We have been knocking John McCain quite a bit about not looking at Obama, not shaking his hand, calling him "that one," etc.
And universally, we attribute this to how much John McCain disdains Barack Obama.
But I sense more than just disdain in McCain's behavior. I think McCain also can't look at Obama because he's a little afraid of him and his debating ability. I think McCain avoids shaking Obama's hand in part because McCain is embarrassed by his own bullshit. When he calls Obama "that one" it isn't just disdain, it's also envy.
I think there is much more going on than simple disdain.
I realize that I have nothing to go on other than my own impressions.
But I think that what is happening with John McCain is far more complicated.
I think at some level he loathes the candidate he has been forced to become. I think he hates the fact that he has had to adopt Rovism.
Does he have some disdain for Obama? Sure. But I also think McCain knows he has been proven wrong on many issues and that Obama is kicking his ass. He is doing what he needs to do to win, but I think he hates himself for it. That's why he can't look Obama in the eye. He's embarrassed and shameful....as opposed to Sarah Palin, who lacks any shame or conscience and can lie with much more ease.
The reason that John McCain is not an effective Republican candidate is that he is not that convincing of a liar, which is a prerequisite for success as a Republican. Don't get me wrong - he's still a liar...but unlike a Palin or a Bush, you can tell he doesn't really believe his own BS.
You know, at times I almost feel sorry for John McCain. He's like the survivor of abuse who then becomes an abuser himself. Having been savaged by Karl Rove in 2000, he now tries to do the same to Barack Obama. But I think John McCain knows it's wrong....and his guilty, envious, depressed conscience explains just as much of McCain's behavior as does disdain.