Change Came and Went
George W. Bush did the only smart and compassionate thing during his "presidency": Staying off the campaign trail. However, he took all that back and then some by doing something breathtakingly bizarre, namely unmasking and unstrapping from his dolley the only other guy in the White House with even lower approval ratings than him.
Still, it's a marked contrast from 2006, when Bush joined the GOP on every stump in the land and essentially poisoned the well, salted the crops and put a pox on the livestock.
Nowadays, if Bush was running for re-election, there would still be the usual diehard deadenders who'd support him but many of even them would probably put his campaign signs in their back yards.
Even though there's no poll to prove this, it's fair to say, when one looks at Bush's latest approval ratings and McCain's last push polls, that McCain has almost twice the supporters as Bush would get were he running for a legitimate third term.
This, of course, beggars the inevitable question: Why???
Does it really come down to something as simple as plain stupidity and gullibility on the part of Republican voters? Voters who sincerely believe the tragically clueless, corporately-backed and lobbyist-infested McCain campaign represents a clear departure from the last eight years?
McCain long ago had already begun to uncomfortably resemble so many elderly placeholders that we've seen over the last two years. From Robert Gates to Michael B. Mukasey, it was obvious to us that Bush realized he'd squandered whatever political capital he'd had left and didn't have a taste for the same tug of wars he'd successfully waged against Congress in his first term.
And, after thoroughly rogering McCain in South Carolina in 2000, it's obvious that he's giving us yet another washed-up placeholder in John McCain. The Rude Pundit would call it sloppy seconds.
Yet Middle America continues voting against their interests even though McCain's tax cut would largely pass them right by, even while McCain would taketh that away by taxing their health care benefits, even while McCain would taketh away more of their loved ones in an ill-advised war against Iran or Russia, or Persia or Prussia or Gaul or whatever McCain calls countries that don't agree with us.
I am at a loss to explain how one of the best-educated industrialized nations on earth can harbor so many stupid and gullible people who dependably vote against their interests even when offered the most astoundingly unsuited presidential candidate to totter down the Beltway in this generation.
Indeed, it can be said that the McCain and Obama campaigns further divided us even more than did the Bush campaigns, an election cycle that showed America at its best and its worst.
Hillary Clinton, in her concession speech this summer, famously spoke of her candidacy producing "18,000,000 cracks in the glass ceiling" as regards political opportunities for women.
John McCain stands to put at least 50,000,000 cracks into the bellwether that tells us that a black man can get in the Oval Office based on merit.