If I was doing a re-write of the book of Revelation, I might mention something about agreeing with George Will.
You think I’m kidding, don’t you?
I was listening to the “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” podcast this afternoon (that’s a freakin’ long name for a show, by the way), and I swore I heard Mr. Will say, “I don’t know how McCain can disassociate himself with Bush… he’s for the war in Iraq and making the tax cuts permanent….”
So how is it that Bush can make people yearn for the good ‘ole days of Herbert Hoover*, has approval ratings that hover around the one third mark, and McCain (riding his ignoble coat-tails) still looks like he’s going to make the November elections interesting? Are voters paying attention… at all? Yeah, yeah, McCain has a reputation as a “maverick,” blah, blah, blah. On issues like the economy and health care, McCain sounds like he’s taken the Bush brain for a test drive. And don’t get me started on foreign policy. I’ll stipulate that McCain has (slightly) different ideas about foreign policy, but not in a good way. Where foreign policy is concerned, he’s running as Bush squared for cripes sake**. So all of you who think the problem with the Bush doctrine is it didn’t go far ENOUGH, well, both of you are going to love McCain.
So what’s the deal with McCain’s numbers? I offer a few possibilities. Most voters aren’t paying attention to what he’s actually saying, slurping up that “maverick” Kool-Aid. The prolonged Democratic primary IS having an effect; not just by dividing the Democratic party, but also by turning off independent and moderate GOP voters. Race and gender are an issue for many voters. And finally, a lot of voters agree with Bush/McCain philosophically, but think Bush is an idiot.
I tend to think it’s a combination of the first three, but I’ll concede that Bush is an idiot.
Author’s note: no polls or news items were harmed (or consulted) during the writing of this post.
*That’s not fair comparison, and I apologize to Mr Hoover.
**Would you believe I couldn’t find “cripes sake” in the dictionary? I have no idea if I spelled that right, but I want you to know that I tried.