Watch for the McCain opus Sunday

And this time, I’ll try to remember to make sure it posts on the blog before Monday.

This piece will have several things in common with the "Barack Like Me" column:

  • It will be just as long (sorry, but it took a good bit of trimming even to get them down to that length).
  • It will be based on a number of things that cause me to feel a personal connection to the candidate and as a result enable me to say some things I hope you will find at least somewhat original.
  • It will be written right after reading an autobiography about the candidate, although much of it will be based in experiences I had long ago.

Beyond that, I’m afraid I don’t think this column is quite as good as the first one. With McCain, the "like me" thing breaks down at a certain point, which is ironic because of the greater superficial similarities in our backgrounds. But while we’re both Navy brats, that’s all I was — a dependent. I never served, much less serving heroically, and that creates a crimp in the whole identification thing.

But I think it still rises above my usual columns in what it offers. I was just very satisfied with the way I was able to tie a lot of disparate observations within a single defensible theme in the Obama piece; and that didn’t work quite as well with this one. Maybe it’s just that I’m really tired (after reading late into the night the last two weeks) and struggled with the writing this time. Or maybe it’s just as I will say in the column: the thesis broke down.

By the way, I’ve gotten a lot of kind comments about the "Barack" piece — and some not so kind. But they all had something in common — all (or most, now that I think back) seemed to assume I was choosing sides in the election, and meant to laud Obama accordingly. That misses the point. So I sent variations on this message to several people who wrote to me about it in the past week:

Thank you so much; you’re very kind.

On Sunday, please watch for my companion piece about McCain.

A caveat: Neither of these columns should be seen as an endorsement, or even an attempt to assess the suitability of either man for the presidency. If you go back and read more closely, you’ll see they don’t even get into that.

What I was trying to do is just raise some thoughts that you might not have seen elsewhere about the formative experiences of both men.

I just say all that because some seemed to take my Obama piece as pro-Obama (some were happy about that; some angry), but that’s not what it was meant to be. The potential exists for some readers to assume the same about the upcoming McCain piece.

We WILL be endorsing, but haven’t yet made the decision whether it will be McCain or Obama. We’ll be deciding that next week.

What you need to remember as you read is that I like BOTH of these guys a lot; our endorsements of them in January were quite enthusiastic. The general election endorsement will be made all the tougher because of that. I know some of you think you know how we’re going to endorse, and you have a 50-50 chance of being right. But you’re wrong if you think the decision is already made. And as the days have gone by, the decision has loomed tougher and tougher. I’m dreading the discussion next week, and still trying to decide how to lead it. I will really be missing Mike Fitts, because as I described in this column and this one, he did a masterful job of helping walk us through these decisions.

19 thoughts on “Watch for the McCain opus Sunday

  1. Randy E

    Brad, will this opus include McCain’s gutter tactics like
    1. brining up “Joe the plumber” on national TV, explicitly apologizing on Letterman to Joe the plumber for shining the spot light on him then blaming Obama for dragging this poor citizen into the fray and “smearing him”
    2. repeatedly stating that Obama “palls around with terrorists”
    3. stating repeatedly that Obama “wants to lose a war to win an election”
    Aren’t these the type of tactics unbecoming of UnParty members?

  2. Mark J

    Does it really matter who wins? George Wallace said it best, “there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between” Republicans and Democrats. The Democrats willingly went along with the War in Iraq, suspension of Habeas Corpus, Patriot Act, banning books like “America Deceived’ from Amazon, Wikipedia and Facebook, warrant-less wiretapping and opening private mail. They are both guilty of treason.
    Clean them all out and save this great nation.
    Last link (before Google Books bends to gov’t Will and drops the title):
    America Deceived (book)

  3. p.m.

    Wouldn’t you be less a hypocrite, Randy, if you laid out Obama’s good points rather than criticizing McCain’s criticism of Obama?
    Aren’t you doing the same thing you think he’s wrong to do?
    Besides, none of McCain’s criticism has the least thing to do with party or Unparty. He criticizes Obama’s actions, not any parties or any groups, unless you think terrorists merit consideration as a party.
    Losing a war to win an election, having terrorist pals, Roto-Rooting Joe the plumber, those aren’t party things. They’re Obama things. It’s McCain vs. Obama. They’re running against each other. Obama’s ads are just as negative as McCain’s. He lies just as often, or even more. He plays holier than thou, and then sends a punch to the groin, making him a hypocrite and a liar.
    Open your eyes, Randy. There are no saints in this election, only sinners in search of power, one a war hero, the other a socialist who plans to use the IRS to redistribute wealth but won’t admit it in an open forum, preferring to use the rather vague terminology “my tax plan gives 95 percent” a tax cut, when what it actually does is pay 40 percent of our citizens with money paid in by the other 60 percent.
    A terrible lesson, that, the less you make, the more we’ll give you, but, hey, what’s a Democrat all about, anyway?
    Oops! That was a partisan statement.
    But it’s TRUE.

  4. James D McCallister

    Forget endorsements and ideology: On Wednesday night, people saw one candidate appear levelheaded and seemingly unflappable, while the other made faces, snorted like a barnyard animal, smirked instead of smiled (shudders, shades of Bush), and all with rolling, reptilian eyes that appeared opaque and shiny. (Maybe it was just seeing him in HD under all that pancake.)
    Said it before, bears repeating: The more physically attractive candidate wins, but also: in this world of financial uncertainty, do you want the one who seems like he’ll make considered decisions instead of rash ones? McCain’s pick of empty-suit Palin is evidence enough that he is simply not a serious person, not his own man anymore, shouldn’t have the nu-que-lar codes, etc etc.
    What happened to the true maverick that John McCain once seemed to be, and who got my primary vote eight years ago? Karl Rove handed McCain his ass in 2000, that’s what, and the old so-called “maverick” disappeared after that.
    Time for McCain to retire; time to get out of the way of history and rebuild from the tatters of his ruined reputation so that he’ll be remembered more for the old McCain than this bizarre model, one who seems to think that the eroding GOP base of bloodthirsty nationalists and delusional evangelicals will be enough. Maybe Diebold can save the day (but only if it’s close enough to be believable, say, the exit polls all day show Obama winning Ohio 51-49, then miraculously reversing at the last minute. C’mon Karl, we don’t want riots, do we?)
    Obama looks and sounds like 21st century America, a polyglot nation, its ostensible freedoms attractive to people from all corners of the globe, people with names like Hussein, who have myriad faiths and worldviews, and whose skin is not necessarily pink and shiny. McCain looks and sounds like a relic from a receding, troubled age.
    And so? This independent voter endorses Obama. I mean really: For whom shall I vote otherwise? Bob Barr? Cynthia McKinney? Write in Ron Paul? (Not a terrible idea.) Lord have mercy.

  5. Randy E

    PM, a redistribution of wealth? Please explain exactly how this works. Obama will tax the rich and hand checks to the poor? When a wealthy person making a mil a year buys a car, he has to buy one for “Joe the plumber” as well?
    Maybe as president, he wants to pour 1/14 of our GDP into nationalizing banks. Maybe he will want YOU, pm, and other tax payers to “buy the bad mortgages” of others. That does sound like socialism. If you were to open your eyes, you’d see this is what the current GOP president and would be GOP president have done or are proposing.
    Brother, remove the plank from your own eye.

  6. p.m.

    Randy, what you see as a plank in my eye is an analytical vision tool developed by some people who actually work for a living.
    As noted the other day, Joe Biden finally let the cat out of the bag when he said, “We want to take money and put it in the pockets of the middle class people…”
    Austin Hill wrote: “No reference to whose money it is in the first place, or how wealth is created, or the human toil and sacrifice and anxiety and risk entailed in the creation of the wealth. Obama and Biden simply intend to ‘take money,’ and ‘put it in the pockets’ of people they believe are deserving of it. It IS income redistribution – – end of story.
    “Much has been said about how Obama’s economic policies are based on false assumptions. Most notably, Senator Obama seems to assume that economics is a “zero sum” enterprise – – if any one individual financially prospers, other individuals necessarily have fewer resources available to them. This was the view held by Senator Obama’s father, Barack Hussein Obama Sr., a bureaucrat in the communist government of Kenya back in the 1960s, and it is a view that ignores the reality that Western capitalism actually allows the economic /pie’ to expand.
    “But the Obama economic plan is also de-humanizing on multiple levels. It ignores the human drama, and the development of human character, that is required for one to become a productive or more productive member of society. To ‘take’ from those who have – – simply because they do ‘have’ – – and to ‘give’ to those who don’t have, simply because they don’t, makes a mockery of human merit, and is destructive to human beings on both sides of the equation.”

  7. p.m.

    Obama told Joe the plumber he wants to “spread the wealth” around.
    What he’s proposing with his “tax cuts for 95% of Americans” is having the 40 percent of Americans who pay no federal income tax foot the bill for Obama to send a check for people who don’t.
    If 95 percent of Americans are going to get a tax cut, Randy, the 40 percent paying no taxes MUST be sent money, else Obama turns out to be just another Grade A, dyed-in-the-wool-Democrat liar.

  8. Brad Warthen

    One thing the column WON’T be, just as the previous one wasn’t, is anything like the discussion in the comments above.
    But then, I thought I made that clear in the post. These two columns are about as far from the spin cycle as one can get.
    I don’t know why Randy started off the discussion he way he did, just begging for an exchange of such partisan sniping.

  9. p.m.

    Just the facts, m’am. Honest.
    I’ve learned what I know about Democrats from watching during a 55-year lifetime.
    Besides, Obama’s tax plan would probably help me more than McCain’s.
    But Obama’s is just wrong.
    Then, too, McCallister is telling us we will vote for Obama because he’s more “physically attractive,” when the man’s ears are enough to make you think he’s getting radio reception from Kenya and Indonesia already, without the radio.
    Personally, I find McCain easier to look at. Maybe I’m just so old all my latency’s been used up.

  10. Lee Muller

    Obama has a welfare plan.
    He proposes handing out $10,000 to everyone who files a tax return, and makes less than $100,000 a year. That includes the 49% of tax return filers who pay no net taxes, due to refunds and EIT credits.
    There is now way he can raise that much welfare handout money from only taxing the top 5%, who already pay most of the taxes. Obama will raise taxes on everyone who is now paying taxes.
    The vast majority of Americans will then be living off some government check, and Democrats hope the will keep the productive members of society out of power forever.

  11. Randy E

    Obama said: “I will cut taxes … for 95 percent of all working families.” … Obama is right about his plan’s effect on working families. –
    WORKING families PM, your parrotting of McCain’s false rhetoric shows how unfounded and even laughable your “socialist” charge is.
    Brad, I started off this thread with a point about McCain’s gutter tactics and your refusal to address them despite lauding McCain for promising to eschew such tactics.

  12. Lee Muller

    Obama has said he plans to “spread the wealth”, by heavier taxes 5% of the taxpayers to give money to 95% of them, with direct checks to 40,000,000 Americans who pay no taxes at all. That’s SOCIALISM.

  13. Ralph Hightower

    It is the Bush plan to “nationalize the financial institutions”.
    Ben Bernanke is Bush’s appointment to the chair of the Federal Reserve.
    Henry Paulson is Bush’s appointment to the U.S. Treasury.
    The bailout plan is a scheme of Bernake and Paulson. The bailout plan is buying preferred stock in key banks and other financial institutions.
    Bush Republicans are the socialists!

  14. Randy E

    Speaking of “socialism”, here’s the GOP VP candidate articulating (if you can call any of her explanations articulate) how the government needs to step in and fix capitalism in her “interview” with Hannity.
    PALIN: “…the economy is a mess. And there have been abuses on Wall Street and that adversely affects Main Street.
    And it’s that commitment that John McCain is articulating today, getting in there, reforming the way that Wall Street has been allowed to work, stopping the abuses and that violation of the public trust that too many CEOs and top management of some of these companies, that abuse there has got to stop.
    It is, somebody was saying this morning, a toxic waste there on Wall Street, affecting Main Street. And we’ve got to cure this.”
    HANNITY: “Through reform?”
    PALIN: “Through reform, absolutely. Look at the oversight that has been lax, I believe, here it’s a 1930s type of regulatory regime overseeing some of these corporations. And we’ve got to get a more coordinated and a much more stringent oversight regime. Not that government is going to be solely looked to for the answers in all of the problems in Wall Street, but government can play a very, very appropriate role in the oversight as people are trusting these companies with their life savings, with their investments, with their insurance policies and construction bonds and everything else. When we see the collapse that we’re seeing today, you know that something is broke and John McCain has a great plan to get in there and fix it.”

    Castro is smiling.

  15. Lee Muller

    John McCain doesn’t know how to fix Wall Street, but unlike Obama, he is not on Team Pelosi which engineered this bank robbery, so McCain is more likely to appoint prosecutors to go after the crooks, right into Barney Frank, Chris Dodd and ACORN.
    For Democrats, it is vital that they steal this election in order to block investigations of themselves.

  16. Lee Muller

    Yes, the federal government forcing banks to sell them stock in order to infuse cash into the banks, is SOCIALIST.
    The original scheme of having taxpayers guarantee junk loans to unqualified buyers, mostly black and Latinos, including 5,000,000 illegal aliens, is also SOCIALIST.
    Government housing for “the poor” is SOCIALIST.
    Government flood insurance for high-risk houses and commercial buildings is also SOCIALIST.
    Government spending based on borrowing and issuing fiat paper currency is also SOCIALIST, made popular by Mussolini and Weimar Germany, and copied by FDR.
    Roosevelt’s closing the banks, and trying to seize control of the stock markets, was also SOCIALIST, as were many of his scheme that were stopped by the Supreme Court.


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