The 2008 election is shaping up to be a choice between the lesser of two morons.
Professional politicians are measured by their ability to be elected. They don't have to be geniuses, knowledgeable in any particular field, particularly valiant, or intelligent. But they do have to say things and take positions that will appeal to the maximum number of voters and offend the fewest.
On these criteria, one can only conclude that John McCain and Barak Obama are political morons.
Barak Obama has as much of the Hispanic vote as he is going to get by virtue of being the Democratic candidate. He needs not pander for support. He needs not convince any Reconquista that he supports their effort. His strategy should be avoid the issue and avoid talking to Hispanic groups as much as possible.
He must avoid offending Americans who don't want amnesty, don't want open borders and do want illegals to go home. Instead, of avoiding the issue, Obama blunders along, "Instead of worrying about whether immigrants can learn English -- they'll learn English -- you need to make sure your child can speak Spanish."
Barak Obama starts strong on Free Trade, an issue wide open for the Democrats that could win the election in 2008. "It is absolutely critical that we engaged in trade, but it has to be viewed not just through the lens of Wall Street, but also Main Street," and then takes another step in the right direction, "There's no doubt that NAFTA needs to be amended."
Then in an interview with Fortune magazine, Obama does the flip-flop. "Sometimes during campaigns the rhetoric gets overheated and amplified," he conceded, after I reminded him that he had called NAFTA "devastating" and "a big mistake," despite nonpartisan studies concluding that the trade zone has had a mild, positive effect on the U.S. economy."
He doesn't need the vested financial support of Republican globalizers, yet he refuses to take a stand that is appealing to blue-collar voters, "Kill NAFTA."
Senator John McCain is not to be outdone. While busy pandering to Hispanics at their La Raza (the race) convention, McCain is able to be doubly offensive to working class voters. "McCain Touts Free Trade Agenda to Hispanic Group," says the headline.
What does La Raza care about free trade? It is concerned about its invasion force taking jobs that are here. It is not worried about bringing back lost factory jobs and restoring the American economy.
Says McCain, "I reject the false virtues of economic isolationism. Any confident, competent country and its government should embrace competition. It makes us stronger." This is a double whammy. McCain sells free trade to people who want amnesty, while at the same time offending millions of blue-collar workers who want their jobs back.
McCain voted for NAFTA, but that does not mean he cannot change his position. But he would rather lose the election than admit that he was wrong. A deft politician would say something like, “upon further consideration,” and move to a new position. McCain is not a deft politician. He is a bull, on steroids, in the China shop.
Of course, the meeting with La Raza concluded with McCain doing his famous smoke and mirrors, jive-shuffle on immigration. He has heard Americans say that they want the border protected and then reassures the Hispanic crowd that he will put his amnesty (comprehensive immigration reform) back on the table. Would somebody sent McCain a pair of tap-dance shoes? John McCain is not trying win an election. He is on a one-man crusade.
McCain should be winning this election in a cakewalk. He is the far more experienced candidate, a Senate veteran who has run for President before and with a commendable war record. He is up aagainstyouth and inexperienced personified. Yet, he and Obama try mightily to lose the election: foot in the mouth disease, stupid comments and positions that fly straight in the face of what the voters want.
Neither is going to win; one will have simply done less to damage himself.
Many Americans believe that the 2008 election will be a repeat of 2006 election,“A choice between the lesser of two evils.” That does not seem to be the case. Both candidates appear to be too stupid to be evil, that is, have conscious intent of what they are doing and choose to be destructive. Rather, they are just behaving like political morons, intent to lose the election.
Director, CT Citizens for Immigration Control
Mr. Streitz is a co-director of CT Citizens for Immigration Control. He was an infantry platoon leader with the 82nd Airborne, Vietnam and a Minuteman on the Arizona border. He ran for the CT Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in 2004 and 2006. He is the author of America First: Why Americans Must End Free Trade, Stop Outsourcing and Close Our Open Borders, The Great American College Tuition Rip-Off and Oxford: Son of Queen Elizabeth I