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 October, 2008


 The McCain/Palin Desperation Machine

The Politics of Desperation
By Al Owens

John McCain’s strategy had been to stake a claim on the political center.

When the economy tanked, he reverted to mere tactics. Remember the “suspended campaign” that wasn’t really suspended?
Now that McCain’s poll numbers are in free fall, he’s resorted to mere antics.

He’s gone from a strategy, to tactics, to antics – within days.
If this keeps up, he’ll start juggling on street corners to get votes.

Desperation has set in.

Tuesday night’s debate revealed McCain as an irascible, condescending presidential candidate who simply can’t believe some guy named Barack Obama is taking him to the wood shed.

Well he is. Even when McCain showed his utter disdain for Obama by curiously referring to him as “That one,” Obama maintained his usual composure.
McCain, by all accounts, was supposed to be in his element. A town hall meeting-styled debate is what he’d been asking for, for months.

After Tuesday night, many people wonder why.

Neither man offered much more than fragments of their stump speeches.

McCain did hatch some daffy plan about the U.S. Treasury buying bad debt. I could hear conservatives gasp from Jacksonville to Juneau with that one.

Otherwise, it just looked like some cranky old guy was trying to beat some whippersnapper over the head with a ball peen hammer.

But the whippersnapper never flinched.

He’d heard it all before. In fact, these past few days he’s heard much worse.
Allow me to explain. (This could take a few paragraphs, so bear with me) When I was in fifth grade, I somehow found myself playing on the Park Elementary School basketball team.

It was the first game of the season and the first game of my life, when I found myself in the middle of the court, with a basketball in my hands.
I didn’t know how to dribble. The basket was a mile away. And I was surrounded.

Desperation set in. A friend of mine, Curt Tollar, asked me for the ball. I was relieved at his request. I gladly handed him the ball. I was proud of my choice, until I realized Curt Tollar was on the other team.

At that moment, my dreams of becoming a Uniontown Red Raider were dashed forever. My desperation helped Park School lose that game.
John McCain must be feeling the same kind of desperation. (See, I told you it’d only take a few paragraphs)

McCain’s poll numbers have gotten him so desperate – he’s apt to do, or say, anything to relieve the pressure.

Enter Sarah Palin. Last weekend, she was sent out on the stump – with one mission in mind - to characterize Obama as a dangerous man, because he has supposed “ties” to a ‘60’s radical named Bill Ayers.

Palin referenced the New York Times to make her point. That day, the Times published a story about Obama’s contacts with Ayers. Palin drew the conclusion they were “pals.” The story had really concluded they weren’t.

Apparently, Palin didn’t read the entire story. But she’s desperate too. She knows how to rile up a crowd, even when she’s not telling the whole truth.

Of course, these guilt-by-association antics cut both ways.
There’s that sticky business about McCain’s associations with that savings and loan scoundrel Charles Keating.

McCain, and his wife Cindy both had both been recipients of perks paid for by Keating. The U.S. Senate investigated real ties between McCain and Keating.

The investigators found that McCain had exhibited “poor judgment” in his dealings with a guy who got time in the hoosegow for his fraudulent inclinations.

Then there’s Palin’s hubby, Todd, who until 2002, belonged to the Alaska Independence Party, which advocates having a vote to secede from the United States.

All of these things would be battering rams used by Democrats to counter those Obama/Ayers accusations, if the Democrats were desperate.
Right now, they aren’t.

They see John McCain standing at mid-court with a basketball, not know what to do with it.

He’s about to hand it to Barack Obama, who knows a lot about basketball – and apparently how to win the presidency.

Edward A. Owens of Uniontown is Webmaster of “Red Raider Nation: Where Champions Live.” E-mail him at freedoms@bellatlantic.net