McCain and Palin want to make this campaign about character.

Fine. Let’s do that.

Pick a random columnist. Oh, say, Christopher Hitches from slate.com. Of course, anyone who reads this blog will know that is not even close to being a random pick. I am regular reader of slate.com, especially Hitchens. But for the record Hitchens is no Democratic shill, like the way, say, William Kristol is a Republican necon shill. Hitchens supported the Iraq war, and still does. And, he thinks Obama is overrated:

I used to call myself a single-issue voter on the essential question of defending civilization against its terrorist enemies and their totalitarian protectors, and on that “issue” I hope I can continue to expose and oppose any ambiguity. Obama is greatly overrated in my opinion…

And yet he supports Obama over McCain for President. Why? Character. That’s why.

You can read the full article here.

On the issues Hitchens sees little difference between Obama and McCain.

But the difference in character and temperament has become plainer by the day, and there is no decent way of avoiding the fact. Last week’s so-called town-hall event showed Sen. John McCain to be someone suffering from an increasingly obvious and embarrassing deficit, both cognitive and physical. And the only public events that have so far featured his absurd choice of running mate have shown her to be a deceiving and unscrupulous woman utterly unversed in any of the needful political discourses but easily trained to utter preposterous lies and to appeal to the basest element of her audience. McCain occasionally remembers to stress matters like honor and to disown innuendoes and slanders, but this only makes him look both more senile and more cynical, since it cannot (can it?) be other than his wish and design that he has engaged a deputy who does the innuendoes and slanders for him.

And of course you can alway rely on Hitchens not only NOT to pull any punches but to deliver some nice jabs, political correctness be damned. Like when he says of McCain:

Anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear had to feel sorry for the old lion on his last outing and wish that he could be taken somewhere soothing and restful before the night was out. The train-wreck sentences, the whistlings in the pipes, the alarming and bewildered handhold phrases—”My friends”—to get him through the next 10 seconds. I haven’t felt such pity for anyone since the late Adm. James Stockdale humiliated himself as Ross Perot’s running mate. And I am sorry to have to say it, but Stockdale had also distinguished himself in America’s most disastrous and shameful war, and it didn’t qualify him then and it doesn’t qualify McCain now.

Most don’t want to make this point about McCain’s military services and the connection to his ability to be president, for fear of seeming anything less than deferential not to mention, OMG, unpatriotic, so I’m glad that Hitchens was willing to.

And as for The Palin Drone, Hitchens writes:

I wrote not long ago that it was not right to condescend to her just because of her provincial roots or her piety, let alone her slight flirtatiousness, but really her conduct since then has been a national disgrace. It turns out that none of her early claims to political courage was founded in fact, and it further turns out that some of the untested rumors about her—her vindictiveness in local quarrels, her bizarre religious and political affiliations—were very well-founded, indeed. Moreover, given the nasty and lowly task of stirring up the whack-job fringe of the party’s right wing and of recycling patent falsehoods about Obama’s position on Afghanistan, she has drawn upon the only talent that she apparently possesses.

It boggles the mind that McCain, Palin, and assorted Republicans and their shills would continue with this tactic. Since it clearly is not working, not to their advantage anway. If anything, it seems to do more damage, highlighting their own “ethically shakey characters.” Frankly, listening to McCain or The Palin Drone or any one of the party shills talk about character and ethics reminds me of the character Johnny Casper in the Coen Brothers film Miller’s Crossing expostulate about Bernie Bernbaum and his ethically shakey character and what he, Johnny, intends to do about it to the big boss Leo:

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