I am certainly no fan of George Will, but I did find this fascinating:
Time was, the Baltimore Orioles manager was Earl Weaver, a short, irascible, Napoleonic figure who, when cranky, as he frequently was, would shout at an umpire, "Are you going to get any better or is this it?" With, mercifully, only one debate to go, that is the question about John McCain's campaign.
In the closing days of his 10-year quest for the presidency, McCain finds it galling that Barack Obama is winning the first serious campaign he has ever run against a Republican. Before Tuesday night's uneventful event, gall was fueling what might be the McCain-Palin campaign's closing argument. It is less that Obama has bad ideas than that Obama is a bad person.
Napoleon complex? John McCain? And the argument has deteriorated to Obama being a "bad person"? From George Will? There is more.
This, McCain and his female Sancho Panza say, is demonstrated by bad associations Obama had in Chicago, such as with William Ayers, the unrepentant terrorist. But the McCain-Palin charges have come just as the Obama campaign is benefiting from a mass mailing it is not paying for. Many millions of American households are gingerly opening envelopes containing reports of the third-quarter losses in their 401(k) and other retirement accounts -- telling each household its portion of the nearly $2 trillion that Americans' accounts have recently shed.
Female Sancho Panza.
And I, for one, am not opening any quarterly statements. I am putting them in a file, unopened. I worked really hard to earn the money that those statements will show is now gone and I simply would rather not know how much of it has been lost as a result of the deregulation-Bush-McCain policies (and the greed of their fellows-in-arms) that have destroyed our economy. What else should I be doing? Stuffing cash in a mattress doesn't pay any returns at all.
And what about other American families who work really hard and are suffering real losses and are seriously scared about their futures? They are saying: Can we retire? If so, when? Can we pay the collage tuition bill? Colleges themselves are running out of money:
American universities have long been the envy of the world, with seemingly bottomless purses to bankroll cutting-edge research, top-notch faculty and construction projects galore. And fiscally speaking, these schools have it better than most businesses in the U.S.: multiple sources of revenue, including parents willing to pay tuition through the nose amid all kinds of money trouble, have often kept these institutions insulated from economic downturns. But in a financial crisis of this magnitude, even the ivory towers are getting hit — and in more ways than one. Not only have Bank of America, Citigroup and some two dozen other lenders cut back on or stopped issuing student loans, but the market meltdown has left many colleges scrambling to come up enough cash to cover payroll and other near-term necessities.
More from Mr. Will:
In this context, the McCain-Palin campaign's attempt to get Americans to focus on Obama's Chicago associations seem surreal -- or, as a British politician once said about criticism he was receiving, "like being savaged by a dead sheep."
Indeed. Or rabid lambs for that matter.
Mr. Will concludes his column thusly:
In 1987, on the eve of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's third victory, the head of her Conservative Party told a visiting columnist: "Someday, Labour will win an election. Our job is to hold on until they are sane."
Let us remember, right now, that WE are the party of sanity. And let us please get out there, every single day, every single hour, until November 4 and bring this home.
The future of this country depends on it.