend to focus on more obscure cultural phenomena.