For all his anger, offense, and Al Gore-reminiscent debate sighs, John McCain could not make Barack Obama lose his cool. When McCain pulled a non-sequitur about Ayers connection (as he said he would, but the timing was a bit off), Obama made the case for why the guilt by association charge was baseless Obviously McCain wouldn't have it that way and essentially ignored Obama's defense. In other times during the debate, McCain tried to inject humor when the situation really didn't call for it. It was sad.
And then we have Joe the Plumber. Because of McCain, most of America has an idea about this private citizen's tax bracket. Is this plumber's business making (A) significantly more than $250,000 a year, or (B) just marginally over $250,000? If (A), Joe might consider not only buying a plumbing business but also starting the Joe the Plumber's Foundation for the Tolerance of Buttcracks in the Workplace (dot org). Giving charitably sort of helps out with how much you have to pay the government in taxes. In any case, wow! if plumbing brings in all that money, I should become a plumber's apprentice and climb the plumbing ladder (like Super Mario).
If (B), then there are probably ways for Joe and/or his plumbing company to make less than $250K annually. Charitable giving is an option, and so is hiring additional employees...possibly. If double taxation is an issue here, then maybe Joe might want to convert his business into a pass-through tax entity. Anyway, people and businesses in situation (B) would feel justifiably weird about Obama's tax proposals. They're the cutoff point, and it totally sucks to be the cut-off point. However, it could be the incentive to stop being marginally rich and go for the über-wealth!
Furthermore, John McCain didn't make the case for Sarah Palin as emergency replacement President. In his words, she's just a role model for women and an advocate for families with children with special needs. Way to marginalize your VP pick, McCain...
If you don't believe my paraphrase, this is what John McCain said, according to CNN's transcript (thanks to William Dipini for the initial link):
Well, Americans have gotten to know Sarah Palin. They know that she's a role model to women and other -- and reformers all over America.Am I just reading (and previously heard) John McCain's words wrong? There's not one phrase that indicates that McCain feels that Palin would be a great President in her own right.
She's a reformer. She is -- she took on a governor who was a member of her own party when she ran for governor. When she was the head of their energy and natural resources board, she saw corruption, she resigned and said, "This can't go on."
She's given money back to the taxpayers. She's cut the size of government. She negotiated with the oil companies and faced them down, a $40 billion pipeline of natural gas that's going to relieve the energy needs of the United -- of what they call the lower 48.
She's a reformer through and through. And it's time we had that bresh of freth air (sic) -- breath of fresh air coming into our nation's capital and sweep out the old-boy network and the cronyism that's been so much a part of it that I've fought against for all these years.
She'll be my partner. She understands reform. And, by the way, she also understands special-needs families. She understands that autism is on the rise, that we've got to find out what's causing it, and we've got to reach out to these families, and help them, and give them the help they need as they raise these very special needs children.
She understands that better than almost any American that I know. I'm proud of her.
And she has ignited our party and people all over America that have never been involved in the political process. And I can't tell how proud I am of her and her family.
Her husband's a pretty tough guy, by the way, too.
It just feels like McCain's throwing the fight by acting like Frank Grimes in that one episode of The Simpsons, ranting and raving about Homer Simpson during a nervous breakdown. That's mavericky strategery for you. Oh yeah, he's not Bush (but Palin is darn close, you betcha).