Friday, August 29, 2008

McCain's to lose, with The Obamessiah to thank

You Heard It Here First:
This election is McCain's to lose.
And he's just the man who could do it.

That sums up both my (very qualified) optimism and my fear.

I find that I'm not liking John McCain any better... but darned if I'm not liking his campaign a whole lot.

Somebody woke up over there, or the right head rolled and the right clear-eyed grownup took over. Regardless, Team McCain's been hitting them out of the park again and again and again.

I said to Valerie last night, "We may possibly live to see the first well-run Republican campaign! In our lifetime!"

So far and only recently McCain's run is contrasting favorably with both Dole's and Bush Sr's, which were grinding nightmares of sleepy, muzzy incompetence from start to finish. The campaign has been sharp, responsive, and note-perfect. They have dominated the Dem's convention week with a series of rapid-response, sharp, incisive ads and developments. When everyone's supposed to be being captivated with The Anointing of The Obamessiah, instead the various moves among McCain's possible VPs has been the focus. It's a beautiful thing.

And they're doing all this in spite of the MSM's drunken-schoolgirl infatuation with the Dems in general, and the Clintons and Obama in particular. Not a small feat.

Seriously: if the campaign keeps their eye on the prize and maintains focus and discipline, I can see that McCain is prepped not only to walk away with this, but to have a much more effective administration. One of Bush's most dismal and stubborn failures has been his refusal to deal with the media, to find ways to get his message out in spite of them. Reagan did this; Bush has not.

McCain's campaign is doing it now. If they kept that up in the WH, it could be sweet to see.

Except for one thing.


It's been the campaign that's been doing all this. McCain's been out of the spotlight. I've said in a number of forums that, if they can just keep him hidden somewhere until November, this election should be a cake-walk.

I just fear that, when McCain starts campaigning again and speaking unscriptedly, he will sabotage his own campaign by those twin nightmares he carries with him wherever he goes: his mouth, and the bloated ego that controls it.

I can easily see the campaign landing a deft punch, the media demanding an apology from McCain, and him obediently giving it. I can easily see him picking an impressive running-mate (Governor Palin?), can see that running mate land some telling blows on the opposition, and then McCain sabotaging the whole by apologizing or contradicting or otherwise train-wrecking, to keep his beloved NYT/MSM mistress happy. Easily.

So I have no confidence in McCain. I have no confidence in the MSM. I have no confidence in the much-vaunted, mythical common-sense of the American voter. (If Clinton 1 hadn't already destroyed the last vestige of that childish pipe-dream, Clinton 2 would have.)

So honestly, on the horizontal, I have only two hopes:

McCain's campaign and a possibly good running mate, as I've just explained. And...

Obama and Biden. This is the most liberal, extreme ticket EVER. I think there's an awfully good chance they'll self-destruct. Joe Biden has every bit the insane, self-destructive mouth that John McCain has (see also here and here; OTOH, Biden has the party loyalty McCain lacks).

Nor did The Obamessiah's speech, in the Temple of Obama (an edifice which earned some teasing) help him much.

Charles Krauthammer, for instance, was unimpressed. He delivers this biting summary:
Barack Obama is an immensely talented man whose talents have been largely devoted to crafting, and chronicling, his own life. Not things. Not ideas. Not institutions. But himself.
Of course, the conclusion of Obama's speech was most offensive to me as a Christian:
America, we cannot turn back. Not with so much work to be done. Not with so many children to educate, and so many veterans to care for. Not with an economy to fix and cities to rebuild and farms to save. Not with so many families to protect and so many lives to mend. America, we cannot turn back. We cannot walk alone. At this moment, in this election, we must pledge once more to march into the future. Let us keep that promise - that American promise - and in the words of Scripture hold firmly, without wavering, to the hope that we confess.
Hm, that sounds familiar, doesn't it? Well, it should. Obamessiah says it's "the words of Scripture." Where does that come from?

Obamessiah says it's a Scripture about holding firmly to a hope that, with the help of government as led by him and the Democratic Party, we can make a better life for ourselves here and now. Is that what it says?

Not so much.

The Scripture is from Hebrews 10, and here it is in context:
Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near (Hebrews 10:19-25).
I happen to know that passage pretty well, both because I love it, and because I've preached a sermon on it.

Is it about hoping that we can solve our problems with government's help? Far from it.

It is about the Christian's unique and eternal hope, purchased at the price of God the Son becoming incarnate, living a perfectly righteous life by the standards of God's law, dying in His people's place as a perfect, once-for-all atonement. It is about Jesus, our High Priest, who anchors our hope. It is about professing that divisive, edgy hope boldly and publicly and unwaveringly. It's premised on the inerrant, binding authority of the written Word of God.

It is counter to the hope held out by Obama. It is counter to the hope his Roman Catholic running-mate might hold, insofar as Biden holds his church's dogmas. It isn't a hope shared by most of Obama's hearers — members of a party that openly despises, scorns, and opposes the worldview in which Hebrews 10 is set, that holds abortion as a "core value", whose candidate has (if unwittingly) leant his name to the creation of a new term expressive of his scorn for helpless innocent human life ("Obamacide").

It's Bill Clinton again, but with less to offer. Remember the breathtaking blasphemy of Clinton's proposal spoke of creating a "New Covenant"? Both Clinton and Obama try to trade off of their claim to Christian faith; so both must be held accountable for their perversions of Scripture.

I just have to hope that those folks who try to be Christian and Obama supporters at the same time at least have the grace to feel sick at stomach over this.

Because, one must wonder: if this doesn't do it, what possibly could?

UPDATE: well, I got a little ahead of the news, didn't I? McCain did officially choose Governor Sarah Palin. See the link above for her impressive story. My initial response is of great relief. He didn't pick one of the pro-deathers and "moderates" whose names have been floating around like unpleasant objects in a sewer (Lieberman, Rice, Powell, Hutchison, Ridge, etc.). He picked an unambiguously, emphatically conservative pro-lifer who's lived what she believes. It's an exciting pick positionally and symbolically, and I think checkmates the symbolism of the Dem ticket. The weakness of course will be her lack of experience.

But the Dems will have a hard time making much of that, won't they?

UPDATE 2: Mark Levin offered some good thoughts on the Palin choice, before it was made official.

UPDATE 3: on Palin's religious affiliation:

Just because I'm seeing a lot of confusion on the issue (some saying she's Roman Catholic, others Episcopalian, still others AOG), here's what I have so far:

From a Time magazine interview, done 8/14/08:
What's your religion?


Any particular...?

No. Bible-believing Christian.

What church do you attend?

A non-denominational Bible church. I was baptized Catholic as a newborn and then my family started going to non-denominational churches throughout our life.

This report gives some evidence that she is "evidently" Assemblies of God.


Sam said...

"drunken-schoolgirl infatuation": Very nice.

Oh, when Obama quoted Scripture...I threw up in my mouth a little bit...just, ugh.

Also, is it just me, or does Biden bare a strange resemblence to John MacArthur?

DJP said...

I'm thinking it's just you.


CR said...

What do you think about the choice of Palin has his VP. She is a virtual unknown.

Sam said...

Well, the resemblence is purely physical!

DJP said...

Carlo, it's an exciting, daring choice. Can't say whether it's the best, but thank God it isn't Ridge or Rice or Lieberman or Hutchison or one of those. Check the link in the post.

Trinian said...

You know, that's the second time in a week that I've heard that verse applied to faith in America. Makes me sick.

Fred Butler said...

I thought how Obama flew in on that golden chariot pulled by a team of Pegasus was really cool. I want to see McCain top that one.

CR said...

Oh, I missed the link. Daring and exciting seems to be a good characterization. What a wonderful story about going through her pregnancy even though she knew she would have a down syndrome's child.

I agree with your concerns of who it might have been. I had mixed feelings about Romney. In one sense if McCain picked him, he would garnish some of the votes that Romney won in the primary. But then again, the Mormon issue and plus his flip-flop.

Pawlenty may have helped him in Minnesota, but McCain can win the election without Minnesota.

Wait and see I guess.

DJP said...

Plus: if it'd been Romney, the Dems would have countered McCain's anti-O Biden commercials with some of Romney's criticisms of McCain during the campaign. As far as I know, Palin will provide no such fodder.

m.e. said...

Echoing what "CR" asked...

What do you think about having a woman be that close to the Presidency? Of a woman possibly leading this nation?

I agree McCain could have picked worse. But I can't say I'm jumping up and down either. It is a choice that appears to be pandering to the middle if not the left in his own party. I realize her record is conservative, but the fact she's a she... don't you think that was a very deliberate choice (not on her part... on his)?

I also have enjoyed McCain being able to attack Obama on the aspect of experience. But I can see where this choice has taken some of the steam out of that argument.

DJP said...

From what I see so far, that's the weakest point. But she isn't in the Number One slot. I can conceive of OTJ training to an extent for VP. Not President.

CR said...

M.E. makes some excellent points about taking some steam out of McCain criticizing Obama for lack of experience.

But what are the dems going to say? "Hey, look at Obama, he, er, I mean, look at Biden, he's got a lot of experience! He can bring experience to the ticket!"

Then we can respond by saying, "but, yeah, McCain would actually be President and the decision maker, Biden is not the decision maker in the Obama-Biden ticket."

Of course, they would probably come back and say, "That's racist!"

CR said...

Regarding Update 2 from The Great One, I may actually reconsider getting a McCain (and now Palin) support t-shirt. I'm for the first time myself becoming a tad bit excited about this campaign.

I don't know if I'll get a bumper sticker though...when I had one of Bush from 2004 my car got keyed and I was also called names when I wore a W t-shirt. One lady asked me if my W T-shirt was a joke.

LeeC said...

I told my coworker last week that Palin was the only real choice he had. I'm suprised at how many people are saying this choice "Came out of left field". It only suprised me in it's soundness. this is McCain after all.

I struggle with a mother of five as VP. But other than that I like her, quite a bit.

Mitch Kehr said...

For you non-Alaskans: do not let your unfamiliarity with Alaskan politics fool you. She has set the ethical bar high in her approach to every office she has occupied. In fact she has taken that bar and beaten several prominent, dominant systems and people into submission. She has a very sharp mind and is not formed by or conformed to the "politics as usual" group. Be prepared to be engaged and encouraged by Sarah (in spite of McCain liberalisms).


Jay Youngblood said...

Guys, this was a brilliant choice! I don't see this causing McCain to lose any steam on his criticisms of Obama's lack of experience. First of all, the experience comparisons will be between McCain and Obama, not Obama and Palin. Second, even if the experience of Obama and Palin is compared, Palin wins. She's been a mayor, the head of the Ethics Commission, and the governor of Alaska. Obama? Community organizer, state legislator, and U.S. Senator for a total of 140 working days, most of which have been spent on the campaign trail. There is no comparison.

DJP said...

Maybe Obama/Biden will counter by switching places. You know... Biden/Obama.


Robert said...

This is utterly brilliant on so many levels. It absolutely stomped on Obama's speech from last night, driving it right out of the news. At one stroke, it brought Rush Limbaugh on board with McCain (and who thought we'd ever see that?) and at the same time, drove a nail in the heart of Obama's efforts to collect the PUMAs. If you can stand the language, go read the hillary discussion boards. It's hillarious (pun intended).

And talk about energizing the conservative base--win or lose, Palin gets a ticket to the front of the list for 2012/2016 (depending on whether McCain goes one term or two). That means a solid, pro-life conservative at the front of the pack, which sure beats what we have now without her--Romney and Huck.

DJP said...

I think you're right, Robert.

I read down one of the forum threads. The former Hillary! supporters were ecstatic. One said she'd vote twice, just to get revenge on O. Another said this:

"McCain has picked PALIN!!! I am THRILLED! AS for the Dums whining that she doens't have experience running things--SHE HAS FIVE KIDS!! TRUST ME! SHE KNOWS HOW TO RUN THINGS!


Now, don't ask me to explain the logic of it. Palin and Clinton are ideological polar opposites, near as I can tell.

Rachael Starke said...

Okay Dan, there's something seriously funny about you "prophesying" just hours before this all came out. Wonder if Piper's hiring... :)

I read Al Mohler's piece on Gov. Palin back in April/May (Challies has the link to it today, I think) and found myself praying that she might at least be considered, but never really believing she had a shot. So when I saw the news at the gym this morning I actually gasped and spent the next 40 minutes on the treadmill beaming from ear to ear - very rare for me at 7 in the morning!

But here's where I think this may be a BAD thing. With all that's gone on in the world and our little corner of the blogosphere over the last few years, we've all recommitted ourselves to the biblical principle that "government isn't the answer, Jesus is." The challenge I found myself facing as I drove home from the gym and cooled down a little was that, for the first time in a while, I wasn't as committed to that idea. I found myself thinking like "Finally! We're actually going to win! Our country is safe! We'll have a woman who can look pro-choice women in the eye until they finally blink and then cry. I know, what if John McCain just committed to one term, or even better, if God just kinda stepped in a littler earlier... that would be So Great! Etc. Etc."

What I'm trying to say in my usual long-winded way is, I wonder if in the long term this will simply reinvogorate Republican Christians, and quieten Christians Whatevers. What will the ultimate result be for God's Kingdom be vs. America?

Either way, I sure am a little more interested in watching the news than I have been in a long time...

DJP said...

Well, as I've tried to express here and at Pyro, I'm really not a "Jesus is coming so to Hell with everything" Christian. I'm more of an "occupy until I come" Christian, I guess I'd say; I also see it as an outworking of loving both God (who, after all, does actually own everything) and my neighbor (who actually benefits to whatever degree I can persade the civil authority to implement God's wisdom).

So anything that moves us towards legal and moral sanity, I think is a good thing.

And I think that without the slightest thought of establishing God's Republican Kingdom on earth.

LeeC said...

She's a practicing Catholic right?

BTW she is already being attacked as a "We can't let her get a foothold" candidate because she believes that Creationism should be allowed in public schools.

CR said...

I agree.

I think our government should at least be exercising Romans 13 and punishing evil (fight terrorism abroad, protect and serve the homeland domestically) and not sanctioning evil (abortion).

DJP said...

I don't know, Lee. This says she's evangelical.

This too.

But those are hurried finds.

LeeC said...

I hope she's an evangelical for her sake spiritually. But I was mainly just curious since I saw an article that said she was Catholic.

I don't blink an eye when articles say someone is an evangelical these days sadly since that term is so broad and watered down as to be almost meaningless as far as the media is concernd.

Mitch Kehr said...

Okay guy's slow down...

She IS evangelical, she is a committed Christian playing her role in active service in the public forum. Her family is strongly Christian and I'll leave her current church affiliation alone.


Trinian said...

He made the change cartel and the conservative syndicate happy at the same time?! What do you do for an encore after that?

(Unfortunately, I'm guessing it involves either blonds or bankers. Sigh.)

Kay said...

Just saw this on our news. I tell you, it takes something pretty big to knock Obama off the top of the BBC agenda. I'm thrilled to bits, tbh, and yet again find myself pining for the chance to be an American and have someone to vote for who actually believed the same political things I do.

DJP said...

Wow. I'm watching the video of the announcement, and Palin's speech. I'm picturing the Dems having to tear up argument after argument. Can't use that stupid one about sending other people's sons to war — Palin's son serves in Iraq, enlisted last 9/11; and isn't McCain's son there now, or am I mis-remembering.

They'll come up with something (or they'll say it's something), but they'll have to dig, it looks like.

DJP said...

Ew. But she has to get out of the habit of saying "new-kew-lar," or she's losing my vote.


Solameanie said...

I am happy with the choice. One thing to watch, though, is how the media handles the religious affiliation. If she is indeed Assemblies of God, the MSM might well try to use that against her. In the media's eyes, her being an evangelical Christian is bad enough, but to belong to a Pentecostal fellowship is even worse. They'll try to paint her as a Benny Hinn or a Pat Robertson.

Solameanie said...

BTW, Dan..remember how Bill Clinton misquoted I Corinthians 2:9 during the Democratic Convention years ago?

"Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, what we can build together.

I came near to throwing a brick through my television at that one.

DJP said...

Oh, thank you SO MUCH for that reminder!

Eight years of unrelenting anger-management.

candy said...

I think this nomination is the smartest thing McCain has done. All of a sudden people are excited. I know I am. The media may try to paint her with the same paintbrush as some kooky Pentacostals, but she seems to hold her own pretty well in public and private. Plus, on a personal note, I clapped when I heard she prefers to wear Patagonia and North Face (outdoor clothing).

While watching the news tonight, I noticed they gave a brief history and coverage about her and then started touting Obama's speech and the number of people who tuned in to watch. They moved on to his campaign with Biden in Ohio (I think). It will be interesting to see the dynamics of the media in all of this.

threegirldad said...

cr: She is a virtual unknown.

Granted, but so was Jimmy Carter. Remember him? ;-)

DJP said...

Sadly, yes.

My f-i-l skips him in the count of presidents. (Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush....)

CR said...

Well, here is a story on her position of teaching evolution vs. creationism. Also some more stuff on what she considers herself to be as far denomination.

Evangelicals energized by McCain-Palin ticket

Mike Riccardi said...

The complete doctrinal statement of the church the article says is her home church sounds thoroughly evangelical, though probably not reformed. But hey, that's a heck of an improvement on every side.

CR said...

They didn't capitalize, "Hell", it's a proper noun. (Sorry, had to say that, Dan). :=)

Definitely not a thorough or reformed doctrinal statement. But the fact that it has a doctrinal statement for an American evangelical church is impressive in and of itself. Try to look for such a statement in most evangelical churches, you will be disappointed.

Thanks for sharing this Mike.