Saturday, September 27, 2008

McGrumpy vs. O"bam"a

In last night's first presidential candidates debate, John McCain wiped away any doubt that he is the Man of the Century.... the last century.

As Jacob Heilbrunn opines, "For someone who purports to represent change, McCain offered muddled arguments that are almost as old as he is himself. By focusing so narrowly on the unpopular Iraq War, McCain is almost surely speeding up his own inevitable decline in the polls. It was Barack Obama who came across as the insurgent seeking change, while McCain represented the Republican establishment.

Obama landed the crushing blows by pointing out the obvious: the Bush administration's, and by extension McCain's, obsession with Iraq for the past eight years has only succeeded in crippling American power and security. McCain, he noted, has been wrong, over and over again, in predicting that Iraq would be a cakewalk and that there would be no real ethnic enmities inside it. As Obama announced that he would target and kill Osama bin-Laden, McCain could only stare in mute stupefaction." (Huffington Post)

Unable to look Obama in the eye, the nasty-old-man routine, and warmed-over stump speech lines by McSame were the stuff of an unpresidential temperament and a third-rate mind.

Heilbrunn points out that McCain's "grandfatherly tone was supposed to provide reassurance that he would guide the American foreign policy tiller with a sure hand, while Obama would capsize. But whether it's Russia or the Middle East, McCain's unctuous tone tonight could not disguise the fact that he's even more bellicose than Bush himself. Obama, by contrast, wants to begin the overdue job of restoring America's image abroad. All McCain proved once more is that he knows full well how to continue the Bush legacy of losing friends abroad and alienating people."

Even, astoundingly, Spain. A NATO ally. Who McCain says he'll not promise meet with in the White House. But then, he can't back off of that position because he thought Spain was in "this hemisphere" and by placing it in South America he would then have to be careful about their politics. Pathetic. McCain's only a half-step ahead of, as he describes her, his "maverick" running mate Sarah Palin, who thinks Alaska's proximity to Russia, and you know Putin flying over and stuff, makes her a foreign policy expert.

After McCain's suspending-my-campaign-and-cancelling-debate stunts of the last several days, it wasn't surprising to have confirmed that he doesn't have the temperament to be president. Obama won.... by a presidential smile.


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