Jonathan Berger
Jonathan Berger

A paler shade of white

I agree with John McCain that “we can’t turn a blind eye to aggression and international lawlessness”. There. I’ve said it. Bite me. Unfortunately, however, the Republican candidate for president was talking about Russia’s exploits in Georgia and not George W Bush’s foray into Iraq. Plus ça change …

It’s a Thursday night in a steamy Washington DC and I’ve just forced myself to watch McCain’s acceptance speech at the GOP convention. Lots of red. Even more white. Even the occasional sprinkling of colour. And by that I don’t mean the blue balloons. How’s that for reaching across party lines!

Granted, I did not focus all my attention on the speech. But who could? It was, well, somewhat parev. For those au fait with the intricacies of the laws of Kashrut, the term parev refers to a food that is neither meat nor dairy. Colloquially, it’s used to describe something nondescript, neither here nor there. Beige. The speech was beige.

“I will reach out my hand to anyone to help me get this country working again”, said the senator from Arizona. Of course, he was talking about his penchant – as we are told – for non-partisan action. But, as the Democrats tell us over and over (and over) again, McCain has voted with his president over 90% of the time.

They’re right. But what this average (from the duration of the imperial presidency) hides is the trend from a relatively independent – OK maverick – streak a number of years ago to a position that is largely indistinguishable from Dubya’s these days. So much so that there are now 25 Republican senators who have agreed with Bush less often than McCain over the eight years.

So while I wasn’t watching the show I was chatting to a friend on Facebook about wanting to do something, anything, to support the Obama campaign. So appalled was I by the speech that I quickly followed up on my friend’s suggestion and made contact with Democrats in Northern Virginia. Starting tomorrow afternoon, I’ll be doing voter registration in one of the swing states that is poised to turn blue.

After so much CNN I too am starting to look a little pale. Perhaps not as pasty as the overwhelming majority of the crowd in St. Paul, Minnesota, but a little off colour nevertheless. So I guess it is time for a good night’s rest before another hot and humid day in this crazy nation’s capital. Who knows what kak will be on the political agenda tomorrow.