John McCain just can't catch a break.( Could it be that he is a Republican, the party of deception and terrorism?)
Rarely has a presidential candidate traveled the campaign trail facing such bleak odds of victory, what with his party's unpopular wars, unpopular economy and even more unpopular president. Add to that McCain's unpopularity within his own party, and one wonders what gets him going in the morning.
Amphetamines? They worked for Hitler, not to mention our troops?
But his party happens to be shrinking, so McCain has gone hunting where he hopes the ducks are: among independents. As the Washington Post summarized his now familiar position: "Since clinching the nomination he has often reminded voters of his more moderate stances while professing his fealty to conservative positions."
Whoa! My head is spinning!
His other hope, of course, is that those hidebound conservatives to whom he professes may yet come home in November. It's hard to say at this point if they will, but McCain can only naturally assume that they're not so suicidally reckless as to help install in the Oval Office a liberal Democrat over the candidate who is, after all, a conservative Republican. Surely, only the pettiest of the petty would be so foolish.
Of course, they will stay home or vote for Obama. McCain is a disaster for them.
But, praise their little activist hearts, that's precisely what they intend to do, at least for the summer's balance. Reports the Post piece quoted above: "Conservative activists are preparing to do battle with allies of Sen. John McCain in advance of September's Republican National Convention, hoping to prevent his views on global warming, immigration, stem cell research and campaign finance from becoming enshrined in the party's official declaration of principles" -- that anachronism of modern politics known as the party platform.
Say what? This sounds a little psychotic, but what hasn't in the last 6 years?
Said, for instance, Jessica Echard, executive director of Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum: "Our job is to make sure that the grassroots continue to have a say" -- even, I guess, if that means the conservative grassroots will have absolutely no say in the next government.
It's a puzzler. A real puzzler. And McCain must be stumped more than anyone.
McCain doesn't give a damn about abortion or the Christian Right. Neither did Bush, except for their votes. Junior was taught how to speak fundy, McCain is having a harder time with that.
Why, he is most certainly asking himself, can't my own party's base see the same electoral realities that everyone else sees? My only hope is to barely eke out a victory through some combination of a reasonably respectable turnout among the base, plus some marginal support by independents in the purple states, which I'll secure only by straying from the official party line.
Independents who support this man ought to be horse whipped!
Yet the Eagle Forum and its ideological ilk just won't leave well enough alone. They intend, it appears, to pester McCain right into defeat. They'd rather be right than in power. Many may still turn out for him, but with far lesser (*) enthusiasm and all its overall number-depressing consequences.
Even more stunning, however, is the flipside to all this -- the side on which Phyllis Schlafly's counterparts seem determined to rob its own candidate of a massive victory and therefore solid mandate.
Massive victory? Oh, Pulleeze!
Here we are, finally, with a virtually in-the-bag election. So what must Barack Obama suffer from his base? Why, sniper fire, of course -- just like McCain.
And frankly, I'm beginning to think that a few among the progressive grassroots would -- much like the Schlaflyites -- rather be absolutely right than in power. I'm beginning to think power -- the actual means to accomplish something -- scares the bejesus out of them. For they'd then have to perform and deal with all the problematic compromises that political reality serves up daily, rather than carp with self-satisfied superiority from the ineffectual sidelines.
(Me thinks they would rather be right than wrong. Power has little to do with it, but it muddies the waters just the same.)
They may, in fact, be quite few indeed. It may well be that much of the progressive unrest we read and hear about is largely a ghost of this week's media narrative -- spooky and exciting as hell, but not really all that real.
That would be my guess.
And there's no doubt, or at least I strongly suspect, that much of the vocal unrest comes merely from the scattered but intensely malcontented windbags of Clintonland, still fighting the last battle and still trying their best to be as obnoxious as politically and humanly possible. But those particular dead-enders are fewer and fewer by the day indeed; so let them be, if such behavior amuses.
They, The Clintonites, are GOOPER LITE.
What worries are those progressives -- small in numbers, perhaps, but destructively vocal -- who prefer to dwell exclusively in the uncorrupted light of the political empyrean; who much prefer, that is, to throw tomatoes from the bleachers rather than wield power, because deep down they're frightened to death of what actual power implies. It's so damn messy.
THE FIFTH COLUMNIST by P.M. Carpenter
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The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.