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Palin Cost McCain the Election

[Original post dated November 3, 2008 - Updated below]

It was one of McCain's trademark "Erratic Maverick" moves, meant to distinguish McCain as a candidate who 'thought outside the box' and didn't follow established political paths like choosing a qualified Vice-Presidential running mate. Ultimately it cost him the election.

A new national poll suggests Sarah Palin may be hurting Republican presidential nominee John McCain more than she's helping him.

Fifty-seven percent of likely voters say Sarah Palin does not have the personal qualities a president should have.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Sunday indicates McCain's running mate is growing less popular among voters and may be costing him a few crucial percentage points in the race for the White House.

The most important decision John McCain had to make in his bid for the Presidency was the selection of a qualified running mate. There were several individuals who could have been chosen who would have left the nation in capable hands if McCain were elected and then unable to complete his term.

But John McCain put qualifications and abilities aside, and cynically chose Palin - hoping to shore up his socially conservative base while at the same time expecting to pick up disenfranchised Clinton supporters.

At first the campaign kept the wraps on Palin, not allowing interviews - and we subsequently learned they were spending $150,000 those first few days on a lavish and extravagant wardrobe in an attempt to makeover Palin's rough, small town presence. Eventually the highest paid campaign consultants on the McCain/Palin team would be $10,000 a week make-up artists.

And after weeks of coaching Sarah Palin on the issues the results can be seen in the video above. Imagine how she'd have done on those questions before she'd been extensively coached.

She wasn't qualified when she was chosen, and spending weeks drilling her on the issues didn't help her get past the most basic of questions.

Fifty-seven percent of likely voters questioned in the poll said Palin does not have the personal qualities a president should have. That's up 8 points since September.

Fifty-three percent say she does not agree with them on important issues. That's also higher than September.

"Just after the GOP convention in early September, 53 percent said they would vote for Palin over Joe Biden if there were a separate vote for vice president. Now, Biden would beat Palin by 12 points if the running mates were chosen in a separate vote," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

And what if voters were allowed to vote for president separately?

"It would be a 4-point edge for Barack Obama, 52 percent to 48 percent. Since the McCain-Palin ticket is currently getting 46 percent in a match-up against the Obama-Biden ticket, it looks like Palin's presence on the GOP ballot is taking 2 percentage points away from McCain. In a close race, that might represent the margin of victory," Holland said.

The most important decision John McCain had to make in the last 18 months -- and the decision that would have a major impact on the nation for his entire four-year term -- and he blew it.

McCain would go on to make more blunders which revealed his "Erratic Maverick" style in a crisis. As the economic meltdown emerged McCain declared "the fundamentals of the economy are strong" -- only to revise that assessment hours later to declare the nation in "the worst economic crisis since World War II."

With the resulting drop in the polls revealed by McCain's stunning miscalculations producing a drag on his chances for election McCain decided to pull a campaign "stunt," declaring he would "suspend his campaign and skip the upcoming debate with Obama" in order to go to Washington and work on a solution.

The nation watched in horror as the stock market crashed and John McCain accomplished nothing.

Clueless on the economy, McCain's knee-jerk, stunt-filled campaign revealed in the last two months the stark reality -- McCain is unable to lead the nation in a time of crisis.

And this 72 year-old multiple melanoma survivor, whose instability under pressure is underscored by the fact that he attempted suicide twice while undergoing his most severe crisis as a POW, chose an unqualified 'pit bull with lipstick' from Wasilla, Alaska as his running mate -- because he thought she'd help him win the votes of Clinton Democrats.

Ultimately it was that miscalculation -- in the most important decision he made in the entire campaign -- that cost him the election.

Bumped and Updated November 5, 2008:

In the comment thread Darren asks: "You're seriously telling me that McCain was going to coast to a win in a year..."

Who said coast?

He could have squeaked out a victory if he'd had a qualified candidate at this side, like Mitt Romney for example.

You can't just weigh (or in your case ignore) the enormous downside pull from Caribou Barbie - you have to weigh the positives a qualified VP running mate would have added to McCain's chances.

McCain failed on the economy - and Palin was zero help in that regard - Romney would have been a tremendous asset in her place, and McCain wouldn't have had to pull stunts like "Suspending his campaign" merely because Caribou Barbie couldn't be trusted.

Side note: If McCain couldn't leave Barbie "in charge" of the campaign - why would we want her in charge of the country?

You're knee-jerking without thinking it through -- just like McCain, Darren. If any of the qualified VPs were there McCain could have pulled off this election, yes.

But not only did Palin push away moderates and independents, McCain's decision magnified his ineptitude and also turned the conservative elite against McCain as well.

Yes, Palin shored up the base, and drove away factions outside the base. Ultimately, the base would have showed up and voted even with Romney - but McCain wasn't smart enough to make that happen, so he erratically knee-jerked what turned out to be his biggest mistake.


Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!

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Comments (34)

Herman:

Conservative fools don't realize that by pleasing the conservative base with Palin they turn off independents, who comprise a substantial portion of the electorate.

You're seriously telling me that McCain was going to coast to a win in a year

-Following an 8-year run by his own party
-With "wrong direction" polling >70%
-With a major economic crisis exploding six weeks from election day
-With a Democratic opponent the press will not question on virtually any topic
-When he's outspent better than 2:1 in media buys

...but the silly woman from Alaska blew it for him?

Nice that you've found a focus (Sarah Palin) for your BDS now that W. is heading to the ranch, but seriously, wake up and smell the Kool-Aid. Sarah Palin is the only reason McCain is as close as he is, because the conservative base was ready to stay home, and probably would if McCain had picked Lieberman or Romney or pretty much anyone else.

By all historical measures this election should make 1984 look like a squeaker, only with McCain in the "getting ass handed to him" role formerly filled by Walter Mondale. It may still. But Palin is the least of McCain's concerns.

Actually I think the problems with the McCain Campaign went much deeper than just that screwy whack job vp selection. There was never really one single message that really appealed to most voters or really addressed serious issues like the economy, and the Obama Campaign was so much more on message and better organized as well.

McCain and Palin both put in weak debate performances as well. If Obama had actually went along with the 10 town hall debates with McCain, then McCain would likely be even worse off yet. Every McCain performance was half angry and didn't really impress most voters.

Like his idol, Barry Goldwater, McCain is yet another Arizona republican just not ready for primetime.

A further huge problem is Barack Obama is a huge political phenomenon like never seen since Abraham Lincoln, also from Illinois as well. For Obama, in a very short period he went from state senator, to U.S. senator to president. It is one of the fastest climbs ever because he's a special sort of personality. He'll likely become one of our greatest presidents ever as well.

Allen:

Paul, I have to disagree with you about Goldwater. I voted for him, for one reason only, he did care about all American's, not just the rich, like we are seeing McCain doing.

The GOP has many problems, and they need to clean out the neo-cons. Until they do, they will keep going down in elections, unless they can keep stealing them.

Just think, one more day of madness and it will be over. But don't count your chickens before the eggs hatch, because the voter caging, electronic flip/flop machines, etc. And Oprah's vote for President wasn't recorded, due to an electronic machine. That should tell you what is going on with McCain's claim that he will win. He just might.

Lee Ward:

"You're seriously telling me that McCain was going to coast to a win in a year..."

Who said coast?

He could have squeaked out a victory if he'd had a qualified candidate at this side, like Mitt Romney for example.

You can't just weigh (or in your case ignore) the enormous downside pull from Caribou Barbie - you have to weigh the positives a qualified VP running mate would have added to McCain's chances.

McCain failed on the economy - and Palin was zero help in that regard - Romney would have been a tremendous asset in her place, and McCain wouldn't have had to pull stunts like "Suspending his campaign" merely because Caribou Barbie couldn't be trusted.

Side note: If McCain couldn't leave Barbie "in charge" of the campaign - why would we want her in charge of the country?

You're knee-jerking without thinking it through -- just like McCain, Darren. If any of the qualified VPs were there McCain could have pulled off this election, yes.

But not only did Palin push away moderates and independents, that decision magnified McCain's ineptitude and turned the conservative elite against McCain as well.

Yes, Palin shored up the base, and drove away factions outside the base. Ultimately, the base would have showed up and voted even with Romney - but McCain wasn't smart enough to make that happen, so he erratically knee-jerked what turned out to be his biggest mistake.

In the end McCain's base will show up - thanks (or no thanks) to Palin, but that won't be enough. He could have had more with someone else as VP -- he could have won it, judging from the closeness of the polls today.

Jason:

I am not going to vote for McCain or Obama. I will vote for a third party candidate in hopes that my vote will help create a viable third party. Both candidates say that they are not going to raises your income taxes.

.....................INCOME TAXES..................

What about the taxes that the big evil corporations pay?
They are just passed to the consumer.

............WE ARE THE CONSUMER! ............

They all grow government at any cost to the taxpayer.

Bennie:

Too bad shoring up the base means jack diddlely when the majority of the electorate you NEED to win is either Independent or Mid Center Left, McCain let me down and he should have devised a way to bring those same groups into the republican fold. One step to doing that was to chose a VP candidate that would speak out to them, trust me, with obama's almost Titan Win in the EC, the GOP could have afforded the lose of the conservatives and risked the elite conservatives turning against them. Because when its all said and done, its winning that counts and to win in an election means gauging and knowing the electorate.

Mark:

You are right.

Palin cost the election.
She is an incompetent fool, and a bitch for trying to play the Terrorism card, which not only speaks to her real nature, but also displays her intellectual poverty.

McCain had my vote, and I am a fiercely independent voter. But when he picked Palin and I saw her, before she even spoke to Couric, etc, I knew this was all about trying to pull the Hillary and Evangelical vote - nothing 'maverick' about that way of thinking.

When I then heard Palin speak, I laughed so hard, because I knew that McCain had just blown the election.

Stick a fork in the effectiveness of those voters who would resort to Terrorist name calling, as a line item reason for voting against one guy. The only way the Republicans come back is if their true pragmatist-moderates emerge, because the Elite-Evangelical alliance is NOT SUSTAINABLE...

It will take Republicans no less than 4 years to get this, but there's your mid-term horizon. We are now into an ear of not a Black President so much as we are assured that Dem moderates will dictate the terms of national politics for some time to come, and given the Economic Turmoil which is just around the corner, that is a good thing.

Nice Montage, btw,
Mark

brainy435:

"whose instability under pressure is underscored by the fact that he attempted suicide twice while undergoing his most severe crisis as a POW"

The sheer fucking stupidity and vapidity of this statement is staggering. I knew you were intellectually compromised and now I know you are morally compromised as well. Whatever you think of his policies, McCain is one of the few living true American heroes. You are truly an excrable coward.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

Just stating the facts.

If the facts hurt I'm not surprised by your reaction. Emotionally instability seems to run rampant in the Republican party these days... look at McCain's erratic behavior during the economic crisis.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

I thoght Jindal was player in Republican VP race this year...

http://wizbangblue.com/2008/04/25/bobby-jindal-is-he-the-gop-antiobama.php

and I was surprised that he wasn't...

DaveD:

Lee, if you feel Palin cost McCain the election, who could have he picked that would have enticed you to vote for him?

brainy435:

You stated no fact, just a pathetically empty attack. Righteous anger is not emotional instability, but I can understand how such a pathetic being as yourself wouldn't catch the distinction.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

"You stated no fact, just a pathetically empty attack."

brainy - get a grip, I know these are tough times for Repubbies, but stay focused here.

You objected to this:

""whose instability under pressure is underscored by the fact that he attempted suicide twice while undergoing his most severe crisis as a POW""

It's a fact that McCain attempted suicide twice while he was being held captive as a POW.

You also wrote this:

"Whatever you think of his policies, McCain is one of the few living true American heroes."

I'm not disputing your opinion for a second. Nonetheless, the facts remain the facts.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

DaveD: "Lee, if you feel Palin cost McCain the election, who could have he picked that would have enticed you to vote for him?"

I would not have voted for McCain under any circumstances, but I think Mitt Romney was the strongest running mate he could have chosen, and Joe Liebermann might have been strong enough.

Lots of folks thought Pawlenty was the best choice, and I don't Pawlenty well enough - maybe that's true... but I think Romney has the gravitas that would have come in handy during the economic meltdown that was ultimately McCain's "Katrina."

I understand Romney's lack of popularity with the base was primarily the Mormon factor, and frankly if the Christianistas of the US can't get behind a Mormon then they deserve a drubbing.

But I think McCain/Romney would have given Obama/Biden a good hard run. Age was a big negative for McCain, and "Palin as President" was the threat of disaster posed by McCain's advanced age.

As I've written elsewhere Huckabee was the Republican candidate that my positions matched up with when I ran thorough those automated "match-up" web sites where you select your position on issues and they then calculate the candidate who most closely matches you - but I would have opposed him nonetheless versus Obama.

And I say "under no circumstances" would I have chosen McCain -- but if Edwards had been the Democratic nominee it would have been a much tougher choice for me - ***IF*** McCain had chosen someone better than Palin.

Under no circumstances would McCain/Palin ever get my vote - and I was a Hillary Clinton cheerleader, so don't play the misogynist card on me...

DaveD:

Lee, actually I had no intention of laying the misogynist card on you on this one. I am not sure, though, based on what you wrote above that you can be objective about what degree if any he was hurt by Palin being on the ticket. Yep, there were those women who were offended by what they saw as a gratuitous selection and ended up voting for Obama. But I believe there were conservatives who ended up voting and not sitting this one out because of Palin. I think this was a very, very, very difficult election for McCain to win under the current circumstances and I am actually surprised today that he was as close as he was considering some of the truly great landslides of the past. I'll confess, I could lose a little sleep thinking about Biden having to stand in for Obama if the need arose.

My humble musical letter to president Obama:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4bZw9FmXZ4

Best,
Hannah Friedman

Bill W.:

This is beneath you, Lee:

"And this 72 year-old...whose instability under pressure is underscored by the fact that he attempted suicide twice while undergoing his most severe crisis as a POW..."

Not fair, Lee. I'm as "liberal," "blue," leftwing--whatever you'd like to call it--as anyone here. I've been voting Democratic--and sometimes to the left of that--since 1968. And I'm thrilled with our President Elect and proud of our nation for making it happen. I was and remain disgusted by the tactics and philosophies of the Bush/Cheney/Palin/McCain ilk. But there are standards of decency that must be maintained, even when you vehemently disagree with someone, even when they themselves have slung the slime. And you violated that standard, Lee. You hit way, way below the belt with this one.

The fact is, YOU weren't there with McCain in that Vietnamese prison cell. You may have read about it, you may think you understand it, think you know how that felt, you may think you have the right to judge him. But you don't. Not even close. You weren't there and you have no earthly idea what it must have been like for him. None at all. To blithely and dismissively attribute his actions to "instability" under those circumstances actually DAMAGES our side of the aisle. Because it's wrong and it makes us look like asses. It lowers us to the level of Rove and the Swift Boaters. And it impedes us from ever coming together as Americans. Which is what our soon-to-be President is going to need if he's to be successful and effective.

Don't do that anymore, Lee. I think you're better than that.

Bill W.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

"The fact is, YOU weren't there with McCain in that Vietnamese prison cell. You may have read about it, you may think you understand it, think you know how that felt, you may think you have the right to judge him"

No, I wasn't - and I wasn't judging him on his suicide attempts. I merely stated the fact that under an extreme amount of pressure and in crisis John McCain attempted suicide twice.

Another fact: Presidents are under an extreme amount of pressure at times.

And yet another fact: John McCain refused to release his mental health records. See Paul Hooson's post here:

http://wizbangblue.com/2008/08/05/mccain-attempted-suicide-twice-but-wont-release-his-mental-health-records-during-this-campaign.php

These are the facts.

Yes, I've called McCain's suicide attempts as indicative of his instability under pressure.

It's my opinion that taking your own life has to be the ultimate un-rational act. ad You know what? At that point you are literally certifiably mentally ill, and subject to hospitalization against your wishes for your own protection.

So you can rail on me all you want, but the facts are the facts, and a suicide attempt is a certifiably unstable act.

"If Lee truly believes that Palin hurt the campaign, then let's see if he's willing to be frank and upfront, admitting that Obama's race is what delivered him the Presidency."

If you're suggesting that African-Americans voted for Obama and gave him the presidency, you'd need to produce some (heh) facts.

How many AAs voted for Obama that wouldn't have voted for some other Democrat?

And then subtract the number of people who voted *against* Obama because of his race.

I think Obama's race inspired many who might not have been otherwise inspired, but I would look for the facts needed to support the contention that race won it for him, and I haven't seen numbers that support that. Have you?

I also think this is a piss-poor way to change the subject away from McCain and Palin... but Repubbies appear to be scrambling today to protect Caribou Barbie's rep - so piss away.

brainy435:

Pay attention, cretin:
"attempted suicide twice while undergoing his most severe crisis as a POW" = fact.

"whose instability under pressure is underscored by the fact that..." = complete bullshit.

Again, I don't expect such a fucking pathetic piece of shit to get the difference. Class and honor are foreign concepts to assholes like you.

"whose instability under pressure is underscored by the fact that he attempted suicide twice while undergoing his most severe crisis as a POW,"

Biggest cheapshot I have read here ever, Lee Ward. Would Hillary Clinton (whom you supported while trashing Barrack Obama) say those words of John McCain? She knows better. But you don't.

Hey Kevin, why do you allow this type of crap on Wizbang?

BTW, I comment under a real name. People can find me. If Lee Ward is going to write this shit and expect to let it go without consequences let's have a real name for the guy.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

"Class and honor" -- what an appropriate choice of words for brainy to use.

Suicide is a sign of instability, brainy, but I'm not surprised that someone who cusses like you do would struggle with that concept.

Angry Republicans are still with us, they've just have been removed from power. It's about time.

"If Lee Ward is going to write this shit and expect to let it go without consequences let's have a real name for the guy."

Oh look, Republicans are now making threats.

Your side lost, Hugh, just as predicted. Check into anger management therapy. Threats are inappropriate.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

re: race and Obama's election -- ABC News just reported on-air (5:45pm West Coast) that race was not an issue, and they cited their exit polls which asked if the candidate's race was a factor in their vote:

No 89%
Yes 19%

It's a fact!

Don't need therapy, Lee.

And you're paranoid, which presents evidence for therapy.

Post under your real name when you insult people in such a personal way so that we'll know who has the guts to stand up for an opinion and who doesn't. You don't.

The Truth:

"...I wasn't judging him on his suicide attempts. I merely stated the fact that under an extreme amount of pressure and in crisis John McCain attempted suicide twice."

You disappoint me, Lee. You are, in fact, judging him on, and by, his suicide attempts. But you're choosing to get reflexively defensive in lieu of looking deeply enough at the issue--and at yourself--to acknowledge that.

And here's how that works: You're again making the rather arrogant mistake of using a handful of throw-away words to blithely gloss over an experience that is, frankly, beyond words, beyond judgment, beyond the furthest conceptual imaginings of most people. Sorry, but "crisis" and "extreme amount of pressure" do not adequately capture (no pun intended) the POW experience, particularly in Vietnam. People experience "crises" and "pressure" every day here in the good ol' civilized world--at work, at school and in their private lives. But to be held captive night and day in a dungeon, thousands of miles away from home and from loved ones, while being completely and totally at the mercy of brutal and malevolent captors, who despise you and who have no compunctions or conscience with regard to torturing, mutilating, disfiguring and/or killing you--in fact, who RELISH doing these things--is distinctly beyond "pressure," Lee. It's a hell from a totally different universe, physically, psychologically, and emotionally. It's a test of one's innermost make-up as a human being. And to judge, from the outside, anything another does while he/she is captive to that reality is presumptive, arrogant and manifestly unfair.

And here's your other unwarranted judgment, Lee: "It's my opinion that taking your own life has to be the ultimate un-rational [sic] act...At that point you are literally certifiably mentally ill." Maybe in that polite, rational, everyday society of "crises" and "pressure" you reference, yes. But when faced with what I've described above, maybe not. Under those circumstances, suicide might emerge as the ULTIMATE rational/sane act, the one that spares you from a slow, unspeakably painful, humiliating death, one in which you're broken physically and psychologically into giving up and renouncing everything you hold dear and valuable, from your country's secrets to your own personal self-concept, self-respect and dignity.

Frankly Lee, my disappointment in your post stems from its resemblance to much of the rightwing drivel I heard about both John Kerry and Cindy Sheehan. In the former case, people who hadn't come close to walking in his shoes wore band-aids on their faces to symbolize his allegedly trivial wounds--ignoring the fact, of course, that he had sustained them while willfully exposing himself to live fire and death. Which, naturally, none of his critics had ever come close to experiencing themselves. But they certainly felt entitled to judge him nonetheless, albeit it from the safety of their comfortable existences. As if the individual soldier or Marine could somehow orchestrate the total, random chaos of combat to ensure that he would sustain only the "lightest" of wounds from rockets, grenades, mortar and small arms fire. If only it WERE like that...

And with Cindy, we heard from people with the gall to tell her how she should grieve the death of her soldier son--what she should and shouldn't say, when she should and shouldn't smile, how she should and shouldn't feel. From people who'd probably never lost a child, or almost certainly who'd never lost one in combat, one who was, what, all of 20 years old?

Don't be like that, Lee. Again, that's the BS of Karl Rove and the Swift Boaters. We need to be better than that, magnanimous and unifying.

Lincoln said it best at his second inaugural, with victory finally in sight, "With malice toward none; with charity for all." He meant to forgive the former foes and welcome them back into the fold of a unified America.

While you're certainly no Lincoln (and neither, by the way, am I) we really need to do the same now that this election is over and we have a chance to begin healing the bitterness of the "Blue/Red divide," just as certainly as we had to band together to heal the bitterness of the Blue/Gray divide 143 years ago.

-Bill W.

Robert Timberg (REAL NAME) discussed all of these issues about McCain and came to a much more informed conclusion because he actually researched the matter. Go ahead Blue readers, cut and paste Timberg into Amazon.

But here on Wizbang Blue we have Lee Ward (MADE UP NAME) passing off gas for facts about an historical figure who has been covered in detail for decades by known authors with actual footnotes and bibliographies. And Ward whines about threats .....

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

I suppose, with only one day's distance, emotions are still running high, Bill, and I'll take your advice to heart -- however, the fact that John McCain did not release his mental health records is a cause for concern -- in my view.

I acknowledge that McCain was under extreme pressure.

Will you acknowledge that not every POW subjected to such pressure attempts suicide?

Will you then acknowledge that, subjected to the identical pressures McCain underwent, some people are better able to handle the strain than others?

Not every POW attempts suicide, in fact I'd guess that the vast majority don't.

All things being equal, those who do attempt suicide are not as strong mentally as those who don't. I believe that's a fact, and I stand behind that belief.

I wrote: " whose instability under pressure is underscored by the fact that he attempted suicide twice while undergoing his most severe crisis as a POW"

I cited McCain's erratic behavior during the banking meltdown as indicative of his instability. I stated, and still maintain, that McCain's suicide attempts underscores that.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

And Bill W., who also comments on Wizbang and this blog under the name of "The Truth" wrote this...

"We need to be better than that, magnanimous and unifying."

...just a few hours after posting the following on a Kim Preistap Wizbang post:

The Truth laughs at the Kimster and says:

My utter God, how does it feel today to be so wrong, so stupid and so exposed as being both?

The Truth is laughing at you. A member of the intelligentsia you aren't and will never be.

--The Truth Has Spoken But Could Barely Get the Words Typed Because He Was Laughing So Hard at Kim the Brainless

I suspect your particular style of "unifying" is not appreciated on Wizbang, and I don't find it particularly engaging either. It's about as thoughtful as the right wing trolls we see a lot around here.

Obviously I don't need lectures from you, Bill, on being unifying and magnanimous, but I do suggest you pick one name and stick to it. Posting under multiple IDs will get you banned, but maybe you're commenting here because you've already been banned over there.

What an incredibly lame and cowardly response, Lee Ward.

McCain's mental health records? What bull shit, Lee Ward. How about twenty five years of public life as a Congressman and Senator? Multiple histories of him and several runs for higher office? Your concern about McCain's health records is a shallow pretense.

And you acknowledge that "McCain was under extreme pressure?" but ask also that "Will you acknowledge that not every POW subjected to such pressure attempts suicide?"...amazing, simply amazing. While we're at it, why don't we speculate if Anne Franke was a hero? Did she give in to torture? Let's ask Himmler.

And then you make this astonishing point:

"Not every POW attempts suicide, in fact I'd guess that the vast majority don't."

Hell, why not poll the survivors of the Bataan Death March? Or ask Bud Day? What makes you the expert on this? Again, I refer you to real histories written by real writers with real names that give real footnotes and real bibliographies.

Steve Crickmore:

I don't think anyone would want to put themselves in McCain's shoes in his Hanoi Hotel..All the same he gave an excellent gracious concession speech last night.
McCain`s choice of Palin was a "Hail Mary` following Obama`s surge in the polls with Obama`s Denver Democratic Convention buzz, and for a while it seemed to work, much to my dismay.

Unfortunately, it might have been a winning strategy for the McCain team for her to be merely thought of as a fool, than to open her mouth in unscripted moments and remove all doubts.

Given the situation with his back against the wall McCain didn't have that many veep options apparently.

I agree with Lee, Mitt Romney would have in the end, been the more formidable vice-presidential candidate (and presidential candidate for that matter) particularly given the economic or Wall Street meltdown in October, but I think McCain and Romney had little chemistry together, much the same as the Clintons vis a vis Obama.

Bill W.:

"And Bill W., who also comments on Wizbang and this blog under the name of "The Truth" wrote this...I do suggest you pick one name and stick to it. Posting under multiple IDs will get you banned..."

??? Um, excuse me and wtf? You're either not serious about discussing the topic at hand, or you can't take constructive criticism. Either way, I'm now wondering if in fact you "have all your marbles," as we used to say.

But leaving that aside for the moment, another writer above called it right: Staking the legitimacy of your post on the fact that McCain didn't release his mental health records is a cop out. And frankly, I would have expected that a fellow "progressive" like yourself would resent--just a little bit anyway--the intrusion of the Big Brother-like notion that the public has a right to personal matters like health records, religious beliefs and affilitations, etc., etc.

Then you ask: "Will you acknowledge that not every POW subjected to such pressure attempts suicide?" Again, you're acting as if you know what "such pressure" is; you're also presuming that its intensity can somehow be calibrated or quantified so as to provide meaningful comparison between individual POWs. You give further evidence that you hold this fallacious notion when you refer later to "the identical pressures" as McCain experienced. In actuality, there's really no such thing, is there? Or at the very least, certainly no way of knowing.

So once again you're assuming here that you have the knowledge, insight and/or experience to form valid comparisons WITH WHICH TO JUDGE his POW experience--and judgment, of course, is the very thing you're falling all over yourself trying to deny here.

So yeah, if you're now perhaps drawing the inference that I'm now faulting you as much for an error of the head as of the heart, you'd be right.

"Not every POW attempts suicide, in fact I'd guess that the vast majority don't." Judgment Lee; again with the judgment. As I've said above, you have neither the knowledge nor the experience to even speculate about this or the reasons for it. And when you try to do it anyway, it's just plain offensive. And it paints all of us on the left as arrogant, know-it-all, judgmental, smart-asses. Small wonder then that they hate us, yes?

While I'm still having trouble believing I'm expending this much energy defending John McCain, a man I believe sold his very soul during this election, I'm doing it to try and convince you to not be the "Swift Boat" kind of smart-ass who feels entitled to judge and denigrate another man's military service. That's especially disgusting when done by men who never served. I was enraged when "they" did that to Kerry; I would imagine you were too. But you're doing much the same damn thing to McCain here, and frankly, that kind of s**t doesn't smell any better just because it's "ours."

-Bill W.

brainy435:

"'Class and honor' -- what an appropriate choice of words for brainy to use."
I agree. I have both and this shit you wrote proves you have neither.

"Suicide is a sign of instability, brainy, but I'm not surprised that someone who cusses like you do would struggle with that concept."

Suicide among the general populace, perhaps. After years of brutal torture, not so much. Again I don't expect a pathetic screw-up such as you to understand. You don't know what sacrifice is. ESPECIALLY when you refuse to admit that if MCain was so unstable or cowardly he could have accepted the NV offer to leave, but chose to do the honorable thing and remain till POWs captured before him were released. Again, the idea of that kind of sacrifice can't permeate the shit you have collected between your ears.

The brightest people I have ever met cursed like sailors constantly.... mostly because the WERE sailors, just like me. Colorful metaphors are very useful in certain situations, like when knocking ass felchers like you down a few pegs. You have to be very quick and creative to curse well and not just f-bomb constantly. So, you won't understand that, either.

RA (ryan a):

Lee,

Do you ever consider listening to ANYONE who reads what you write? Do you ever wonder why so few people read this part of the Wizbang site? You might have some more readers every once in a while if you did. Nobody want to come over here to be subjected to the narrow-minded rantings of an super-partisan writer who NEVER considers other points of view. They already have that with Kim and Cassy over at the main site.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

Well, then I guess it's safe to say that Kim, Cassie and I aren't too concerned about what opinions commenters have about our choice of subjects.

I know that's true in my instance. I write what I want to write, and I'm not really concerned if anyone agrees with me or not.

Thanks for your suggestion.


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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