Just how stupid does McCain think we are?

This “let’s postpone the debate” thing is so transparent it’s practically a joke. He knows he’s going to get hammered now that the economy has gotten past the point of being in the crapper and is simply getting flushed down into the sewers of hell, so he wants to pick a better day,  after Americans have finally taken a breath or two over this entire thing.

This whole “I’m just doing the honourable thing” shtick is ridiculous. I’m sorry, but being President of this country inevitably requires you to process several difficult tasks at the same time, this is what people are going to expect from you. A debate, at this juncture, is one of the most important things he can do for his candidacy. It would also be reassuring to the American people to hear the two candidates lay out some plans and proposals.

Postponing makes him look like a coward. And McCain, for all of his flaws, is not a coward by a long-shot.

This just isn’t the same John McCain. First the disastrous Palin pick complete with the “the peasants… sorry, the press must show deference” King Louis XIV-esque drama and now this. It’s insulting to my intelligence. And I’ve always had respect for the guy.

23 thoughts on “Just how stupid does McCain think we are?

  1. I just read John Dickerson’s article on Slate.com on McCain’s proposed “suspension” of the campaign. Dickerson presents it as a stunt propped up by the Bush White House since President Bush asked both candidates to meet with him about the crisis. Since McCain doesn’t sit on the Senate committees relevant to the bailout and financial crisis, and I’m not sure what committees Obama sits on, it’s not clear why the two candidates themselves need to meet with Bush, except to provide an excuse for McCain not to debate. That’s Dickerson’s argument, and it makes sense.

    But, as I understand it, the first debate was to have been about foreign policy which is supposedly McCain’s strong suit (if he still has one) but not Obama’s. It could be that, at this point, McCain feels so unsure of himself in any encounter with Obama that McCain wants to put off any debating indefinitely, or at least until current events (like the financial crisis) stop putting the GOP (and McCain) in such an appalling light.

    I’m going to go slightly off-topic and add to your point about the “disastrous Palin pick.” The McCain campaign continues to advertise, by its muzzling of Sarah Palin, that McCain himself cannot be trusted to choose the right VP and by extension cannot be trusted to choose other crucial appointees, like U.S. Supreme Court Justices (a point made by George Will).

    This was brought home most dramatically when Palin “met” with Karzai and Uribe at the U.N. and print reporters were not allowed in the room to record what was said. It was apparently a pure photo-op where only small-talk was exchanged.

    Print journalists reacted to such exclusion predictably. Palin’s off-limits-except-for-photos ‘meeting’ with Karzai and Uribe was spread far and wide by online headlines, which drove home the fact that McCain’s own personal choice for VP was a mistake.

    It’s been speculated on Slate.com, I think perhaps on the XX Factor, that Palin is being muzzled not because she’s too dumb but because she’s too reckless and too un-Washingtonian. My own opinion is that Palin is muzzled because she’s so far to the right of McCain on most issues that her place on the ticket doesn’t make sense, and she might also disagree with him about immigration, which is an issue where McCain is at odds with the GOP far-right base.

    At any rate, the McCain campaign, as John Dickerson noted, has at this point become simply a series of stunts meant to distract the public from McCain himself (which might have been the original strategy behind the Palin pick). We’ll see if it works.

  2. Oh, and a Biden/Palin match-up this Friday would certainly be interesting.

    Unfortunately, it just won’t be properly “deferential” to Sarah Palin if it were to take place at a moment’s notice. Since she’s so “‘qualified” and all.

  3. You should follow John McCain’s lead in his “suspension of his campaign”.


    I am suspending all MY blogging and commenting on blogs because of the economic crisis….

    & just like McCain…


  4. And McCain, for all of his flaws, is not a coward by a long-shot.

    I think his years as a POW turned him into one. Everything he’s done since he was released has stunk to the high heavens of cowardice.

  5. I supported McCain in 1999-2000 after he had a reasonably enlightened career in the senate. This is certainly not the same guy. I do believe McCain has gotten cynical, which I suppose you could argue is a form of cowardice, but either way he’s turned from one of the few people in Washington who cared about substantive issues to a GOP party hack. From where I stand, he’s undid any good he ever did and then some (sometimes very directly, like violating the same fundraising protocols he spent years trying to get enacted). I personally think that Bush’s shameful and dirty campaign in 2000 was the catalyst; McCain had his flaws before that (he is a politician, and can be a shockingly cruel person), but had some guiding principles. Rove’s ruthless slander and dirty tricks gave us a man who believes in nothing but his own ambition. Now there is no part of the crazy extremist right wing base that he will not play to for votes. I don’t even care that he was tortured anymore, because he gave a green light to torture. I don’t care that he once called out the Fallwells and Robertsons as the hatemongering neanderthals they are, because now he chose their dream girl Palin to take over if he should only live to the average male life expectancy in this country. I don’t care that he used to fight for small business because now he does the bidding of big business. I don’t care that he used to urge a sane foreign policy, because now he jokes about murdering innocent Iranians and starting a war with Russia. This ridiculous attempt at evading Obama is yet another self-inflicted indignity in the service of his rise to power. I don’t want John McCain as my president for many, many reasons, and one of the smaller ones is for his own sake. If he loses this shot at the presidency, maybe he can find the old John McCain again, and save his soul in the time he has left.

  6. As of 7pm EST on Sept. 25, 2008 John McCain leads Barack Obama on the electoral college map by five votes: 255 to 250 with 270 needed to win… but Obama, in a daily average of the significant polls, leads in the popular vote by 2.4%.


    Just thought I’d mention that…

    I’ve also found it immensely interesting that such a large number of Americans are so ready and willing to again elect someone who has never held a significant roll in politics after their previous eight years of experimentation with an “outsider” whose only serious platform was “I’m new but trust me” and “I can change Washington”.

    I’m not a little gobsmacked Americans want so badly to put their trust in someone who hasn’t done anything, so soon after having lived through the consequences of having voted for someone who hadn’t done anything.

  7. First, quoting Gabriel:

    As of 7pm EST on Sept. 25, 2008 John McCain leads Barack Obama on the electoral college map by five votes: 255 to 250 with 270 needed to win… but Obama, in a daily average of the significant polls, leads in the popular vote by 2.4%.

    As of five minutes ago, Obama had taken the lead again, 263 to 242.

    Plus, the Yahoo! scorecard is tainted by not including data on several states that have been polling strongly for either candidate (ID, WY, and SD for McCain, total of 10 votes; MD, DC, VT, DE, and HI for Obama, totaling 23 votes). When that is added to the total, Obama is projected to win 289-252.

    And that doesn’t include the momentum that Obama has been getting in “battleground” states like FL (which is now a virtual dead heat or just tipping McCain) and NC. If he pulls out most of those states, we may be looking at a 300+ electoral victory.

    And that’s even before Sarah Palin has the chance to make a total moose of herself in the VP debate…or Obama gets to wield his chops in the next two Presidential debates on the economy.

    Two weeks ago, I thought that this was close enough for McCain to pull it out. After this week, though, I just don’t see it happening; too many chances of Johnny Mac shooting himself in what’s left of his hip.

    Obama in a close win…or, of McCain or Palin really melts down, Obama in a rout.


  8. RE: Anthony Kennerson’s comment (9/27 at 8:03 p.m.) on a likely Obama victory in November.

    I’m a Republican who plans to vote for Obama, and I hope Anthony Kennerson’s assessment is correct.

    Nonetheless, what concerns me about McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin for VP is that, in my opinion, Palin’s Christian-wingnut credentials are meant to provide a plausible cover for white racists to vote for an all-white ticket on the nominal grounds that they’re voting for a pair of ‘Christian maverick reformers’ rather than against a black candidate for President, which is what I think is the intended covert appeal of Palin’s candidacy.

    It should be borne in mind that the entire GOP “culture wars” strategy, including the anti-abortion movement, is actually a cover for white racial backlash.

    The anti-abortion issue itself, one of the signature issues of the McCain/Palin platform, was invented in the 1970’s as cover to protect racially-segregated conservative Protestant schools from losing their tax-exempt status, according to Randall Balmer’s 2006 book entitled “Thy Kingdom Come: How the Religious Right Distorts the Faith and Threatens America.” Balmer’s book was reviewed on June 23, 2006, on NPR’s Morning Edition, which review can by found on the NPR website by searching “Randall Balmer” on the NPR website search engine. The NPR review on the website includes an excerpt from Balmer’s book which describes how the anti-abortion movement was made from scratch by conservative operatives, including Richard Viguerie (I think), in response to the ruling of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service in 1975 which revoked the tax-exempt status of Bob Jones University on the grounds of racial discrimination.

    The above digression is meant to show that since 1992, and especially 1994, the GOP’s supposedly Christian-wingnut base has actually been a white racist base (in my opinion), and in 2008 the GOP is counting on the racial anxieties of that base to motivate them to turn out at the polls in panic to keep a black candidate out of the Oval Office.

    So when the commenter Gabriel, in the thread above, asked how Americans can consider voting in another “Washington outsider” after eight years of Bush, the answer, I think, is white racial anxiety. Palin might not personally be a conscious racist, but her Christian-wingnut credentials and white-Western political outlook convince the GOP ‘base’ that McCain/Palin probably won’t treat urban blacks as political equals, which is the overriding anxiety of the GOP ‘base.’

    To repeat, I hope A. Kennerson’s assessment is confirmed in November. But the GOP is strongly playing the race card in selecting Palin and counting on white racial anxiety, and really nothing else, to carry the election for the GOP. My fear is that the GOP might be technically correct in that strategy, and if so, that’s depressing. But we’ll see how it works out in November.

  9. Actually “Poeschl”, when I referred to the possibility of Americans once again wanting so “badly to put their trust in someone who hasn’t done anything” I was speaking about Mr. Obama. It’s interesting how you interpreted my little piece of this thread.

    The United States, so soon after having voted twice for an empty suit, are about to elect another completely unproven person to lead their country for another four years. That stuns me. The fundamental issue as to why the Bush presidency failed in almost every way was his total lack of understanding of how “Washington” worked and his near total reliance upon his vice-president to handle day-to-day operations.

    Americans who are voting for Mr. Obama (and Mr. Biden) are hoping he will know exactly which levers to pull in the first six months, or first year, of his presidency… in my opinion that’s just a little bit fucking crazy after eight years of hoping someone does the right thing and being let down 85% of the time.

    It’s like finally realizing it was stupid to invite someone to punch you in the face repeatedly, but being filled with joy when the next guy you ask is wearing gloves.

  10. RE: Gabriel’s comment dated 9/28 at 12:35 a.m., on Obama’s lack of experience in Washington.

    It is indeed interesting how I misunderstood your comment.

    I don’t think Obama ever referred to himself as an “outsider” to Washington. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in November 2004 and by the time of the upcoming election date, Obama will have served out four years of his six-year term in the U.S. Senate. At the present time, Obama does know the in’s and out’s of Washington, and, except for his race, he comes close to being a Democratic Party establishment candidate. Obama’s alleged inexperience is limited to foreign policy, especially in conducting war, and that is what Republicans have held against him. Republicans have not claimed that Obama doesn’t understand Washington itself. In fact, Obama’s inexperience in foreign policy is roughly the same as Senator John F. Kennedy’s in 1960, and both were accused of being unprepared to stand up for American interests overseas.

    So Obama isn’t the candidate who enjoys “outsider” status in this election. Sarah Palin is the “outsider,” and the GOP plans to make the most of that.

    It is also Sarah Palin who is closest in political inexperience to the George W. Bush of 2000. Both had served as no more than state governors prior to their respective presidential campaigns, both were new to Washington (Bush at least as an officeholder), and both, prior to entering Washington, had shown no interest or expertise in foreign policy — Bush’s promise in 2000 to conduct a “humble foreign policy” actually revealed that he had no interest in foreign policy. For that reason and also for their similar cultural and sectarian outlook, Sarah Palin has been called “George Bush in a skirt.”

    George Bush’s problem since 2000 is not only that he was unprepared for Washington, but also that he turned to be both a psychological and intellectual cripple. What even Republicans admit by now is that George W. Bush is psychologically crippled by excessive narcissism (narcissistic personality disorder) and also that he lacks any intellectual curiosity whatsoever. Even Bush’s former speechwriter, David Frum (a former Canadian), admitted in a book about Bush that one of Bush’s incurable flaws is that Bush prefers wishful thinking over the actual facts. That’s part of Bush’s narcissism: He cannot face the possibility that his preferences might not be supported by the actual facts, so he mentally blocks out data that might undermine his confidence in his original plans. Bush’s narcissism and lack of curiosity also explain why he has been consistently blindsided while promoting his domestic agenda, especially on Social Security reform (he ignored warnings that the GOP in the House would not support it) and on immigration reform (the grassroots anti-immigrant movement completely took him by surprise).

    The reason why Sarah Palin’s inexperience is so crucial in this election is that, if McCain is elected, there is a distinct possibility that he might die in office and Sarah Palin will have to take over as Commander-in-Chief. If Obama has no more than JFK’s level of foreign policy experience, Sarah Palin has far less. Sarah Palin hadn’t even traveled overseas until she visited Alaska National Guard troops in Kuwait (not Iraq, Kuwait — she never actually set foot in Iraq). Obama at least has both traveled and lived overseas and has some acquaintance in dealing with foreign cultures. Sarah Palin, on the other hand, has George Bush’s outlook on “furriners” — she doesn’t know anything about them. G. W. Bush has shown that that’s a dangerous deficit in a Commander-in-Chief.

    So that’s why I mistakenly read your comment as referring to Sarah Palin and not to Barack Obama.

    That’s also why I, a Republican, plan to vote for Obama — because he has more experience.

  11. Just a quick note… Poeschl, I apologize for the quotes around your name or nickname. I just noticed I did that and it seems a little aggressive or dismissive.

    “Democrat Barack Obama says voters should elect him president, “not because I have some perfect solution” to pressing problems, but because he’s the candidate who can get things done.”

    Headline: “Obama says only outsider can bring changes that rivals have failed to enact”

    The Associated Press — October 09, 2007 as reproduced on the Barack Obama / Joe Biden website.

    “There are those who tout their experience working the system in Washington,” Mr. Obama said, speaking beneath a cloudless sky at a downtown park. “But the problem is that the system in Washington isn’t working for us and hasn’t for a long time.”

    The New York Times — September 3, 2007

    “For one in five Americans, the presidential election can be summed up in two words: “old” John McCain versus “outsider” Barack Obama.”

    The Guardian — Monday July 07 2008

    The problem isn’t Mr. Obama versus Mrs. Palin, or how each measure up against Mr. Kennedy — also an inexperienced politician made President who got America involved in a war it could not win — it’s that both were chosen in this specific time.

    If everything American was just fantabulous right now electing someone with so little experience might make sense. But electing someone with such a tiny resume and almost no experience to be president or vice president, with so much currently at stake, makes no sense whatsoever.

  12. RE: Gabriel’s comment dated 9/28 at 2:57 a.m.

    I note your verification that Obama has proclaimed himself an “outsider” and has been identified as such by American voters, and I stand corrected on that point.

    But the fact remains that Obama will have served four years in the U.S. Senate by this November, whereas Sarah Palin has yet to serve in any Federal capacity, and has completed, I think, only 20 months of her term as Governor of Alaska (I’m not sure of her exact length of service so far). So, at this point, Obama is more likely to understand the in’s and out’s of Washington than Sarah Palin.

    However, as you say in your final point, it is alarming that, when America desperately needs skilled leadership in foreign policy, both Barack Obama and Sarah Palin lack the needed experience.

    As you also noted, JFK is indeed an example of a bright-Senator-turned-President whose inexperience led not only to Vietnam but to serious foreign policy failures in Cuba and in Berlin (the completion of the Berlin Wall). In the latter case, Khrushchev might have authorized the wall while banking on Kennedy’s inexperience, and even Kennedy admitted that he found dealing with Khrushchev the roughest experience of his career.

    I mention Kennedy and the Berlin Wall to indicate that I realize that Obama, if elected, will face similar challenges from Russia, Iran, and other countries, and it is certain that those countries will bank on Obama’s inexperience when they confront America.

    Nonetheless, as a U.S. voter, I simply don’t feel safe contemplating the likelihood that, if McCain is elected, he might not serve out his term, and Sarah Palin will have to step in and direct U.S. foreign policy. I shudder to think how Russia and other countries would test Palin’s inexperience, given her poor showing so far even with Katie Couric.

    Even if McCain is able to serve out his term, he has already shown so many signs of mental debility due to age, that he might not be able to bring his experience to bear on the current crises in U.S. foreign policy.

    So, while I realize that Obama, Palin, and McCain represent three unsatisfactory choices, at the present time Obama seems the least dangerous choice, and that’s why I’m voting for Obama.

    Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to make clear my reasons for voting for Obama despite his apparent inexperience.

  13. what parallelsidewalk said wrt McCain, except for I never had that much truck with the guy to begin with. there’s nothing “maverick” about him, though. he’s a tired hack and angry and bitter to boot.

    per polls: latest have Obama ahead:


    The latest electoral map by independent RealClearPolitics.com has 228 electoral votes solid or leaning towards Obama, with 163 leaning or solid for McCain, with 147 others a toss up.

    CNN’s latest map awards 240 electoral votes to Obama and 200 to McCain with 98 up for grabs.

    But McCain appears to be running strong in Ohio (20 electoral votes), often the bellwether for presidential hopes, and is pressuring Obama in neighboring Pennsylvania (21 electoral votes)…

  14. also, I think–well, god knows I’m not betting on anything after these past eight years, and it’s going to be a tough row no matter what, but I think–again, this was supposed to be McCain’s strong suit, the Friday debate, foreign policy. A majority of viewers seem to think Obama came out better, judging by some “quick polls”


    Fifty-one percent said Obama, the Democrat, did a better job in Friday night’s faceoff while 38 percent preferred the Republican McCain, according to a CNN-Opinion Research Corp. survey of adults.

    Obama was widely considered more intelligent, likable and in touch with peoples’ problems, and by modest margins was seen as the stronger leader and more sincere. Most said it was McCain who spent more time attacking his opponent.

    About six in 10 said each did a better job than expected. Seven in 10 said each seemed capable of being president.

    In a CBS News poll of people not committed to a candidate, 39 percent said Obama won the debate, 24 percent said McCain and 37 percent called it a tie. Twice as many said Obama understands their needs than said so about McCain.

    Seventy-eight percent said McCain is prepared to be president, about the same proportion of uncommitted voters as said so before the debate. Sixty percent said Obama is ready — a lower score than McCain, but a solid 16-percentage-point improvement from before the debate.

    In another Obama advantage in the CBS poll, far more said their image of him had improved as a result of the debate than said it had worsened. More also said their view of McCain had gotten better rather than worse, but by a modest margin.


    Fingers crossed, anything can happen, but I mean: unless McCain gets a personality transplant, I think the basic dynamics of that aren’t going to change much.

    As for content: they haven’t even barely begun to talk about the economy. Which I am really hoping Obama is saving the big guns for, i.e. nail McCain’s long record of siding with the Bush administration and getting us into this mess, and please some snark about trying to wiggle out of the first debate while we’re at it.

    Either could fumfuh on the social shit, we’ll see.

    Meanwhile there’s Biden-Palin coming up, Thursday is it? which now we’ve already got at least a couple of newspaper columnist, one a conservative woman writing for Nat’l Review and a former champion of Palin’s, calling for her to step down before the debate and save everyone a lot of pain.

    I mean she may end up squeaking by, it’s not like she’s (maybe? possibly?) that much more of a substance-free ditz/scary reactionary than Dubya, and look how that turned out.

    otoh…there might be less margin of error for ditziness on account of the gurl thing. and she really has come off way out of her league thus far…

  15. the thing about Obama as opposed to Palin or McCain, he may have less experience with foreign diplomacy, but all in all he seems a lot smoother and better at nuance than either of them, i.e. diplomacy in -general-; and he’s plenty smart enough and curious enough to learn what he still needs to know; I’m not all that worried. McCain’s coming off like a blustery tantrum-er, and this is exactly what we don’t need; as for Palin, well, Maud help us.

  16. I think there’s some truth to the Republican/puma assertion that Obama is a bit of a lightweight when it comes to national politics; however, he’s not a pandering lunatic like McCain has become and he’s miles ahead of Palin in pretty much every conceivable way. Biden is kind of meh, but a fairly solid thinker even with his tendency to step on his own dick. I can understand not liking/trusting Obama but really he’s the only sane option I can see at this point.

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