I ended yesterday’s show with six words – seven words, as that scrappy kid from Scranton Joe Biden might say.
“Go McCain, go Palin, go Phillies.”
All three are winners as far as I’m concerned.
My decision to vote for the senator from Arizona and the governor from Alaska didn’t come easily.
I still believe that Hillary Clinton would make the best president.
But after losing the fixed title fight that was so stacked by the political bosses of the seedy gentlemen’s club known as the Democratic National Committee, the senator from New York now has other matters on her mind.
Good soldier that she is, Hillary’s campaigning for Barack Obama and Biden.
Radical independent that I am, I’m campaigning for McCain and Palin.
Although I’m still a liberal leftist who disagrees with 80 percent of McCain’s and Palin’s public policy positions, the 20 percent of what they represent and with which I do agree puts me over the top.
I want to shake up Washington. I want to rock Congress. I want to rattle cages in the House and Senate so loudly that the office doors fall off the hinges. I want to crack down on corruption and hold public servants accountable. I want to fight the good old boys who run the club and the women who tolerate them and dance to their music. I want good government once and for all.
And I’m willing to fight for it – losing friends and family relationships in the process.
That goes for Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and his wife, my cousin Maggie, whom I was never really close to in the first place. Dirty Chicago politics created Obama. And the Daley who now runs the machine has a dangerous vision for America.
Late-night America already has a Daley show that’s often too tough to swallow.
Like McCain, I want campaign finance reform, something that liberal Democrats always cherished until Obama broke his word and effectively killed the hope of people who know it’s wrong for candidates to be able to buy their way into office.
Like McCain, I also want immigration reform. McCain tried his best to provide a humane and rational reform. But Democrats failed to back him when America needed it most.
But, although I long ago tore up my Democratic voter registration card on the air during a show and sent the pieces to DNC Chairman Howard Dean, I still want Democrats in Congress. I want Democrats to earn that majority and win even more than 60 Senate seats so they hold a filibuster-proof majority.
And, if that happens, I vow to do my best to hold these Democrats even more accountable than ever. I want to flush out the phonies. I want criminal investigations and federal grand juries. I want fierce campaign finance reform that will prohibit candidates from taking cash from the powerful special interests and financial hustlers that Congress is charged with overseeing.
McCain and Palin offer me hope that real change might come with them serving at the top.
As much as anything, though, I want Democrats to act like real Democrats – brave public servants who will remain true to the party platform and fight for people who lack a voice. I want the return of liberty and justice for all. I want ribald leadership from real statesmen and stateswomen who are willing to stand and fall if necessary on principle and honor.
Party poopers need not apply.
I’ve been writing about politics for more than 30 years – with more than 20 of those years as a daily newspaper columnist who also specialized in covering violent crime. I’ve covered four national political conventions, both Republican and Democrat. I’m skeptical of everybody. But I’m still willing to trust. And I’m willing to trust McCain and Palin, both of whom I respect immensely.
No candidate is perfect. All candidates are flawed. But sometimes flaws give birth to strength. Mistakes often turn to muscle.
I’ll still fight McCain and Palin on their policies with which I disagree. For example, I’ll always support a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion. And I’ll fight McCain, Palin, Obama and Biden in my quest for human rights for everybody – particularly gay and lesbian people who want to get married.
But McCain and Palin offer the best course for an American overhaul of government that is long overdue.