Monday, 3 November 2008

A conspiracy theory I can believe

Look at the facts:

Fact A: Dick Cheney has, very late, publicly endorsed McCain for President.
Fact B: Dick Cheney is incredibly unpopular with the US public at large. (See Obama's gleeful leaping on the endorsement: "I'd like to congratulate Senator McCain on this endoresemnt because he really earnt it".)
Fact C: Dick Cheney and John McCain, it is generally agreed, hate, or at the very least dislike, each other. They have a history of clashing and of spats.  See eg this analysis. there has been talk that Cheney has resented McCain's attacks on the administration during the campaign as disloyal.
Fact D: Dick Cheney's age and health mean that he doesn't have a future in Republican politics.

Now, I think Dick Cheney must be aware of his unpopularity. In the light of all this, I think the following conclusion is both logical and eminently possible: Cheney has come out for McCain in a deliberate attempt to damage his campaign.

It seems to me the obvious alternative - Cheney genuinely wanted to help McCain, and thought his endorsement would provide a helpful shot in the arm - is simply not all that likely, because the politics doesn't work. Cheney might enthuse the hawkish neo-cons, but they have now accepted McCain as a poor candidate (eg on immigration) but ultimately worthy of support - see the Ann Coulter 'I'll vote for McCain but I'll have to get drunk to do it' line. They are going to get out and vote anyway, to keep out ol' terrorist-lovin', Muslim Obama. It's the undecideds - as much as 10% of the electorate according to some polls - that are crucial now, and they are likely to be put off by Cheney.

Andrew Sullivan disagrees; he sees another reason for the endorsement, arguing that Cheney genuinely thinks his aupport would be helpful, and wants McCain elected to ensure avoid prosecution for warcrimes. 

I just don't find this very convincing. I prefer to go with Darth Cheney stabbing his old foe in the back with the knife of his support, as one last, dark, subtle act of political warfare.


dNo said...

Jonny - he did it!!!!!!!!!!!
Fancy a trip to Alaska - thought it might be fun to go to Wasila and just point at the locals and laugh....

Jonny Mac said...

I'm with you Dno, book the tickets!