...about faith. McCain goes to the Vietnamese torture. A guy came in at one point, a guard came in, then motioned him to stay quiet, then loosened the ropes tying him. He came back later to tighten them. One day outside that same guard came next to McCain and drew a cross in the ground, then quickly rubbed it out. At that one moment, there were just two Christians. This is exactly what I thought McCain would do on faith. He did not talk about Jesus. He went to an anecdote, which talked about faith and torture, what Christians do in deeds.This observation actually holds true for the contrast that McCain is going to draw through the entire campaign, a message he has been honing since at least May. It is of a piece with the article today in the New York Times about Democratic leaders wanting The Precious to put some real substance behind the hopey-changey message. It resonates perfectly with the Republican assault on affirmative action.
Experience vs. narcissism. Doing the right thing vs. indulging your self. Hard knocks vs. celebrity. Living by the rules vs. preferential treatment. Embodied faith vs. religion as a convenient tool.
I note that I don't think McCain actually lives up to any of the claims he makes for himself, but that is not the political point. The question isn't why is McCain doing this. It's about the only way he can argue since his specific positions are wretched, rewarmed Republican crapola. The question is why is Obama unable to respond? It's a lot more than "experience". Taylor grouses:
Obama could have had policy answers ready to help push forward why Democratic policies are grounded in humanity and morality, which proves why he'd be a much better president. Instead he offered his standard word fogs without any goal whatsoever, much like he did in the primaries where Clinton regularly cleaned his clock.The problem here is that Obama has never had answers and doesn't give a shit about answers as this campaign is about nothing save gratifying his own ego. There is nothing greater for him than his self-interest. He doesn't give a damn about Democratic policies as he has stated (again, this is his own formulation) that his supporters are "Obamacans", not Democrats. His campaign has never been anything besides how wonderful he is and how awful you are if you don't agree.
I know, I sound like a broken record, but this all gets back to the argument I've been making all year about having a philosophy of government and political power that sees a need to use the power of the state to secure and improve the lives of ordinary citizens. If you simply don't believe that it is so, that public policy should be nothing more than artful structuring of choices (and not mandating that X shall be available for all, regardless), then policy as such loses its punch. One is as good as another, and all are mere bargaining chips in the hunt for bipartisan unity.
Obama could be as old as Methuselah, or even John McCain, and all that experience would not do him a bit of good as long as his campaign is about what the nation owes his precious self and not about what he intends to do for the country.