02 October 2008


McCain's Behavior: A Hypothetical Explanation

Maybe you've seen this.
Let the record reflect that Barack Obama made the approach to John McCain tonight.

As the two shared the Senate floor tonight for the first time since they won their party nominations, Obama stood chatting with Democrats on his side of the aisle, and McCain stood on the Republican side of the aisle.

So Obama crossed over into enemy territory.

He walked over to where McCain was chatting with Republican Sen. Mel Martinez of Florida and Independent Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut. And he stretched out his arm and offered his hand to McCain.

McCain shook it, but with a “go away” look that no one could miss. He tried his best not to even look at Obama.

Finally, with a tight smile, McCain managed a greeting: “Good to see you.”

Obama got the message. He shook hands with Martinez and Lieberman — both of whom greeted him more warmly — and quickly beat a retreat back to the Democratic side.
Or maybe you noticed how rude McCain was toward Obama in the debate last Friday night.

I have my own hypothesis about why McCain is acting like search a jerk. First, I assume he's not really that big of a jerk. I assume this has to do with him (McCain) knowing how tenuous his hold on a certain cohort of voters is. That cohort is the crazy religious right.

The crazy religious right, brought back into the McCain fold by his choice of Governor Palin for his running mate, is likely the continuing source of those "Obama's a Muslim" e-mails. Those folks really believe that Obama has some secret plan to turn the US over the those who want to destroy us. Since Obama is "the other," by being black, it's easy for them, a largely white group, to try to turn Obama into "the other who wants to kill us." The idea that a US Senator in public view and running for President for the last N years and winning the nomination of America's oldest political party is some secret agent for our enemies is laughable, but people of good will sometimes believe laughable things.

So, by my thinking, if McCain treats Obama civilly, he cuts the legs out from under this idea that is believed by a goodly number of his recently-brought-back-on-board supporters. If he's going to keep those good-intentioned-but-easily-snookered people in his camp, he has to treat Obama like shit.

Just a theory. Not sure how to test it.

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Good one Tim and I somewhat agree although I am starting to think McCain is just an asshole.
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