Monday, May 12, 2008

Get out of the way, Gramps

Contrary to what John McCain says, Hamas has not endorsed Barack Obama. That’s just not something Hamas would do. Even if they thought Obama might give them an audience, no Hamas leader would risk his neck by publicly endorsing an American Presidential candidate. Of course in the modern era of politics facts aren’t important. Photo ops and sound bites make or break you. There is one fact that nobody can escape: John McCain is old. We’re not talking older McCain is just plain old.

I know, we aren’t supposed to discriminate based on age. Well that’s a great idea but when it comes to elected officials we already do. Nobody younger than 35 can serve as the President of the United States. Apparently people under the age of 35 are too naïve and inexperienced to grasp the nuances of public policy and foreign relations. It doesn’t matter that our current President might have an IQ under 35 giving him the mind of a hamster, age is more important than smarts.

So why should we leave the other end of the lifespan open? When that phone rings at 3:00am do you really want Pappy fumbling around for his dentures? I don’t. I also don’t want him nodding off during cabinet meetings or regaling important foreign officials with highly inappropriate stories about his days in the Navy. Morocco? I knew a great whore from Morocco…

Even if McCain is all there, which doesn’t seem to be the case, There is the simple inevitability of the cycle of life. McCain is practically knocking on death’s door. He could go gently into that good night any day now. Granted, life doesn’t come with any guarantees…other than the fact that it will end which is really the point. In addition to the everyday risks we all face (car accidents, plan crashes, meteors, killer bees, flesh eating bacteria, Glen Close…) McCain’s on the edge of his own mortality. It's like we're all playing Russian Roulette excpet he's got five chambers loaded.

Making matters worse is the fact that McCain’s logged more mileage on that wrinkled old carcass he calls a body. He was tortured in Vietnam for five years. You have to respect the price he paid to serve his country but if smoking can shave 10 years off your life what does torture do? It’s a virtual miracle that the old coot is still breathing but his luck won’t last forever. In fact, it probably won’t last through the first year. Presindets are expected to put in long hours, and naps during Matlock at 1400 hours just won't cut it. Can McCain put in 16 hour days? I know Bush didn't but we see how that's turned out.

We’ve seen signs that he’s slipping. Erroneously crediting Hamas with endorsing Obama is just a cheeky error in judgement but this guy got the players in the Iraq mess mixed up. Sure, most people have trouble keeping Sunni and Shiite Muslims straight but McCain’s talking about keeping troops over there for another 100 years or so. It would be nice if he had some idea who they’ll be fighting and why. If McCain can’t keep the friends and foes straight we’re going to see things get worse before they get better.

Don’t get me wrong, old people are great but there’s a reason we send them off to nursing homes as soon as we can get the power of attorney form signed. McCain might be fit to serve a term as the president of his shuffle board club, but I’m not so sure about the White House. Age might be nothing but a number but so is a golf score. When it comes to keeping this country on the green McCain is a few strokes over par.

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