Thursday, August 21, 2008

One Hell Of A Gamble

Josh Marshall:

I've watched the Bush presidency very closely. I've watched McCain closely for the last decade or so. And I either know or know a decent amount about a lot of the people advising him on foreign policy. And in terms of the physical safety and future of my wife and two sons, let alone the country, I would much prefer four more years of the Bush presidency to a McCain presidency.

A few weeks ago I wrote:

If that sort of psychological trauma explains our great national shrug, it has important implications -- not only for where one might want to live, work, own property, raise kids, and certainly invest money and keep savings, but for where it's safe to do so.

So obviously I agree with Josh, especially as a fellow New Yorker. I don't think this space is known for hyperbole or hysteria, so I'll put this as tactfully as possible: if McCain wins, the uneasiness quotient associated with living in or near high value targets like major cities should rise considerably. And I'm not referring to threats from dirty bombs or planes flying into buildings. You know, October 1962 is getting to be a long time ago. How many of our current political and military leaders remember it? How about the public? Or the freshly-minted, self-styled "geopolitical experts" and the ruddy-cheeked warblogger set? In the fall of '62, would the latter have been cranking out chest-beating missives in downtown DC or leafy Beltway suburbs? Or would they have long since beat a hasty retreat to undisclosed locations and mountain redoubts, of course after first making sure their own personal hideaways were well outside any potential blast radius or fallout cloud path?

During the presidential campaign in 1980, I was in junior high school. I have vivid memories of a Social Studies class in which we debated whether or not Ronald Reagan was a "warmonger." That was one of the major issues of that election. I've tried to balance my concern about McCain's recent posture with that perspective, but I don't think there's much of a comparison. At this point McCain seems more like Nixon during his dark days, when aides were so worried about his unpredictability that they chose not to wake him one night during an apparent Soviet provocation.

All the warning signs on McCain are there, easy to see. How many voters remember crouching under their desks during grade school duck-and-cover drills is another matter.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I, for one, do remember the drills in elementary school where one hid under the desk, or sometimes took cover in the hallways, away from windows. And I clearly remember 1962 as i was in high school then. And nothing since then, not even 9/11, comes close to being as high on the fright scale. Hold you breath and pray if McCain is elected. (Or hope that the military has the sense to disobey orders or find a technical excuse for doing so, i.e., the missles failed to launch, and the parts are on backorder).

8/21/2008 10:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fact that we haven't destroyed the planet despite having that capability is actually quite surprising. We've been lucky enough to have leaders with enough wisdom to this point (the Nixon stories and MacArthur notwithstanding), or at least the situation has been such that we weren't on the brink. With McCain's belligerence and the neocon dream of bringing back the Cold War (since their grand adventure in the Middle East seems to be fizzling) potentially being realized, will that continue? Fortunately for me, I live near enough to the center of a major city. I would be obliterated instantly in a nuclear conflagration.

8/21/2008 10:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Something that most people are in denial of is the fact that the next war between countries that have nuclear weapons will see the use of these weapons. There is a new generation of small yield precision guided nuclear weapons that have been approved for use by the current administration. These idiots think they can keep the exchange limited to a few desert locations and put the genie back in the bottle once the battle is won. A respected military leader once said, "No plan of battle survives the opening shots." Too bad the current leadership has no experience in war.

8/21/2008 11:46 AM  
Blogger Jack of All Tirades said...

Andrew Sullivan recently ran a video as part of a contest to "take back the election".

I'm not often given to hyperbole, but this left me in chills:,

I don't want to be overly partisan, but everyone needs to forward the video to anyone who may be thinking of voting for McCain.

8/21/2008 3:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I well remember that October 1962 day when the naval blockade of Cuba went into effect. My jr. high social studies teacher told us that we could be at war by the end of class! McCain may have reversed his initial impulsive stance on bringing Georgia into NATO and defending it militarily, but it took him three days to do it. That's more than a little late were he in a position to commit our troops based on his impulses.

8/21/2008 4:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember desk drills for nukes. They were still doing them as late as the early-1980's, when I was in primary school.

I cannot believe that anyone would WANT to have another Nuclear Cold War. Didn't McCain kind of *like* surviving the previous one?

8/21/2008 10:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats. H. L. Mencken

If enough people would join me I would gladly go to Washington DC and burn it down...shoot every congressman and executive branch employee I could find. Hang them from every light post we can find and leave them to rot as a reminder to the next bunch who take power. Only then would we seen an improvement in our governance. As far as all these idiots who post here thinking Obama is going to be their saviour. LOL. The Arabs better start digging their bomb shelters now. There is going to be a ton of dead arabs. A third Bush term would be far superior to Obama. If he could run again I would go to the polls and vote for Bush and Cheney and actively campaign for them. Hell... I would vote for Cheney if he would run alone. The world has already aligned against Bush and Cheney. Obama and Biden will have a freehand. And it is going to be a serious bloodbath.

8/23/2008 10:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hell I even disagree with everyone here. I think McCain is the safer candidate for the world. The rest of the world knows he is crazy and will be aligned against him like they are Bush and Cheney now. If it is Obama and Biden look out world. It is going to be ugly. I might just have to go vote for McCain. And I don't vote on principal!!!

8/23/2008 10:46 PM  
Blogger Mr. Hedley Bowes said...

goldhorder, is this a whispering campaign to increase the value of your metals?

8/27/2008 2:00 PM  
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