Saturday, February 02, 2008

Weekend Reading

My friend Matt Welch has a fine book out on the soon-to-be Republican nominee, McCain: Myth of a Maverick. Good timing, Matt. Didn't look like great timing about a month ago.

And now he's written two fine articles about his subject. Check them out. One thing he notes is the public doesn't know that much about McCain and what they do know is wrong. How else to explain McCain the hawk getting so many votes from doves? (They're lovey-dovey?)

Wouldn't it be funny if the race turns out to be McCain versus Obama, and the public discovers too late they've got a choice between a crazed hawk and a wild-eyed leftist?

5 Comments:

Anonymous Lawrence King said...

In the old days, a politician could give a speech to one crowd, and then give a completely contradictory speech to another crowd, and no one would know.

But now everything is in the papers, on TV, on blogs, and on YouTube.

Does that mean politicians have to be honest? Not at all. The new version of "two speeches" is one speech that uses words that mean different things to different people.

So Obama and McCain -- and indeed, almost all the others -- can give speeches full of praise for The Middle Class (which almost every voter hears as "people in my exact income bracket") ... and praise for Bipartisanship (which Democrats hear as "Republicans should be like Schwartzenegger" and Republicans hear as "Democrats should be like Lieberman") ... and No More Negative Campaigning (which means "My opponent was cruel to reveal the bad parts of my history, but I am merely helping the voters make an informed choice when I reveal the most unappealing parts of their record") ... and Democracy, Not Special Interests (which Democrats hear as "take free speech away from the NRA" and Republicans hear as "take free speech away from MoveOn.org").

The result is that if you haven't been trained to dislike a candidate, and have been told they are a "maverick", you might accidentally listen to one of their speeches. And then, since their speech sounds just like the speech of the people in your party, you assume that this guy is on your side.

Hence the dove votes for McCain and the evangelical support for Obama.

10:23 PM, February 01, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

By "leftist" you mean what- a non-bushie?

9:23 AM, February 02, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you have to ask ...

SWMBCg, etc.

11:57 AM, February 02, 2008  
Blogger LAGuy said...

So you DO agree that McCain is a crazed hawk.

2:39 PM, February 02, 2008  
Anonymous Lawrence King said...

Not sure who LAGuy's "you" is.

McCain is very aggressive on foreign policy, including the Iraq war, and (from what I can tell) potentially including future Mideast wars.

His main differences from the Bush administration seem to be:

* Opposition to any form of torture.

* Less naivete about how the people of the area will welcome democracy with open arms.

* Less naivete about whether a hypothetical democratic Arab state would be pro-Western and less anti-Israel than the dictatorial Arab states.

I line up with McCain, and against Bush, on all three of these. So he would be an improvement on foreign policy.

On the social issues, I am less certain. I tend to think that, although McCain's primary focus is not on these issues, that he is being truthful in representing his views as pro-life / anti-abortion. Many on the religious right hate McCain because he has criticized their craziness and fanaticism. But since I myself am pro-life and yet dislike the craziness that is so common in the Religious Right, I don't see a contradiction between these two.

In fact, my biggest problem with McCain is his age: he will be really, really old pretty soon. And what's that weird bulge on his right cheek?

I don't like McCain-Feingold, but I do think that there are problems with the way money and politics intersect today -- although I don't have a good solution for that problem. So that probably makes me less upset with McCain than some other opponents of McC-F.

I was going to comment on his tax policy, but this comment is too long already....

3:22 PM, February 02, 2008  

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