Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

John McCain's free ride

John McCain is getting a free ride, and we're helping him.

Rachel Maddow of Air America Radio has pointed this out loudly in her recent shows, and I'll gladly second the motion because clearly, nobody's paying attention.

While Hillary Clinton has been doing the Jekyll and Hyde thing lately, berating the Obama campaign one minute and apologizing profusely the next, our corporate media have cozied up to John McCain as he cruises toward November largely unchecked.

Literally, they're having barbecues with the guy. What about your stance on torture, John? What about this business of bombing Iran or 100 years of war in Iraq being just fine with you? Are you seriously considering Mitt Romney as a running mate? Oh, never mind. Here, have another rib—the sauce is fabulous!

Nobody's covering that because of sex and screaming. Elliot Spitzer's resignation (never mind that “Wide Stance” Craig and “DC Hookers Only” Vitter are still in office with no further coverage or questions of integrity; but let's focus on one piece of prostitution at a time), and the histrionics emanating from the Democratic campaigns capture all media attention these days like swarms of paparazzi angling for yet another Britney Panty Shot.

Meanwhile, John McCain skates. John McCain, of Anger Management Issues, John McCain of the Straight Fall In Line Behind W Express, John McCain of the Surge Is Working school of thought. He has pretty much said he's not going to change anything. Let's linger there a moment. This president has the lowest approval ratings since Truman after Hiroshima, and that's okay with McCain. A tanking dollar, perpetual war. Good to go!

As recently as the last Republican debate with Mitt Romney, McCain had been a very strong opponent of torture—having been through it himself—and was very clear and principled in his stance on waterboarding. Until he supported it after chatting with the President.

Same with the 100 years of war in Iraq comment. He's put some demurred distance between himself and that ill-informed quip (though it's still absurdly vague), but he hasn't exactly been probed the way Obama or Clinton have been about every perceived slight that's going on in their respective campaigns. Is it race or is it gender? Not black enough? Not feminine enough? Not liberal enough? Not conservative enough? Who wears the pants in the family? Why isn't she proud of America?

Remember John Edwards' desperate attempt to rerail the national political discourse during the Debate Final Four (Gravel was there in spirit) when Clinton and Obama got a little chippy? "...This kind of squabbling, how many children is this going to get health care? How many people are going to get an education from this? How many kids are going to be able to go to college because of this?"

Same logic applies here. Does self-immolation help us end a neoconservative regime? No.

Let's try to remember for a few seconds, at least, that oil traded briefly for $110 a barrel yesterday, we still don't have an energy policy that's worth a damn, we torture people, we can do away with habeas corpus at will, it's okay if the government uses corporations to spy on us, about 30 million people are a paycheck away from financial ruin if they get sick or hurt and lose their jobs, 63,000 people lost their jobs last month—and that John McCain wants to continue all this as a lasting monument to freedom, security, and conservatism.

Democrats hold a slim majority in the House and Senate. It's obviously not enough to get meaningful legislation passed; they're merely treading water. We need to post bigger gains there, and we need the presidency. To get there, we need to nominate a candidate without setting fire to the whole house, and without giving the neocons enough ammunition to blow our candidate out of the water.

As I've said before in previous posts, I hope our nominee is Barack Obama, but whomever it is shouldn't stand alone to face the gurgling, grinding maw of the Republican slime machine. We are in danger of putting a severely damaged candidate on the podium in November if we continue with this current course of action in giving John McCain a free ride in the media at the expense of our own candidates.


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