Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Gauntlet, Thrown

On the eve of the Potomac Primaries, Senator John McCain used his victory speech as an opportunity to mark the territory for his supposed campaign against now-frontrunning Senator Barack Obama. Characterizing Senator Obama as ego-driven and messianic, claiming that:

The American people don't send us to Washington to serve our self-interest, but to serve theirs. They don't send us to fight each other for our own political ambitions; but to fight together our real enemies.

Moreover, Senator McCain attempted to co-opt Senator Obama's message of hope, reflecting that:

Hope, my friends, is a powerful thing. I can attest to that better than many, for I have seen men's hopes tested in hard and cruel ways that few will ever experience.

Senator Obama is not averse to challenging Senator McCain in his stump speeches--we've all heard the wheels falling off the Straight-Talk Express countless times--but McCain's attacks on Senator Obama are not based upon fact, but upon misrepresentation. For example, McCain intentionally portrays Obama as a self-serving, ego-maniacal politician when he claims that,

When I was a young man, I thought glory was the highest ambition, and that all glory was self-glory. My parents tried to teach me otherwise, as did the Naval Academy. But I didn't understand the lesson until later in life....

While McCain calls Obama's promises mere "platitudes," we are supposed to forget that Republicans for years have campaigned under the platitudes of God, Country, and Apple Pie, often avoiding the plight of working men and women by recharacterizing their struggles as struggles inherent to democracy. In fact, such politicking, as Senator McCain inaugurated last night during this campaign, is simply disinformation designed to promote the dominant ideology that keeps the disenfranchised and powerless in place and allows the hegemons to fill their coffers. And our nation's coffins.

Hopefully, Senator Obama and his hopemongering will continue to take the high road, countering Senator McCain's empty rhetoric with a discussion of policy, a discussion which can only reveal how bankrupt McCain's beliefs truly are.

McCain, John. "John McCain's Feb. 12th Speech." New York Times. 13 Feb 2008.

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