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McCain’s unintentionally funny campaign mailer

Posted: July 2, 2008 12:56 a.m.
Updated: September 2, 2008 5:03 a.m.

There's one thing I just love about being a registered Republican. It seems I'm on every mailing list from every Republican candidate whose shadow has ever darkened our valley, district, state, or nation.
In my youth, I subscribed to MAD Magazine for humor delivered to my mailbox. Today, that expense isn't necessary. Instead, I get letters from accidental comedians ranging from Buck McKeon to Mitt Romney, to now - John McCain.

Their mailers are reliable treasure troves of fear, doom-saying, militarism and shake down - all hilariously blended with unintentional belly-laugh humor. It's as though these candidates are oblivious to the shallowness of the sheet they're printing.

McCain's four-pager opens with a gag that carries literally from front to back. At the bottom of the first page, there's instructions for how to operate the letter. "Over, please," it prods. Dutifully flipping, there's more helpful hints at the bottom of the second page. "Next page, please." The third page again reminds what to do, "Over, please."

Thankfully, there's no, "You may put the letter down" at the bottom of the last page.
I'm not sure if John McCain's pedantic instructions are indicative of his constituents' intelligence or expected dementia. Maybe he just knows folks are so disinterested, the mailer needs to cheerlead them through to the boring end. After all, it reads like a "Right Here, Right Now" column, what with redundant pushing of the fear and terror buttons. Yada, yada, yada.

Pointless fearmongering

Tell me something new after seven years of never-ending Republican meltdown. Can anyone honestly be expected to swallow much more of this Republican fear-laced tripe? Geez, don't tell me what's wrong - Republicans consumed six full years all to themselves screwing things up this badly. Couldn't they at least make a half-hearted effort to showcase just one tiny little thing they got right? But no! Instead, more fear.
If mailers were limited to showcasing only what went right in our recent Republican past, McCain would be sending out blank pages, wouldn't he? It would be like that book, "The Wisdom of George W. Bush." A quick read, for sure.
Enough of, "My constituents are so dumb they don't know to turn a page." Let's get on to the blather of the matter. Says John:
"Dear Friend, The choice America will face in November is very clear."
Like, Duh!

"It will be a choice between one of the most liberal administrations in modern history, or a President dedicated to upholding long-held conservative principles of limited government, strong national defense, and individual freedom."

John, why the sudden change of heart? You and your Bushy pals ran up the largest deficit in the history of the world; you've exhausted our military well past ruin; and you've sliced through freedoms of privacy as though our rights were melted butter.

"The Party of Senators Clinton and Obama will surrender to al-Qaida in Iraq and withdraw our armed forces based on an arbitrary timetable."

John, you're no one to talk. You and Bush and your ilk have already have us surrendering to Arab oil producing states, paying $4.75 per gallon tributes to our conquers at the pump. And as for Iraq, I'm not sure what's worse - an arbitrary timetable for withdrawal, or the arbitrary war you got us into in the first place. You sided with Bush for this ruinous war, and, over the years, you've told America many arbitrary dates for wining the debacle. But you've never been right. Not once. So maybe an actual withdrawal date isn't such a bad a thing. It will work out better than any of your prior plans to get us out of the hell hole you put us into.

Iraq vs. the economy
Besides John, folks are so fearful for their jobs and gas prices and their collapsing home values, they could hardly care less about Iraq, one way or the other. Yes, it's gotten that bad. Gas and jobs and houses are the new terror threat. "It's the economy, stupid!"

"The party of Senator Clinton and Senator Obama wants to increase the size of the federal government."
I hardly think that's possible, given your half trillion dollar annual deficits. And what did we get for your accumulated three or four trillion bucks in the red over these past seven years? A bloated Homeland Security, but zilch oversight of important banking and energy industries. Perhaps a little more spent on corporate oversight and less on warmongering might go a long, long way to restoring the average American's hope for, "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

"The Party of Senator Clinton and Senator Obama will raise your taxes."

John-boy, give us some credit. Every American knows there's no such thing as a free lunch. When you ran your war on easy credit; when you gave mountains of billions in tax give-aways to the oil companies and to the ultra-rich, the bill for that profligacy had to be paid somewhere, someday. And now, Average Joe American is paying that tax in the form of sky-high gas prices, high food and commodity prices - mostly due to your "blow and borrow" debasement of the American dollar. You tax us with renewed inflation. You tax us with a sagging economy. Your taxes on the middle class are the Katrina debacle, broken levies, collapsing bridges, lost wars, despair, and a dysfunctional federal government.

Instructions not required
Now it's past time to set things straight, but instead, you're again fear-baiting the middle class. But we're not buying it this go-around. President Obama will pull the plug on Bush's one-sided ultra-rich tax breaks and restore fairness to the tax code. OK, so your beer heiress trophy wife Cindy might pay a few percent more and relapse on the stolen painkillers. That's a risk we'll have to take.
On the last page, (the one page that doesn't tell me to flip it or turn it), McCain concludes his Litany of Fear with the usual pitch for cash. "Donate $35, $50, $100, $500, or $2,300 today!"
No way, Jose McCain. I need to save my dough for the five buck gas you've got me held hostage to. And after that, I need a little left over to send to Obama. I need "Change We Can Believe In," not "Fear You Want Me To React To."

And as for Obama mailers - at least they assume Americans are bright enough to read without operating instructions.

Gary Horton lives in Valencia. His column reflects his own views, not necessarily those of The Signal.



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