I haven't seen rats desert a sinking ship this fast since we sank the Bismark. Kathleen Parker was first to say the V.P. nominee had no mental clothing, followed by George Will, Charles Krauthhammer, Christopher Buckley, David Brooks, and finally Peggy "1000 Points of Light" Noonan. In other words, the "Intellectual" Conservatives that the red state voters so disdain, have thrown in the towel on the McCain/Palin ticket. So who's left? The Evangelicals who believe that Jesus is a Republican and Palin would just make a nifty president; the fat cats who not only will get fatter in a GOP administration, but will escape further investigation for their nefarious deeds; followers of particular "isms," from Protectionism to Zionism; and pocketbook voters who can't stand the thought of their taxes supplementing anyone's food stamps. And I am so weary of listening to rich people whine about Capital Gains Taxes. A capital gain is free money that your existing money earned for you while you weren't looking. Another of my father's sayings: "This is a great country, but the dues are expensive." Why not just be grateful for any capital gains and pay the fucking tax?
In the final Presidential debate Wednesday, I fully expected McCain to begin rolling steel marbles in his palm, turn to Obama, and say, "Ahh, but it was the strawberries!" Nothing has worked for him. Not Bill Ayers, or "Lipstick on a Pig," or suspending his campaign to fix the economy, or his latest manufactured outrage about Rep. John Lewis. And certainly not the selection of Sarah Palin, who has proven to be Bush in Spanks: just as dumb but twice the ambition. From simply a visual point of view, McCain's pallor made me question the wisdom of High Def TV. At times he alternated from appearing like Casper, the unfriendly ghost (or was that Spooky?), to becoming so red-faced, it looked like his head was going to explode. No wonder they prop Cindy up there at every, single speech. She would have sat at the table with John on Wednesday, but she has already become the Yoko Ono of the campaign.
Senator McCain has made the classic Hillary Clinton mistake in his run for the presidency. He altered who he really was and accepted a persona created by Karl Rove and his hapless, outdated advisers in the belief that the old politics would get him elected. Even his colleagues said they don't recognize the current John McCain, and that's a shame for those who have followed his political career. If you were able to see McCain's comments at the Al Smith Dinner in New York last night, after the hilarious jokes, the Senator paid a genuine and heartfelt tribute to the achievements of his opponent, ending with "I can't wish you good luck, but I do wish you well." This is the honorable John McCain that I remember working with Sen. Feingold for campaign finance reform, or saying that this country does not torture for the reciprocal safety of our own soldiers. It's sad to see him end his career like Bob Dole, wandering around muttering "Where's the outrage?"
I give credit to Sen. McCain for not shoveling through the Rev. Wright muck again, but the constant references to "Joe, the not-quite Plumber," more than created an alternate living, breathing straw man upon which to base a bogus argument. McCain may have been aiming for the "Joe Six-Pack" vote, but he lost every former Hillary supporter when he mocked a "woman's health" in air-quotes as a potential reason to have an abortion. Personally, I believe that life begins when the doctor slaps your ass, but what I, or anyone else thinks is irrelevant to the woman facing that decision. It's not the government's business either. But Obama is the first Democrat yet I have heard say that "Nobody is pro-abortion," and tackle the issue. McCain also doesn't understand that his $5000 tax credit to buy health insurance does no good when HMOs disqualify anyone with pre-existing conditions. There are thousands just like me who can't purchase health insurance at any cost. For the past several weeks, McCain has been asking crowds at his rallies, "Who is the real Barack Obama?" The shame of this election campaign is that we never got to see the real John McCain, until it was too late.