October 8, 2008

Not that One

I rarely wander into even the outer reaches of the political arena, and do so now with all the usual caveats: I speak for myself, not my parish, community, diocese or denomination.

I watched the "town hall" last night, and I continue to be concerned about John McCain — not by his policies (which, given his tendency to include just about every option, including contradictory ones, in his rapid fire synopses, are hard to categorize), but by him. The election is about the candidate, what kind of a person he is: the power to implement policies is conditioned by other factors beyond the control of any president. But what the president can do, for example, as commander-in-chief, is important. And I don't want to see someone as erratic and angry as John McCain in a position with that kind of power.

I cannot help but note the affect of the two candidates: Obama serious but at ease, diplomatic even when disagreeing; tending to the pompous or the vapid, but still showing some real heart now and again. McCain on the other hand reminded me of the sort of person parents warn their children to stay away from, tottering about the arena like an eccentric in his front yard, muttering the occasional non sequitur, clearly unhappy to have to be in the same space as his opponent, and with body language declaring that his opponent isn't even there; apparently angry that he should have to debate this upstart whippersnapper, smiling like a shark when he smiles at all, and a look of hunger and fear behind his eyes.

Then came "that one" — already analyzed for all it's worth; but all I thought was, "What a strange thing to say!" Had he referred to himself as "this one" instead of as "me" I might not have taken notice. But "that one" smacks too much of "one of them" (with a wink and a nod, literally) to sit too comfortably.

Perhaps I make too much of this quirkiness. But I suppose that is my right, as it is of others to disagree. Whatever else, I do not think that McCain is the one I want to see in the Oval Office. I prefer the other one.

Tobias Haller BSG

9 comments:

bls said...

He made my choice easy the minute he picked Palin - an act that demonstrates his judgment is really quite off.

Tobias Haller said...

I have preferred Obama from fairly early on -- in the primaries even, though I would have been happy with Hillary, too. The Palin choice was indeed the sign of impetuosity coupled with poor judgment. I could not believe her performance in the VP debate. I find it amazing that anyone can take her seriously as a candidate for such high office. But then again, perhaps I expect too much...

JCF said...

"That one" was a Macaca Moment if ever I heard one (and live-blogged it immediately after he said it, w/o benefit {heh} of pundits)

You just can't talk about "Country First - Country First - Country First!", then act as if the democratic process which makes this country great, is some sort of contemptible nuisance (to say nothing of the "nuisance" which is one's democratic/Democratic opponent!)

Christopher said...

Being of a more moderate political stripe, I have long respected Sen. McCain. But his choice of Gov. Palin was a deal-breaker. As I mentioned in a post some time back, Sen. McCain's behavior of late reminds me an awful lot of my father, a fellow Vietnam veteran, who lives with ptsd.

Tobias Haller said...

Christopher,
I used to respect Senator McCain. I probably could have voted for the "old" McCain, before he bought into the present party line so wholeheartedly -- if he has. In fact, I wonder if some of his anger isn't self-directed due to the extent to which he finds himself acting against his own better judgment. Just a thought, but that also would go to explain what looks like a great deal of anger and erratic motion.

Davis said...

I keep being stunned by his regular comments about "winning" in Iraq and elsewhere as though beating our enemies is all we're meant to do. That he cannot get over our "loss" in Viet Nam is troubling - he's living in the past.

I echo christopher's remarks almost word for word.

Grandmère Mimi said...

So then, Tobias, you are for "that one". I am, too. As I said over at my place, I'm beginning to fall a little in love with him. He's cool and in command of himself. I like what I see.

At one time I respected McCain, but the day he hugged Bush, I stopped. Bush's supporters slimed him viciously in South Carolina in 2000. I don't say he should have shunned Bush, but hugging? He's gone downhill ever since.

Anonymous said...

Wow, it all seems like crazy, hyper insane sensitivity or paranoia to me, honestly. I took "that one" to mean--as there were two people on the stage--McCain saying in effect "not this one" (me, McCain) but "that one" sitting over there. No points for smoooooooth speaking by McCain, but I don't think I could ever be persuaded it was rascist intentional or unintentional.

Tobias Haller said...

Thanks, GM. Anon, I am not sure it was racist -- intentional or unintentional -- but it was a very odd and disrespectful turn of phrase. Had he said "This one" in referring to himself I might not even have noticed; but the full statement, as visible on the video, shows him referring to himself as "me" -- that is what made the "that one" stand out so sharply. It is a very odd turn of phrase. People are trying to spin it as a take-off on "The One" -- but frankly, if that was the intent, it was badly timed and badly set up. It seemed to be totally spontaneous, as so much of what McCain seems to say -- and it is this flying off the handle maverickship that concerns me.