I know. I’m shocked too. To think that a mere eight years ago he was being attacked for having Vietnam War PTSD, that his wife was a pill-pooping loony and he had an illegitimate black child. But there he is, beaming at me from my TV.
John McCain: The Thing That Would Not Die.
Not since Bruce Willis has one thing been so recalcitrant to allowing himself to be euthanized like a mangy old dog. By refusing to go away he lingers around, one-to-three points behind Barack in the polls, nipping at his heels.
It isn’t pretty to watch, but as the slogan said for our St. Louis Blues’ loser hockey team last season, “Whatever it takes.” They were going to do whatever it took to win back the fickle fans of St. Louie who really only love the Cardinals and politely tolerate whatever other pro-teams we have right now. They were going to do it, all out, whatever it takes.
That’s not how it worked exactly, but John McCain is working with something a little better than what our star-crossed hockey team has been dealing with since their inception in 1967.
So far “Whatever it takes” has come in the form of a political ad bombardment in Missouri, a swing state. I’ve seen three different versions of the “celebrity” ad and a few other ads that work to convince me that Obama is going to harm my children through punitive tax hikes. If I weren’t a close watcher of the news I’d think this Obama fella was some sort of new age cultist with a fawning legion of Obamabots who is really the Antichrist who wants to bring back debtors prisons and lock our little white children away in them into perpetuity or at least until we fork out enough dough to keep us making the Saudis rich for decades to come.
Barack’s ads have been aplenty, but none of them are burning their way through my retinas. They lack the kick ‘n da balls touch that only MoveOn.org can bring or the jackboot self-righteousness to the Adam’s apple of a VoteVets.org ad. I’m not saying Obama needs to truck out the cringeworthy white women clutching their babies saying John McCain can’t have them. But this weak tea he’s swishing around in the form of “John McCain is distorting my record is not working.”
I’m living in “Obama is a secret Muslim-stan” over here.
Look. I’m from Missouri. Born and raised. A state where city folk go from pronouncing the state Misoureee to Missouraaah the minute a statewide election takes place. Where they all, farm boy and city slicker alike, pose next to a tractor/horse/bale of hay/corn field, don some flannel and tell me why the other guy is not “one of us.”
When Mel Carnahan ran for governor in the democratic primary back in the 1990s, St. Louis Mayor Vince Schoemehl infamously referred to good ol’ boy by Mel as the “Redneck from Rolla.”
I don’t need to tell you how that election turned out.
The St. Louis and Kansas City may ring in the cash and culture, but it’s the rest of the state who elects the government. Quite frankly, there are more of them than us and they know it. In the Democratic primary, Hillary Clinton swept Carnahan land. It took the city of St. Louis to close the deal and win the state for Obama. Ergo, Obama can’t keep fighting fire with baby wipes. He needs a strategic strike. Something not as strong as Gen. Wesley Clark’s words which were distorted (if being a POW prepared a man negotiating with Vladamir Putin. The guy is a former intelligence officer.) But he can’t truck out anything so weak that it leaves no lasting impression.
These people voted for Bush … TWICE. They aren’t going to be swayed by a handshake and a smile. It’s time to throw down the gauntlet in Missouri, but McCain, a man with nothing to lose, has been a whirling, nonsensical, political dervish since he was put under new management.
If I may, here are some things the Obama campaign (and their proxies) could do to sling McCain right out of my swing state:
1. How many times can you put a picture of Bush and McCain in an ad? As far as I’m concerned, never enough. Preferably the one with them kissing each other and Maury Povich yelling, “John McCain … YOU ARE the war’s father!” Even in the sticks, Bush isn’t particularly popular around here.
2. John McCain is not one of “us.” Turn the tables on that. Have them take a long look at the man with the billionairess bride, who lives in finery, who hasn’t the faintest clue of what us broke people have to deal with in this economy, his embrace of Bushinomics, where are like Regeanomics, only stupider. Point out the privileged playboy upbringing. That it was his dad who pulled the strings to get him into the academy. Very different from Barack the bootstraps boy, with the single mom, raised by his grandparents who had to … I don’t know … actually be gifted and talented to succeed. Not just the guy in charge’s son.
3. Can’t be a maverick if you agree with Bush on everything!
4. Sexist revealed! Stop allowing McCain to insult the women-folk. For any malingerers in the Clinton camp, at the end of the day, Obama has to be the lesser of two evils. McCain couldn’t even answer if it was unfair that some health insurance companies covered Viagara, but not birth control.
And I don’t know about the other sisters out there doin’ it for themselves, but I did not appreciate McCain’s team trucking out the two most repellent women ever to compare Obama to. They couldn’t throw up Ben Affleck, Andy Dick or Terrell Owens? Brett Farve? Russell Crowe? Justin Timberlake? K. Fed? No. It had to be the women folk. One who is a tragic narcissist who hawks cheap hair weave and hamburgers, and the other who has deep seeded mental issues. Because the only thing stupider than a stupid man is a stupid woman, right? That’s why it’s funny? Because they’re two chicks who don’t wear underwear and he’s a Harvard Law Grad.
Then there was the one McCain made at his wife’s expense at a biker rally where they hosted a beauty pageant. He joked about getting Cindy McCain to participate, sort of glossing over the fact that this beauty contest was the trashiest thing a bunch of drunk bikers on a summer’s day could come up with.
Lord, how many more Botox-injected indignities must that woman face?
5. Lastly, John McCain is pretty much a gaffe machine. Things I expected to blanket the airwaves (Sunni or Shia? To drill or not to drill? My cone of silence came with a crib sheet. MLK needs no holiday. What’s slinging the word “gook” around between friends? That whole Keating 5 thing. How I learned to stop worrying and love the Bushes. The economy’s just peachy. I got so many houses I can’t remember to pay taxes on them all. Pick a gaffe! Any gaffe!)
Policy debates are nice. But for the casual viewer they are boring. And Obama knows it, America knows it — McCain is a one-trick pony. All he has is the war and the fact that he’s the white dude. No one trusts him on any issue but the war. If he picks pro-abortion former Penn. Gov. Tom Ridge as his veep, he will reopen a wound that never really closed for evangelicals.
When the war is going bad, it hurts him. When the war is going well, it hurts him. But the war is all he has. So if he wants to call you unpatriotic, you call him a warmonger. You call him a sexist, duplicitous warmonger who has dropped his maverick status to be Bush’s flunky. And you package all that in a clever, funny, but brutal ad. And you play it all the time.
I can see it now. Problems would pop up on the screen — housing crisis, poverty, healthcare, the thinning out of the middle class, job loss, warmongering, international affairs, terrorism, our crumbling infrastructure and out of the sky would come a hammer slamming down on every problem, shattering it, but still making a mess. And the voice of God would intone, “To a man with a hammer every problem looks like a nail.” Showing Iraq and Afghanistan being smashed, but the terrorists remaining. Tag line: It’s time to get some new tools.
I’m The Black Snob and I approved this message.