FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Not McCain

by ROBERT BRYCE

I voted for Obama.

On Wednesday, I queued up at a supermarket near my house here in Austin so that I could vote early and avoid the lines on Election Day. (In March, the lines at my precinct during the primary were more than an hour long.) After a lot of thinking, I decided that I couldn’t vote for the Libertarian candidate, Bob Barr, even though I’ve voted for the Libertarian candidate in the past two elections. Further, while it’s highly unlikely (verging on impossible) that Obama will win Texas, I just couldn’t waste my vote on a fringe candidate. I wanted my vote to count, if not in the Electoral College tally, then at least in the popular vote numbers.

Eight years ago, I could have been a McCain voter. I admired his guts and his willingness to stand up to the Bush dynasty. Today, I am convinced that if McCain is elected, the U.S. will be in even worse shape than it is already. A McCain presidency, coupled with the traveling theater of the absurd known as Sarah Palin, would further isolate America at a time when it desperately needs an image overhaul.

In other words, my vote for Obama was not so much a vote for him or the Democrats (I consider myself a member of the Disgusted Party) as it was a vote against McCain. There are plenty of things about Obama that worry me. As a student of energy and energy politics, it’s clear to me that the energy platform that Obama has outlined is little more than a collection of pleasant-sounding slogans. For years, Obama has been carrying water for Big Ag and the corn ethanol scammers. Obama continues to say he favors “energy independence” even though that phrase has become the most hackneyed phrase in modern American politics.

Nevertheless, I can see listening to Obama for the next four years. The idea of listening to McCain talk tough while he careens around the White House makes my skin crawl.

Like Obama, McCain claims he wants “energy independence” for America. Thus, when it comes to energy and energy policy, McCain and Obama are almost equally ill-informed. It’s the other factors that made me punch the button for Obama. First and foremost among those factors: McCain’s near-total disregard for playing fair, for not being, dare I say it, a gentleman. Whether it was his willingness to play the race card, or his reference to Obama in one of the debates as “that one,” it became obvious that McCain is simply not a gentleman. There appears to be something deep inside McCain – who, like George W. Bush, is a child of privilege – that has given him an attitude that fairly screams the words “I deserve this.”

After eight years of George W. Bush, the last thing America needs is another president  with an excess of swagger. After eight years of Bush, the last thing America needs is another president born to a famous daddy who’s still trying to prove himself. After eight years of Bush, the last thing America needs is another president who prefers hot testosterone to cool intellect. After eight years of Bush, the last thing America needs is a president who sees militarism as the first option, rather than the last.

Yes, we need a strong leader with plenty of self confidence. But what we really need is a leader who is also a gentleman, a leader who respects the views and rights of others. By allowing his supporters to call Obama a socialist, by lowering himself to use the Karl Rove playbook – the very same playbook that Bush used against him in South Carolina back in 2000 – McCain has shown just how craven, and yes, ungentlemanly, he is.

And then there’s the Palin fiasco. I can’t decide which aspect of the Alaskan governor’s place in American politics is the most amusing/pathetic. Is it that she’s wholly unqualified? Is it that she, like Bush, doesn’t care to even read the newspapers? Is it that the Republican makeover machine spent $150,000 on some new duds for her? Is it that during the first two weeks of October, the highest paid member of McCain’s campaign was Palin’s makeup artist? Is it that she, like her running mate, uses the phrase “energy independence” nearly every hour? Of all the people McCain could have chosen as his running mate, he chose the woman who’s been christened by the wags as “Caribou Barbie.” This demonstrates McCain’s good judgment?

McCain claims that we need a leader with judgment, a maverick, a person who works outside of the Washington mainstream. And he makes that claim despite the fact that he’s spent his entire career as a Washington insider. Sorry. I don’t buy it.

Sure, Obama is relative political novice. But he has, as conservative author Christopher Buckley put it in his now-famous declaration that he was voting for Obama, a “first-class temperament.”

Over the past three years or so, I’ve been to the Middle East three times. I’ve visited Israel, the West Bank, Bethlehem, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Dubai. My travels there, along with my observations of American politics in general, convince me that the U.S. desperately needs an image makeover. We have endured eight disastrous years of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. We have watched as Bush and Cheney have degraded America’s image in the world. Their stint in power will be remembered as one during which the U.S. lowered its ideals by torturing prisoners, by jailing prisoners in an extra-Constitutional limbo, by invading Iraq after justifying that invasion with trumped-up evidence. We have seen the results of their reckless spending, where the national debt has nearly doubled (to about $10.5 trillion) during their two quadrennia in power. We have listened as Bush declared back in 2003, that the U.S. was “redefining war on our terms.”

After eight years of Bush and Cheney, the U.S. needs an anti-Bush. Yes, America might be able to find another candidate for president who is better than Obama. But right now, America could scarcely do worse than to choose McCain for the White House.

ROBERT BRYCE is the author of Gusher of Lies: The Dangerous Delusions of “Energy Independence.”

 

 

 

 

May 02, 2016
Michael Hudson – Gordon Long
Wall Street Has Taken Over the Economy and is Draining It
Paul Street
The Bernie Fade Begins
Ron Jacobs
On the Frontlines of Peace: the Life of Daniel Berrigan
Louis Yako
Dubai Transit
Bill Quigley
Teacher, Union Leader, Labor Lawyer: Profile of Chris Williams Social Justice Advocate
Patrick Cockburn
Into the Green Zone: Iraq’s Disintegrating Political System
Lawrence Ware
Trump is the Presidential Candidate the Republicans Deserve
Ron Forthofer
Just Say No to Corporate Rule
Ralph Nader
The Long-Distance Rebound of Bernie Sanders
Ken Butigan
Remembering Daniel Berrigan, with Gratitude
Nicolas J S Davies
Escalating U.S. Air Strikes Kill Hundreds of Civilians in Mosul, Iraq
Binoy Kampmark
Class, Football, and Blame: the Hillsborough Disaster Inquest
George Wuerthner
The Economic Value of Yellowstone National Park
Rivera Sun
Celebrating Mother Jones
Nyla Ali Khan
Kashmir and Postcolonialism
Mairead Maguire
Drop the Just War Theory
Weekend Edition
April 29, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
What is the Democratic Party Good For? Absolutely Nothing
Roberto J. González – David Price
Anthropologists Marshalling History: the American Anthropological Association’s Vote on the Academic Boycott of Israeli Institutions
Robert Jacobs
Hanford, Not Fukushima, is the Big Radiological Threat to the West Coast
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
US Presidential Election: Beyond Lesser Evilism
Dave Lindorff
The Push to Make Sanders the Green Party’s Candidate
Peter Linebaugh
Marymount, Haymarket, Marikana: a Brief Note Towards ‘Completing’ May Day
Ian Fairlie
Chernobyl’s Ongoing Toll: 40,000 More Cancer Deaths?
Pete Dolack
Verizon Sticks it to its Workers Because $45 Billion isn’t Enough
Moshe Adler
May Day: a Trade Agreement to Unite Third World and American Workers
Margaret Kimberley
Dishonoring Harriet Tubman
Deepak Tripathi
The United States, Britain and the European Union
Eva Golinger
My Country, My Love: a Conversation with Gerardo and Adriana of the Cuban Five
Richard Falk
If Obama Visits Hiroshima
Vijay Prashad
Political Violence in Honduras
Paul Krane
Where Gun Control Ought to Start: Disarming the Police
David Anderson
Al Jazeera America: Goodbye to All That Jazz
Rob Hager
Platform Perversity: More From the Campaign That Can’t Strategize
Pat Williams
FDR in Montana
Dave Marsh
Every Day I Read the Book (the Best Music Books of the Last Year)
David Rosen
Job Satisfaction Under Perpetual Stagnation
John Feffer
Big Oil isn’t Going Down Without a Fight
Murray Dobbin
The Canadian / Saudi Arms Deal: More Than Meets the Eye?
Gary Engler
The Devil Capitalism
Brian Cloughley
Is Washington Preparing for War Against Russia?
Manuel E. Yepe
The Big Lies and the Small Lies
Robert Fantina
Vice Presidents, Candidates and History
Mel Gurtov
Sanctions and Defiance in North Korea
Howard Lisnoff
Still the Litmus Test of Worth
Dean Baker
Big Business and the Overtime Rule: Irrational Complaints
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail