The Mendacity Of Hope

I haven't been pleased with the McCain campaign, although I think it hasn't been foolish; he's just following a different strategy than I would have. (He's aiming for Independents; I'd have taken an educate the voters and let the chips fall where they may approach. But he may be right. He has to flip PA.)

Obama's campaign, meanwhile, fascinates (and horrifies) me on three counts.

1. There are the teeming masses who find the promise that he'll fix our souls (and help us with our gas and mortgage bills) appealing.

2. Obama's rhetoric (which mostly masks what he'll actually do) is an imitation of McCain.
  • Tax relief for the middle class? That's Reagan-Bush-McCain. You have to look closely to find what Obama is actually proposing is a payroll tax rebate to people who aren't paying any taxes, paid from money that's supposed to go into the Social Security fund. Plus, he favors letting the Bush tax cuts expire, so there's a massive tax hike on everyone right there.
  • Why is Iraq not an issue? Because McCain was right. Where do we imagine Obama got the idea of a "surge" in Afghanistan? Borrowing a successful McCain strategy.
  • Repudiation of Russia's invasion of Georgia? McCain's first reaction was "we're all Georgians now." Obama went for moral equivalence until McCain's stance shamed him out of it. (Although I think Congressman Nadler tells us what Obama really thinks.)
  • Energy independence? That was McCain's issue. McCain called for offshore drilling, and Obama, who'd opposed it, suddenly allowed as how it should be part of the mix. McCain called for an "all of the above" approach to energy independence, and Obama discovered clean coal and nuclear --at least in his rhetoric (reality otherwise).
  • Controlling government waste? C'mon, that's been McCain's mantra and bailiwick for 30 years!
  • Bipartisanism? Ditto.
  • Even running against Bush is something only McCain has ever actually done!
In many ways Obama has been an adept McCain mimic.

3. Finally, there are the astonishing campaign promises. Forget what conclusions we draw from his actual proposals, look at what Obama and his campaign say in their own words.
Astonishing. The man is running on death and taxes and this is considered "hope."