Opinions Expressed in "Rants" while informed by Catholic doctrine, are merely the opinions of the author.
Why Obama Won and McCain Lost
I have a fascination with the U.S. – their history, their politics – and what could me more interesting than what as my hero, Jon Stewart calls it, the "Cluster@#!& to the White House."
And we stand at the end of this at times seemingly endless battle, about to see a new U.S. President elected on Tuesday. All signs seem to point to a win for the first African American President, Barack Obama.
And how did this happen? Well, I’m not completely thrilled about the process, to be honest.
See, Barack Obama has virtually no experience, either Legistative or Executive. His entire political career has been directed to ONE goal – getting himself elected President.
And the guy is a TEXTBOOK megalomaniac – from the overly demanding father that he’s still trying to please, to his belief that he, and only he, can solve U.S. problems, to his grandiose, messianic self presentation.
So why has he risen to power? Why has the U.S. embraced him, ready to make him the leader of the free world? Here’s my list of reasons:
- Obama is an exceptional public speaker – he’s a master showman – reminding everyone of the good old days of JFK and FDR and Abe Lincoln.
- He has loads of money to spend on his campaign, as that master showman – and is dedicated to getting rid of every penny of it before Tuesday.
- The political and economic times are extreme. For good or bad, extreme times lead the electorate mob to make extreme choices. If there was more stability in the socio-political sphere, likely we’d be seeing Clinton or Biden or Richardson, who are all immanently more qualified, at the top of the Dem ticket, rather than Obama.
- Obama as President – this represents HISTORY IN THE MAKING – you can’t stand in the way of history.
- And let’s not forget – George W. Bush. I’ll elaborate more in dealing with McCain.
Running against him, we have one of my favourite American politicians of them all, Senator John McCain. I was cheering for McCain back in 2000, when Bush lied and cheated and mud slung victory away from McCain in the dirtiest, underhanded politics I remember seeing since I saw “All the President’s Men.” Or "I, Claudius." I wish he had hung in there, and gone on to win in 2000 – President McCain would have handled the post 9-11 world a lot better than Bush did.
McCain’s the ONLY Republican with even a hope of being elected this year, BECAUSE he’s a moderate, and doesn’t like George Bush at all. He is a maverick, and he’s a moderate, and he has common sense, and he’s down to earth, and he has loads of experience, and he’s a hero, and I think he’d make a good President. And he’s going to lose. Here’s why:
- George W. Bush – arguably the worst President in U.S. history – certainly the worst in my lifetime – I mean, even Nixon accomplished more than Bush did. The country doesn’t just hate Bush either – they hate the Republicans that made him their leader – and McCain is now running as a Republican, and that’s that.
- The electorate is rebelling not just against Bush, but against the entire right wing evangelical base that put Bush in power in the first place. McCain, throughout his campaign, has made a point of trying to win over that base – a base that doesn’t really like him anyway - convinced that he can't win without them. He should have tried - what did he have to lose? This has led him to compromise some of his own core values – his own maverick-ness – something he said he’d never do – and play the way THEY play, run a campaign the way THEY run campaigns – dirty, negative, nasty. While winning them over, he lost the moderates, of which he himself is a member.
- More generally, McCain has had a horrible campaign – changing strategies every two weeks, it’s been like watching a train wreck.
- The guys freaking old. Likeliness of him dying while in office in the next four years is actually quite high.
- So who does he pick as his running mate? Alec Baldwin referred to her on Letterman the other night as “Bible Spice.” McCain managed to find a running mate with even less experience than Obama – this is the one thing McCain could have defeated Obama on. Dummy.
- Of course Palin was chosen to solidify that right wing evangelical republican base – but doing so lost McCain ALL the moderates.
- The economy crashed. Why? Because the federal government didn’t do their job and regulate the banks. And that’s the conservative approach to economics – don’t interfere – and everybody knows it doesn’t work.
So we have three days and counting to go. We’ll see if I’m right, or if next week, my RANT reads, “Why McCain Won and Obama Lost.”