Same Old Tune
Let's face it. McCain's entire campaign has centered around fearmongering. His strength is foreign policy, and so he had hoped to skate through the entire race by playing on Americans' fears of terrorism and security lapses. So, early on he suggested that Obama would "embolden" our enemies. That he was "pals" with the terrorists. That Obama is wholly unqualified when it comes to foreign policy, and that there's no time for "on the job training." That Obama would end America's status as the last remaining superpower.
Well, Senator McCain made a strategic mistake (one among many, actually). He's like the song and dance man who only knows one tune, but then he starts his performance only to find the audience clamoring for something else. He has no choice but to either insist on playing the song he had planned, or to flounder around trying to satisfy his listeners with a nervous and off-key rendition of an unfamiliar tune.
Earlier this year, when Senator McCain found the voters requesting a few lines about the economy, he chose to keep singing his own foreign policy praise. In fact, he did so as long as he could possibly hold out. But now, trailing far behind Obama and realizing that the economy is the sole interest of the American voters, McCain has belatedly and begrudgingly agreed to change his tune. He's finally switched from a foreign-policy-oriented mantra to one focussed on the economy. And yet still there's a common refrain: he's merely switched from security-based fearmongering to economic fearmongering.
Just look at what he said today. He said that we have to elect him because
1. It would be too dangerous to give Democrats both the presidency and control of Congress
2. Democrats will raise taxes and increased taxes will cause unemployment to skyrocket.
Well, obviously any Republican would be concerned about the Democrats becoming too powerful. But on the other hand, there's something to be said for efficiency. Remember what happened when a Democratic President was paired with a Republican Congress? The entire government shut down. Literally. Because of an inability to agree on a budget, non-essential functions of the federal government were shut down for five weeks in late 1995 and early 1996. The shutdown was estimated to cost the government about $800 million dollars. So it's hard to argue that a heterogeneous executive-legislative pairing necessarily makes for a more balanced, effective government.
And as far as taxes and unemployment are concerned, we Republicans often like to accuse Clinton of instating the "single largest tax hike in history." Regardless of what you think of the revenue increase, it was followed by seven years of steady decrease in unemployment to its lowest levels ever. Now, obviously, there's no single cause of unemployment. But it's awfully difficult to make a strong argument that increased taxation alone is going to cause a sudden hike in job losses.
So yet again McCain is resorting to baseless fearmongering in hopes of garnering support among undecided voters. Yet for the nine months the voters have seen all these attemps as exactly what they are: shameless ploys founded on nothing more than falsehoods and half-truths. I'd imagine the voters will see through this one, too.