Palin? Really? Seriously?

August 29, 2008

Well, Mr. McCain, I must first commend you on running your campaign straight out of the Karl Rove playbook, stealing Obama’s post-DNC headlines with your VP announcement and taking a woman to grab the disgruntled Hillary voters.

That said, you’ve picked an interesting candidate.

And by interesting, I mean bad.

So, you have this thing, Mr. McCain — that Obama is unready to lead. An interesting contention. I disagree. Regardless of your opinion on that particular matter, you — a 72-year-old man who runs a risk of dying in office — have chosen a 44-year-old (that’s three years younger than Barack Obama) with a whole two years of experience as the governor of Alaska to be your vice presidential candidate. Is SHE ready to be president if she has to step in for you? Really?

And to take someone with her record — pro-creationism in schools, pro-drilling in ANWAR, married to a man who works for British Petrol — and tell us you’re bringing us a Washington outsider?

She may be outside Washington, but all her ideas sound like they’re already inside Washington.

You used to be “the maverick,” Johnny, but now you’re just a sad, forgetful old man who’ll do whatever his advisors tell him in order to win.

And John McCain is still a dirtbag.

Not since George Bush swift boated John McCain in 2000 have I seen a politician stoop to the depths that McCain has in this campaign.

The senator from Arizona is duping the American people into forgetting that he is a liar who has turned on every principle he used to have in the course of this campaign.

Here’s what Mr. McCain said on video after becoming the presumptive Republican nominee:

“The one thing I in all my travels hear, Americans want a respectful campaign. They want it.  Now, people say negative ads move numbers. They may. But do we have to go to the lowest common denominator? I don’t think so.”

And this: “You know, I respect Senator Obama and I admire his success and I will conduct a respectful campaign.”

Ah, yes, the straight-talk express, now making a stop at Doubletalk Ave. Next stop: Rove Street!

But anyone familiar with John McCain knows how he’s lied and lied and lied to get where he is today.

Yep, John McCain will say just about anything, and it doesn’t really matter if it’s true. In the latter video, he contradicts himself on gay marriage within the span of 11 minutes.

Watch these videos.

Watch them, and cry.

This man is running for president of your country. Worse yet, some people think he’s actually qualified for the job.

What’s an issue you like? I know an issue I like. It’s offshore drilling. Let’s see what McCain had to say about oil company profits and alternative energy at a June 2007 Republican debate:

MR. BLITZER: Senator McCain, do you have a problem at this time with these oil companies making these huge profits?

SEN. MCCAIN: Sure, I think we all do. And they ought to be reinvesting it. And one of the areas that they ought to be involved in is nuclear power. Nuclear power is safe, nuclear power is green — does not green — emit greenhouse gases. Nuclear power is used on Navy ships which have sailed around the world for 60 years without an accident. And of course we ought to be investing in alternate energy sources.

Recently there was a group of retired military officers who said that climate change an energy independence is a national security issue. It is. We’ve got to reduce our dependence on imported oil. We can do it through a wide variety of alternative fuels. But we have to be serious about it, and we’re going to have to go places where we have never gone before. And nuclear power is one of the major issues, but also all kinds of ethanol as well, so.

Anyone notice what he doesn’t mention? At all?

That’s right. No offshore drilling. Why? Is it because sometime between the middle of last year and now someone was like, “Well, gee golly gosh, we can drill offshore, can’t we?” You know and I know that’s not what happened. What happened is that John McCain was all about alternative energy sources — even nuclear power, which some people are afraid of but I personally support — and offshore drilling did not count as “places where we have never gone before.” He didn’t even consider it.

The fact of the matter is that offshore drilling is yet another issue that has been invented, made from whole cloth by the Republican propaganda machine, and McCain’s using it to slam Obama in a disgusting attack ad campaign that he stated — repeatedly — he would never engage in.

Obama needs to fight back. It’s well and good to play the nice guy, but in American politics, nice guys finish last. Look at Dennis Kucinich, Mike Gravel. They weren’t willing to play the game like Obama is. Well, if you’re Obama, you can’t play the game halfway. He’s going to come after you with negative ads, and unless you come back with ads that expose McCain for the sort of man he is, he’s going to beat you. There’ll be plenty of time for you to be the bigger man and take the high road when you’re the president, Barack. For now, you need to not just show America that you’re a good candidate — and you certainly are — but also that your opponent is a bad candidate. In fact, I’d say there might never have been a worse candidate, but Bush still takes that particular cake.

John McCain is a liar and an outright villain, and you, Barack, are the only thing standing between him and the presidency.

Step up.

John McCain’s campaign, fresh off putting out yet another idiotic ad that criticizes Barack Obama for being too popular (as though that’s not the goal of every politician, ever), was forced (I guess) to put out a response today to Mike Myers objecting to usage of footage from “Wayne’s World” — you know, the whole “We’re not worthy!” shtick.

Here’s what ol’ (real ol’) Johnny M’s campaign had to say:

Obama’s celebrity friends are bringing their considerable resources to bear in this election, hosting fundraisers at their estates in Geneva, offering advice on Middle East policy, and now threatening this campaign with legal action over our latest ad, “Fan Club.” The ad features kids talking about how “dreamy” Senator Obama is, how he brought a crowd to Taco Bell despite inclement weather, and how he is no less of an international superstar than U2 frontman Bono. Unfortunately, the final clip of Mike Myers and Dana Carvey doing their ‘we’re not worthy’ bit from Wayne’s World has spurred a celebrity backlash. Myers had his people call the campaign to demand that the video be removed from YouTube for copyright violation. Apparently, we are not, in fact, worthy.

Let’s just take a moment to hash this out.

The McCain campaign creates yet another nasty, sarcastic attack ad that takes aim at Obama supporters (you know… the American people) almost more than at Obama himself. The campaign uses, without authorization, footage of Mike Myers (not a McCain supporter according to anything I have heard), and Mike Myers says, hey, I don’t really want to have footage of myself in an ad for a candidate I don’t support. Somehow, the McCain campaign turns that into Myers “bringing [his] considerable resources to bear.”

Really?

So if, for example, Planned Parenthood decided to run a pro-abortion ad, and they used old footage of John McCain saying something to the effect of “we have to do what’s right for our families” in some totally different context, you (that is, the McCain campaign) are telling me that you would have nothing to say about it. You’d just let that ad run, making it look like you support something that you’re actually against.

Of course you wouldn’t. You’d be all over that. You’d cry nice and loud about how this election would be way fairer if people didn’t put words in your mouth, and how Planned Parenthood used this footage irresponsibly.

The McCain campaign at this point is just insanely out of touch with the American people — not to mention with reality.

But I’ll give them one thing: The statement they put out has one thing in it that’s absolutely true.

They’re not worthy.

Ah, yes, it’s an election year.

If it matters to you who the unemployed, alcoholic, deadbeat Bud Johnson (Kevin Costner) votes for — Republican President Andrew Boone (Kelsey Grammer, rather debonair) or Democratic challenger Donald Greenleaf (Dennis Hopper, not playing someone evil or crazy for once, and pulling it off) — then you shouldn’t see “Swing Vote.” This isn’t the sort of film that engages in partisan politics. The thrust of it is, both sides will do just about whatever it takes to win, though it may make them sick to their stomachs, and that’s something to keep in mind as we approach this year’s presidential election. Although the movie certainly does tilt a little to the left, it’s more balance than you’ll find in almost any other politically charged motion picture.

Bud has a precocious daughter, Molly (first-timer Madeline Carroll), who’s a lot smarter than he is, and who really wants him to vote — after all, it’s part of everyone’s social contract with America. So she registers for him, and she goes to the polling place to wait for him … and eventually she tries to vote for him. But due to a malfunction, Bud’s vote doesn’t count — and as it turns out, that’s the one that will decide who will be occupying the Oval Office come January.

The film is largely carried by an endearing performance by Costner as Bud, who has recently lost his job at an egg factory due to poor attendance and an incident involving drinking beer and the resulting loss of coordination. Bud is “a dumbass,” in the words of Bill Maher, who (in the movie) trashes him on his show “Real Time.” Early on, when he’s asked who’s got his vote, he grins and asks the reporter who’s running — and he may be smiling, but he’s not joking. Bud’s got a heart, though, and his heart’s desire is for America to be a great place, and for his daughter to be proud of him.

The candidates do, of course, have campaign managers, and it’s these men who are charged with winning at all costs. Art Crumb (Nathan Lane) is Greenleaf’s campaign manager; he’s never won. Martin Fox (Stanley Tucci) is Boone’s; he’s never lost. It’s Crumb who’s the much more interesting one, the idealist who’s always played the game nicely and lost, and now is willing to do whatever it will take to get the right guy (by his estimation) into office.

The two of them bend over backward, throwing parties for Bud, introducing him to celebrities and having their candidates change their positions on major issues based on Bud’s poorly thought-out responses to questions from reporters — in particular a local reporter by the name of Kate Madison (Paula Patton), who does something so ethical at the end that you won’t believe it at all.

Unfortunately, the movie’s lighthearted tone is brought down by Molly, whose character is so irritatingly glum and negative that the movie becomes borderline unwatchable at times. This is no reflection on Carroll, who put on a fine performance in her first time on the big screen, but rather on the otherwise excellent screenplay by Joshua Michael Stern (who also directed, and is similarly at fault there) and Jason Richman. Dealing with Molly’s whining is supposed to be Bud’s job, not the audience’s, but we’re forced to watch as the movie becomes bogged down in it.

Just as it’s Costner’s performance that draws you into “Swing Vote,” it’s his heartfelt turnaround at the end of it that’s the film’s saving grace.

There are a lot of big-name movies out right now, but few of them offer the message and memorable moments — such as the final scene, which could not be more poignantly set up — that “Swing Vote” has, and in spades.

Your movie ticket purchase is a kind of vote, too. I suggest you cast it for this film.

You may have heard about this ad, in which John McCain compares Barack Obama to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton, and also claims once again that Obama refuses to allow offshore drilling for oil, hence increasing (somehow?) our dependency on foreign oil.

Now, if you’re Obama, how do you respond to this? I know what you’re thinking: Put out an ad of my own that responds to McCain’s ad with real facts instead of the out-and-out lies of which McCain is so fond.

But why would he want to do something like that, something so intelligent and logical, something that would make him look like a guy taking a stand for doing the right thing, when he can instead just change his position and look like a jackass?

Now, I understand that politics in this country are largely about compromise, and I also understand that it’s very possible that Obama is just saying that we could drill offshore because the majority of Americans are of that opinion. But these people who have been polled and say we should drill offshore aren’t economists or oil men, they’re just people who have been told, here, there is a solution to gas prices: We can destroy nature by opening up more of our offshore real estate for oil drilling.

If you’re Barack Obama, if you’re selling yourself to us as a man of principle and a man of character, you have to stick with your guns. These people have been told that offshore drilling is the answer; you need to tell them that it’s not, and why. Instead, you come off as a pandering inside-Washington type who will do anything to get elected — and we saw how well that worked out for Hillary Clinton, now didn’t we?

You’ve still got my vote, Barack, but I hope that I’m voting for someone who’s not afraid to do the right thing, even if it’s not the popular thing.