Saturday, June 28, 2008

Senator John McCain – changing the hearts and minds of people I didn’t even think had hearts or minds

Well I guess kissing up to the religious extremists within the Republican base should come as no surprise. After all, John McCain did make some pretty powerful enemies back when he was running against George W. Bush to be the Republican Presidential nominee in 2000. And I guess he realizes now how badly he miscalculated when he figured he didn’t need them to win and he chose to stand firmly on his principles and call these people what they are: “agents of intolerance”. And sadly, that very well may have been a factor in his losing the nomination to George W. Bush, soon to be one of the worst presidents this country has ever had.

Man, talk about being between a rock and a hard place. I really don’t envy Senator McCain. Running for president as a Republican in today’s world means constantly walking a very fine line in which one must weigh and measure which group to please at the expense of another. And alienating the wrong group could have huge consequences.

So here we are on the doorstep of the 2008 elections and again we have John McCain in the mix only this time he is the Republican nominee for President. And this time he’s decided not to make those same mistakes again. He’s learned his lesson: in order to win the love of the most hateful segment of his base, he must abandon every principle that once earned him the love and admiration of moderate Americans on both sides of the aisle. But this time he’s gonna tell the religious crazies anything and everything they want to hear -- and to hell with everyone else:

CINCINNATI -- Sen. John McCain, who has struggled to win the trust of evangelical voters, met privately Thursday in Ohio with several influential social conservatives who have been critical of him -- and impressed them, while telling them only some of what they wanted to hear.

McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, told the small assembly that he was open to learning more about their opposition to embryonic stem cell research despite his past disagreements with them on the issue.

And, according to participants, he indicated that he would take seriously their requests that he choose an anti-abortion running mate and would talk more openly about his opposition to gay marriage -- a pledge he carried out later in the day by endorsing a ballot measure in California to ban gay marriage.

"It was obvious there were a lot of changed hearts in the room," said Phil Burress, who led Ohio's anti-gay-marriage ballot measure in 2004. "We realized that he's with us on the majority of the issues we care about."

I think poor, tired, old Senator McCain is stuck in a time warp and is either oblivious to the mood of the country right now or doesn’t care, but either way this isn’t 2000 anymore, and our biggest issues are no longer blow jobs in the White House or gay marriage. Call me crazy, but I don’t think McCain’s pandering to the Dobson bible-thumping crazies is going to endear him to rational, everyday Americans who are far more worried about things like the economy, a failed war, a broken military, high gas prices, high food prices, rising unemployment, a decimated budget, trillions of additional debt, global warming, domestic spying, a ruined reputation abroad, a destroyed housing market, an imminent credit crisis, a broken government filled with hacks and religious nuts, a broken healthcare system, a broken educational system, a broken immigration system and the resulting brain drain, health insurance only for those who can afford it, job outsourcing, an increasing gap between the extremely rich and the extremely poor, an impotent FEMA that couldn’t rescue a cat much less an American city, etc., etc., etc.

I just don’t think Americans are going to fall for this shit again. They see what it got them in 2000 –and they are ready to put the past eight years far far behind them. They won’t be doing that with a vote for the 2008 version of John McCain.

I’ll tell you what, for me personally, every time I see Senator McCain promise everything but his first-born to the bible-thumping crowd, a group that represents just about nothing I believe in, I vow to do everything in my power to see that he is defeated – badly – in November. I will man the phones, pass out fliers, knock on doors, donate money, and fall down on my knees and beg, cry, and pray every night to make sure that we never again have a President who uses my gay son or any other divisive hot-button social issue as political weapon for personal political gain. If a candidate cannot win by appealing to the masses, then he certainly does not deserve to be President.

The choice is simple. Do we want more divisive Rovian politics with a President who dog-whistles to the Dobson crazies by promising them he’ll legislate their twisted version of the bible into every aspect of our private lives or is it time to send the Republicans packing? You already know what I think.


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