Friday, November 7, 2008

A Bird In The Hand

When I watched John McCain's concession speech, I thought it was his best moment of the campaign. Gracious and moving, it reflected the "old" John McCain who at some times over the years had impressed me with his political courage. I remain unsure which McCain was the real one: the man of principle, or the one we saw more recently. Either way, I'm happy to let it all go...

But the reason I posted the above video clip is for the last few seconds. When I saw it live, I had several thoughts: how perfunctory and cold was his non-hug of Sarah Palin, and how his handshake with Todd Palin was more like a flipping of the bird, turning away even before their hands met. And, of course, the virtual ignoring of his wife.

He's a complicated guy.


  1. Dear Sid,

    Well said. Although we have disagreed recently, your posts were well thought out, and forcibly and effectively delivered.
    So we disagreed agreeably.
    I for one respect your opinions, whether they are rants, raves or otherwise.

    For those who post anonymously on this blog or any other...your comments are not valid, nor even read by me...A comment withouy a signature is cowardice. In our society differences are res;pected, given in the appropriate setting and language.

    Your comments, Sid, gave me much cause for thought.
    The people and more important the youth of America, colored, white,young and older at the victory celebration are truly representative of our heterogeneous society. McCainn's group was mostly over 50-55,

    The new generation must lead, I will get behind our new leadership, not sabotage our country and pray for all of us.

    One further matter...following the results, the Republicans much to my disgust continue to be negative, recrimantory, and obviously will tow their nwrrow party line. A true American is John McCain and hopefully he and Joe Lieberman will continue their righteous leadership of our country.

    Keep up the great writing. Whether is is about surgery or other matters you are an exceptional author...
    As ever
    Gary L

  2. Gary: an interesting and disturbing aspect of the election is that it, paradoxically, seems to have led to a hardening of the Republican party around the most narrow base: nearly all the moderates were voted out -- Gordon Smith, Christopher Shays, etc -- leaving more of the hard core in Congress. Personally I like the idea of two viable (and reasonable) parties. I'm not particularly disappointed the Dems fell short (so far) of 60 in the Senate. But I do wonder how the R's will reconstitute themselves; if they continue only to care about the rabid evangelical and anti-intellectual wing.

  3. I could not agree more with your comments about McCain. I watched his concession speech and thought, "Where has THIS guy been during the campaign?" I thought it was very classy, and it really made me feel for the guy. Although his supporters at the event seemed to lack that same class.

  4. I think it is a crying shame that "evangelical" in your mind (and many others') has come to mean "strident fundamentalist bigot," as you used it in your last comment. It used to mean 'devoted to the good news' (specifically the Christian message of forgiveness and reconciliation. Some (yo!) had even hoped Ms. Palin would bring a different kind of evangelicalism to the national stage, as witness this article in August's New Republic.

    She chose instead to pander to the censorious and fear-dominated far right. Just as you observed,there appears to be no home in today's Republican party for moderate conservatives or sensible libertarians, and our country is the poorer for it. I voted Obama, though I am careful about saying so in my little midwestern town.

  5. dr bean: I'm sure you're right that I have a too narrow definition of evangelicals. I do indeed associate the term with narrow-mindedness, gay-hating, creationist, prayer-in-schoolers. So I guess it's an unfair shorthand to use the term as I generally do. Dobson, Falwell, Roberton, Perkins. I see them as a grave threat, and I may have ignored others who are more open and joyful in their beliefs. On the other hand, it seems the Republican party, to a greater and greater extent, represents only the former.

    Thanks for the link. I read it. For a moment it was unclear who Sarah Palin really was. It may still be; rather we only know who she wasn't, after all.

  6. McCain's concession speech further cemented my suspicion that he "threw" the campaign. I think he is such a loose cannon, aka Maverick, that he found the handlers and core people for the GOP to be intolerable. I wouldn't even be surprised if he voted for Obama.

    I do not think it is possible that the man who gave that speech on November 4th is the same blinking, stuttering man that wandered aimlessly in front of Brokaw.

    I know how insane it sounds, but I think it is true.

  7. Your narrow definition of evangelicals = christianists

    Here's Andrew Sullivan's take:

    "[L]et me suggest that we take back the word Christian while giving the religious right a new adjective: Christianist. Christianity, in this view, is simply a faith. Christianism is an ideology, politics, an ism. . . . I mean merely by the term Christianist the view that religious faith is so important that it must also have a precise political agenda. It is the belief that religion dictates politics and that politics should dictate the laws for everyone, Christian and non-Christian alike.",9171,1191826-1,00.html


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