Posts Tagged ‘John McCain’

Joe the Plumber

After watching last night’s presidential debate and then seeing the poll results afterward, I guess it should come as no surprise that John McCain has suddenly become fixated on the work of a man whose career is based on making things go down the drain.

ETA: The more we learn about Joe “the Plumber” Wurzelbacher, the worse this looks for McCain.

First, Joe might not be a struggling middle-class workman, after all. In fact, his family might already have stakes in several businesses.
ETA: Item #1 has been debunked.

Second, he’s not just an avowed McCain supporter who was looking to land a “gotcha” moment on Obama in Toledo a few days ago. According to a prominent conservative blog, he’s apparently related to Robert Wurzelbacher, one of the Keating Five, and indirectly related by marriage to Charles Keating himself.

ETA: Item #2 has also been debunked, by Keith Olbermann, no less. Apparently, the state of Ohio is knee-deep in Wurzelbachers. Who knew?

Third, he apparently misrepresented the financial prospects of his plumbing business, which will probably earn less than $250,000 per year, which means Obama’s tax plan would actually be the smarter choice for him.

Ready for the kicker? This guy who’s so worried about having to fork over an extra $0-900 per year of his quarter-million-dollar income in taxes already seems to have trouble paying his taxes. He has had tax liens filed against him for nonpayment of state taxes. Real upstanding role model there, Senator McCain. “Cogratulations, Joe! You’re a tax cheat!”

Amusing Parallels

Over lunch this afternoon with glennhauman and gryphonrose, the subject turned (as it often does) to the topic of current politics.

It was noted that Senator Obama seems to be following much the same strategy against Senator McCain in the general election that he employed against Senator Clinton during the primaries. Put simply, Obama sits back — cool, calm, and unflappable — and lets his opponents self-destruct.

Then I thought about McCain’s self-applied moniker “maverick,” and his penchant for taking the stage to the song “Highway to the Danger Zone,” from the Top Gun soundtrack, and exiting to the theme from the movie Rocky. Obviously, McCain doesn’t realize that his symbolism is a mess here.

First of all, Senator McCain, you might want to remember how the original Rocky ended: The scrappy, temperamental white “underdog” got his ass beat in by the publicly lauded black man, lost the big decision, and ended up collapsing into the arms of a younger woman of dubious intellect and poor prospects who had stuck by him because … well, what else was she gonna do?

Second, don’t be too quick to invoke the Top Gun mystique, Mr. Would-Be Maverick. You might have forgotten how that movie ended, too: The feisty, hotheaded Navy pilot known as “Maverick” ended up losing in his bid to be “top gun.” And he didn’t just lose — he flamed out, crashed his plane, and killed his partner.

Who won? The cool, calm, unflappable “Iceman.” Remember the warning Goose gave Maverick? “They call him Iceman because that’s how he flies: perfect, no mistakes. He wears you down until you get bored and make a mistake, then BAM! He’s got you.”

Sound familiar yet, Senator McCain?

Twenty days to the end credits. Someone get the music cued up for Senator McCain’s exit, please….

Stop the Lies About ACORN

Here’s my hope for Wednesday night’s debate (or maybe tonight’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann, or The Rachel Maddow Show): Someone please put an end to the Right Wing’s bullshit talking points about ACORN.

First of all, ACORN did not commit electoral fraud. Anyone who says otherwise is just drinking GOP Kool-Aid. The allegations against ACORN have been thoroughly debunked on BradBlog.

And wouldn’t you know it? John McCain just LOVED those ACORN folks until the election turned against him.

Funny how that works.

The Bradley Effect

In case you were wondering after my earlier political post just how big a difference the Bradley Effect could make in the electoral math on November 4th, let me spell it out for you.

Let’s be optimistic and assume that, because of the strong anti-Republican sentiment in the country, and the ongoing economic meltdown, that it blunts Obama’s results by five percent.

As of this morning, a reliable electoral-math site,, projects an Obama victory over McCain in the electoral college, 343 to 184, with 11 votes currently tied (in Missouri). Encouraging, right?

Now factor in the Bradley Effect. The following states flip from Obama to McCain:

Ohio, Florida, Colorado, Nevada, Virginia, West Virginia, Missouri, Maine, New Mexico.

Post-effect electoral result? A McCain victory, 278 electoral votes to 260.

Still think McCain has no road to the White House? Think again. He’s playing the race-hatred card because it’s the one trick in his arsenal that might win him the election.

And I say again: Please let me be wrong.

Why I Remain Afraid

All of the polls seem to be trending in favor of the Democratic Party in general and Obama/Biden in particular. So why do I remain deathly afraid that we’ll still awaken on November 5th to a McCain/Palin administration?

I have made political predictions before. I have been wrong every time. If I were a pundit by profession, I’d have the worst track record in the business. Therefore, I hope that I’m wrong this time, as well. Because this is what I am afraid we will be hearing on November 5:

  1. The Bradley Effect. All of Obama’s poll numbers, we’ll be told, overstated his support by roughly seven percent. I know, you’ll say that the Bradley Effect didn’t seem to be a factor in the primaries. But that was an intramural struggle between Democratic voters, and the sexism factor might have canceled out the racism factor. And as I watch McCain/Palin stoke the fires of racist hatred throughout the swing states, I fear that the Bradley Effect might be the cornerstone of their electoral-college strategy.
  2. The youth vote was a no-show. In the past several elections, pundits have crowed about how the Democratic candidate was hoping that his strong support in the 18-29 demographic would turn the tide. But then, on Election Day, only a minuscule percentage of those young voters actually showed up. They’re under-represented, we’re told, because they don’t have landline phones and can’t be polled effectively. Same story every two to four years. I suspect that on November 5, all those teens and twenty-somethings who crowd Obama’s rallies will be nowhere to be found.
  3. The Diebold Effect. There are still too many states and districts where electronic voting machines — built and programmed by companies that are all major Republican Party donors — have no voter-verifiable paper trails. Some that do have paper trails are in states that forbid the use of the paper records for recounts. And in every election since 2000, when these machines have malfunctioned, they have misfired in favor of the Republican candidate every single time. No electronic voting machine has ever been reported to have caused an error that benefitted a Democratic candidate. Not once. Ever. Anywhere. You do the math.
  4. Good old-fashioned Right-wing electoral fraud. Look for replays of the “Brooks Brothers Riot” that we saw halt the Florida recount in 2000. Look for poor and minority districts to suddenly be plagued by a shortage of voting machines, malfunctioning voting machines, shortages of paper ballots, and partisan challenges by Republican operatives looking to block Democratic voters. Be on the lookout for such classic dirty tricks as robocalls that spread disinformation to Democratic and minority voters about where they should vote, or threats of arrest for minor infractions like parking violations or speeding tickets, or outright lies like telling students that they could be arrested for voting where they attend school instead of where they are originally from.
  5. A Lazy, Corporatist Media. Our television networks and newspapers will be so focused on the horse race and the poll numbers, and so intimidated by the Right wing to present a fake appearance of “balance” in their reporting, that even when they stare into the face of all of these criminal abrogations of our rights as voters, all they will talk about is how “John McCain rallied his base” and “made a surprising comeback” that speaks to the power of “family values” and “his long record of patriotic service.” It will all be bullshit, but it’s all they’ll give us. Obama/Biden will protest the results, and the Right wing echo chamber will call them whiners, sore losers, etc., and shout them off the national stage.

I’ve been wrong every time before. Let me be wrong this time, too.

A prediction…

I’m going out on a limb here. I’ll try making a political prediction: Before the November 4 election, John McCain will replace Sarah Palin on his ticket.

It will probably happen just before or just after the VP debate on October 2.

Some excuse will be proffered, probably a variation on, “Governor Palin needs to spend more time with her special-needs infant.”

Rather than replace her with some well-known figure, McCain will choose another obscure female candidate.

Why? As Chris Matthews said on The Rachel Maddow Show, “razzle-dazzle.” Every time the poll numbers and the media narrative have turned against McCain, he has responded with a wild Hail Mary action to steal back the narrative.

Barack Obama’s acceptance speech electrifies the nation? Name Sarah Palin as VP.

The Palin novelty factor wears off and the economic crisis highlights McCain’s weaknesses? Faux “suspend” the campaign “for the national good.”

Now, as pundits and people seem to say that Obama was the winner of the first presidential debate, McCain’s numbers continue to erode in key battleground states, and the New York Times has just published an article detailing McCain’s troubling links to the gambling industry, it’s time for a new Hail Mary pass.

What would be big enough to change the media narrative again come Monday morning? Replacing his campaign manager with Rudy Giuliani? Maybe.

But if he doesn’t replace Palin before her Thursday debate with senate veteran Joe Biden, his campaign could be looking at a crippling gut-punch. What better way to forestall the pain than to have Palin recuse herself from the campaign on Wednesday, leaving no VP debate on the schedule?

Then all McCain has to do is pick another mystery Veep and let the media “run out the clock” for him, vetting this new cipher, giving him weeks of free air time, and all but shouldering Obama and Biden off the stage.

It would be erratic, insane, and unsettling. But in our ADD culture, it just might work.

I hope I’m wrong, and that McCain keeps this Alaskan Albatross around his neck, and that they lose.

But we’ll see.

Random Political Notes

Trolling the political-news sites and watching MSNBC shows from my DVR, I have a couple of unrelated thoughts of a political nature to share.

  1. I like the idea of a Presidential Debate Drinking Game. Every time Senator McCain utters his verbal tic “My friends,” spit out your drink and yell at the TV, “I am not your friend!” Extra points for adding the South Park Canadian twist, “I’m not your friend, buddy!”
  2. Rachel Maddow Chris Matthews made an interesting observation on The Rachel Maddow Show: Every time McCain’s campaign has seemed to be in trouble, he goes for “razzle-dazzle” to steal back the spotlight and the momentum. So, here are a couple of things he could do to “razzle-dazzle” the debate tonight:
    1. During one of Obama’s answers, McCain could whip out his shriveled old dick and wave it at the audience.
    2. McCain could rebut one of Obama’s arguments by turning his back to the Democratic candidate, dropping his trousers, and mooning him.
    3. For the big finish, after Obama has made McCain look like an idiot on national television, McCain can respond, “Yeah, but can your running mate do this?” Then turn and watch Sarah Palin strut onto the stage and flash her tits.

ETA: Correction for attribution on the “razzle-dazzle.” Thanks to kradical for the correction.