More of this, please, John
by Koan, Fri May 16, 2008 at 08:32:30 AM EDT
Sen. McCain the other day:
"If I am elected President, I will work with anyone who sincerely wants to get this country moving again. I will listen to any idea that is offered in good faith and intended to help solve our problems, not make them worse. I will seek the counsel of members of Congress from both parties in forming government policy before I ask them to support it. I will ask Democrats to serve in my administration. My administration will set a new standard for transparency and accountability. I will hold weekly press conferences. I will regularly brief the American people on the progress our policies have made and the setbacks we have encountered. When we make errors, I will confess them readily, and explain what we intend to do to correct them."
[Sorry for the lack of block quotes, I'm programmatically impaired.]
I applaud this sentiment from Sen. McCain and I see it as an effect that Obama is already having on the General Election. Since the beginning of the primary season, I have hoped that we would see a McCain v. Obama match up in the fall, because I trust both senators to finally start the long, hard process of stitching up the partisan divide. Some argue it's unstitchable; I'm not so sure. But moves like this and his rebuke of the NC party's Wright ad are a step in the right direction.
That's why I feel like it's incumbent on Democrats and progressives to encourage McCain to use this kind of language, and to call him out strongly when he tries bullshit moves like tying Obama to Hamas. A lot of the right already hates McCain because they see him as too bipartisan, too willing to reach out to the Democrat enemy. There will be strong pressure on him to allow the party's machinery to undertake dirty, Swift-boat attack campaigns.
I hope the public pressure stays on him to resist. The party's hardcore have already indicated that they plan to ignore his calls for temperance and a moderate tone. He remembers South Carolina in 2000. The more we can encourage him to match Obama in raising the tone, the better an election we'll have.
I'm expecting a tough fight from McCain. He's a politician, after all, and I'm sure this fall campaign won't be free from the usual bullshit. (Hamas, McSame, etc.) Both sides will distort and paint their opponents in unflattering colors.
But encouraging this kind of talk from our politicians is what we want to do. We just need to be on them to live up to it.