Originally posted at The Hill Permalink
Equity markets collapse. Credit markets are strangled. Economic pain skyrockets. Global markets shake. And John McCain campaigns on Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, pit bulls with lipstick, slanders, smears, falsehoods, lies and fear — a Mount Vesuvius of mud that will drag Republicans to defeat.
Americans endure a crisis of economic pain while McCain suffers a crisis of his own identity. T he McCain who ran in 2000 would be scandalized by the McCain who runs in 2008. And McCain and Sarah Palin hit bottom with the last refuge of dying campaigns, suggesting Obama is not a real American, questioning his patriotism, with warm-up acts invoking his middle name when what voters want to hear is how the candidates can make their lives better and more secure.
Voters need raincoats and boots as John McCain closes his failed campaign dishing dirt in political panic. McCain's staff tells reporters he cannot discuss the economy because he will lose. Palin's staff tells her what newspapers she reads in the morning. Rather than offering intelligent solutions to an economy in crisis, McCain and Palin dump sludge on voters who hunger for leadership and despise the Bush-like politics that is the new McCain brand.
John McCain and Sarah Palin have reached a level of sickness and slander in a campaign that has nothing to say to voters about the only real issue in the election. It is amazing and astonishing that McCain is now reduced to literally nothing but slander, character assassination and lies even as his polls continue to sink.
How can anyone serve government during three decades and admit he does not know much about the economy?
With American families deeply worried and troubled by the state of the economy, how can any candidates be so divorced from reality that he, and she, try to trick voters into forgetting about the economy with a politics of defamation?
There is the whiff of the pungent and repulsive odor of the George Bush years from McCain and Palin, from Rove and Schmidt, from Wallace and Kristol, from Republicans who repulse a nation in crisis with this Mount Vesuvius of mud.
And now, McCain is Bush; the same people who ran the dirtball campaigns of Bush move down the street to run the dirtball campaign of McCain. The same bad economics, the same Gilded Age greed, the same attacks on the patriotism of opponents but now, with the economy in such danger, Americans do not want the bad smell of four more years of George W. Bush in the name of Palin and McCain.
How can anyone be so totally divorced from the reality of American life to believe our economy is strong and sound, as McCain recently said?
Yet the lava pours out with a never-ending litany of lies like this: Obama wants to lose a war, and to bring cameras and reporters to exploit wounded troops. Palin tells the lie that went nowhere, pretending she killed the Bridge to Nowhere, and then makes up tall tales about Obama “palling around” with terrorists. The list goes on. T he mud piles up.
McCain, Palin and the entire Republican convention mock and ridicule Obama's work with churches helping jobless workers in the sickest slander of all.
McCain performs a ridiculous stunt where he suspends a campaign he does not really suspend, pretends to cancel a debate he does not really cancel, airlifts himself into a negotiation on a subject he knows little about, wanders aimlessly around Washington for 24 hours, and then claims credit for the result.
McCain's strange behavior in this crisis reminds me of the movie producer in “The Godfather” who says, shortly before receiving the horse's head: "A man in my position can’t afford to be made to look ridiculous.”
McCain looks ridiculous.
Barack Obama will win because faced with this deluge of dirt, he stands tall as an oak with his dignity, cool in a crisis, calm in a storm, a serious man for serious times, a thoughtful man with major ideas to make our economy stronger, an idealist without illusions, a leader to fix the problems, the real voice for authentic change who will transcend this Vesuvius of mud that is the last desperate gasp of the George Bush years.