Understanding that watching the McCain speech live would be an unhealthy choice, I waited until this morning to read about it in the paper and listen to whatever NPR happened to be saying during the ten minutes or so it takes to drive to work. Figured that would, you know, give me a better chance of postponing the inevitable stroke by another day or two.
Yes, the AP Washington bureau now lives in the pants of the GOP, but the lede still grabbed me by something painful and then twisted hard. John McCain, a POW turned political rebel,
Blink. Yes, that is all we need to know. Reading the fawning op-eds in the Daily Star, listening to the NPR soundbites grabbed from convention-goers (Maverick! Maverick! Maverick!), all bring it home in a very disheartening way that all the reasoned thought, in-depth exploration of issues, nuance, and logic in the world simply doesn't matter. If you can find one word or catchphrase that gets repeated enough times, once it's drilled into Joe Public's forehead it's there to stay and becomes truth, and that singular truth swells up and crowds every other thought or room for new thoughts clean out of that noggin, and a man who dumped his faithful first wife after she was crippled in a car wreck in favor of a millionaire heiress and immediately jumped into bed with crooked bankers upon entering Congress and verbally and physically threatens his colleagues and has a campaign staff composed in large part of corporate and foreign lobbyists and spends 26 years in Washington and puts his wife on stage dripping with close to $300,000 worth of clothing and accessories and owns 8 or 9 or 10 houses and budgets a quarter of a million bucks a year on servant wages and mixes up foreign countries and leaders and outright lies about his own record and the record of his opponent and claims to support the troops while consistently voting against veterans' interests and spent the past eight years voting for Bush's position 90% of the time and dumped his first two picks for VP because the religious right went into conniptions over them somehow gets branded as a regular-guy man of honor who goes against the Washington establishment to do the right thing.
Did you hear he was a POW?
Here. Fast-forward to the 3:25 mark for the executive summary of the campaign.
It's like we skipped eight years back in time. It's a year 2000 do-over and all we need to know about the world is that the Democratic nominee wants to kill babies, Democrats wanna raise your taxes, and John McCain was a POW. That's all we need to know, and nothing for the last eight years has happened.