I have held my tongue this week, but the McCain/Palin tactics are starting to really disgust me. I have been scratching my head and asking myself what has happened to this man. I once admired him. I wanted to see him beat Bush in 2000. Now I wonder if it’s just that my views have changed so much, or whether he was ever the person I thought he was. (For a real hatchet-job that says he was never the man I thought he was, see the new Rolling Stone article: John McCain, Make-Believe Maverick ).
Christopher Buckley, the son of the late William F. Buckley, says McCain has changed:
Buckley, who praised McCain in a New York Times Op-Ed earlier this year and defended the Arizona senator’s conservative credentials against wary talk-radio hosts, said McCain is no longer the “real” and “unconventional” man he once admired.
“This campaign has changed John McCain,” Buckley wrote. “It has made him inauthentic. A once-first class temperament has become irascible and snarly; his positions change, and lack coherence; he makes unrealistic promises, such as balancing the federal budget ‘by the end of my first term.’ Who, really, believes that?
“Then there was the self-dramatizing and feckless suspension of his campaign over the financial crisis,” Buckley added. “His ninth-inning attack ads are mean-spirited and pointless. And finally, not to belabor it, there was the Palin nomination. What on earth can he have been thinking?”
I would add to that the crazy mortgage scheme he proposed at the most recent debate, which has some conservatives up in arms:
(CNN) – John McCain is facing a fresh round of anger from members of his own party deeply opposed to the Arizona senator’s proposal for the federal government to purchase troubled mortgage loans.
In a sharply worded editorial on its Web site Thursday, the editors of The National Review — an influential bastion of conservative thought — derided the plan as “creating a level of moral hazard that is unacceptable” and called it a “gift to lenders who abandoned any sense of prudence during the boom years.”
But he lost my vote the day he put Palin on the ticket. Any thought I had of voting for the man went out the window as soon as I heard that. As I said at the time, I don’t think she is qualified (and subsequent events have only reiterated my original opinion). I think his choice of her put politics ahead of country.
On the other hand, I don’t think Obama has a solid energy plan. Someone told me recently that his energy advisors are primarily environmentalists, but not energy experts. If true, that means his energy policy will contain a lot of unrealistic ‘solutions.’ I have a hard time embracing an energy policy that consists of “Fund X, mandate Y, and tax the devil out of the oil companies.” I just haven’t figured out how that last bit is going to help secure additional energy supplies.
I have held steady in my prediction that Obama will win the presidency (although that doesn’t mean I am voting for him). I predicted it to my father-in-law following the Iowa caucus, and have repeated that prediction several times here. But I have to give credit to my wife on this one, who predicted it following his speech at the Democratic National Convention four years ago.
However, I think there is a good chance that the winner of the election will only serve one term. They are going to govern through a very difficult four years, and two years in they will be catching a lot of the blame for not fixing a set of very vexing problems. I think they will preside over escalating energy prices, which will cause the economy to continue to struggle. And if Obama is elected as I expect, I think he is likely to make some serious missteps when oil prices spiral higher, exacerbating the problem.