First and foremost: Obama is not Bush. McCain is a Bush carbon copy. Obama would bring fresh air to the White House after eight years of the Bush miasma. Obama is young and zesty. McCain is old and fusty. Obama is intelligent, McCain is dim-bulbed.
McCain means perpetual war. Obama would pull out from Iraq. McCain means more deregulation and privatization, the ruinous policies of the Bush administration.
McCain wants more tax cuts for the wealthy and is still urging the thoroughly discredited trickle-down economics. It means more bailouts for Wall Street but no extension of jobless benefits for Main Street.
McCain means anti-choice, Obama is pro-choice. McCain would pack the Supreme Court with right-wingers. Obama’s model is Earl Warren, America’s greatest chief justice.
An Obama adminstration would be pro-labor, pro-environment, pro-science. McCain means more of the same backward Bush policies.
McCain chose a bubblehead, Sarah Palin, as vice president. The choice is worse than absurd. It is surreal. Palin is a preppie, a pompom waver. She emits folksy yeahs, doggone its, betchas, gonnas and sayin’s. And that come-hither wink. Please.
Palin’s ducking and bobbing is worthy of Muhammad Ali. Her inarticulateness is jarring. Her contradictions are glaring. Palin is an embarrassment even to some Republicans.
The Palin-McCain ticket, lagging in the polls, has resorted to the Sludge Machine Guns. Palin says Obama is “palling around with terrorists.” Such demagoguery, worthy of Joe McCarthy, brings out cries from the vigilantes: “kill him” and “off with his head.”
GOP audiences are reminded that Obama’s middle name is Hussein. His “terrorist” friend, a radical when Obama was 8, is a respected educator today.
McCain has run such a hate-filled, race-baiting, cynical campaign that even many conservative gurus have endorsed Obama.
McCain, who was smeared out of the presidential nomination in 2000, is so desperate to win the White House that he is stooping to smears.
Many doctors are concerned about McCain’s health, 2,768 of them taking out a fullpage ad in the New York Times. The doctors, urging McCain to release his medical records, said: “McCain is 72 years old and has been diagnosed with invasive melanoma.”
McCain’s labeling of Obama as a socialist is laughable. Obama voted for Bush’s unconsitutional wiretapping bill. His rants about Venezuela and Cuba are as bad as Bush’s. He would keep the inhumane Cuban embargo. He grovels before the Jewish lobby.
Obama wants a surge of U.S. troops in Afghanistan instead of cutting the nation’s losses, declaring victory and getting out. He chides the Supreme Court for refusing to allow the execution of child rapists. He catered to the NRA after the Supreme Court’s pro-gun ruling.
But none of Obama’s positions compares with McCain’s retrogradeism on just about everything.
The great satirist Tom Lehrer noted that satire died the day Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. It died a second time when McCain said he would clean up the mess in Washington. McCain has been an integral part of that mess for 26 years.
McCain as war hero? A myth.
He flew 23 bombing missions over North Vietnam. He was awarded two Silver Stars, two Legions of Merit, two Distinguished Flying Crosses, three Bronze Stars, the Vietnamese Legion of Honor and three Purple Hearts.
Not bad for a war criminal, as he himself admitted to Mike Wallace on CBS’ “60 Minutes” in 1997. “I bombed innocent women and children,” he said.
McCain was killing Vietnamese — the same people who had savcd his life — from the safety of an airplane without fear of nonexistent enemy aircraft and anti-aircraft guns.
Douglas Valentine, writing in the CounterPunch newsletter, said McCain was North Vietnam’s “go-to collaborator.” He “provided his voice in radio broadcasts for the North Vietnamese,” his Vietnamese handlers using “him regularly as a prop at meetings with foreign delegations.”
McCain was on the air so often in propaganda broadcasts that a wire service headlined a dispatch in 1969: “PW Songbird Is Pilot Son of Admiral.”
Valentine, author of “The Hotel Tacloban,” a story of his father’s imprisonment by the Japanese in World War II, concludes that McCain was a psychewar stooge, “a hollow man, his only allegiance is to power.”
Valentine also doubts that McCain was tortured. He quotes McCain’s two senior officers in prison, Ted Guy and Swede Larson: “It is our belief that no prisoner was beaten or harmed … No one else in that camp was.”
In his 1999 autobiography, “Faith of My Fathers,” McCain says he felt bad throughout his captivity because he was being treated more leniently than fellow POWs. Why? His father was commander of the Pacific fleet.
But never underestimate the stupidity of American voters.
This is a nation where the majority believe in ghosts, 57 percent of adults believe God’s intervention can save a life even when doctors declare the case hopeless, and 45 percent of noncollege grads believe in the literal truth of the Bible.
Jake Highton teaches journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno.