McCain: The Return

[Note: A few months back, I started a series of profiles on the then-numerous presidential candidates. The field having narrowed to three reasonable individuals, and two of them having already been covered, this will be the last installment of the series and political commentary in general until we’re OFFICIALLY down to two (which might be tomorrow, mind you, but still). Also, I figured this was a good night to focus on the man in question, since everyone will be saturated with Hillary and Barack hype all day tomorrow and might want to take a brief break and reflect on the chances of the Republican nominee. I will continue to call him that, incidentally, unless Mike Huckabee can create miracles instead of just majoring in them.]

He’s strong to the finnich…

John McCain may be the most dangerous man alive. Not because he could probably kill you with his bare hands at age 71, though he can. And not because he could probably statistically kill more people with his bare hands at age 71 than most other 71 year olds (though he probably could). No, John McCain’s danger to the world lies in the fact that he could well be America’s last action hero candidate, and he could also very likely be the next President of the Holy Shit He’ll Have The Key To The Nukes. LOOK AT HIM.

I kid, of course. John McCain is the most dangerous man alive because he is the Presidential candidate MOST likely to utilize the military option FIRST in any of the world’s soon-to-be-opening conflicts. And while the Bin Laden’s and Chavez’s of the world might be dastardly in their intent (or whatever), they don’t hold direct lines of communication with Carrier Group Five, either. This presents an interesting challenge to any nominee during an election year where foreign incursions are likely to be in the news.
This is his ‘thumb through the eyeball’ stare.

The first challenge to any McCain candidacy will be to avoid the ‘Goldwater Effect’. Or, to put it in terms more people are likely to understand, McCain needs to make sure everyone knows he’s not a fucking lunatic long before his opponent identifies him as such. His best bet is to laugh it off believably and still call the other man (or woman) an asshole in not so many words the first time they suggest he’s mentally unbalanced. Then it would simply be a matter of turning his… er, eccentricities into advantages in crafting his own image for the voters. This shouldn’t be too difficult for a man that walked out of five years at the Hanoi Hilton and decided something nice and low-impact like that was the perfect primer for a life that would eventually culminate in twenty-six plus years worth of American politics.

One such recent harping point: his anger. Famously, he once said ‘Fuck you’ to fellow Republican senator John Cornyn during a committee meeting. This may endear him to everyone who can remember thinking they’d like to tell John Cornyn the same thing when he said homosexual marriage was the same as fucking a box turtle… Or some such shit. But for the voters with less than 4-6 years of political memory (most of them), McCain will have to resort to polishing over his grumpy old man image and pushing his anger as a sign that he just CARES so much. And isn’t crazy.

This Picture Gives Rush Limbaugh Hives

So, potential strategies aside, what are Goldwater 2’s chances of bringing this thing all the way home to the White House? Damned decent, but hardly a slam dunk. McCain’s largest problem is STILL his lukewarm reception from the far right conservative party base. This group poses the dual challenge of not thinking McCain is mean enough to immigrants AND controlling the church-based voting surge that’s so fucking big it can even reelect George W Bush. Despite all the noise the political media makes of ‘young people are coming out in droves’ to imply that the youth of America are about to vote a change-loving Democrat into office, a sad fact remains. As the likely GOP nominee, McCain’s biggest challenge isn’t Democratic voters but Republicans staying home. An inspiring Democrat candidate might swell their voting numbers SOME, but the youth vote is just as likely to be split along the same lines as the adult vote, the same as it was in the LAST presidential election. That was another one where the ‘young people were coming out in droves’, only to wind up voting like their parents, if you’ll recall.

So the question of a McCain presidency (and possibly war in Venezuela, if you’re feeling optimistic) likely hinges on which force will prevail amongst two: Rush Limbaugh’s overwhelming desire to fellate his microphone all the way to the highest ‘Cume’s he’s had since he was strung out on OxyContin, or the New York Time’s remarkable ability to unite conservatives behind him in a way John McCain himself hasn’t yet managed to.

Out For Now…

– Paris ‘Rev’ Battle


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