On the Other Hand...

Why McCain Lost

by Jim Davies

The premise underlying all political life is that whereas A has no right at all to govern or interfere directly in the life of B (who owns it exclusively) he does acquire some such right by the act of casting a vote, in which he delegates to C a power he never possessed in the first place. When spelled out plainly like that, the premise is seen clearly for the nonsensical fraud that it is, which is why I reject it. Accordingly I am fully impartial about all political contests - I wish a pox equally on all their houses and am, therefore, one of the very few qualified to comment on their outcomes.

The 2008 Presidential race was, I reckon, not so much won by Obama as lost by McCain - due to one major blunder as below. Otherwise he ran a professional campaign, even though hobbled by appalling difficulties put in place by his Republican friends.

After thundering to victory in 1994 on the back of a purported "Contract with America", that Party squandered the power it won and 14 years later has left the country vastly worse, even, than it was then. The facts are well enough known: the Federal spend has ballooned, government power is intrusive to the point of closely resembling the nightmare of "1984", an apparently endless war, begun under false pretenses, is sucking dry its blood and fortune, and its economy is in shambles. It would be remarkable indeed, if any Republican could win against odds like those - even if the media were not wall-to-wall Democrat, Fox excepted. It's therefore to McCain's credit that he lost by only a minor landslide, coming to within 6% of Obama's popular vote.

It might be added that Obama was an unusually charismatic candidate, and that's true; he is the best orator anywhere since Hitler, regardless of platform and policies, and that counts for a great deal when much of the electorate would not recognize a conceptual idea if they fell over it. That is an argument for saying that truly, Obama "won", contrary to my reasoning here. Against it, however, must be weighed the heavy baggage Obama brought with him: (1) he is black, meaning that a substantial part of the bigoted voting public would not support him whatever his party or promises; (2) he has a very unusual background, having been at one time a Muslim, born of a foreign father, meaning that all the xenophobia native to American voters counted heavily against him; (3) he has a history of associating with extremists, for example with Jeremiah Wright under whose pulpit he sat twice a month for twenty years and who is an unapologetic black racist; and (4) there is even some question about whether he is a "natural born American" since he may have been born in Kenya to a mother who had not lived in the USA for five years after the age of 16 - hence, he may not even be qualified as President. So this horse is one remarkable orator, but is undoubtedly dark.

It seems clear to me, therefore, that despite the heavy disadvantages of the appalling mess made by his fellow Republicans, this race was McCain's to lose; yet he did lose it. Above all other single reasons, I identify one in particular; he had a golden opportunity to secure and extend an existing lead in the polls on September 27th, and he threw that chance away because he had no idea which way is up.

The occasion was his visit to New York on September 26th, interrupting his campaign, to propose a solution to the then-acute economic crisis. But then he said nothing of any substance and went back; like the Grand Old Duke of York, he marched his men to the top of the hill, and he marched them down again. That was his campaign's huge, missed opportunity. Polls at the time indicated that 72% opposed the bailout plan, and McCain could easily have capitalized upon that popular opposition and ridden it to victory. Here's the kind of thing he could have said.

"My friends, this financial fiasco resulted from two major things that Democrats did, and which Republicans failed to undo. Elect me, a maverick, and I'll not rest until both are repealed.

"The first, which caused it directly, was the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act, as amended. This forces major lenders to make home loans to people regardless of their ability to pay, and so is madness on its face. Those loans were made, and the mortgages were sold around the credit markets like hot potatoes, and when house prices happened to fall a little in 2005 all the firms holding that paper lost assets, and so could lend less, and so house prices fell further, so spinning a vicious cycle and producing widespread insolvency. The CRA was an insane idea and was hammered into place by Democrats. My opponent actively worked as a "community organizer" in Chicago in the 1990s, in particular supporting ACORN, an organization that expressly urged low-income people there to apply for these mortgages and take advantage of the law, even while many of them rightly sensed that law was immoral. The candidate who has done most to help this crisis form is therefore Barack Hussein Obama.

"The second Act which caused it - indirectly but powerfully - was the 1913 Federal Reserve Act, also put in place by Democrats and also never repealed, I'm sorry to say, by my fellow Republicans. This Act established the Federal Reserve, as a quasi-central bank with power to create "money" out of thin air. Periodically it has done so, creating so much inflation that since it was formed, the US Dollar has lost 98% of its purchasing power - although once, in 1932, it actually reduced the supply of money artificially and so triggered the Great Depression. In the wake of 9/11, the Fed flooded the economy with cheap new money, sending the signal that borrowing was easy and inexpensive - and this excess money quickly found its way to mortgage borrowers, compounding the error of the CRA and making it much easier for lenders to obey that Law and make foolish loans. Today, they want to repeat that gross error by pumping in yet another 750 billion false dollars behind it - which, far from solving the problem, will merely cause a repeat in some form a couple of years from now. The whole notion of having politicians control money is false and destabilizing, and must be ended outright."

McCain said no such thing, for he probably doesn't understand any of that, any more than Obama does; if so, there's one good reason why neither of them should have been elected. But if he had wanted to find out, he could have readily done so in many places on the Internet including my own "Fiat Folly" published a full week earlier.

November, 2008

Jim Davies lives in New Hampshire,
and enjoys contemplating which way is up.

The above is Edition # 330

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