Barak Obama proved last Thursday why November�s presidential
election will end in a 50-state sweep. John McCain has no chance. It�s like
George Bush climbing into the ring with Mike Tyson; one thundering left hook
and the Crawford Caligula would be sprawled across the canvas in a pool of his
own blood. �No mas�! The same fate awaits the crabby senator from Arizona.
The polls are skewed to look like there�s a political horse race
going on. There isn�t. It�s a complete rout. There�s one well-toned
thoroughbred striding from venue to venue electrifying the ever-increasing
throngs, and one doddering, old mare limping towards the glue-factory. Someone
should put a stop to it before McCain gets hurt.
Last Thursday, at the Victory Column in Berlin�s Tiergarten,
Obama extracted Old Glory from the burn-pile and gave Brand America a
desperately needed shot of adrenaline. 200,000 ecstatic Germans jammed the
streets in what turned out to be the political shindig of the year. Many of
them were waving American flags and chanting, �Obama, Obama, Obama.� It was
like Jack Kennedy had risen from his moldy sepulcher and made his way across
the pond for one last rousing ovation. Obama has the very same affect on
crowds. Its a gift and he knows how to use it to great advantage.
�People of Berlin, people of the world, this is our moment,
this is our time,� Obama boomed. �I know my country has not perfected itself,
we�ve made our share of mistakes and there are times when our actions around
the world have not lived up to our best intentions. But the greatest danger of
all is to allow new walls to divide us from one another.�
What can we say about Obama�s oratory skills that hasn�t
already been said? He is one of those unique characters who knows how to tap
into the collective psyche and put them under his spell. He is the closest
thing to a Pied Piper we�ve seen in the last half century. Whatever one thinks of
his politics, his speeches are a welcome reprieve from the simian blabbering of
�I speak to you not as a candidate for president, but as a
citizen; a proud citizen of the United States and a fellow citizen of the
world.� (Roaring applause)
John McCain, maverick
Have you taken a look at the crowds at a McCain event,
lately. Usually, there aren�t any. Typically, there are more journalists and
cameramen then people; and even they look bored. It�s the truth. He generates
no enthusiasm at all. None. He may be the most uninspiring, tedious,
pure-vanilla candidate of all time; a complete dud. I challenge anyone to
recite from memory anything John McCain has ever said in his 40 years in
office. Time�s up! When McCain begins to talk, its a signal for women to pull
out the nail-files and for men to figure out how they�re going to get out of
cutting the lawn this week. Really. No one listens.
And the people that do manage to drag themselves to his
speeches out of a sense of obligation are (you guessed it) scowling white guys
with baseball caps pulled tightly over their ears or nearly-ambulatory
Korea-era Vets who think the United Nations is a communist front-group that�s
planning to air-drop blue-helmets into Duluth to take over the United States.
Tin-foil hats anyone?
Popularity and charisma are greatly overrated, but how does
one survive in politics with neither. That�s the question, and it may be the
biggest mystery of McCain�s candidacy. He�s just not a likable guy. No one ever
talks about hanging out and having a beer with John McCain, because they know
that he might go �Jackie Chan� and start busting the place up. He�s nuts. And
he�s utterly impossible to listen to. His high-pitched squeaky voice is about
two octaves higher than a dog-whistle and twice as annoying. So how is he going
to beat Obama. It�s a total mismatch.
McCain is the perfect candidate for a party that has
completely collapsed. He�s like the �Jolly Roger� on the front of an iodine bottle;
Brand X. In 2000, the Republican Party boasted it was the �party of ideas.�
What ideas? The Republican Party has never had ideas because the corporate
mandarins and blue-blooded kleptocrats that run the party are suspicious of
ideas, ideology, doctrine, philosophy or anything else that veers from their
primary objectives of crushing the poor, despoiling the environment,
carpet-bombing brown people wherever they may be, and enriching themselves.
That�s all they care about. The task of the right-wing think-tanks is to treat �war
and tax cuts� like they�re ideas. They�re not. But war and tax cuts ARE the two
foundation blocks of the Republican Party. There�s nothing else; there never
has been. Don�t look for ideas; there aren�t any.
I have no dog in this fight. I�m not voting for Obama
because I don�t think he�ll withdraw the troops from Iraq or Afghanistan,
repeal the Military Commissions Act, restore habeas corpus, negotiate a fair
settlement between Israel and the Palestinians, or hold Bush and his gangster
buddies accountable for the crimes they�ve committed during their time in
office. But, just because I�m not voting for Obama, doesn�t mean I�ve lost my
marbles. I can still see the affect he has on people. He�s not a candidate; he�s
a phenomenon. Obama is an explosive, vital, charismatic politician. When he
speaks people feel better about themselves and their country. And, they�re more
hopeful about the future, too. That�s what makes him unbeatable.
McCain, on the other hand, is the perfect embodiment of his
party; a rusty, broken-down hulk that�s been stripped of its engine, its
fenders and all its moving parts. Even the steering wheel is gone. It�s a
dead-loss; nothing is salvageable.
McCain is in way over his head. This election is going to be
a real embarrassment for him. It�s too bad. He should be back at the Phoenix
Rest Home shooing kids off the front lawn instead of waiting for the ax to fall
in November. It�s a rotten way to end a career.
Whitney lives in Washington state. He can be reached at email@example.com.