Well now. I go on a little vacation back home to Pennsylvania, and Obama's lead comes back. Could it be that the people of our great republic have finally had time to be convinced by my posts that Obama is the man for the job? Or conversely, I'm so bad that my posts actually increase support for McCain so when I stop, Obama jumps ahead 52-43? (In which case, stop reading now.)
Of course, it's because of the continuing blow-up on Wall Street that this has happened, and Americans associate it strongly with the GOP (and we're starting to see more articles reminding us of the 1980s savings and loan scandal, in which Mr. McCain was heavily involved). And - this is for you, my fellow Libertarians and free marketers, and Paul supporters, and Reagan/Nixon real-GOP-values voters - what's most disturbing is the no-strings-attached socialist-style bailout the evangelical wing of the GOP is demanding. Yes, socialist-style - as the Economist says, we're "nationalising the economy faster than you can say Hugo Chavez.)
What does Dubya say? "No time to think! Pass my package as-is or the world will end! Throw me the whip I throw you the idol, no time to argue!" (note: relevant line at 2:00.) Sorry George, you already used your no-time-to-argue card to give sweeping powers to big government when you gutted our civil rights protections. Maybe George has cried wolf a few too many times. And as of the latest news, it's the GOP that's balking at the accountability the Dems want to attach and running off after reaching a tentative agreement to draft their own plan different from what's been agreed on. That's college student government tactics.
I can understand if you're sick of the Federal government handing out your paycheck as entitlement program dollars to poor people. So how about $700,000,000,000 to rich people - and with even less accountability! (People getting unemployment usually have to fill out a form to prove that they're looking for work). The Libertarian Party is not surprisingly disgusted by the GOP's plan for the biggest welfare check ever written. And for Republicans that believe in economics instead of socialism and miracles, Ron Paul, straight-ahead and crystal-clear as usual, can tell you exactly what's going on and why. (Ron Paul, remember him? John McCain and the mainstream media would prefer you didn't.)
But there have to be some evangelical-Bush-McCain-GOP loyalists not hiding in the closet at the moment, right? For a balanced opinion I turn to David Henderson, Associate Professor of Economics at the Naval Postgraduate School, as well as a fellow of the conservative Hoover Institution. Okay, a military professor - this guy is going to understand what Dubya is doing, right? In an interview on KCBS radio today, Henderson said the bailout plan is a "really bad idea". He went on to say that President Bush should "go on TV today and decide, tell the audience, tell the public that he's made a mistake and he's immediately firing Henry Paulson." (If you listen to the recording, notice the anchor's stunned silence after he delivers this - they were expecting a pro-GOP answer.) Wait a second, could a professional economist who teaches at a military institution really be saying this? It's getting increasingly hard to ignore the current administration's neverending-campaign tactics that look only at tomorrow but neglect next week, and ideals be damned - first and foremost, any pretense of capitalism. And while this is going on, hedge fund managers are calling this Connecticut's Katrina, right in the Wall Street Journal - hey pro-business Republicans, there's yet another batch of business leaders getting off the sinking ship. What are you waiting for?
Conclusion: if you're an evangelical who thinks the End Times are upon us, you're right to vote for the GOP. Your girl Sarah has, after all, been exorcised of witchcraft (watch the video!) - I mean, what other qualifications do you need to be VP? And I think we should all stop worrying about her foreign policy experience since I'll wager her experience with Wall Street is even more questionable. Then again, so is McCain's, by his own admission.
On the other hand, if you're in the GOP because you're a small business owner, or because you're military, or because you're concerned about our foreign policy and global security, you're running out of reasons to vote Palin-McCain. This may be why out of desperation their campaign is trying the leave-the-race-for-a-while stunt. And we saw how well that move worked for Perot in '92. Skipping the debate will look bad to a lot of people, and McCain is already 13 points behind in Michigan. And that's a "battleground" state? Wow. Notice the McCain camp's reaction to the 9-point-lead poll I cited is to say that the battleground states are still close. Is that denial or delusion? I should add that I was surprised by the fact that in rural PA, the Obama lawn-signs clearly outnumber McCain's. Pennsylvania used to be a battleground state; not this time. My formerly arch-conservative and self-described redneck cousin will be voting in November for the first time - for Obama.
Yes, the GOP Civil War has finally arrived, although it may be too late to save the party. The Meltdown is the worst financial news since 1929, and thanks to George Dubya and the crony pseudo-capitalist, evangelical circus with its hooks in the party, the GOP will get credit for it for decades to come - and all the wheat of the GOP's core values will get trashed along with the chaff that the evangelicals have introduced for the last 15 years. And in the process we lose John McCain, who sacrificed his integrity for a losing campaign, who without the Bible-thumpers and flag-huggers infiltrating his platform like the cancer that they are, may actually have repaired the damage done to the country and GOP.
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