Many who are rooting for the McCain-Palin ticket or against the Obama-Biden ticket are frustrated with what they view as an uninspired campaign by Sen. McCain and his advisers. That frustration leaves us susceptible to discouragement - the precise emotion that the Dems' and their mainstream media allies are working very hard at promoting, relying in large measure on political polling whose accuracy is highly suspect.
In particular, right now there's a great temptation for those of us for whom John McCain was not our first choice for the GOP nomination to already start focusing about "How He Lost It." Folks, that's way premature. I've always believed that the Dems would lead in the polls up through election day, and that any GOP nominee would be running as an underdog. Every realistic victory scenario I've ever heard for this year required our team to pass through a trough something like this one - and given the size and urgency of the economic problems, it's actually quite amazing that we're not already totally swamped.
So I'm not particularly pessimistic. Come from behind victories are sweeter, and this one would be very sweet indeed. But even if your worst fears do come true, you'll have four years to polish your coulda-shoulda arguments. And there are better things for you to do right now than just to fume, even if they may be less obvious to you at the moment...
First, recognize that no campaign is optimal. Some of the things that most frustrate you, as a committed conservative, as you watch the path of the McCain campaign may not be miscues at all in the eyes of independent or cross-over voters. And the Biden-Obama campaign has also continued to make its own share of blunders - of which, again, only some of may be obvious to you, since you're not in that swing voter group. To a larger extent than you probably would think likely, each campaign's mistakes will tend cancel each other out.
Next, keep in mind that John McCain's character traits that are dictating the kind of campaign he's runniing - which includes his stubbornness, his instincts toward compromise, and a sense of propriety and decency (which his opponent and his campaign feign but do not truly share) - are, and have always been, parts of a double-edged sword. John McCain is what he is. And he is uninterested in, and incapable of, remaking himself in any fundamental way to meet an acute campaign need. Indeed, friends and neighbors, he's already demonstrated more innovative thinking - by choosing Sarah Palin as his running mate - than I would permit myself to expect back when he clinched the nomination.
And finally, keep in mind that there are limits to what either campaign could accomplish even if either were to suddenly begin to run an optimal, perfect campaign. Even among those voters who are still undecided, most of them will end up making their final decisions based on the underlying fundamentals of the election - not based on the latest proposals from either campaign over the coming three weeks before election day. Between now and November 4th, Barack Obama is not going to miraculously grow a genuine record of legislative accomplilshment, for example, and neither is he going to transmute himself into anything but a first-term Chicago politician who's still "green behind the ears." Yes, he'll come up with new panders and give-aways - tens of billions of dollars worth of those. But fundamentally, he's not gotten any better, and he's just hoping he can keep his current momentum to manage to coast across the finish line.
Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your roundup of Obama news and commentary at OBAMA WATCH (2). Email me (John Ray) here