Only by comparison 0

 There used to be a Degrees of Comparison joke – whether just or unjust I don’t know – that went like this: stupid, stupider, Shirley MacLaine.

I think it would be just to revise it as: stupid, stupider, John McCain.

Here he is, boring, repetitive (nattering on about ‘reaching across the aisle’ and ‘maverick’ , over and over again, as if anybody cares), and way behind in the polls, and he will not use the vast arsenal of ammunition available to him against his red revolutionary radical opponent who has spent his life consorting with terrorists, crooks, jihadis, corrupt politicians, has lied over and over again, is without any qualification for the presidency, is a terrifying threat to the freedom and safety of Americans, and is one of those most to blame for the present economic catastrophe affecting the entire globe.  

Many conservatives suspected that the choice of McCain as Republican candidate was a bad mistake. Now we can be sure of it. The only reason to vote for him is to keep Obama – far, far worse – out of power. But McCain himself is refusing to use the only tactics that might, even at this late stage, achieve that  end:  

Power Line quotes a Minneapolis Star Tribune reporter: 

Struggling to contain an emotional fire his own campaign kindled, Republican presidential nominee John McCain spent much of a town hall meeting in Lakeville on Friday trying to cool his supporters’ growing hostility toward Democrat Barack Obama.

Responding to repeated questions about Obama’s truthfulness and personal background, McCain urged backers at a packed gym at Lakeville South High School to be "respectful" toward his opponent.

McCain found himself in the odd and uncomfortable position of defending an opponent who is pulling away in many polls at the end of a week when he and running mate Sarah Palin stepped up their own attacks against Obama – often inspiring outbursts at raucous rallies, complete with cries of "terrorist" and "off with his head."

The Minnesota gathering lacked that kind of harshness, but sustained booing greeted many of McCain’s attempts to discourage the crowd’s fear and anger. Of the 21 questions posed to McCain during 45 minutes of give-and-take, one-third challenged him to take on Obama more aggressively, with a few making incendiary comments.

Late in the town hall meeting, Gayle Quinnell of Shakopee called Obama "an Arab." Taken aback, McCain shook his head and, taking the microphone from her, said, "No, ma’am. He’s a decent family man, citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues." …

McCain repeatedly tried to dial down his supporters’ antipathy toward Obama. "I will fight, but we will be respectful," he said. "I admire Senator Obama" – as the crowd booed loudly – "I want everyone to be respectful. … I don’t mean you have to reduce your ferocity, just be respectful."

 "Off with his head"? I don’t think any Presidential candidate has ever faced a monolithic wall of establishment hostility comparable to what John McCain confronts this year. Nor has any political party been the subject of such an unrelenting campaign of vilification as the Republicans have sustained over the past five or six years. I don’t doubt that the establishment will succeed in dragging their candidate across the finish line next month. What will happen after that is anybody’s guess. 

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Saturday, October 11, 2008

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