Saturday, October 11, 2008

McCain to the Rescue

Frankly, I find this passage—from a New York Times story by Elisabeth Bumiller—utterly fascinating:

[Mr. McCain's] temporary embrace of Mr. Obama came as Mr. McCain was repeatedly implored by voters at the town-hall-style meeting to “fight back” against Mr. Obama at the next presidential debate, on Wednesday, and to stop him from becoming president. But unlike at an earlier town-hall-style meeting this week in Wisconsin, where Mr. McCain sharply agreed with voters who urged him to punch back, this time he drew a line.

When a man told him he was “scared” of an Obama presidency, Mr. McCain replied, “I want to be president of the United States and obviously I do not want Senator Obama to be, but I have to tell you — I have to tell you — he is a decent person and a person that you do not have to be scared of as president of the United States.” The crowd booed loudly at Mr. McCain’s response.

Later, a woman stood up at the meeting, held at Lakeville South High School in a far suburb of Minneapolis, and told Mr. McCain that she could not trust Mr. Obama because he was an “Arab.”

Mr. McCain replied: “No, ma’am, he’s a decent family man, a citizen, who I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues. And that’s what this campaign is all about.” (He did not correct her false depiction of Mr. Obama.) At that, the crowd applauded.

Wow. I have been saying for several months now that I thought McCain would ultimately lose this election because he is, at his core, an honorable man, and that he would refuse to do absolutely whatever it takes, as dirty or underhanded as that might be, to beat Obama.

I said that McCain would not go as far as George W. Bush did against him (McCain) in the Republican primary in 2000, and that given Obama's charisma and intelligence, plus the generally poor view of Republicans right now as a result of eight years of the Bush Administration, that he (Obama) would win.

And I think that unless his advisors, like Karl Rove protege Steve Schmidt, somehow hijack McCain's campaign, this is just what's going to happen. I don't agree with McCain on a number of issues, but I applaud his decency, responsibility (which doesn't unfortunately extend to all areas of his campaign, but still), and patriotism in this matter.

I will refer you now to Obama's acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention, during which he said the following:
Now, I don't believe that Sen. McCain doesn't care what's going on in the lives of Americans. I just think he doesn't know.

It's not because John McCain doesn't care. It's because John McCain doesn't get it.

But what I will not do is suggest that [Senator McCain] takes his positions for political purposes. Because one of the things that we have to change in our politics is the idea that people cannot disagree without challenging each other's character and patriotism.

The times are too serious, the stakes are too high for this same partisan playbook. So let us agree that patriotism has no party. I love this country, and so do you, and so does John McCain.

That, Dear Reader, is what's called Elevating the Discourse. Let's encourage both candidates—and not the crazed supporters at Palin rallies shouting "kill him," "off with his head," and "terrorist" with respect to Barack Obama (and no I am not kidding; look it up)—to keep it up.

No comments: