Location: Fairfax, Virginia, United States

Friday, September 05, 2008

Johnny, We Hardly Know Ye


Well, the long dark week is over. What I find most striking and remarkable is that this convention was almost totally devoid of any discussion of policy. (Not that we weren't warned - Rick Davis, McCain's campaign manager, told reporters on Wed. that "it's not about issues.") The second most remarkable thing is that he's campaigning to reform and change a Washington in which his own party controls the presidency and for 6 of the last 8 years the Congress as well.

What do we know about McCain's policies?

1. He is for offshore drilling ("Drill, baby, drill!") and simultaneous exploitation of all forms of energy from coal to nuclear to wind - and to hell with the environment.
2. He is against abortion ("culture of life")
3. He wants judges who won't legislate (except to outlaw the right to choose, of course).
4. He wants "reform" - whatever he means by that - and "change" - he used that word 10 times; Obama used it 15 times in his acceptance speech.

Other than that, zip. Zilch. Nada, as Rudy said. I know far more about what Obama will do on any given issue - how his mind works and how he would approach a problem - than I do about what McCain would do. He was honest, sincere, decent - and opaque.

In fact, I'm sure thoughtful Republicans are privately worried as well - what would this guy actually DO as President? Would he in fact appoint judges like Scalia and Thomas? Probably, but who knows? If he runs across somebody who appeals to his maverick, outside the box streak, he's likely to appoint them. What kind of energy development would he give priority to? Who knows? How would he prevent earmarks - veto every bill sent to him? How would he work with a heavily Democratic Congress?

In other words, the appeal of last night's speech was, "elect me. Trust me. I will play it by ear, do whatever strikes me as the right thing to do, because my gut feelings are honest and patriotic. I have a better character than that other guy, decent as he may be. My character has been tested and proven" - although not my policies.



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