The Democrats are handing the Presidency to McCain--and woe is us!
The Democratic Presidential primary race has degenerated into such a nasty battle--largely caused by the Clinton camp's unprecedented belligerence--that I fear that Sen. John McCain will win the November election. The Democratic candidate will have run out of steam by then. Many of the party's disaffected members, plus independents, are thus likely to vote for McCain.
Sen. Barack Obama seems to have tied up the Democratic nomination. But I think he is not as electable as some of the candidates who dropped out of the primaries might have been. Nor would Hillary Clinton be any more electable against the Republicans because of the political baggage she carries.
I believe that Senators John Edwards, Joe Biden and Chris Dodd--and perhaps even Governor Bill Richardson--would have been stronger candidates against McCain. Unfortunately, they apparently lacked the "glamour"--and the money--to beat Obama and Clinton for their party's nomination. In short, the media overlooked them because of the phenomenal presence of an African-American and a woman who might become President of the U.S.
The Republican attack machine is already undoubtedly assembling all the ugly stuff that Hillary and her surrogates threw at Obama, planning to regurgitate it during the actual election campaign. With even more venom, we will be hearing once again about Obama's controversial church pastor, his alleged Muslim connections, his neighbor the Weatherman bomb-thrower, his failure to wear a flag pin in his lapel, and his so-called "elitism."
So be ready for another four more years of George W. Bush's disastrous domestic and foreign relations policies! McCain once fancied himself as a maverick who often strayed from the Administration's positions. To gain the Republican nomination, however, he has pandered to the party's right-wing base and has become a Bush clone.
In Iraq, for example, McCain intends to keep U.S. forces at roughly the current level. The situation appears to be growing worse there, however, despite the White House's glowing and absurd claims of the "progress" produced by the highly-touted and amorphous "surge."
Under McCain, there will be no talk of a troop withdrawal in the foreseeable future, even as American casualties continue to soar, billions of dollars keep being wasted, and Muqtada-al-Sadr's pro-Iranian Mahdi army carries out his new threat to wage an all-out "war for liberation" against the U.S. If the situation becomes even more critical, it is conceivable that McCain will want to ship more U.S. troops to Iraq. Such a move would have to lead to consideration of a draft and would provoke widespread political unrest that would rival the Vietnam anti-war movement.
How can we expect a man who didn't know the difference between Sunni and Shiite Muslims to cope with the convoluted situation in which U.S. troops are performing as referees and policemen in the battles between those two sects, the growing conflicts among factions in each sect, and the infiltration of sectarian militias into what is supposed to be a national army?
And yet McCain echoes the Bush Administration's nonsensical argument that the U.S. presence in Iraq has made our nation "more secure." The truth is just the opposite. Because of our occupation in Iraq, we have been distracted from the war in Afghanistan and the Pakistani tribal areas against the Al-Qaeda organization, which was responsible for 9/11 and still represents a genuine threat to national security. Meantime, the nation's defense capabilities have been so weakened that our generals worry whether the U.S. is capable of contending with a new military challenge.
And in the midst of the most serious economic crisis in recent history, what can we expect from a new President who casually reveals that he is ignorant about economic matters. He has already foolishly declared that the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, made amidst soaring Federal expenditures and a ballooning national debt, will be retained.
To bolster has right-wing credentials, McCain talks again about privatizing Medicare and shows little interest in the universal medical care issue. He also now seems obsessive of the so-called "values" social issues-- the "pro-family" and "pro-life"causes that did not figure so prominently in his agenda before the Republican primary race.
Worst of all, McCain has embraced the fanatical belief that the free market can cure any economic problem, minimizing the need for government intervention in the current economic crisis. That is, if you are not Bear Stearns.
Fortunately, a Democratic-controlled Congress is likely to be elected despite a McCain triumph. I hope it can prevent the blunders and excesses of another Republican in the White House.