The 1960s and McCain

I intend to do that by making it clear what I stand for. I stand for the principles and policies that first attracted me to the Republican Party when I heard, in whispered conversations and tap codes, about the then-governor of California, who stood by me and my comrades, and who was making quite a reputation for standing by his convictions no matter the changing political winds of thought and popular culture.

It is interesting how McCain goes from an appreciation of the Sainted-amongst-the-primary-voters he needs in order to finish his Republican nomination up, Ronald Reagan — and the cultural war interceding into the real war in Vietnam nature of the appreciation — into a cultural war attack on the 1960s.  This is not the first time in this campaign that we have seen John McCain make an attack on the 1960s, and its popular cultural imprint, which suggests that it is a real strain within his person and thus candidacy.  (The political impact of “The 1960s”, mind you, is complicated — such that its greatest electoral effects — the election of Governor Reagan and President Nixon.)

It is also offers up a suggestion of why he is probably going to lose the general election, particularly interesting to another echo of the 1960s — strained perhaps, as Teddy Kennedy reworked John Kennedy’s “Torch has been passed to a new generation” line in sending up Barack Obama.  It may not be a good idea to show your age in a Cultural War no one is terribly interested in fighting.  Bob Dole was slightly caught in the trap in 1996 by dent of age, but George Bush was more so in 1992 by dent of… um… ?.

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