Tuesday, December 18, 2007
McCain for President
TOLD YOU SO. I don't like him. I disagree with him on a host of issues. I'm pretty sure he's a choleric asshole. But he's the candidate I'm backing for the Republican nomination.
First, some background. I've said some harsh things about McCain:
Giuliani? Thompson? McCain? It's said that persistence is a virtue, but I've always found persistence more tedious than inspiring. Oh well. Giuliani. He's a mayor, isn't he? Why would anyone think a mayor is qualified to be president? Don't they spend most of their time making deals with labor unions? Rather low, don't you think? I've heard of the McCain fellow. Didn't he break under torture in Vietnam? Regrettable. One might think he'd be content to go home and stay there without seeking to excite any more attention. Under the circumstances, that would seem to be the tactful thing to do.
Truthfully, it's not hard to imagine that John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Michael Chertoff, and the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal haven't ever witnessed the transformation of their own particular Main Street into Tijuana North (except that the thugs and idlers all have more money). And it's correspondingly easy to see how they could look down on it all from a great height -- say, from the seaside bluff of the local yacht club -- and see the whole issue in terms of units of labor and dollars-per-erg.
Let's forget about electability for a moment. Think about the candidate base in terms of conservative principles. McCain is twice a traitor -- an accomplice in the McCain-Feingold abomination and in helping the MSM portray the Bush administration as a gang of amoral torturers. Giuliani is a New York City Republican, meaning that he's not a conservative at all, but a kind of JFK Democrat; no matter how much squinting we do to forgive him because he's strong on national security, he's still pro-choice, pro gay rights, squishy on illegal aliens, and inevitably tilted toward the preeminence of city folk over country folk.
It's the same with everything else in the wake of the election. George Bush is dancing like a gold-glover, making nice with Nancy and the Baker Commission, landing only a long-distance jab or two from overseas about his commitment to "victory in Iraq," whatever that is these days. The 2008 presidential candidates are dancing -- solipsistic little solos -- to tunes only they can hear about how much the voters are going to love them 23 months from now. Most of them won't last more than a few rounds when the fighting gets underway for real, but they're impressing themselves with their own footwork for the moment. John McCain doesn't know he's a sitting duck for a big right hand. John Kerry doesn't know that the only reason he's still on his feet is because Hillary plans to carry him for a round or two to make sure the fans get their money's worth. Al Gore doesn't know that his so-called charisma is the pure kitsch that may earn big but contemptuous bucks for Rocky VI. Only Bill Frisch was smart enough to throw in the towel before the first punch. There's no point in taking a beating if you never had the spine in the first place.
I could go on. Believe me, I could go on. I still want Newt Gingrich to run. But he isn't going to. Which leaves me with the sorry task of deciding who I want to win the Republican nomination given that there are no Republicans in the race. Ace was right about Huckabee. If he were nominated, conservatives would be duty-bound to vote Democrat so that the inevitable catastrophe would be laid at the Democrats' door, where it belongs. But there's no way I could ever vote for Hillary, Obama, or Edwards. Hillary's a cunt, Obama's a pussy, and Edwards is even worse, a personal injury lawyer who heaped up a fortune on the corpse of his dead child. There isn't a four-letter word in existence that captures his kind of depravity.
The Democrat race is up in the air now. That's a problem. Republicans have to be prepared to run against not just Hillary, but also the two empty suits who are prettier than she is. It's going to come down to the debates. That's when the American people will really tune in to the election. Who do I want standing up there against Hillary, Obama, or Edwards?
Not Fred Thompson. He thinks being arch and glib are suitable tactics for rebutting the absurd claims of those who have practiced telling a mirror they can make all the hurts and woes of humanity go away with enough government programs. People will like him and then not vote for him in droves.
Not Mitt Romney. I don't know how to put this in a way that Hugh and Dean can understand, but it doesn't matter how brilliant Mitt is because HE'S A FUCKING IDIOT.. He lives in a Mormon universe where being nice is its own reward, and when the maniac with the K-bar comes for his throat, he'll still be smiling when the arterial spray from his carotid rivals the Trevi fountain for majesty. Romney was born rich, he's lived rich, and he will die rich. At some level, he will never understand that American life is a fight. A dirty, no-holds-barred, scratch-their-eyes-out kind of fight. The wonder of Democrats is that they do understand this, despite the fact that they unwind in the Hamptons.
Not Huckabee. Some 15 percent of the electorate love his fundamentalist, hypocritical, simple-mindedness. Everybody else, including every thinking conservative, hates his guts. Every single point he makes from the podium of a national debate will delight his most avid supporters ande enrage everyone else in the country. If the Republican death wish is so extreme as to nominate Huckabee without first arranging for his shocking fatal heart attack, the party won't recover for two decades. By then it will be too late to recover from the offensives of Islamic atavists and climate change Luddites.
Not Rudy. Truth is, he looks out of place everywhere but New York. The city, not the state. He was a gifted mayor, I admire the hell out of him, and the odds he will ever convince Americans that being mayor of tthe nation's most atypical city is a credential for being president are exactly zero. One might as well argue that being the managing director of Disneyland is like being an understudy for the Oval Office. A few will agree with the logic, but everybody else won't. JFK knew better than to perform in tutu and mesh stockings at Harvard's Hasty Pudding Show. Imagine Giuliani refuting Hillary's (or Obama's) statism by invoking the fierce independence of rural Mississipians... Not gonna happen.
Which leaves us with... John McCain.
He's not really a Republican. He sponsored the most successful attack in American history on the First Amendment. He's a politician, not a statesman; he still doesn't understand that all us ordinary folk believe in the rule of law more than we believe in a cheap supply of illegal labor to vacuum our pools and plant our dogwoods.His life has been so hideously marred by torture, imprisonment, and defeat that he clings to the canard that the Golden Rule will persuade barbarian enemies to think twice about sawng the heads off our troops. And he's never stopped seeking revenge against George W, Bush for the South Carolina primary campaign in the year 2000.
In short, he's a complete and utter ASSHOLE. Which is why InstaPunk is endorsing his candidacy today. He's the only Republican candidate who will win the debates against whoever the Democrats nominate. All the Dems are one-term senators with no meaningful experience. McCain has been in the senate forever. He's a flawed but real man of vast experience. There are people who regard him as a war hero (Not my father, to be honest, but he's dead.) McCain is obviously credible as an asshole commander-in-chief. He'll be marginally polite, but he'll make Hillary look like an ex-First Lady, Obama like an earnest naif, and Edwards like spit on the sidewalk.
After he wins the debates and the presidency, McCain will fight the War on Terror. To win. He won't look at polls. He'll fire any generals who aren't winning the war fast enough. He'll spend way too much money, but he'll also piss off Congress so much on both sides of the aisle that we'll all experience the delight of four more years of a do-nothing Congress. His approval ratings will be abysmal. The illegal immigration situation will grow worse. But when everyone in the whole country starts clamoring for his impeachment, he'll do something unprecedented. He'll say, "I fucked up. I was wrong. I'm sorry."
And then, because he's still trying to please his dead father, he'll try to fix it.
That's a moment worth waiting for. And worth the endorsement of InstaPunk. Even though I'll never ever like him. But if I think he's a sonofabitch, what will the Iranians think? Precisely.