Saturday, June 21, 2008

Messiah McCain

One of the more effective smears against Obama was that his fervent supporters (myself included) were cult followers who treated Obama like the Next Jesus, and that he was all empty hype underneath the Messiah image and would eventually be exposed. And that sort of seemed right, as we really seemed quite strong in our support. And while idiotic smears like the Muslim thing are easily refuted and actually play to Obama’s advantage in the long run, the “Messiah” thing sounded right enough to gain traction. Yet…all one had to do was to look at who these people were to realize how foolish this was.

Because part of the construct of this meme was that we were easily influenced suckers being fooled. Yet Obama’s supporters were generally the most intelligent, politically-savvy liberals in the country. So how did it make any sense that we were na├»ve suckers? It didn’t. The reason we like Obama is because he was the first candidate to really hit all the right notes and push the right policies in the right way.

This isn’t about Obama. It’s about what Obama represents and what he says. And sure, maybe he’s lying about everything. But the same can be said about any politician, and if Obama’s lying to us, at least he’s lying about the right things. And if he’s smart enough to know how to lie in the right way, he should be smart enough to actually do what he says he’s going to do. And again, it’s still preferable to the people who lie about the wrong things.

Dear Leader McCain

And what’s so funny is that it’s actually McCain who is running on the Messiah platform. It’s all about him. While Obama has “change you can believe in,” McCain is “a leader you can believe in,” as if America really needs yet another all-powerful leader we can only trust on faith. And he thinks he can steal Obama’s platform and have people prefer him because he’s McCain. And even his supporters are selling him based solely on him being The Great McCain.

Case in point is some economist named Douglas Holtz-Eakin, who Atrios seems to believe was a good economist, but who now supports John McCain. And what is the basis of his support for McCain? Is it some complex economic policy that he finds a little difficult to explain to the uneducated masses? No, it’s a very simple economic policy called “John McCain.”

Joe Scarborough kept trying to get any sort of explanation for why McCain has flip-flopped on Bush’s taxcuts and the best Holtz-Eakin could do was insist that we place our trust in Dear Leader McCain, saying things like:

”John McCain has a plan to bring the budget into balance by 2013 by doing what he wanted to do back in 2001, which is control spending. Be a little careful with America’s money, I mean we’re spending hand over fist. It — I’m an economist, I can’t even count how much money’s been spent in the past 8 years. So…”

“This is all about how much you spend. When you do this in your life, if you spend the money, you might put it on a credit card, but you’re going to pay some points. So, it’s how much you spend. You know, John McCain’s got a great record of using the taxpayer’s money wisely.”

“It look — the guy’s a pretty good forecaster, right? He ran in 2000 on a tax cut that put the middle class first in line, protected Social Security and had strict spending controls. What did we see? Social Security wasn’t protected, no control on spending, so, you know, let’s do it right the next time. He’s committed to taking care of important problems and that means having the economy grow, letting people have a job and bringing the budget to balance.”

“Oh no, I think that if they had just given him the controls in 2001, we’d be fine. But the American people didn’t. Now they have a chance to give it to a man who will fufill his pledges to the American people, will take care of their business and will, you know, keep the economy going and have a balanced budget at the end of it.”

So, the plan that doesn’t even make sense to Joe Scarborough can be summed up as “John McCain, John McCain, John McCain.” He’s got a great record on spending, he’s a pretty good forecaster, he’ll fulfill his pledges, take care of business, keep the economy going, and have a balanced budget. How? Because he’s John McCain. Wow, I feel better already.

And again, that’s all they’ve got. Because McCain doesn’t have any real policies. He’s changed positions on just about everything and even his economist supporters can’t explain why he’s now supporting tax policies he once denounced. But that’s alright, because they know that, no matter what position McCain has, he’s still McCain. And that’s all that matters. Policies come and go, but the man will remain the same.

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