Squaring the Culture

"...and I will make justice the plumb line, and righteousness the level;
then hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
and the waters will overflow the secret place."
Isaiah 28:17

02/16/2008 (5:24 pm)

McCain Fires First

Score the first preliminary round of the general election campaign to John McCain.

Back before he was raising record amounts of funds for his campaign, Barak Obama called on his opponents — especially Hillary Clinton — to take a pledge to use public funding for the campaign, a move intended to level the fund-raising playing field. While appearing to be calling for reform, this actually benefited the underdog in the race, which at the time was Obama.

Now McCain is presumptively the Republican nominee, and appears to expect that Obama will be the Democratic nominee. So, since Wednesday of last week, McCain’s campaign has been publicly calling on Barak Obama to make good on his pledge to make do with public funding in the general election.

This would hamstring Obama, whose coffers are now full to overflowing. However, if he refuses, McCain gets to expose Obama’s earlier pledge as mere cynical maneuvering (which it always was) thus tarnishing his “reformer” image. Either way, McCain wins the round. It’s a shrewd maneuver. It’s a mistake to underestimate McCain.

The New York Times is calmly calling on Obama to keep his pledge. Ben Smith says Obama will make an agreement with McCain to abide by the same rules, but doesn’t say what the rules will be. Sister Toldjah has an approving write-up, also quoting McCain taking a shot at the near-messianic rhetoric of the Obama campaign:

I do not seek the presidency on the presumption that I am blessed with such personal greatness that history has anointed me to save my country in its hour of need. I seek the presidency with the humility of a man who cannot forget that my country saved me.

Ouch. Take that. It’s a mistake to underestimate McCain.

TigerHawk analyzes the twists and turns of the campaign finance issues at stake; it’s complicated. And several of them quote leftie Oliver Willis begging, pleading with Obama not to do it; hilariously, but consistent with Democratic self-congratulation, Willis sneers at McCain’s cynicism but excuses Obama’s. Kos calmly observes how Obama should simply refuse, even claiming it’s undemocratic for Obama to deny contributors their role in the election; how long do you suppose it will take me to find Kos making precisely the opposite argument with regard to campaign finance reform? Democrats are shameless…

Have I mentioned that it’s a mistake to underestimate McCain?

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1 Comment »

February 16, 2008 @ 11:32 pm #

Thanks for your blog suggestions. Good observations on McCain. He was not my choice and I’m torn on whether to vote for him or “go dark”. However, I believe he is a tough, shrewd infighter;, and he just might be the only one who has a chance against Obama’s rhetoric. He won’t back down, I think he will take shots when he can at Obama, and he may be smart enough to avoid tripping over obvious PC land mines such as Macaca. He also has a bit of political capital built up from his military service, and thus may be able to get away with more pointed criticism and commentary toward either Obama or Hilary than any other Republican would.

Giuliani may have been a strong contender IF there was some sort of terrorist strike that set new boundaries, but absent that, McCain probably has the best shot at derailing the Obama express.

I still am not happy with the Republican choice and believe that one way or another we are headed toward a Dem landslide. But McCain could make the other candidate hurt a little in the process.

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