Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Bit Late?

George Will advises the McCain campaign,
Furthermore, his populism subverts his strength - the perception that although he is an acquired taste, he is serious, hence incapable of self-celebratory froth such as "we are the ones we've been waiting for."
Right. He's completely incapable of self-adulatory froth - an entirely serious "American President Americans have been waiting for."
Americans suffer political astigmatism. They squint at Washington, seeing an incompetent cornucopia that is too big but that should expand to give them more blessings. Their voting behavior, however, generally conforms to their professed suspicion about unchecked power in Washington: In 31 election cycles since the restoration of normal politics after the Second World War, 19 produced divided government -- the executive and legislative branches not controlled by the same party.
Nineteen out of thirty-one... That's a whopping 61% of the time. And, you know, it couldn't be explained by something other than a desire to have the presidency and Congress controlled by different parties, such as an occasional expression of disapproval for the party holding the White House by voting for the other party in a midterm election. That's clearly not what happened in 1994 or 2006.

Will wants McCain to promise to veto theoretical legislation:
Two Democratic priorities in the next Congress would placate two factions that hold the party's leash -- organized labor and the far left. One is abolition of workers' right to secret ballots in unionization elections. The other is restoration of the "fairness doctrine" in order to kill talk radio, on which liberals cannot compete.
Yeah.... those are sure to be hot button issues with the electorate. After all, they are exceedingly important to George Will, and isn't that pretty much the same thing?
He should ask Obama to join him in a town meeting on lessons from Russia's aggression.
And he could expect to be told, "We already have a schedule for debates. Let's talk then." Really, Will intends this to take the form of grandstanding - with McCain trumpeting that after the candidates agreed to a debate schedule Obama wouldn't agree to toss out the agreement. I might worry that Obama would take him up on the offer, and draw a lot of attention to McCain's presumptuous behavior in relation to the conflict, as well as his close ties to lobbyists for Georgia. But what am I thinking - is George Will ever wrong.
McCain must convince voters that Obama's complacent confidence in the taming abilities of soft power is the effect of liberalism's scary sentimentalism about a dangerous thing, human nature, and a fiction, "the community of nations."
I would encourage McCain to make a campaign ad presenting that message, word-for-word. Perhaps Will will do the voiceover?
Until Russian tanks rolled into Georgia, it seemed that not even the Democratic Party could lose this election. But it might if McCain can make it turn on the question of who is ornery enough to give Putin a convincing, deterring telephone call at 3 a.m.
Right. Because any world leader who gives G.W. a big "F.U." is going to be cowed on the same issue by a 3 AM call from a septuagenerian who gets confused on foreign policy issues when he's awake.

History suggests that George Will detests McCain. "With friends like these...."

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