Friday, April 11, 2008
Steve Huntley of the Chicago Sun-Times issues a warning to the Democrats: Keep attacking McCain like this and you will lose the Presidency -- again -- to the Republicans.
The best indicator of Republican John McCain's surprisingly strong presidential prospects in what should be a slam-dunk Democratic year is not his solid general-election poll numbers but rather the increasingly shrill attacks from Democrats.Huntley is correct that poorly-aimed smears which also play loose with easily-checked facts stand an excellent chance of killing the Democrats.
The latest was a grotesque slam from Barack Obama supporter Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia. In a newspaper interview in his home state, Rockefeller let loose this stinker: "McCain was a fighter pilot, who dropped laser-guided missiles from 35,000 feet. He was long gone when they hit. What happened when they get to the ground? He doesn't know. You have to care about the lives of people. McCain never gets into those issues."
Never mind that laser-guided missiles hadn't been invented during the Vietnam war. Bombing is a part of warfare, and McCain was serving his country as have legions of other bomber airmen. Rockefeller smeared them all. One further point: McCain was a prisoner of war in Hanoi when U.S. planes bombed the city, on the orders of McCain's admiral father.
So wrong was this that Rockefeller not only quickly apologized, but his office also later made a point of saying that McCain had accepted his apology. [bold added]
Unfortunately, the Democrats have precious little choice but to take this route. This is a shame, because this hawkish pro-capitalist can think of numerous reasons to vote against McCain. The executive summary is that he wants to continue pretending that a massive program to export welfare handouts to Iraq is a war, and that he wants to run our entire country like the military.
But as I said, the Democrats have basically no choice. They do not have anything to offer that differs in substance from what McCain offers, and this is because they agree with McCain on the following fundamental premise: The individual exists -- not to pursue his own happiness -- but to serve the state. All three of the major presidential candidates agree that the American citizen is a sacrificial animal.
The Democrats have held this premise for decades and have learned over time that running openly on it -- See George McGovern. -- or governing openly on it -- See Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. -- loses elections. So they smear Republicans and pretend to be in favor of a more humane version of capitalism (which is, in itself, a smear of capitalism).
On only one issue, whether we should fight in Iraq or withdraw, do the Democrats appear to differ from the Republicans, but this is just a case of the Democrats not openly advocating pacifism. And pacifism is just a different way than digging toilets in the desert to sacrifice American lives to foreign enemies. A loyal opposition opposing the current war would do so on the grounds that we should fight a war of self-defense or quit wasting our money (which we can, at least, replace) and the lives of our soldiers (which we can't).
For decades, the Democrats have -- often luckily for America -- painted themselves into the corner of having to run dishonest political campaigns. But now that the Republicans have gradually adopted their whole agenda under the guise of capitalism, our nation finds itself in need of an able opponent to McCain, but trapped in that same corner with these fools.
(And until most American voters stop looking at themselves as wards of the state, we will remain in this corner.)
I have not decided yet whether I will vote against McCain or abstain from the presidential election, but Huntley's warning to the Democrats shows me that it -- how I vote or whether the Democrats hear him -- probably won't matter.
I weep for my country and fear for liberty.