Friday, October 17, 2008

The Angry Man

The third and final presidential debate took place Wednesday night, and I think it was obvious to even John McCain that we were looking at the next president of the United States, Barack Obama. And the final reason why Obama will win might just be McCain's own self-realization that he has lost the election to Barack Obama, that it pisses him off, and that his inability to resist the public display of his infamous bad temper will turn voters against the idea of a McCain presidency.

Feeding upon itself, McCain's anger made him angrier during the debate. Watching him seethe and fume Wednesday night like a cranky old man yelling at the neighborhood kids to get off him lawn, showed the public why he's temperamentally unsuited for assuming the presidency. Just the idea of this angry old man in possession of the nuclear attack codes makes anyone with a modicum of rationality and reasonableness think twice about electing him president. Add to that McCain's selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate in an obvious attempt to pander to the Republican base, his demonstrable and self-admitted lack of knowledge and experience on the economy, his repetition of failed GOP free market policies as a fix for the global financial meltdown, and the general tone of his campaign--the emphasis on character instead of issues, the re-ignition of the culture wars, the focus on what are basically sideshow matters instead of the day-to-day problems facing Americans--and you get a very unappealing and out-of-touch candidate and campaign.

McCain spent the night in an angry mood, spewing lies about William Ayers and ACORN, totally dismissing the issue of womens' health, and playing to "Joe the Plumber" (one Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher of Holland, Ohio, who, as further investigation revealed, is neither a licensed plumber nor a humble working man, and owes the state of Ohio $1,200 in back taxes) and his wingnut base. McCain's hostility and contempt for Obama were on full display through the night, as he attacked Obama repeatedly. McCain angry and condescending eye rolls, grunts, and facial expressions displayed McNasty at his contemptuous best.

Americans wanting to hear how the next president will protect their jobs, their mortgages, their college funds for their children, and their retirement savings, instead were treated in the first third of the debate to an array of debunked charges and Republican talking points. McCain then went on to remind women of his disdain and unconcern for their health, then launched into a series of personal attacks on Obama.

As Arianna Huffington noted,
McCain's contemptuous reactions were so intense and frequent, they've already been turned into a YouTube video. The disdain McCain feels for Obama was unmistakable. It's as if Obama is not just blocking his way to the White House, but robbing him of his destiny.

By contrast, every time McCain was on the attack, Obama was smiling. And the nastier McCain got, the brighter Obama's smile became. It was the non-verbal equivalent of Reagan's disarming "There you go again" -- and it served to underline McCain's need for anger management. The angrier McCain got, the more unruffled Obama appeared.
McCain's flailing for a coherent campaign theme was never more evident than it was in this last debate, as he veered wildly from Ayers and ACORN, to Columbia and the drug trade, then to Iraq and the economy, interspersed with frequent shout-outs to "Joe the Plumber". He seemed to become angrier yet more unfocused as the evening went on, his eyes shining brightly with rage and confusion. He couldn't make Obama angry, and he couldn't stop his own rage. At the last, he seemed to collapse into a bubbling cauldron of anger; bitter, defeated, and confused.

It's a sorry beginning of the end for what had been an illustrious career in politics. McCain, however, went into this campaign with open eyes and grasping hands. His lack of preparedness, and his self-evident need for anger management training, is no one's fault but his own. As the final weeks of the campaign unfold, John McCain will be forced to face the fact that his own lack of self-control is what's the most likely reason for his defeat.

1 comment:

Rising Sun- L said...

What he reminded me of was a cat that was about to pounce. Their ears flatten and pupils dilate just as they're about to attack and that is just what he looked like.