Thursday, September 25, 2008


Yup.  I admit it.  I’m a believer.


I’m reluctant to close the book on this election season, but events of the past three days show a clear distinction between the two candidates and their ability to not only lead and make tough choices, but also judgment, experience, and a whole host of other issues.


First and foremost, if I were to tell my boss that I’m going to spend the next two years interviewing for another job, but if he needs me or thinks I may be helpful here at the office, to feel free to give me a call, then I rightfully shouldn’t have either this job or the one I’m campaigning for.

Second, for a candidate to effectively say that he’d rather lose the election than take a pass on a piece of significant legislation that will have a far ranging impact for years and years to come is a pretty honorable thing to do.

Third, to effectively toss the keys to Mother Pelosi and Father Reid rather than step forward and have some say in the laws you’re going to have the obligation to enforce as the executive speaks VOLUMES as to how you will likely lead should you win the election.  And those volumes speak doom to anyone who is anxious about our nation being run by the representative from San Francisco.


Look, I’m not saying McCain’s move is not a political stunt.  Anything done during the election season is a political stunt—from an inauguration speech in front of 70,000 adoring cultists fans to foreign speeches in front of the Brandenburg Gate downtown Berlin to following through on your pledge to use public financing rather than follow the lead of your opponent when he backed out of his pledge to do the same or even cancelling a debate to appear on Capitol Hill and act like you’re working on legislation that has largely been wrapped up by the time you get there.  It all smacks of political grandstanding because that’s what it is.

The difference is that this particular political stunt also has gravitas behind it, because the stunt man has gravitas behind him.  In the context of the fake Presidential seals and the huge crowds and the “we are the ones we have been waiting for” declarations and the messianic declarations that “now is the time when the earth will begin to heal and the waters will begin to recede”, making the declaration that YOU are going to solve this legislative problem and put the debates on hold smacks of political grandstanding.  But in the context of “I’d rather lose an election rather than a war”, or the immediate and repeated offers to have a series of town hall meetings starting before the conventions were even held and the long track record of ACTUAL legislative achievement, staking out the position that you might be able to lend that experience, maybe call in some favors, maybe talk to some senators on both sides of the aisle that you’ve gotten to know over the last few decades of service and help craft a good bill actually sounds more like responsibly carrying out the duties that you were elected to carry out in the first place. 


Maybe the negotiations will be largely complete when McCain gets to work on the Hill.  Maybe it’ll all be wrapped up.  But at least he thinks he might be of use…  rather than giving a tacit admission that you don’t have any real legislative accomplishments to your name during your short career and probably wouldn’t be able to add anything to the discussion while more experienced legislators work on the problem.  I mean, maybe you’d be able to go out and pick up lunch for them, but otherwise you’d just be in the way.


What it comes down to is that they are still Senators, elected to represent their states and presumably protect the rights and interests of the voters who put them in office in the first place.  There ARE more important things than your own personal ambitions to run for President.  Putting the country first and reaching across the aisle and working in a non-partisan way to GET THINGS DONE are not supposed to be slogans, but actual things you do.  If past behaviors can be indicators of future behaviors, then we are reminded again and again that the junior senator has simply never done anything of legislative significance in his short and storied (2 autobiographical stories, actually) career.


It’s a little disappointing, really.  I wanted to believe.  I really did.  I even gave him my vote in the primaries because I figured there might be something…  anything…  that was the basis for the hype.

Alas, not at all a bang…  merely a whisper.  An empty suit, blowing in the wind.


Blogger K said...

Joe, when are you running for office?? None of these bozos truly give a rat's behind about us!!

8:48 AM  
Blogger Brother Joe said...

K, at this point I think I would have 3 votes (you, me, and the lovely wife).
But who knows, maybe it'll be fun to have my name on a ballot in a few years.

9:55 AM  

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