No More Matchsticks
I can't recall a Republican senator ever winning the Presidency. I CAN recall them losing it; most recently Bob Dole in '96. And if things stay on course, John McCain will lose in 2008.
Because there are no consequences of losing. On Inauguration Day 2009 he'll have the same seats at the same banquets that he had in 2004 - and 1996. He'll have the same chambers as the day before the election (unless the Republicans miraculously win a majority).
It's all kabuki theater to the Washington insiders. With reelection percentages in the 90's, who gives a hoot about the constituents once you've punched your golden ticket?
And informed voters shake their heads, because the cynical pols are right.
Which brings me back to John McCain.
Senator McCain has a mixed legacy. No one can question his patriotism and his courage in Communist prison camps. But his legislative legacy is spotty. The McCain-Feingold bill is unconstitutional at its most charitable. He himself chose not to live within its limits this year. The unintended consequences of the 527s has been outrageous. Yet he has offered no apology for this abortion of civil liberty.
And now he purports to bear the standard for the Republican Party. But he's playing poker for matchsticks. There is no downside for losing. As we said before, he gets to attend the same balls, clink snifters with the same lobbyists, and fleece the same voters he does today.
And that's wrong. And that's wimpy. The sort of thing you expect from Sen. Present and Sen. Gaffapalooza.
So here's what John McCain should do today. Call a press conference and say the following:
"I'm John McCain. I have spent my whole life defending this country. Today I stand before you as a candidate for President of the United States. I take my candidacy very seriously. There are those who say senators have nothing to lose in presidential races, and that's why they don't get elected (unless their dad conspires with the mob to deliver Chicago).
It is true that Senators Biden, Obama, and I will all legally retain our seats should we lose in November. But that is not the American way. We have 'no skin in the game'. And that is wrong for the country I love.
To demonstrate my commitment to my ideals and my platform, I pledge today to resign my seat in the Senate if I am defeated in the election. I challenge my opponents to do the same. A contest of ideas this important should have real consequences, and the financial and political future of a few people seems a good starting point."
What do you think?
posted by Mike at 9:29 PM