Meanwhile, the Marshall of Tombstone, in a statistical dead heat with the Huckster in Texas went down to Houston for a talk with pappy Bush. They met over the weekend in the lounge of the Lone Star Hotel where the two old warriors swapped war stories. A night of drunkenness ensued that, from all accounts, quickly degenerated into unspeakable acts of debauchery and degradation involving the Marshall’s total submission. In the morning, ‘Ol Pappy led the Marshall out before the cameras to announce that the he is indeed a good conservative deserving the Party’s nomination. McCain then took to the microphone and, without getting into the details of what had transpired the night before, said in a trembling voice: “Read my lips, no new taxes.”
McCain has now completely wrapped himself in the ill-fitting raiment of the Sorcerer’s Apprentice. He has pledged to continue ‘Ol Two-Cow's war in the Middle East for the next five generations; he has pledged to make W’s tax cuts for the rich permanent; he has now pledged no new taxes. This will ensure federal deficits as far as the eye can see; will ensure that there is no money for education or health care, or much of anything other than the military-industrial complex. This will ensure that there will be no change. McCain went down to Houston, was bitch-slapped into submission by the old man, and emerged from the encounter in service to the Empire, as it were a mere farmhand on the Crawford Ranch.
It is fitting that McCain parrot Bush in telling the party to, “Read My Lips,” for the Republican Party has long been reduced to lip-reading, as it has grown deaf to the cries of the middle class and the working poor. The problem the good Marshall will discover, once he has left town and regained his senses, is that such a posture only serves to communicate how hopelessly mired in the 1980’s and how prepared he is to fight the last war. If the election degenerates into a contest between McCain and Clinton, it will be a struggle over whether the politics of the 1980’s or the 1990’s will prevail. The middle class will yawn, knowing that there ain’t a dime's worth of difference. The election will have been reduced to mere spectacle, a splendid irrelevance.