Friday, October 31, 2008

John McCain versus Barack Obama

10/31/2008--The story in the New York Review of Books by Mark Danner (“Obama & Sweet Potato Pie”) reminds me just how much I admire John McCain and always have admired him. Do people remember that McCain said he would not use Reverend Wright against Senator Obama and that he has not done so? Try imagining any other politician sticking to such a pledge, including Obama, who once pledged to accept public campaign financing and then went back on it because it was no longer in his interest to keep his word.

I can only hope that Obama is a moral man, unlike Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. But if John McCain were elected President, I would not have to wonder. McCain once chose torture over betraying his fellow men.

But, of course, this is not an election between McCain and Obama. Even aside from everything else, voting for McCain would mean voting for Governor Sarah Palin and I know I do not trust her.

The “everything else” is the system of governance that each candidate brings along. That system of governance under President Bush brought lies and division and disaster. That system of governance even today does not understand why invading Iraq was a mistake. It still does not see the wrong in torture. It still does not believe global warming. It still thinks government is the problem. It still does not want average wages to grow too much. And it still governs by stirring up hatred. That system has to go.

John McCain does not buy into that governing system. In some ways he has been its most effective critic. He has also been its victim.

But he never convinced me that he would be able to resist that system once he was elected. He never showed me that he could distance himself from its arrogance and aggression. I think if elected, McCain would be forced into all of that system’s assumptions and actions. I'm voting for Obama.


  1. Me too. Well said.

  2. He certainly looked comfortable last nite on SNL, and seemed to be having a great time. I find myself disliking him a little less. There's nothing like a little East Coast irony to melt the hard liberal hearts of us elites.

    My dislike is provoked by his campaign's embrace of the same old tired, Republican appeals to nationalism, selfishness, ignorance and fear: "Hold on to your pocketbook," "Cut and run," "Face to face talks with terrorists," etc.

    Your tone seems resigned towards Obama. Do you have any enthusiasm about his prospects as a president, as a leader? Is he in any way particularly right for the country at this point in time?