John McCain: The ‘Low-Information’ Candidate

I was requested to re-post this article that was written during his Presidential run against President Obama – VAC
30 October 2008

Weapons-grade contempt

One need not be detective or forensic scientist to determine the extent of the weapons-grade contempt emitting from John McCain.  The list of recipients is endless.  While the non-stop tirade begins and ends with the “media” it’s the other accusations that are startling reminders of John McCain’s profound lack of leadership skill, his shudderingly feckless statesmanship and his blatant and purposeful dishonesty in his campaign rhetoric.  McCain’s lead among low information voters is not only because he has pandered to them by appealing to the remnants of our National disgrace, but the fact that he is the ‘low-information’ candidate.

Meanwhile, moving in a consistent and progressive manner, Barack Obama does not respond to McCain’s routinely personally offensive talking points.  In fact, Obama never mentions Sara Palin, and only mentions McCain’s name when associating him with policies that he’s supported.   No personal attacks, no inferences of subversive activity.  Most surprisingly, McCain who has staggered through some very questionable professional relationships, has apparently not sobered up enough to realize that he has probably finished himself as an American statesman, period.

Lost the Media Friends

John McCain, of late, has complained about the press – something he didn’t generally do.  The problems between McCain and the press occurred in a number of events with different people that decided that it was time to ask John McCain real questions since he was waging a war against the survivor of the modern history’s longest Democratic race.  There was much more on the table and without question demonstrable differences between the candidates in demeanor, education, life experience and political experience.

Apparently though, John McCain’s witty remarks and warm gestures to junior and senior journalists, treating them like the neighbors puppies, was not going to sell this time around.  There was a public demanding information – and McCain had a endless stream of banalities, slogans and generalizations – but often his facts were wrong at the first, second and even third attempts and reexplaining himself.  Each juncture resulting in another journalist losing their seat on the McCain traveling press corps for asking a question that was not on the McCain preferred question list.  While there is no real list – one would surely realize when they asked a question that didn’t appear on the non-existent list as the Straight-Jacket Express would figuratively leave them sitting in the middle of nowhere while it sped away.

Not Mavericks – Desperadoes

The most remarkable example of how John McCain equates campaigning to war.  Most clearly he’s adopted a plan that isn’t from the ‘Dao of Strategy’ but only from the ‘Dao of War.’  In doing so he has conflated military actions with political campaigns and he and his minions have set their sights on destroying Barack Obama.  While it’s true, politics does use military terminology, including the word campaign, it is about ideas – not blood. The critical mistake he’s (McCain) made is that it is quite apparent that the American public does not aspire to be like John McCain, but are more attracted to the persona and temperament of Barack Obama.

This goes to one central point – that being the primary obligations of the next President.  Team builder, confidence builder, critical thinker, calm and careful consideration and a keen intellect.  With all due respect, as shamefully small as that amount may be – John McCain possesses none of these qualities.  Obama rises to all of them and it simply means there is no choice for the American electorate to make – John McCain has made that most emphatically clear.

Just Do It

It has been my pleasure to talk with readers, friends and loved ones. A very few in disagreemnet with my judgment, and to them I simply state – it’s time to give it up.  I heard the story about life-long Republican support, frankly there have been enough career politicians that are Republicans and supporting Obama to shatter your argument.  I’ve heard about silly ramblings about free-lunches.  Sadly, there is no shred of truth to equate Obama with free-lunches, that is a silly argument that Herbert Hoover will forever have as a legacy.  And lastly, it was a collective hubris that got us into this mess.  It was many of us thinking that we were more important than our neighbor and going to great lengths and expense to prove it – so much in fact that we’ve consumed ourselves into a very unhealthy state.  Our egos are long out of the reach of our economics and our faith in religions that preach about walled communities have created division where there was none.  It is time for us to act like intelligent beings that hope to heal society so that there is an equality in opporunity.  In that case our next discussion will be about personal responsibility – but now is not the time for that discussion to be the focus.  You know that the right thing to do – even if you have a lot invested in thinking otherwise.  Just do it and stop wasting your energy on your ego – just pitch in – we need to do this together.

Gov. Spitzer Set-up? More to Eliot Mess Story?

Reprinted by requests

– Originally pubished – 11 Mar 08, The Almost Daily Binx, San Jose, Ca, by Binx101

Is Prostitution Prosecutor being Persecuted ?

“… he did knowingly transport and hire the hooker … “

Spitzer swearing inNot a full day has passed before the story seems to already have gotten thrown off (or perhaps ‘on’) the rails. We think that the countermeasures were predictable. There is an article at Raw Story that is more revealing, but not convincing. In brief, the story suggests that Scott Horton, NY Attorney and Harper’s contributor believes Gov. Spitzer was set up. We think Raw Story just wanted to scoop because they didn’t even use Horton’s first name in the article. Right there was a tip-off.

Secondly and maybe even more revealing, the article features a picture of Horton, not Spitzer. We think that this is more revealing about the purpose of the original article as a way to self promote Horton than to point to any definable plot against Spitzer. After all … he did knowingly transport and hire the hooker, no ? He did confess to having, at least, disappointed his family and State, no ? But to listen to Horton’s suggestion, he thinks Spitzer should be invoking the ‘Shaggy’ defense “It Wasn’t Me!” We think Horton’s premise is a self-aggrandizing attempt to throw his name in the political spotlight.

Sad But True

“… didn’t require the skill of Sherlock Holmes …”

As for the original report by Brian Ross at ABC, it was a good and the many other reportsHolmes have made it clear that Spitzer was the object of the investigation and that suspicious money transfers were the original object of the investigation. It is not difficult to understand, certainly for a crime fighting prosecutor, that criminal investigations are a continuous set of theories that lead professionals in various directions. It doesn’t matter whether its a U.S. Attorney or Daschell Hammett – everyone with a pulse over the age of 12 pretty much understands this global reality. This didn’t require the skill of Sherlock Holmes to uncover. Perhaps he and his wife have an understanding. No doubt they do now.

At the Speed of Might

“… paranoia would have served him as a better mistress.”

We think it highly likely that Spitzer has made an enormous cast of enemies in his rise to power. He has been noted for a fierce fighting style and he has been quoted by a list of Msters Bookdetractors – having made direct threats about prosecuting prominent evil-doers. We think paranoia would have served him as a better mistress. In an instant, the Eliot Spitzer has become a household name that will likely be the new “Hypocrite” for a time.

While Spitzer would have to prefer being defined by his successes, as he is portrayed in a highly flattering Eliot Ness-ish portrayal of an avuncular crime fighter in Brooke Masters’ book: Spoiling for a Fight – The Rise of Eliot Spitzer; we are loathe to think of the next books that will sum up the corporate rocking Governor Spitzer because he, essentially, cheated on his wife and hired very expensive hookers.

The Political Process Will Pay the Price

“… everyone’s vision will be obscured by the political food fight.”

Make no mistake about it, allegations will fly – novels will be written and a few fortunes made over Eliot Spitzer’s indiscretions and quite possibly, crimes. It’s the very fuel the that keeps the lights burning so that as we stare at the fire – Washington insiders are busy shredding the Constitution. He’s a Democrat and before long some bloated Right Wing hate monger is going to reveal that he once dated Hillary and before long the Left will respond and everyone’s vision will be obscured by the political food fight.

So Eliot Spitzer’s romp was more than just a whipped cream and a trip on Amtrak. This was a harpoon to Democratic Politics and a further leg-up to the neo-cons, who have hijacked the Republican Party and replaced it with politicians – the likes of highly offensive and disturbing Rep. Steven King of Iowa, or Rep. Jack Kingston of GA, two of the House’s most blatant graffiti artists, who will, most assuredly, tie this into Barack Obama’s middle name.

The ‘Right’ Wronging America

Two of Forty-eight

It has been just two months since Barack Obama has been inaugurated as our Nation’s 44th President and just two months since the remnants of the most extreme ideologues of the Republican Party have reacted in a most bizarre combination of panic, jingoism and un-American behavior. To the untrained eye, it appears to be random stupidity. Yet, recent events suggest that it is precisely the same tactics they (Republicans) used to prop up Newton Leroy Gingrich and begin deconstruction of the Constitution as a result of the 1994 Congressional elections. Remember, the cast – Roger Ailes’ political communications team – eventually to include the most unsavory and possibly most unstable neo-conservative talkers the United States has ever given comfort and inalienable rights.

While challenging the status quo is the raison d’être for journalism and commentary – the ‘news-talk’ / ‘ journo-tainment ‘ megaplex is primarily controlled by a deliberate, disparate and desperate group of conservatives that have become driven to preserve and recapture power. Routinely they wander into the territory of treason while painting themselves red, white and blue; and, quite unfortunately, they have managed to become icons for the severely uninformed. In an effort to not be upstaged, moderate media outlets have routinely covered the misinformation and in a sense have ventured to legitimize the dialogue in an effort to justify their hunger for the content, thereof.

 

Just Say No

Tonight, President Obama held a press conference with an opening statement, directly addressing recovery plans for our troubled economy. While many Americans are scratching their heads and trying to understand the elements of the problem and the solution – the Right Wing Party hierarchy has passed the word by perverting Nancy Reagan’s anti-drug slogan – ‘Just Say No’ And the is precisely what they have done. No plans, no alternatives, no dialogue – simply planting their feet like recalcitrant imps, screaming “No!” A phrase earlier adopted by former Senator and felony indicted Ted Stevens of Alaska, when he refused to budge by reducing the earmark request for the famous bridge-to-nowhere.

However, this evening, no Republican was inebriated enough to attempt a public rebuttal to the President’s conference, since they haven’t actually had a meaningful legislative idea since former Congressman and felony indicted Tom Delay made redistricting congressional strongholds a pay-to-play gold mine for the good ‘ole boys on the Hill. Not a single meaningful discourse, but alas, the journo-tainers were all over the television screen in little boxes, big boxes and full screens with displaying inept clairvoyance and a fumbling grasp of the supernatural that would make Rod Serling guffaw from the grave.

A Republican strategist (names of these journo-tainers purposely omitted) on CNN , this very evening, suggested that President Obama’s very brief and perfect response to a mindlessly aggressive and accusatory question by CNN’s reporter at the conference, was somehow an omen of Obama’s crack-up. A chink in the armor of the president that gave him reason to opine that there is now a greater possibility that Obama will be a one-termer.

 

Got Flag Pin?

Now one might think that is just a bit of overplay by a partisan hack –but alas, this is not the point. This is the antithesis of a Hazmat team. This is the neo-con / deep left emergency squad sending the message to place toxic waste throughout the mediaplex with a flag-pins stuck in the waste. Not long after the questions were done … I had the pleasure to make my nightly call to Mom. Alas, she was surprised to hear that Obama was reported to have lost his temper at the news conference. My immediate reply – “you’re watching Fox News, right?” “Yes,” she replied – “how’d you know?” “Elementary my dear, elementary.” I then commenced to explain what I’ve written below. When my 90 year-old Mother was able to respond: “You know, I think you’re right! They were also talking about him laughing in his interview on Sunday when talking about the economy. It seemed quite unfair and inaccurate.” The axis has shifted. My Mom lives in Fox Country – Florida, and she’s not buying it anymore.

 

Hail Mary

Just imagine, the information was out early in the day. The plays were phoned-in, emailed, tweeted and possibly sent by Morse Code or banging rocks. Seconds after President Obama finished his interview on 60 minutes – I imagine the group that coerced the corpulent former VP to fire one or two over the bow of the ship-of-State, realized that perhaps their idea to have Dick Cheney, the most toxic figure in American public life since John Wilkes Booth, throw a Hail Mary pass was not working in their best interests. Indeed to cover their complicity in Cheney’s corrosive comments, they began leaking to the press anonymous and attributed comments that he should keep quiet. Is anyone buying it? Perhaps the crowd that listens to the caustic right wing mediaplex – but the dwindling group is now mostly a group of very sad extremists easily satisfied by leaders and media stars that are addicted to prescription medicine or have been proven wrong in every major decision they have made.

In either case, they come with the turf and free-speech comes with a great cost. History will not treat these dingos of political blood-sport and avarice very kindly. In fact, ‘the present’ doesn’t seem to tolerate them very well either. While I am an Independent because of my distaste for the legacy stench in Democratic Party – it has not been difficult to caucus, if you will, with Democrats. Now it’s time for principles and principals. It doesn’t matter what Party they belong to as long as they promote a practice of Americanism. Not conservatism, not liberalism and certainly not hooliganism, but Americanism – a theory that human rights is worth dying for, even if it provides the potential for someone to be un-American.

Our new President understands this and practices it. It’s in his bones – not something he portrays for the public. We hardly noticed him before until we realized that this selflessness was something that many of us experienced in our own families and life-styles, long before propagandists sold their self-respect for a few pounds of cash and a fancy car.  And we like it.  In fact, we are it.

McCain: The Accidental Manchurian Candidate *Updated*

Today’s issue is going to be short and sweet and include three four (updated) videos that speak loudly and clearly as to the lies and misinformation that the McCain leadership has developed as a campaign strategy.

Exercise your Freedom as an American – VOTE !!!

Video1  – John McCain

Video2 – John McCain

Video3 – McCain Palin Rally

Video4 – Obama Predicts the McCain Terrrorist Smears months ago

Campaigns are Presidential Auditions – McCain Struggling

It was an unscheduled quick stop for the Bill Clinton campaign.  Cellphone service was terrible and the quick bathroom break for the bus occupants and the 20 minutes of rapid exchanges on pay phones would suit nicely as the traveling press was otherwise cut-off.  As the traveling team assembled the name Jennifer Flowers began circulating the stale air of the bus.  By the time cell service was available, everyone on the bus knew what everyone else knew and in what appeared to be a riot – reporters fought to get  information to their editors.

Not much time passed before there was a news wave worthy of a surfing competition; and, not long after that Bill Clinton’s denials had won over evidence.  There was no doubt in any ones mind that Clinton had engaged Flowers, but the Flowers promoters were not handling their end very well and the relationship appeared to be more of a professional engagement than it did an affair of the heart.  An apology to Mario Cuomo by Clinton was delivered because of a disparaging remark Clinton made on one of the tapes that Flowers secretly recorded of their phone calls as Rush Limbaugh became a household word badgering Clinton by playing the tapes on a loop.

Why the story?  Simple. This was a Presidential campaign that was led with extraordinary leadership  While the dynamics of the team may have been closer to tobacco auction with James Carville’s Tommy Gun Talking with Bayou Bullets – there is no doubt that Bill Clinton was calm, cool and collected.  He was all that one would expect of a world leader.  Calm, collected, thoughtful and nearly immune to shame.  While Clinton may have misplaced some requisite humility, it was clear to many Americans that anyone who could run a campaign with the hired guns of the media ground force pummeling him, as Limbaugh did daily, he was a natural leader.  His propensity for womanizing seemed to be more palatable to voters than four more years of the testosterone challenged George H. W. Bush, who ultimately managed to lose an election after winning a war, which sent bookies in Ireland reeling.  Perhaps the nation was tired of being talked to as though they were children by someone who they knew couldn’t give rat’s ass about their circumstances, and did it sounding like Mr. Rogers

Now fast forward to end of the Clinton Presidency – George W. Bush is in contention for the Republican Nomination – the Democratic convention is strictly pro forma, Gore is the de  facto nominee.  The neoconservative movement has become emboldened with each failed Clinton scandal.  Flowers, Jones, White-water, Vince Foster’s suicide – while ignoring some important facts – budget balanced, budget surplus (although is a total BS accounting term that means we actually owe less), unemployment down and every military engagement on Clinton’s watch was brief and successful.  The conflict in eight state-nations formerly known as Yugoslavia was brought to the beginning of an end.  Africa is still a distant drum, but even the political parisans are not going to challenge Clinton for limited or non-engagement.  The Clinton score sheet is excellent, NAFTA and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell hadn’t yet been rejected by the body politique as abysmal failures.

George W Bush comes out swinging, in fact, quite impressive.  He mows down his opponents and makes a rag doll out of John McCain.  This same John McCain, hero, maverick, but, there was not enough distance between the Keating 5 scandal and McCain yet.  The accusations of McCain fathering a black child, were merely a warning – the neocons were going to have him for lunch – and they did.  Meanwhile, back at the phony ranch of the Connecticut Prep school and Yale educated Howdy Doody of presidents – it wasn’t George Bush’s impressive leadership that out stepped McCain – it was McCain’s campaign and leadership skills in 2000. The fact that he didn’t actually win the election is another matter.

McCain’s lack of focus wasn’t apparent when he was told his dream of furthering the family legacy of his father and grandfather would not come to pass and that he would not be considered again for Flag rank in the Navy.  Decisively, he rowed the lifeboat to Arizona and immediately cashed in his chips and was all but handed a Congressional seat in the US House.  More public service and a new career.  What could be more admirable.  It was, he was. Irrespective of his politics or changing views he was effective.

But in the campaign against George W. Bush, the neocons were pushing their agenda and McCain was no neocon.  Not that he wouldn’t drink their scotch and smoke their cigars, but he wasn’t going to join their club.  He didn’t see the reason to do it – he had powerful group of supporters, although not any longer the compassionate Goldwater Republicans, they were Republican’s.  The insidious influence of Richard Perle, William Krystol and the “think tanks” they touted hadn’t yet coursed through all the arteries of the Republican Party until George W. Bush, day-dreaming of his legacy, propped the door open for them like an unconscious drunk on a bender.

McCain in 2000 though, brandished his expertise, and no one challenged that; after all, half the people in his gunsights had tickets to Canada ready while he was doing time in the Hanoi Hilton.  But even McCain’s patriotism and prisoner of war scars were no match for the Joe Six-pack crowd and the Bush jingoistic gymnastics.  A most baffling anomaly – John McCain, son of an Admiral, a former prisoner-of-war and decorated Viet Nam Vet, married to the Chairman of the largest Budweiser distributorship in the country – loses the nomination to the son of a President, delinquent Air Guardsman whom red-necks favored 4-1 for best drinking buddy.

They say you can’t teach old dogs new tricks, but that may not be true, although they may not learn them well.  John McCain lacks more skill now than when he was thrown out of the ring by Bush.  He adopted new tricks to compensate, hired the a cadre of impressive lobbyists (a force with whom McCain casually cavorts) and by the time the Republican National Committee realized that their own candidate was accidentally going to be McCain – they brought all the fireworks and operatives that created the Bush presidency to McCain, Rove included.  Under McCain’s own leadership, he is essentially no match for the Obama organizational style in a fair fight.  To his detriment he has taken to lying.  Not the political overstatement or understatement that many are comfortable with, but rather, outright lies. More lies (2 videos).

While style is only an element of candidates campaign / leadership skill, it is abundantly clear that John McCain has a propensity for the unusual and that his campaign is more about marketing than governance.  What else could explain the pick of Sarah Palin as VP.  The obvious fact that she is a woman and considerably younger than McCain in order to deflect voter’s fears of McCain’s age were a marketing decision by his campaign seems to be imploding.  With more reversals than a high school foot-ball game, McCain’s weak grasp on economics and cadre of banker-advisers that  are reminiscent of a  Washington Mutual television ad, speaks volumes.   The McCain’s foolish move on Monday of airing a commercial trying to fix blame on the economic leadership of Obama was intolerable and dishonorable, much as we fear the disease inside the McCain campaign has metastasized and the audition is not going very well.

Barack vs. The Volcano (Redux)

The Candidate is the Campaign, Period

…inexplicable disassociation with current events, stunningly inadequate communication skills, dubious team building expertise and an endless stream of banalities…

McCain’s campaign deserves the ‘Ship of Fools’ moniker, and they prove it daily – not only in the fact that they defy reason in the overtly fictionalized representation of the Senator’s leadership skills, but with their flagrant disregard for facts.  The campaign’s message is confusing hot air and ash; noxious, dirty and deadly.  The representations of the future are in direct conflict to McCain’s past record. In fact, many of the conflicts have been navigated by McCain within a single news cycle – whereby he reverses course on his own comments within hours of his original.  We’ve said it before, McCain does more about-faces in a day than a Naval Drill Team and it is hardly understandable how he hasn’t screwed himself into the ground where he stands.

The McCain Volcano is replete with a cast of the ‘Usual Suspects’ that make Keyser Söze seem like Captain Kangaroo.  It’s not just that they  represent the ruling class that created the volcanic cone that is impacting America, but because their ideological scam has devalued the American worker and fleeced the National wealth.  A re-distribution of wealth that not only has devalued currency but has gambled the American legacy by decimating the US Military, inspired greater global terrorism in a manner most fiction writers wouldn’t have felt was believable and created the necessity of corporate welfare that is undeniable, yet is placed directly on the shoulders of an abused middle-class.

Yet, without skipping a beat, John McCain goes news cycle after news cycle displaying an excess of poor leadership style, inexplicable disassociation with current events, stunningly inadequate communication skills, dubious team building expertise and an endless stream of banalities, slogans and staggering contradictions.  However, the patented GOP response to what must be global observations of McCain is always preceded with an attack on Barack Obama.  This is the sensibility that riots are made of – not important political decisions.  The mere fact, that Phil Gramm (the birth parent of the Financial Services Modernization Act which abrogated Glass – Steagall) is an economic adviser and former co-chair of the McCain campaign should be reason enough for any reasonable human being from disregarding McCain as an option in November.  When punctuated with McCain’s stating that he’s not for the privatization of Social Security this week, after a decade of his vociferous support for privatization should shake even those that haven’t been paying attention to politics.

Even GPS Can’t Locate McCain positions

…it is unquestionable that John McCain is the Republican stooge who permitted his campaign to chose a VP running mate for him that was certain to distract the electorate…

“You can’t make this stuff up” was almost an appropriate sub-text for every McCain speech in the past week.  It was expressed by journalists, journo-tainers and the Obama campaign.  It was irresistable, as was the line that Obama worked into every speech declaring that the ‘Ole boy network was a McCain staff meeting.’  Truly, even those not enamored with shtick could resist broadly smiling each time it was repeated.

McCain would literally contradict himself within hours of taking a position. While great fodder for news / opinion / comedy – John McCain’s campaign activities are not just confined to the US airwaves but are making US Politics the laughing stock of the world we so desperately need to re-engage in a healthy way.  Imagine a President John McCain addressing the UN while the suspicious membership recall his attempts at detente by quipping ‘Bomb Bomb Bomb, Bomb Bomb Iran’  Just think about a man who has claimed in a Nationally broadcast interview “I know how to win wars!” as though the empty words had value.  He, to this day, he has not been challenged by the corporate media with access to him to back up that claim.  It is not only a sad commentary on John McCain’s grip on reality, but a revealing glimpse of the corporate media’s dubious attempts to keep the game going as long as possible.

After the disgrace that was billed as the Republican Convention, not limited to but including highly questionable police activity and the jailing of credentialed US Press journalists and the vile words of the resentful bridesmaids – it is unquestionable that John McCain is the Republican stooge who permitted his campaign to chose a VP running mate for him that was certain to distract the electorate from the facts and potentially build support.

Skill with Hope, Faith and Charity

When the talking heads and paid political analysts (even the friendlies) called for him to get into the street fight – he acknowledged their concern but won their respect for not blackening his own eyes with his own knees

It is our opinion that the premiere qualification for a presidential candidate is their ability to lead.  The skills required are a nimble mind, an ability to assemble heroic teams and reduce complex problems to a series of actionable events.  This is commentary and not a campaign ad – but Obama detractors have engaged in propoganda that borders historic proportions in order to disavow his accomplishments and the McCain campaign has engaged in politics that rival the disinformation of the current Bush administration.  In fact, Bush political operatives have been engaged by the McCain campaign in successful recruiting effort that the US Army wishes it could accomplish.

Hope:  Barack Obama adopted the word ‘Hope’ as an operative tool over a decade ago – it wasn’t born of a campaign. While there have been numerous accounts of it’s importance and volumes written mocking the emblatic overtone – it is overwhelmingly apparent that this is a fundamental precept of what makes Obama tick.  In contrast the McCain campaign has posited that Hope is not enough – even though it is abundantly clear that the Obama campaign has admirably operated with a positive mental attitude throughout the campaign.  The importance of this is evidenced in the fact that the current presidential race has been observed by many as being pivotal in the history of the USA and the Democratic contender rose from the ranks with a grassroots political organization that has out-raised any US Politician in history and defeated the tenured Democratic political machine in accomplishing the Party’s nomination.

Faith:  While this is of the most personal individual freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution, Obama’s faith has been challenged continuously with disturbing allegations.  Some of these allegations still being hoisted by still employed yet hardly relevant paid propogandists posing as commentators, are offensive not only to Obama, but to many Americans that are not fundamentalist Christians.  There is no question that these businesses celebrating non-profit status have provided cover for political operatives intent on tainting Obama.  To his credit, Obama has run the gauntlet of incomprehensible assertions with aplomb.

Charity:  This is the most evident of all the attributes of the Obama campaign.  Even when the neophyte political activists, supporting Obama began to call for his head-on-a-stick, because of his skillful manuevering of positions placed in his path by a concerted effort of the Republicans in Congress – team Obama managed to get the activist leadership to focus on singular actionable event that was more important – that being winning the election.  He did it without creating huge or lasting divisions.

When the talking heads and paid political analysts (even the friendlies) called for him to get into the street fight – he acknowledged their concern but won their respect for not blackening his own eyes with his own knees and patiently permitted the opposition to choke on their own hubris.  He has repeated this throughout the campaign and his control under fire has stunned the McCain rioters.

McCain Campaign and the Fat Lady Warming-up in the Wings

McCain Curing Insomnia

Most Republicans I spoke to weren’t expecting an amazing speech.  Just a competent one. They were shocked at how bad it was.

CNN’s <click for video> Jeffrey Toobin, the only ‘press’ voice we heard that felt sufficiently distanced from the Twin Cities’ police departments to speak freely, expressed what we discovered was the most common observation about John McCain’s speech in St Paul last night.  In short – Worst ever !  After an early morning discussion with a few professional colleagues that were leaning toward McCain, as traditional Republican voters, expressed that they no longer felt comfortable with McCain because of the speech and his awkward self-promotion as a POW.  It was not surprising – the Palin pick for VP had begun the downward spiral among my Republican acquaintances, only further exacerbated by the dismissive and disrespectful tone of her speech.  More of the same from Romney – Giuliani and Thompson did not help matters among the group of Republicans to whom I regularly speak.  In fact, in unison, they described Republican leadership and thoughtfulness as abysmal and expressed a willingness to give Democratic leaders a shot, providing they don’t resemble their predecessors or the Republican rhetoric about them.

In actuality, the bar was already very low for McCain.  The bar has traditionally been very low for John McCain.  Most Republicans I spoke to weren’t expecting an amazing speech.  Just a competent one. They were shocked at how bad it was.  I wasn’t.  There has been a laissez faire approach to McCain by the press that has served to be gentle on him, although at the risk of not being truthful.

Heroes Are People Too

as relevant to the complicated leadership challenges ahead – as a Ouija board and a case of Bud.

Apparently the press and public has never been able to successfully criticize John McCain without appearing to disrespect a former P.O.W.   Not since Audie Murphy’s screen test has anyone successfully done combat with a war hero without risking censure for being un-American.  It is an immunity that is naturally bestowed on American’s that have served heroically in the military.  This immunity does not apply to civilian heroes for longer than a news cycle.

John McCain’s handlers obviously reacting to criticisms of McCain speeches inducing mass spontaneous narcolepsy across the American landscape – decided to provide him with some less empty words.  Unfortunately, McCain speaking in laudatory terms about himself is an old story.  He’s been telling us of his bravery for many years and it no longer provides a sufficient blind from his lack of logic, diplomatic skill or severely lacking cognitive thinking.   While his heroism is an American story, it is as relevant to the complicated leadership challenges ahead – as a Ouija board and a case of Bud.

Ironing Out the Press

If presidential elections are political theater – the McCain campaign is a game of charades…

Perhaps fearing retribution after trumpeting complaints about the press from the podium while the twin cities police provided rhythm, using actual ‘reporters’ as drums – the press seemed muted in their observations.  Of course, if the bar were set any lower for former-POW John McCain, it would appear to be a line drawn on the ground.

Nevertheless, Republican stalwarts could be seen peppered across the landscape of terrestrial and cable shows cheering “less is more” as a mantra.  Still though, while an interesting concept, it is not the manner of the McCain life-style, it hasn’t been the manner of the McCain legacy and it is a weak attempt at explaining McCain’s uninspiring speaking style and his weakness in critical thinking.  While these observations aren’t an indictment of McCain as a human being – he seems the least likely champion of Republicans that have previously called for his head on a stick.  If presidential elections are political theater – the McCain campaign is a game of charades after Thanksgiving dinner, the clues and messages unclear and at times – irrelevant.

Polluting the Electorate with Negativism

Rudy Giuliani risks electrocution in his spittle splattered microphoned rebuke

The messages are weak and in conflict.  The VP pick is meant to obscure vision and criticism of McCain.  McCain has never looked more frail or disassociated with his surroundings.  The campaign and Republican rhetoric with endless chants of U-S-A are disturbing in historical symbolism and inference.  In fact, the Republican leadership has done more in 13 years to disgrace the American Flag – the mere claim of stewardship is infuriating – a history of praising the symbol while crushing actual Americans and desimating our economy.  All while a very unconvincing group of shills cheer an overplayed hand and ad hominem attacks on Democratic challengers.  It is inconceivable that there is a market for what the Republicans have peddled during this convention.

The air feels heavy in the room while watching the scores of people, acting excited while they distance themselves from reason and purpose, feasting on a diet of empty promises – the table set by the very same promoters that sold George Bush as a great leader, while they picked the American pocket clean.  Americans, actual Americans, fist pumping and chanting U-S-A as though they were at an international swim meet.  Incredibly trying to claim the U.S. Flag as the property of the Republican party – while Rudy Giuliani risks electrocution in his spittle splattered microphoned rebuke of Barack Obama and his admonishment that Democrats didn’t speak of 9/11 enough – Mitt Romney heaping on more of the same, while echoes of Fred Thompson’s throat clearing and coughing still resonate in the great hall.

“Mi mi mi mi” Meanwhile, the warm-ups can be heard from the Diva’s dressing room as her dressers cram her into a tent sized gown.