I guess I have to say something about McCain’s speech now, too.
- In the biopic preceding the speech, the narrator told the story of a massive and deadly fire aboard the USS Forrestal caused by an accidental missile launch. Somehow, the narrator declared, McCain survived. Perhaps, the narrator declared, it was because he had more work to be done. And the Republicans accuse Democrats of setting Obama up as a Messiah-figure? I am rubber and you are glue…
- Did you know that McCain used to be a POW? And that he was in hell? And in a box for five years? And that he was dumped in a cell? And that he was a prisoner in another country? I’m impressed by how the biopic author and the speechwriter were able to rephrase the same concept in so many different ways to fill up so many minutes. We saw and heard in vivid detail about McCain’s capture, his imprisonment, his endurance, and how it made him grow as a person.
- Not so much detail, though, on what he’s going to do if he’s elected. There was the standard Republican wish list: lower taxes, lower spending, school “choice”, and “culture of life”. There was a list of things that probably appeal to many voters but seem incompatible with lower spending: job training for people whose jobs have gone overseas, more pay for good teachers, and every alternative-energy source that Obama supports. (Plus, of course, “drill now”. I think “drill now” got as much applause as “culture of life”. Remember, ladies, if you abort that fetus, you deprive your country of a future offshore-drilling-rig technician.)
- Before delivering that standard Republican wish list, McCain insisted that he’s different from all those Republicans who have been corrupted by “Washington”. He’s a “maverick”. But he provided even less detail about what, exactly, he has done to distinguish himself from those bad Republicans. For example, he took credit for fighting “big spenders in both parties” without identifying any big expense that he fought against. Given McCain’s recent return to Republican orthodoxy, his boast deserves to be compared against his recent record.
- Oh, and McCain demonstrated his bipartisanality by saying “Instead of rejecting good ideas because we didn’t think of them first, let’s use the best ideas from both sides.” Did he name a good idea that came from the Democratic side? (Say, “nominate a woman for the vice-presidential position”?) Of course not.
- “I fight for Bill and Sue Nebe from Farmington Hills, Michigan, who lost their real estate investments in the bad housing market.” See, Democrats fight for people who lost their homes. Republicans fight for people who lost their real estate investments.
- The paragraphs about Iraq, the surge, and Georgia seem to be repeats of earlier press releases and I can’t think of anything to say about them other than “yadda yadda yadda”.
- George W. Bush was not mentioned by name, only by title.
- McCain’s tone was folksy and mellow. I fear that in the swing states, that tone will get more attention than the content.
This week’s sleep deficit has been brought to you by the Republican National Convention. Maybe next time I should liveblog, just like the pros.