Dec 4, 2008

Reflections on McCain's Failed Campaign

I just finished reading the Rolling Stone article, "Requiem for a Maverick" by Matt Taibbi, which provides his perspective on how McCain's 2008 presidential campaign got so fucked up. Here's just a sample:

In short, McCain entered this election season being the worst thing that anyone can be, in the eyes of the Rove-school Republicans: Different. Independent. His own man. He exited the campaign on his knees, all his dignity gone, having handed the White House to the hated liberals after spending the last months of the race with numb-nuts Sarah Palin on his arm and Karl Rove's cock in his mouth. Even if you wanted to vote for him, you didn't know who you were voting for. The old McCain? The new McCain? Neither? Both?
I could have done without the Karl "Doughboy" Rove fellatio image. But interestingly --- or maybe not so interestingly, now that I think about it --- Taibbi also lays blame on the media and the rest of us for buying into all of this bullshit back when Not My President was up for election in the first place:
In short, it was an utterly degrading bourgeois/ruling-class media deception that "ordinary Americans," if they had any brains at all, ought to have been disgusted by to the point of rebellion. But ordinary Americans, alas, would have been perfectly happy to spend the rest of eternity mesmerized by the endless and endlessly condescending I'd Like to Have a Beer With You sideshow, leaving the boring policy stuff to the people who actually pay for the campaigns. Things could have just kept getting dumber and dumber, and no one would have been surprised. There was certainly no trend that suggested our presidential elections were bound to return to being great, sweepingly important contests of ideas. But that's what happened.
But it's not all entirely depressing. Taibbi ends the article, thusly:

When Obama took the stage in Grant Park as president-elect, that question was answered. We pulled off an amazing thing here, delivering on our society's most ancient promises, in front of a world that still largely thought of us as the home of Bull Connor's fire hose. This dumbed-down, degraded election process of ours has, in spite of itself and to my own extreme astonishment, brilliantly re-energized the American experiment and restored legitimacy to our status as the world's living symbol of individual freedom. We feel like ourselves again, and the floundering economy and our two stagnating wars now seem like mere logistical problems that will be overcome sooner or later, instead of horrifying symptoms of inevitable empire-decline.

For this to happen, absolutely everything had to break right. And for that we will someday owe sincere thanks to John McCain, and Sarah Palin, and George W. Bush. They not only screwed it up, they screwed it up just right.
Obviously, I'm really happy that Obama, not McCain, won the presidency. I just worry about the eight-year-old clusterfuck Obama just inherited. I don't doubt that Obama will be a successful president; I just worry about how long righting the wrongs of eight years of Bush will take. People I care about are losing their jobs; people I care about are on the verge of bankruptcy due to adjustable rate mortages; people I care about are being forced to take unpaid vacations; people I care about are unable to afford any kind of healthcare whatsoever. I remain optimistic about Obama's presidency, because I have to be; to think otherwise would leave me hopeless, jaded, cynical and completely disengaged.


Anyway, read the article in its entirety here.


Props to Otto Man at Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Nachos for the link.

1 comment:

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