Saturday, September 13, 2008


The McCain campaign has launched a massive political surge which has stunned and disoriented the Obama campaign. But can Senator John McCain sustain his offensive, much of which is largely based on distortion and diversionary tactics?

The American economy is deeply distressed and many Americans are suffering. Home foreclosures are at an all time high, banks are failing, gas prices have skyrocketed, wages have lagged, unemployment has dramatically increased and millions of jobs have gone overseas. Health care and education demand solutions. America is conducting two very difficult wars, Iran and Pakistan are major concerns and the Russian bear has awakened. (No doubt Governor Palin can see that from Alaska.) Meanwhile, the American military is stretched to the breaking point while Congress is paralyzed by partisan bickering, self-interest and lobbyists.

Since the Republican convention, the McCain campaign has come out vociferously against lipstick on pigs, scrutiny of Governor Sarah Palin, community service and left wing bloggers, who they lump in with mainstream media and the Democratic Party. Over and over, McCain declares himself a maverick uniquely qualified to fix Washington, which he says is broken and has lost trust with Americans. McCain does not mention he has voted with President Bush 90% of the time and has served in the U.S. Senate for almost three decades. Nor that Governor Palin was for the bridge to nowhere before she was against it, that she did use lobbyists and she has received earmarks.

If elected President, McCain says he will reach across the aisle and work with Democrats. Yet his campaign commercials are inaccurate, misleading and nasty. Among other distortions, McCain ads falsely state that Obama will raise taxes on the middle class, and that he approved sex education for kindergarteners. McCain dismisses criticism by saying, "this is a tough business." He has repeatedly said that the tone would improve if Obama accepted his proposal for weekly town hall debates. Sure, believe that and I have a bridge to nowhere to sell you. Just how long will it be until Reverend Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers are again featured in GOP ads?

The Republican base is energized while some Democrats are growingly concerned that Obama will lose. Nonetheless, there are still millions of Americans who will look to the debates for answers to the many vital issues facing our nation before making their choice.

Meanwhile, will Senator McCain, a true America hero, lift his campaign out of the gutter and again inspire all Americans? Probably not, because negative tactics work. Irish poet and writer Oscar Wilde best summarized American politics when he said, "Democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people."

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