Sunday, June 8, 2008
John McCain's two-headed nightmare
As a steely eyed optimist, I worry about the effect of race in America on the presidential race this year. There are many states I think Obama can't possibly win because he is black, but everybody has figured out by now that it's all about getting enough electoral votes, not winning all 50 states. The thing that makes me optimistic is that these two guys, who have the ear of a lot of people who call themselves conservatives, appear to have genuine antipathy for John McCain.
I don't like either Dr. James Dobson or Rush Limbaugh, but there's a difference between them. Dobson's use of religion promotes a world view I find appalling, but he genuinely believes it. Limbaugh, on the other hand, doesn't believe in anything but Rush Limbaugh. Dobson in February said if McCain was the nominee, he would not vote for him in November, and it is very unlikely he will backpedal on this. A little reported phenomenon during the primary season was that when Clinton and Obama were slugging it out, McCain would win primary after primary, but there would be a substantial protest vote, usually for Huckabee and between 15% and 25%. The right wing is not a monolith, and McCain has not convinced a lot of people who call themselves conservatives that he is conservative.
I posted earlier this year about nasty comments made about McCain by El Gordo y La Flaca de Fascismo, and a friend of mine speculated that this was just to whip the senator into line and they would be on his side when the general election came around. Technically, it's general election time now, and Rush Limbaugh is still going after McCain, questioning his manhood after the speech McCain gave on the evening Obama sewed up the nomination.
With a crap economy and two easily won wars that became uneasy and endless occupations, the Republicans don't have much good news to run on this year. McCain is stuck with the unenviable task of proving he's the candidate of change, and even the small change he represents is disliked by two people who carry a lot of weight with McCain's hoped for "base".