--and a shittier pilot to boot.
I don't know that there's a lot of new material here-- it all feels sort of vaguely familiar. But RS puts together the personal case against McCain in the face of perhaps the most puzzlingly successful branding of a politician in our lifetimes.
In what might be irony, the McCain brand reminds me of the way people sometimes talk about Obama: as more the symbolic reconciliation of a national shame than as a guy with a platform--or a nuanced and flawed personality. The crucial differences, of course, are in the substance of each candidate that lies underneath that symbolism.
But there are differences in the symbolisms, too. McCain's vietnam is mostly generational, resonating most powerfully with the descendent baby bommers; Obama's is our oldest, and perhaps most persistent national challenge, one that's recurred in every generation of Americans since the first. That's not to say the difference is entirely in Obama's favor. Sure, it seem that Obama rides the bigger symbolic wave. But the bigger the symbol, the deeper the conflicts it contains. The question I wonder about is if--ala Deval Patrick, an easy, if flawed correlary-- the warm and fuzzies he inspires in people make for an inevitable backlash once he's in office.
But yeah, it's not exactly on the top of my list of concerns right now. Right now, I just want to make sure our next president isn't the type to have tantrums so fierce they cause him to pass out.