Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Real October Surprise?

As I (and many others) have observed recently, see Hatefest, McCain's campaign has unleashed a wave of racial hatred that is despicable. In a last desperate attempt to save himself from possible resounding defeat, McCain has responded as Hillary did at the end of the Democratic primary. Made the race about race.

Despite the vicious virulence shown by his supporters, he and Sarah Palin have, intentionally in my opinion, incited racial and ethnic hatred. His feeble protestations have been woefully inadequate in light of the level of venom that has been exhibited (see poster above for example). They are fully responsible for the conduct that they have incited and encouraged. No plausible deniability allowed, in my opinion.

And yet, despite this, I have begun to wonder if McCain is really trying to throw the race. When I'm wearing my conspiracy theory beret, I wonder whether he is intentionally trying to lose.

I recall reading a conservative commentator some time ago, who said that true conservatives are better as outsiders, exposing the excesses of the party in power. This is especially true now, when whoever assumes the mantle of the Presidency is going to be confronted with some of the most difficult issues we have faced, with painful options being the only options. With our short memory span, the problems will soon be the fault of the Democrats, with the fact that they began during the Bush years soon forgotten.

For some time now, the Bush Administration has been trying to kick the can on a number of disastrous messes it has created.

The Iraq War is a tremendous quagmire that will have to be untangled by whomever occupies the White House in January. As has been suggested by liberal bloggers since it first began, the surge was a stop gap measure to push the day of reckoning to a new Administration. The six month surge has continued for close to 2 years. No matter who is in charge when we pull out, it won't be pretty. Better to be on the outside, criticizing how's its handled, than the party in charge being blamed for what happens.

And, of course, the crisis in the economy is the latest disaster to befall us. A solid majority of the country thinks we're headed for a depression and I'm not sure I disagree. The various bailout measures, I fear, are yet again intended to kick the can forward until the election, so that the new President receives the gift that keeps giving far into the future. And now that it has spread to a world-wide crisis, no one knows where it will lead.

Every once in a while, during the course of his campaign, John McCain has said or done something that has made me wonder, is he really trying to lose this thing?

He can't just say, I quit, after all. So, he carries on, half-heartedly, throwing out little malapropisms to make people wonder if he's losing it. He acts like a grouchy old man, which isn't hard to do at this point, which also gives people pause. He vilifies the press, which has always been his base.

And then, when the poll numbers aren't sufficiently down for him, he does something truly outrageous. He picks Palin. Palin certainly has energized the conservative base. But in the end, the right wing extremists were going to vote for McCain anyway. Like those on the liberal left, they could not envision the other party in power, so they would reluctantly go with the flow. On the other hand, moderates and independents would be expected to reject someone so extreme. And, even without much vetting, McCain had to be aware of her Troopergate investigation. The investigation that was expected to issue it's report shortly before the election. And, not surprisingly, it found Sarah guilty as charged.

During the last Obama/McCain debate, he said something that again made me pause. He said that there would have to be cuts to medicare and social security. Even if true, no politician who wants to be elected would ever suggest that these favored social programs be tinkered with. A few years ago, George Bush almost got run out of town several times when he did his jaunt across the country pushing privatization of social security. And now, with the market in the toilet, no one wants to be reminded of the folly of that plan.

So, when I read that McCain's latest re-tooled speech was "we've got them just where we want them," I chuckled. My first thought was that that was the first honest thing he's said during the campaign. He's losing -- and that's just where he wants to be.

UPDATE (10/15): In yet another move to support my theory, McCain put aside his guilt by association meme between Bill Ayers and Obama to appoint the head of his transition team, William Timmons. As was reported by Murray Waas at the Huffington Post:

William Timmons, the Washington lobbyist who John McCain has named to head his presidential transition team, aided an influence effort on behalf of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to ease international sanctions against his regime.

The two lobbyists who Timmons worked closely with over a five year period on the lobbying campaign later either pleaded guilty to or were convicted of federal criminal charges that they had acted as unregistered agents of Saddam Hussein's government.

What a pal, eh?

(The above poster, via My Left Wing, is from a website called Political Byline. Despite claims that he would not remove it, the poster has been deleted from the site. See Obama Noose Poster New Low In Citizen Propaganda)


libhom said...

I see I'm not the only one who thinks McCain may be throwing the election.

JudiPhilly said...

I read your thoughts on this issue at your blog & they add more ammunition to my (our) theory.

My colleagues at the office think I'm a bit out there on this one -- but at least concede that it's plausible.