From "The One" To "That One": John McCain And (Not) Reaching Across Party Lines

Senator McCain likes to claim he will be a bipartisan leader. He likes to claim he will get things done once elected president, because he knows how to reach across party lines.

He may say this, but does Senator McCain "Walk the talk"? Does he really know how to reach across party lines?

No. He does not.

In tonight's presidential debate, Senator McCain failed big time in that most basic principle of bipartisan leadership: attributing inherent worth to his equal from the opposite side of the political spectrum.

Yes, I know that Senator McCain is behind Senator Obama in the polls. I know he needs desperately to change the dynamics of the campaign. I know his campaign put a commercial on the internet that accused Senator Obama of thinking he's "The One"... the messiah... almost Moses-like.

But, Senator McCain, tonight you referred to Senator Obama as "...that one."

Not "Senator Obama", "my opponent", or "he does" (which would have fit the context of the rhetorical question Senator McCain asked the audience in his previous sentence).

Not even "that man."

But "that one."

Who speaks that way about another person? Who calls a person "that one"?

Certainly not a future president... especially one who claims he knows how to work across party lines - (although every time he uses Senator Lieberman as his example of a Democrat who he works with, I feel like reminding him that Senator Lieberman is not really a Democrat any more) - and claims Senator Obama never has.

And, related to that, I think Senator McCain should talk to Senator Lugar (R - Indiana), because then he'd find out Senator Obama definitely knows how to reach - and work - across party lines.

It's a shame, Senator McCain, that you are so unaware of who you really are.... so unaware of your inability to respect that man who - if you were to be elected president - would be someone the American people would expect you to work with.

But that's okay. Even if you aren't aware of how little respect you have for Senator Obama, the American people are now more clear than ever about that fact.

The last question of the debate was "What don't you know and how will you learn it?" Well, Senator McCain, this is something you obviously don't know... about yourself. But about five weeks from now - when you are analyzing the reasons why you lost the election - I think this essential fact about who you are will be crystal clear to you.


Oh, for those of you who missed this moment in the debate, here it is...