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?
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.