It really isn’t because I’m not a right-winger Republican, it really isn’t because I’m no fan of McCain.  That was a lackluster speech, far duller than Palin’s effective if baseless, shameful, non-specific on policy hatchet-job on Obama.  That was nonsense but rousing from Palin.  Tonight was warm milk and a blanket.  For right wingers, I’m sure there was enough fodder–tax cuts, more tax cuts, big energy initiative for nuclear and clean coal, drilling and drilling for oil, anti-unionism (apparently corrupt and responsible for the poor state of public education, according to McCain’s facile non-analysis), militarism, anti-Russian (read new Cold War) animus, and more. Whereas Obama outlined a broad variety of policy initiatives that could appeal to Americans all over, McCain did little to galvanize people outside the converted.  Tonight was platitudinous.

I found a few things interesting to say the least–McCain never mentioned George W. Bush by name, a clear distancing from the corrupt, malfeasant, unpopular, miscreant administration without outlining why to do so.  How about torture (which McCain unfortunately endured in North Vietnam)?  How about corrupt, no-bid military contracts bilking Americans of tens of billions of tax dollars–those that McCain allegedly believes Americans can best be trusted with yet have robbed from them by the same bureaucrats to whom his party gave them away?  How about pointless, baseless war?  No mention of them, not surprisingly.

Here’s an interesting nugget–“I know some of you have been left behind in the changing economy and it often seems your government hasn’t even noticed. Government assistance for unemployed workers was designed for the economy of the 1950s. That’s going to change on my watch.”  Is McCain really advocating for the end of unemployment insurance as we know it?  Is this simpleton really claiming that unemployment insurance, and not myriad economic forces–having nothing to do with workers’ and unions’ alleged inefficiency, by the way–is where McCain is laying the blame for America’s late 20th century decline? is where he’s placing his hopes for economic reform?  America has been saddled with outmoded–unemployment insurance? Watch for this not just with Mccain but among the shamelessly pro-business GOP, the party that talks up a good game for “small business” but shills for big business at every turn, as do the Democrats.

The speech was banal, hackneyed right-wing meat which, for those watching and/or listening, didn’t exactly rouse people. McCain’s cheap “pox-on-both-houses” rhetoric conveniently ignores that it was primarily on the right-wing’s watch and pushed under false pretenses by Bush on Iraq that America descended into two wars, neither of which it’s won; that America lost its record budget surplus and became mired in its biggest debt and deficit ever; that America let foreign policy initiatives rot in favor of needless war; and so it goes.  McCain, in essence, ignores his own role in excusing or abetting modern American political wreckage and decline.

He’ll pull close in the polls based on tonight’s shallow, superficial speech.  I don’t doubt that.  In some, he might pull ahead.  But for those who are critical of Obama for a lack of specifics, for being vague, what say you about tonight’s speech, about McCain’s mundane meme about “reform,” about McCain?  I eagerly await your answers. I have my own criticisms of Obama’s acceptance speech–does poverty still exist in America?  What role does the state still have, other than as hollow shell, especially under a somewhat liberal Democrat?  Yet the GOP has few answers for today’s society, for modern problems, except more of the same stale, thin, and failed remedies, the same old criticisms of Democrats as tax-and-spenders, as weak on security and war.  They won’t hold up, and nor will McCain.  He’s thin gruel.

[Edit: I’m not unsympathetic to McCain’s personal story.  His enduring POW status for years took much courage for which he should be commended, and no one should ever have to endure such hardships.  It must have been miserable.  Nor is it lost on me about why McCain wanted to spend so much time discussing his personal story–so that voters would associate with him in some ways, and that he could make the case for being a qualified leader by discussing his role in the military and its formative aspects, that it provided him with the fortitude to do what he feels is necessary to lead as president.  I just happen to think that it only does so much, that there are many different paths to and forms of leadership that equip people to be leaders, to be president.  The stunning lack of answers, of real and innovative responses to real and deep problems in both McCain’s and Palin’s speeches is telling.  This from a ticket critical of the Democrats for lacking the experience and skills required to lead.  Again, it’s a thin gruel ticket.]

Published in: on September 4, 2008 at 11:22 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hey Jason,
    Yeah what a boring speech he made. No excitement at all. I did notice the other night when Sarah was speaking the camera’s caught quite a glimse of the tele-prompter. It’s not like he didn’t know what he was about to say. A little enthusiasm goes a long way. He didn’t even seem interested in what he was saying.

    I almost choked on my drink when he made the comment about the “Latina” daughter of migrant workers. Did he mean immigrant? Are all the “Migrant” farm workers Latino? Not a very good speaker, and his wife didn’t help him any.

    A little Toastmasters training is in order here.

    Have a great day.

  2. Good to see you, Mike. Yeah, just dullsville. I know he’s never been a soaring orator, but jeez, you’re running for the presidency McCain. Try to look enthused. Then again, his wife and daughter didn’t, either. Palin’s scurrilously lying speech bothered me, but she’s well-spoken and delivered it well. McCain looked like he was up way past his bedtime.

    Good point about the Latina reference, Mike. I was tickled by McCain’s expressions of sympathy for people who lost on their housing “investments.” How about the housing crisis generally, McCain? I also laughed when he talked about understanding people’s difficulties affording “grosheries” as his wife was wearing $330,000 in accoutrement. Yeah, really earthy.

    Come back soon, Mike. You’re missed.

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