Tuesday, October 28, 2008

McSame: Too Many "Right" Turns

The steady pace of Republicans and right-leaning Independents endorsing Barack Obama is turning into a raging torrent. Emphasis on raging. The angst seems to be.... what happened to McCain.... what happened to the GOP?

Case in point is Anne Applebaum's op-ed today in the Washington Post, "Why McCain Lost Me." As an Independent who lived in England in the 1980s and1990s and was "truly comfortable" when Conservative Margaret Thatcher ran things, she wanted to support the McCain-Palin ticket.

But, as Applebaum explains, "I'm not voting for McCain -- and, after a long struggle, I've realized that I can't -- maybe it's worth explaining why, for I suspect there are other independent voters who feel the same. Particularly because it's not his campaign, disjointed though that has been, that finally repulses me: It's his rapidly deteriorating, increasingly anti-intellectual, no longer even recognizably conservative Republican Party. His problems are not technical; they do not have to do with ads, fundraising or tactics, as some have suggested. They are institutional; they have to do with his colleagues, advisers and supporters."

Applebaum sees.... "Fiscal conservatism, balanced budgets, sober spending -- all of these principles have been brushed away as so much nonsense for the past eight years by Republicans more interested in grandstanding about how much they hate Washington."

Then there is Charles McC Mathias Jr..... a Republican who represented Maryland in the U.S. House from 1961 to 1968 and in the U.S. Senate from 1969 to 1986.... writes today in "My Choice: Obama" (WaPo)

He explains: "Sens. Obama and McCain have vastly different backgrounds and strikingly different visions of how America should navigate these tumultuous times. For me, the decision on who should be the next president transcends private friendship or political affiliation.

"My decision is based on the long-range needs of our country and which of these two candidates I feel is better suited to recharge America's economic health, restore its prestige abroad and inspire anew all people who cherish freedom and equality. For me, that person is Barack Obama."

A puzzled Eugene Robinson reflects on McCain and his campaign in "Campaign on Empty." (WaPo) ".... when it could hardly be more obvious that Americans desperately want to change direction -- more than 80 percent tell pollsters the country is on the wrong track -- the Republicans offer nothing new."

Yet, McCain chose to walk in lockstep with the Bush-GOP thugocracy off the right-face of the political cliff.

Robinson continues, "McCain's repeated references to 'maverick' have drained all meaning from the word, but it's true that he's an iconoclast with little reverence for Republican orthodoxy. Why he chose, in an election that was always going to be decided by independents and Reagan Democrats, to campaign on a platform of slavish devotion to Republican orthodoxy is beyond me."

It seems the obvious answer is that he sold his "maverick" political persona to the Karl Rove, corporations-first, religious-right wing of the Republican party because he though they could deliver the presidency. In so doing he became inauthentic, and in all probability, unelectable.

As Obama asks, "The question in this election is not 'Are you better off than you were four years ago?' We know the answer to that. The real question is, 'Will this country be better off four years from now?' "

The growing resounding answer.... certainly not with McSame in the White House.

Vote! It matters.

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