Warning: this starts out badly, but I'd advise you to stay with me.
John McCain is the worst candidate in my lifetime. I never thought there could be anyone worse than Dukakis and Dole, but Senator McCain has set a new record that will probably never be equaled. In sports, when a team has so many missed opportunities, they usually lose – but not always. Although McCain is batting a thousand in opportunities missed.
And I have every confidence that he'll be an even worse President than he is a campaigner. Which is why I have already firmly embraced Ann Coulter's idea that the Congress bring impeachment charges against him immediately upon taking office.
But I digress. Where was I… bad candidate, worse President… oh, OK… and he's a lot more like President Bush than he realizes.
So where does that leave us? Well, last night John McCain had his strongest debate performance. He actually had some memorable lines, and he may have established Joe the Plumber as a sympathetic character for the Republican cause, and if so, that's one thing Barack Obama hasn't been able to do for his side, but of course, there are no sympathetic liberals.
McCain nailed Obama on drilling when he called attention to Obama's glossy rhetoric: "He'll 'have a look at drilling'," which everyone immediately understood that to mean, "no how, no way!" And McCain did good on vouchers when he pointed out Obama's illogical position that he didn't want to do something that worked because he couldn't do more of it, which is also Obama's position on drilling, by the way. And McCain also established that Obama wants to take money from people and give it to whomever he feels deserves it more, and finally, McCain scored big with his emphatic: "I'm not George Bush, if you wanted to run against George Bush, you should have run four years ago."
I believe McCain also firmly, and once and for all, established himself as a decent man, a person who is not at all like the Obama campaign and the media relentlessly try to portray his as, and in doing so, he may even have preempted some of Obama's lines of attack in the closing days.
So while John McCain's debate performance on a scale of one to ten, one being terrible, was a one, it beat his first two performances which were god-awful, and it could be enough for people to realize that he's the better choice, which of course is an understatement, since Obama has no business even being in the same room with him.
Which is another reason I commend John McCain. I'd have had to punch out the punk last might as he sat there with that smug smile and the arrogant attitude that screamed, "go ahead, say anything you want, Senator McCain, I've got this wrapped up."
But it's even worse than that for McCain himself. He had to appear with someone as despicable as William Ayers and Reverend Wright and treat him not just decent, but like an equal. He had to debate someone who has used race against him, someone who has smeared him, in Spanish no less. He had to look directly at someone who approves of all forms of abortion, who has stated he's willing to accept a genocide as a price to pay for leaving Iraq, who would meet one on one with Iranian leaders, who reneged both on his pledge to accept public financing for his campaign and his commitment to town hall meetings, who has palled around with terrorists and racketeers and steered money to them, and who has no experience in running anything whatsoever, yet acts as if he knows better than anyone how to solve the country's problems at one of the toughest moments.
And through it all, Senator John McCain has remained calm, too calm for my liking, but statesmanlike nonetheless, and for all that, he's earned the right to have his missteps discounted and to be praised for his forbearance and good cheer. For if he's run the worst campaign in the last fifty years, Barack Obama has run the ugliest. In fact, Obama is like Dracula. he sucks the lifeblood out of good people, and he looks great doing it, but if he's ever exposed to sunlight, even for an instant… well, you know the story.