Senator Obama must avoid Creeping Carter-itis. I don't refer to the sanctimonious ex-Prez's current condition; I refer to his campaign/candidacy/presidency.
The young senator from Illinois has to avoid a campaign that, through inadvertent rhetorical flourish or genuine attempt at change, becomes wed to the idea that it can avoid politics, or transcend the messy, inconsistent business of . . . people. It can't be overly fearful of appearing hypocritical or impious when challenged on the intersection of the campaign's lofty goals and the business of electing presidents. Nor can it develop a genuine disdain for "washington" and politics, convinced of its own superiority -- if elected with that disdain intact, that's a recipe for difficulty. Some solutions for avoiding this problem, at least in the short run, are being offered.
Senator McCain must, in turn, avoid appearing in public wearing a brown shirt. The old senator from Arizona has to avoid a campaign that allows the armband 'neath his coat to peek through. And he has to avoid growing a funny little moustache 'neath his nose. Having successfully crafted laws successfully telling citizens when, how and where they can disseminate their political ideas, and promising jail time to people who speak about politics at a time McCain deems inadvisable, he takes on that pesky writ of habeas corpus. A writ so shocking to the conscience that the Straight-Talk Express will mow it down.
As the op-ed writer correctly notes, the issues presented by the recent Supreme Court decision on Gitmo Detainees' rights and the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 are not simple, and reasonable people of good will can disagree on the outcome; the case presents questions not just of the treatment of prisoners, but the competing roles of the three branches of government, and the mundane legal issues of exhaustion of remedies.
And mundane issues are only mundane until you're one of the millions of people affected annually by those issues in your own lives. But I digress, as this isn't about the Supreme Court's decision. It's about Der Fuhr . . . the Senator's response to the decision.
The Senator doesn't think that the issue is one where reasonable minds could differ. That whacky maverick has the view that people who disagree should be sho. . . are venal and evil and wrong. This apparently isn't an isolated case, of course. He seems to think that a LOT. So his campaign must make sure that we don't see who he is.
This should be loads of fun.
PS Don't worry; I'll be saving up all my "pro-McCain" thoughts for inclusion in a later post.
So far, I had settled on "snappy dresser" and "heroic prisoner" as the only two I could think of.
If those are good enough to be president, I know just who we need for our president!
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