Thank goodness for that . . .

I was reading this post by a favourite lefty last night and getting pretty depressed at the US’s massively greater propensity for hysteria than our own political culture – maybe it goes back to the witch trials in Salem, or perhaps the madness the South pre and post Civil War (up to around the 1960s). Voluntary voting doesn’t help and a recent alternative hypothesis is the competitiveness of communities in the US – the fact that it’s so big and economically and culturally homogenous that people are forever graduating to their own Private Crazy Idahos.

Anyway for whatever reason, after fanning the flames of hatred towards Obama – “is he one of us?” – McCain seems to have gone to one of his town hall meetings and deliberately tried to hose down the psychosis amongst (a quite sizable group of) those attending his rallies and town hall meetings. Is this because he’s reverted back to the ‘earlier McCain’ who was supposed to be a person of integrity come what may, or is it just the latest knee jerk change of pace when confronted with the failure of his escalating divisiveness. Who knows and who cares. But I must admit I’m deeply, relievedly grateful, and so somehow disposed to give him the benefit of the doubt. I’ve seen politicians at relatively close quarters who were quite different in private to the way they came over on camera (not saying their on camera persona was necessarily a less true representation of them though but! ;) Anyway, rejoice to some moderation in the American tendency towards violent extremes.

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8 Responses to Thank goodness for that . . .

  1. Thinking in old ways says:

    Give him the benefit of the doubt? No.

    Just a variation on the dog whistle – accuse Obama of being a pal of terrorists, of being un-american, an extreme liberal with socialist inclinations,etc, and then say but I am an honorable man and I fight a clean campaign.

    And why do it now?

    a) anything to grab a headline in the face of Troopergate;

    b) given that you have lit the fires they will burn on without you – and this gives you a chance to appeal to the less extreme conservative audience as being a fair person.

    As to it being his true persona – just go out and google McNasty.

  2. Yes – well that’s the other hypothesis.

  3. melaleuca says:

    Well I’m glad the big bearded burbler in the sky has sen fit to protect Sarah Palin from witchcraft, so hopefully we won’t have another Salem on our hands.

  4. Pingback: Implications not addressed « Not a Hedgehog

  5. Patrick says:

    In the interests of bipartisanship, when the silly fuss about Palin’s grandaughter started, Obama released a simple and neat statement to the effect that his own mother was only seventeen when she gave birth to him and he didn’t believe that anyone should be interested in Palin’s children’s children.

    TIOW would doubtlessly assert that he knew he had a ‘weak’ point here that might be attacked and so thought it should be slipped out quietly in the fuss to defuse it. Oh, wait, no he wouldn’t, that’s the other guy only.

    I thought it was a very dignified moment and I thought more of Obama for it. I do think he would be a really decent and principled guy, which is already a lot more than one could say for most people in politics.

  6. Thinking in old ways says:

    TIOW would in fact assert that it was the sensible thing to do.

    Making a few smart comments about Palin and what her daughter’s pregnancy might say about Palin may have made a few democrat insiders feel good – but in the bigger picture would not have been a winner. It would have played badly with every parent who is concerned about what their children might do, it would have gone down poorly with the teenage mother constituency, and it would have been seen as bad taste with the middle ground. Quite simply it had downsides and no upsides at all.

    If you can then slip in something from your own situation to show how genuine you are well so much the better – and if it does help cover your arse that is an added bonus. (On the other hand I don’t think you can make much of an issue about a person on the basis of the age that their mother was when they gave birth – there really are some things in life you cannot control!)

  7. Patrick says:

    And there I was thinking it simply reflected well on Obama.

  8. Ingolf says:

    Agreed, Patrick.

    Obama does seem to have a powerful concern with acting well and healing wounds rather than ripping them open. Maybe, as TIOW says, it’s all pure strategy, but I’m far from convinced. It’s also possible he is what he appears to be.

    In any case, even if it is calculated, someone who understands these matters well enough to carry off the act strikes me as preferable to the tone deaf, aggressive and often bumbling alternative.

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