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In this historic election year, the people have a choice of unprecedented clarity. The presidential candidates for 2008 offer a uniquely stark contrast of policy and vision. One has embraced a theme of hope that is inspiring millions and setting a new course for national renewal and unity. He has ignited a grassroots revolution of citizen activists committed to bringing change to an arrogant, unaccountable, dishonest, and incompetent government.
The other is John McCain.
In contrast to Barack Obama’s campaign of optimism and hope, McCain offers a vision that is squarely focused on obstacles. Its opaque negativity fairly precludes it from even being described as a vision at all. It might be more accurately expressed as The Opacity NOPE!
Peace? Nope. Health care? Nope. Fair trade? Nope. Tax equity? Nope. Choice? Nope. Environment? Nope. Get the idea?
McCain’s concentration on what CAN’T be done poses a challenge for his candidacy. A recent poll by the Pew Research Center shows that McCain trails Obama on most of the issues that voters rank as their top priorities. That may explain why the poll also shows that 75% those who have an unfavorable opinion of McCain, do so because of his political views. Only 54% cite that reason for Obama. McCain has saddled himself with a campaign that touts his alleged foreign policy experience in an election year where majorities of Democrats (65%), Independents (61%), and even Republicans (57%), want the next president to focus on domestic issues, a category that favors Obama. Even on the war in Iraq, voters are swinging toward Obama, who has gained eight points in just one month, moving into a statistical tie with McCain.
The negativity of McCain’s record of public service stands as affirmation of the tenor of his present pursuit of the presidency. Documented examples of an acutely abusive temperment include encounters such as the following:
- “Fuck you…This is chickenshit stuff.” Directed Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) in an immigration debate.”
- “Only an asshole would put together a budget like this…I wouldn’t call you an asshole unless you really were an asshole.” Directed at Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM) while marking up legislation.
- Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) to McCain during a debate on MIA’s: “Are you calling me stupid?” McCain: “No. I’m calling you a fucking jerk!”
That’s how McCain treats fellow Republicans. However, if you are the teenage daughter of a Democratic president, expect to be treated with something McCain regards as humor:
“Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly? Because her father is Janet Reno.”
In one masterful stroke, McCain insulted an innocent and impressionable young girl, the Attorney General, the First Lady, and the President. This should not surprise anyone, because McCain frequently describes himself as “the worst nightmare” of Democrats, as well as many others:
- John McCain Ad: The Democrats’ Worst Nightmare.
- I think that people should understand that I will be Hamas’ worst nightmare.
- My presidency will be al Qaeda’s worst nightmare.
- On Congressional Spending: I’m their worst nightmare, my friend.
The problem for America, should John McCain become president, is that his self-identification will become a self-fulfilling prophesy; that McCain will manifest the nightmare he is so fond of invoking. And with his comments in the public record indicating that he is “fine with” keeping troops in Iraq for a hundred years, and that he thinks it would be fun to “bomb bomb bomb bomb bomb Iran,” it isn’t much of a leap to presume that his commitment to a national bad dream is genuine.
Therefore, it is incumbent upon the American people to take up the call that John McCain so generously volunteers. We must rally around the anthem that defines the course of true progress. When McCain comes calling for our votes we must reflect back on him the only answer that will deliver us from the dreadful future he promises. We must summon our courage, steady our resolve, and stare into the face of pessimism and futility, and in a certain, unyielding voice – Just Say NOPE!