Sellout McCain disappoints

By Nathan Dixon

I bear no illusions as to what the state of the campus will be in the fall. It is all too likely that in a few weeks the people badgering me outside Ballantine Hall will be Obama supporters.

Perhaps ‘badgering’ is a little harsh. Most of the Obamites I ran into during the primary were overzealous, but also very nice. Still, a man can only take so many flyers before he grows tired of the whole thing. I suspect that the trash cans overflowing with said flyers indicate I wasn’t alone.

Despite all the festivities, I don’t think I saw a single McCain supporter camped out encouraging people to register or rally. The Republican primary wasn’t very competitive, but then again I still saw plenty of Ron Paul supporters out and about.

I can’t help but wonder if there even are any McCain supporters on campus. Perhaps they are simply laying low – not a bad idea given that my own editor has seen his McCain bumper sticker vandalized multiple times (now it just says “fuck” on it).

It still amazes me how fast some people have come to see McCain as just another dishonest double-talking politician. When I endorsed John McCain for the Republican nomination, I did so because I thought he had principally opposed his own party on several issues including global warming and torture. I followed up by mocking “real conservatives” who pretended they opposed McCain because he wasn’t one of them (but supported a formerly pro-life, pro-gay governor of Massachusetts).

Back then people liked it; these days, not so much. I now encounter people who constantly berate the fact that I ever said anything halfway flattering about McCain. It usually goes something like this:

“Did you hear what John McCain said today? He is such a liar. I can’t believe you don’t realize he’s a liar. I always knew he was a liar. I told you he was a liar. I told you he was just like Bush.”

This is often fairly frustrating, in part because I am fairly sure none of them actually told me any of those things (at least not until McCain actually got the nomination) and also because I never actually endorsed McCain for the presidency.

Alas, I cannot blame this prompt and vicious anti-McCain response on pure partisanship alone. McCain has been a thoroughly disappointing Republican nominee from his waffle on torture to his gas-tax holiday to his opposition to a withdrawal from Iraq.

I had hoped McCain could brush aside the more obnoxious right-wing tools and get his party back on track. Unfortunately he now seems to think he needs those hacks.

McCain’s work on bipartisan immigration and campaign finance reform were not dreams, they really happened. McCain’s story seems to the story of a man who missed his shot in 2000 but sold some of his principles for another shot.

But principle is a dear thing. Now I can almost forgive the “Bush = McCain” mantra.