The way I see it, knowing all we know about McCain and his selection of a running mate (and it's not her qualifications that are the issue, it's his decision to pick someone so unqualified) there are now only three reasons I can think of that would explain why you -- yes, you -- are voting for John McCain:
1. You're an idiot.
2. You're rich -- like millionaire or billionaire rich -- and will stay safely insulated in your gated community while other people's kids fight the next war against a wave of illegal immigrants who want to mow your lawn for twenty cents a day. You won't mind paying $7 per gallon of gas to power your motorboat through the seafront community of Oklahoma City because you'll sleep on a bed made from 600,000 $1 bills that a Republican administration will let you keep.
3. You're a former POW and just feel a certain affinity for John McCain.
Only #3 is acceptable, in my opinion.
I know calling you an idiot is a bit harsh. I get it; you're scared that we're going to get blown up and want someone with the cojones to "follow Bin Laden to the gates of Hell." (Note to McCain, if you know where the gates of Hell are located, could you please tell the present administration so they can get Bin Laden sooner rather than later? Thanks.) If national security is your number one issue -- as John McCain says it is for him -- how seriously can you really take national security if you're willing to live in a world that could one day be summed up in three words: President Sarah Palin. How seriously do you think John McCain takes it? (Answer: somewhat less seriously than the threat of James Dobson and Tony Perkins not supporting his candidacy.)
Okay, maybe you're rich. But how about a deal: instead of you using your Bush/McCain tax cut to get the 5,600 square foot vacation home while the rest of us get nothing, how about you get the 5,500 square foot vacation home instead so the rest of us can get health insurance? Does that sound fair? I'll even up the ante: if we get health insurance we promise we'll have your Frappucino ready for you that much faster.
If you're a former POW, God bless you. Vote for whoever you like. Write in Rambo for all I care. You've earned the right.
Not surprisingly, the argument that a vote for John McCain is a vote for a third Bush term is often met with resistance by those who plan to vote for John McCain. They often bring up McCain's reputation as a maverick. He's different! He goes against his party! He's for campaign finance reform! He's reached across the aisle! (To Joe Lieberman who agrees with him 100% that the war in Iraq was a good idea.)
They sometimes forget that George W. Bush campaigned as somewhat of a maverick, too. Only he called himself a "compassionate conservative," and touted his reputation as a "uniter, not a divider." Never mind that in Texas even the Democrats are Republicans, Bush promised to usher in a new era of bipartisanship when he arrived in Washington. I wonder how that worked out?
It's all fine and good to get seduced by the guy at the top or to put all of your hopes and dreams for the future in the hands of one person. Supporters of Barack Obama have been accused of falling under the candidate's spell, too, and who wouldn't want to live in a world where one person had what it takes to change everything?
Leave it to one of my favorite writers, Sarah Vowell, to explain what really happens when you vote:
Senator McCain’s name will not appear on ballots under the category “Maverick.” A vote for him is a vote for the Republican Party, which is to say the people who were standing there on the floor in Minnesota all week long chanting, “Drill, baby, drill,” or rattling maracas to cheer on Mitt Romney as he bragged, “Just like you, there’s never been a day when I was not proud to be an American.” Really? Not even on Abu Ghraib thumbs-up photo day? Or Superdome bedlam day(s)?
Those conventioneers are the party faithful Senator McCain will appoint to run our government. Those are the people who have his ear, the people who chose his running mate, the people who will choose his — or in the event of his demise, Sarah Palin’s — Supreme Court appointments.
If McCain could nominate Sarah Palin to the Vice Presidency -- meaning that she could conceivably, you know, become the president of the United States -- just to placate the right wing of his party, who would he appoint to less visible but still important offices? Do we need more Michael Browns directing hurricane relief or Monica Goodlings deciding who's in and who's out at the Department of Justice? Because if you vote for John McCain, that's who you're going to get leading your government. Political capital lies not in the hands of the man who wins the election but in the hands of those who got him there.
So, knowing that thousands of people get nominated or appointed to positions within a new administration, who would you rather have serve this country: thousands of Sarah Palins or thousands of Joe Bidens?
Here's what Rudy Giuliani said about Barack Obama at the RNC last night:
"But he's never run a city, never run a state, never run a business. He's never had to lead people in crisis. This is not a personal attack....it's a statement of fact - Barack Obama has never led anything."
I was listening to that and thought, "Gee, that sounds familiar." Well, here's what Rudy Giuliani said about about John McCain on November 4, 2007:
"[McCain] has never run a city, never run a state, never run a government. He has never been responsible as a mayor for the safety and security of millions of people, and he has never run a law enforcement agency, which I have done."
What's the punishment for plagiarizing yourself? (I really wonder why Giuliani keeps kneeling at the feet of the Republican party. If this year has shown us anything it's that the party as it exists now will never, not in a million years, nominate a thrice divorced, pro-choice, gay-friendly New Yorker. What does the man stand to gain from debasing himself even further at their convention? Speaking fees from the only remaining people who think he has any credibility on national security?)
Bush and Cheney are proof positive that executive experience, be it in city hall, a state capital, or the corner office of a corporation is not the be all and end all of qualifiers for higher office. And regardless of what Giluliani says about McCain now, despite his long service in the House and Senate, the man has not run a government or a business. By Giuliani's own logic, even Sarah Palin is more experienced than Obama, Biden, and John McCain. What Giuliani went on to say about Obama applies equally to McCain: "[He] has never led anything, nothing, nada. Nada, nothing." (What does it say about the diversity of your convention when the most diverse thing that happened is Giuliani's use of one Spanish word?)
All that's left, then, is the issues. And the Republicans don't want to talk about anything that doesn't involve drilling or abortion or, of course, nouns, verbs, and 9/11.
Given my obsession with blogs who lazily use the cliche template "A [BLANK] Grows in Brooklyn," to headline any news item about a new business opening in the borough, I have decided to hand out awards at the end of the year to the website that uses it the most. I will call them the Smithies.
Gothamist would be the Michael Phelps of the contest, of course, as it seems they can not come up with another way of headlining articles about the borough of Kings.
Please, bloggers, couldn't you start using "No [BLANK] Till Brooklyn" for a while?