Friday, August 22, 2008

Campaign Reality 2008: McCain Is Clueless

That's McCain walking down his "Hall of Fame" at one of his large residences. He seems to have left a little room for future mementos from the White House which just might be about the only reason he's running: another trophy. That hall smacks of a big ego. It smacks of a man who has little in common with ordinary Americans. And little understanding. At a campaign event, McCain said immigrants were necessary because they were willing to pick lettuce for $50 a hour. Most Americans, he said, wouldn't work for that. McCain has no clue about prevailing wages. The man, needless to say, is clueless.

There are rich people who know what ordinary Americans go through and there are rich people who don't. McCain is one of the rich ones who doesn't get it; not long ago, McCain had to ask a staffer what kind of car he owns which once more says he's a man who's out of touch. He wants to stay in Iraq for a hundred years but this year the Iraqis have made it clear that they want a timetable and Bush is going along with it. Like I said, McCain is clueless and barely notices that the world is changing.

These days when McCain makes blunders he has a new excuse: he was a POW. Howard Fineman explains the problem (via Crooks and Liars):
“I think they are going to it way too many times. It’s the original story that defined John McCain, that still when you read it in his book ‘Faith of my Fathers,’ when you read about it in ‘The Nightingale’s Song,’ you can’t help but have admiration and respect for the guy. And I think he wisely for many years stayed away from it as a political tool, he really did. But now it not only defines him, it’s become a crutch in the campaign..."

A year ago, John McCain was sinking in the polls. He was overtaken by people like Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani and Mick Huckabee who themselves eventually tanked while McCain picked up the pieces because he was simply a familiar name. But he was sinking for a reason. In Baghdad, he said it was safe to walk through a market but neglected to mention that he was surround by over a hundred soldiers and helicopters in the sky. He was also wearing a bulletproof vest. It was a very Bush-like photo op: phony to the core. McCain has had a long series of blunders for the last year and despite the fact that such blunders can hardly be called presidential, most of the press keeps covering for him.

Randi Rhodes spent her whole show today listing and discussing the lobbyists and former lobbyists working for John McCain. These lobbyists don't work for average Americans; they work for millionaires and big biz. Some of McCain's people even work for foreign governments. But when the camera's on them, they wave the American flag. That's what crooks do: just wave the flag and hope no one notices. The worst of the bunch is Phil Gramm and his wife who have sneaked in laws and regulations making it easier for corporations to pull off scams. Their biggest scam led to the collapse of Enron. Phil Gramm is McCain's economic adviser.

We all want heros and, in his day, John McCain really was one. But that was a long time ago and McCain is still fighting battles from thirty to forty years ago. We need someone in the White House who knows what century we're in and how to move forward, and not backward.

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