McCain Is Old. Get It?

Talking Points Memo has the story:

John McCain is stepping up the rhetoric in his effort to pitch himself as the candidate of substance against Barack Obama’s empty style, making an interesting historical reference in an interview with USA Today.

“I believe that people are interested very much in substance,” McCain said, contrasting himself against Barack Obama’s charismatic style. “If it was simply style, William Jennings Bryan would have been president.”

It’s unclear just how relevant this comparison will be to the average American. No voters alive today can remember Bryan’s campaigns for president, which occurred in 1896, 1900 and 1908.

Except, of course, John McCain. Get it? Cause he’s old?

Personally, I think it’s an intelligent and appropriate jab at the junior senator from Illinois. Even if it doesn’t resonate with the average voter — TPM uses relevant, the wrong word entirely — it’s a clear way to get across the style-over-substance angle which will be a centerpiece of his campaign against Obama.

Just because McCain uses his youth as a backdrop — get it? Cause he’s old? — that doesn’t mean that he can’t resonate with many voters with his message of substance. Comparing Obama to Carter, Mondale, Dukakis and even McGovern should be effective way to capture the larger part of our electorate’s middle-aged voters. Comparing Obama to William Jennings Bryan, on the other hand, will inspire the respect of history buffs everywhere, though not necessarily their vote.

I’ll probably vote for Obama in this election, and I’m a supporter not excited by the color of Obama’s skin. What excites me is a more common historical rarity.

Unlike every election cycle since about Adlai Stevenson’s second run for president in 1956, the electorate can safely vote for a candidate, rather than against one. Two genuine, decent men seek the White House, and anyone who disparages the character of either of them just wants something to complain about.

My vote for Obama will be a vote for Obama, rather than a vote against McCain. hopefully, this will be one election where one candidate’s charisma won’t smokescreen attacks on the character of the other guy. If nothing else, this election will be a historical oddity.

Not even William Jennings Bryan thought like that.


  1. How is Slick Barry a decent human being?

    He belonged to a church for 20 years that preaches radical leftist politics in the form of “blame and hate whitey” black liberation and then lied about knowing about it?

    You would actually vote for someone whose wife said about her husband’s campaign ” I’m finally proud to be an American”?

    You would actually vote for someone who thinks America is part of one big world collective that should exist on the same moral plane with other countries and suffer as they do with shortages in energy and food?

    This is what you really want in a leader? My, you certainly set your sights low, don’t you?

  2. I’ve heard the sermons of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and I’ve heard the context of Michelle Obama’s comments. Neither concerns me.

    For the first: Since I left high school, I’ve heard three relevant, interesting and good homilies. When it diverges into politics, and it usually does, I very often don’t agree with much of what my priest says, and yet I still go to Mass. Every Sunday.

    For the second: Context is central, and the context of her remarks are just fine to me.

    Source the world collective comment. I hadn’t heard that one.

    Decent human being doesn’t mean I agree with his policies. Decent human being means I believe he believes what he says, that he isn’t just saying it to get elected. There’s going to be some pandering — Did he just say ethanol? — but all-in-all his central message is believable.

    He’s novice enough to the political game that I honestly believe he hasn’t been corrupted. Maybe I’m hopeful; maybe I’m naive. That’s my prerogative. I’ll have to live with my decision and its effects for the rest of my life.

    If you are who you say you are, take comfort that while you’ll have to live with it for the rest of your life, too, the rest of your life will be a much shorter amount of time than the rest of mine.

  3. “Source the world collective comment. I hadn’t heard that one.”

    All Marxists and socialists are collectivists. Slick Barry is right there, telling Americans that they shouldn’t expect to lower their thermostats below 72 degrees during future summers because the rest of the world can’t.

    How much more un-American can you get? Telling your citizens you should have to exist like other people in the world who don’t have what we have?

    If that’s not collectivism, I don’t know what is.

    if you require further clarification about collectivism, read most any book by Ayn Rand.

  4. “For the second: Context is central, and the context of her remarks are just fine to me.”

    I guess it didn’t occur to you that this ingrate fails to consider that her whole success and the success of her husband is likely based on affirmative action policies and quotas?

  5. I’ve read all three major books by Ayn Rand. That is, except for John Galt’s 50-page rant.

    “Slick Barry” doesn’t mandate the thermostat — he’s in a position of leadership, and so he leads. As he’s just a leader, it’s your prerogative to ignore him. You’ve already caught on to that, I guess.

    Collectivism is characterized by a significantly dictatorial top-down government. Reminds me of your position on the criminal justice system.

    Likely based? What about how he was the first black editor of the Harvard Law Review, a position granted through a blind application process?

  6. “Collectivism is characterized by a significantly dictatorial top-down government. Reminds me of your position on the criminal justice system.”

    You may have read Rand’s books but you didn’t understand her view on collectivism.

    Collectivism is subordinating the self to the greater good of the mob or larger group. Collectivists do not live or act for their own sake. They are not egoists or individualists.

    Slick Barry and his liberal ilk believe in subordinating American sovereignty to world collectives like the UN. He also wishes to replace American hegemony with a belief that America is no better than any other country or culture, that we are part of a collective that must share common goals and understandings with these other countries and cultures that are radically different from our own. He would prefer that America consult with the UN Security Council before shaping its foreign policy. He would prefer that Americans pay high gas prices because they already do in Europe.

    As a conservative nationalist, I reject this belief and adhere to the traditional view that American culture is superior to any other in the world .

    This is why liberals created multi-culturalism, which you know infects American schools and in reality only polarizes people instead of uniting them. The only logical way is to not create preferences based on racial, ethnic, or cultural, or gender orientation. This is why I am 100% against affirmative action and quotas. Since Harvard (or any Ivy League school for that matter) is a bastion for liberal thinking, there’s no doubt in my mind that Slick Barry’s appointment was based on his race.

    The funny thing is, Slick Barry is not black at all. You are defined through your mother’s side. As you know, his mother is white. That “one drop” rule is a lot of nonsense.

    He’s a big sham and the only reason why people will vote for him is to assuage any lingering guilt over slavery and Jim Crow. That’s the truth.

  7. President — Editor? — of the Harvard Law Review is a position granted after a blind application process. Race, by definition, was not a factor.

    I agree on this much: Multiculturalism polarizes.

    If you’ve read his memoirs, you’ll note that Obama refers to himself as biracial, not African-American. His stump speeches don’t even forget that his mother is a white woman from Kansas — indeed, that’s a major feature of his stump speeches. The media, on the lookout for a good story, jumps on his African-American heritage.

    I don’t doubt that many voters want Barack Obama based solely on his race. That’s your generation, though, not mine. Naivety, if anything, is the cause of most of our support for Obama. The Civil Rights movement has nothing to do with it.

    As a conservative nationalist, I reject this belief and adhere to the traditional view that American culture is superior to any other in the world.

    Your conservative American nationalism explains the biggest difference between you and me, if indeed you aren’t a well-spoken tween in Kentucky trying to play the troll. At the very least, “America is the best” saber-rattling is what got us into the second Iraq War, and will continue to damage our trade relations with other countries.

    Practically speaking, if we make too many enemies, we’ll be all alone. Even if we are the best country in the world, we wouldn’t be able to defend ourselves against everyone else.

    Collectivism, while it is characterized by subverting the will of the individual for the will of the majority — check out Zamyatin’s We — it is also characterized by a top-down, dictatorial government. How else would you get all citizens to subvert their individual will?

    Platitudes and persuasion won’t work on those who cannot be convinced. Like you, I suppose.

    Whatever you say about America, consider this maxim I picked up somewhere around the Internet. It masquerades as America’s unofficial motto.

    Our harshest critics prefer to stay.

    I think you might take that to heart.

  8. “President — Editor? — of the Harvard Law Review is a position granted after a blind application process. Race, by definition, was not a factor.”

    If you believe that I have some prime swamp land in Florida I’d like to sell you.

    “Naivety, if anything, is the cause of most of our support for Obama.”

    Although I appreciate your honesty, do you truly think you are then suited to vote responsibly based on that shortcoming?

    “if indeed you aren’t a well-spoken tween in Kentucky trying to play the troll.”

    Oh please, this preoccupation some of you people on the internet have with who is or who is not a so-called “troll.” Just concentrate on the words and do or do not respond accordingly. It’s that simple. Read my blog, you learn who I am. If you are that paranoid about who you are responding to, then don’t.

    “check out Zamyatin’s We — it is also characterized by a top-down, dictatorial government.”

    Clearly there are differences between totalitarian regimes and republics like ours that need to adopt zero tolerance for crimes taking place in impoverished urban neighborhoods, which are, for the most part, a blight and a disgrace.

    As for your concern about America’s image in the world, I recall Machiavelli’s maxim: “It’s better to be feared than to be loved.”

    “Our harshest critics prefer to stay.”

    Considering that this was chosen by readers of the New York Slimes, I’m reluctant to give it any credence.

  9. If I wanted to stop responding — or if I were really paranoid — I would have done so a long time ago. If nothing else, this is a healthy mental exercise in argumentation.

    Your positions, your tone and your words inspire an honest skepticism, to be sure, and I’ve known some pretty outrageously sophisticated trolls in my time.

    Although I appreciate your honesty, do you truly think you are then suited to vote responsibly based on that shortcoming?

    All segments of all demographics have shortcomings. What makes you suited to vote responsibly, given your unfettered hatred and prejudice, and how you deal with disagreement?

    I do have an answer to your question: Most of my generation doesn’t vote, at least not yet. Those who do, and who support Obama out of naivety, do so with a naivety not of how politics works, but out of a naivety of history. Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, the Kennedys, William Jennings Byran. Rhetorical ease and overwhelming grassroots charisma isn’t all that uncommon in our nation’s history.

    Their support for Obama isn’t flavored by the failures of the charismatic Democrats who preceded him. It is, however, flavored by a genuine and well-reasoned disgust for the current, bumbling administration and its policies. Those of us who vote do not have naivety on the matters of the current situation, or what we could do about it.

    —-

    Machiavelli shouldn’t be your role model. Tyrants have followed his example, and tyrants have fallen. There were a whole host of them in Europe, and while all four ruled until their respective deaths, only one lived past World War II.

    Considering that this was chosen by readers of the New York Slimes, I’m reluctant to give it any credence.

    Why judge an idea by its origin? If that were the case, then Ayn Rand’s objectivism should be discredited. Her stoic characters depended only on themselves, but Rand faced a near-breakdown at the loss of her boy toy.

    Clearly there are differences between totalitarian regimes and republics like ours that need to adopt zero tolerance for crimes taking place in impoverished urban neighborhoods, which are, for the most part, a blight and a disgrace.

    I would argue that totalitarianism and republics are separated by one, long slippery slope. It may take years or decades, but it will happen if we choose that course.

    Instead, our first course of action should be to repeal the mistakes of earlier years. Mend Social Security to include the choice of opt-out; require welfare recipients to show up to work every day; remove so many of the legislative mandates on health insurance to decrease its cost, so Americans can genuinely afford it.

  10. “What makes you suited to vote responsibly, given your unfettered hatred and prejudice, and how you deal with disagreement?”

    This is why I laugh at Gen Y twits. You’ve been conditioned by so much liberal social engineering during your formative years you are so consumed with not offending and being “fair and sensitive” to others unlike you.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but you seem to be a product of the California school system? That’s all I need to know, the same school system that teaches kids to sympathize with islam and observe their ways and customs in class.

    If you want to really teach about islam, just show clips from 9/11 and al-jazeera when they beheaded nick berg and danny pearl on camera. Show clips of Muslim clerics declaring Jews to be descendants of apes and pigs.

    That’s all you need to know. What else truly matters?

    Sorry, I grew up in a time when you called a spade a spade and everyone knew their place.

    I reserve love for my own flesh and blood, that’s it. Everyone else is considered as suspect until they can prove themselves otherwise.

    Rand’s relationship with Jonathan Branden has been subject to lots of gossip and Branden’s own rather biased accounts of what really went on. Really, I could care less what happened between them.

    I can judge anything by any criteria I choose.

  11. You can judge anything by any criteria you choose — free country, and all — but you retain credibility when those criteria are consistent.

    If you want to really teach about islam, just show clips from 9/11 and al-jazeera when they beheaded nick berg and danny pearl on camera. Show clips of Muslim clerics declaring Jews to be descendants of apes and pigs.

    That’s all you need to know. What else truly matters?

    With that logic, if you want to know about the whole of Christianity, then all you have to see is one of John Hagee’s sermons, and if you want to know about America, you just have to listen to is our Congressional majority leaders.

    For those of you reading along — other than Mr. Black, who already knows this — our majority leaders are both Democrats.

    Islam caters to more people in the world than live in the United States, and so the comparison is more than apt.

    I’m not a fan of multiculturalism, but, like most liberal policies, it does have good intentions, the same paving the road to Hell. As such, it is founded on a solid premise — look to the log in your own eye before you turn the mote in your neighbor’s.

    You’ve been conditioned by so much liberal social engineering during your formative years you are so consumed with not offending and being “fair and sensitive” to others unlike you.

    If I did, I’d have more friends. I’m not consumed with being sensitive — just with relative fairness, with being appropriately consistent.

    Read “Midwest Burqa” from a few days ago — read my back-and-forth with my readers, too — if you really want to read how much of a bleeding heart liberal I am.

  12. The difference is that Hagee is not a member of a murder cult called “the religion of peace” that condones flying suicide missions into skyscrapers and beheading prisoners on TV.

    Oh yes, Hagee also isn’t the member of a murder cult that wants to wipe a sovereign nation like Israel off the map.

    Yes, I condemn all of Islam for the failure of its cowardly moderate factions to mount a counter-jihad and prevent their fundamentalist radical wing from hijacking their faith.

    I’m sick of hearing verbal condemnations from weak willed and cowardly clerics. Their words are ineffective.

  13. Islam doesn’t condone flying suicide missions and beheading prisoners any more than Christianity condones violent racism and more violent antisemitism.

    Yet members of the Ku Klux Klan are, more often than not, Christian, and it wasn’t too long ago that the clerics of those Christians condoned the actions of white-sheeted lynch mobs.

    Hagee is only one, recent ripped-from-the-headlines example. By the way, he happens to argue that the Catholic Church is the Whore of Babylon. As a Catholic, I err on the side of taking that argument personally.

    Islam is also different from Christian societies in that there is not one head patriarch of the church. Given the tribal heritage of Arab and Persian societies, there are several head patriarchs in Islam, whose influence doesn’t extend throughout the whole of the Middle East.

  14. You say you aren’t a bleeding heart lib yet you supply the text book safe, politically correct, and egalitarian defense of Islam. Nicely done, Baxter, your true hand has been shown.

  15. If an egalitarian defense of Islam makes me a bleeding heart liberal, then I suppose I’m a bleeding heart liberal. Just goes to show that your idea of a bleeding heart liberal is different from mine, and that you are, as previously stated, pretty evasive.

  16. You as well as others operate at times under the misconception that every point you bring up deserves a response.

    Only a lib would not condemn Islam for not attempting to control the murder cult that operates under the same name.

    Only a lib would suggest that Israel launches pre-emptive attacks against its enemies.

  17. Slick Barry lies, video, quotes, at http://SlickBarry.com




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