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Election '08: The Final Debate -- You Don't Need a Weatherman..

BY MARC COOPER

Election '08: The Final Debate -- You Don't Need a Weatherman..

The McCain-Palin Campaign, October 2008

No more rulers. No more books. No more Johnny Mac's dirty looks.

I take back what I said yesterday. I had a GREAT time watching the final presidential debate. Not only because Bob Schieffer did a better job than I expected, but because I knew with each passing moment we were that much closer to the end of John McCain's presidential quest.

Equally enjoyable was to watch a pack of pundits scurry to say, as the wife of the architect of our current economic catastrophe (Andrea Mitchell) put it, that McCain "probably won on points." Right. She should have said, he won on points -- "give or take 30 points."

No more than 2 minutes later popped up the CNN flash poll in which debate watchers scored it a 58-31% win for Obama. CNN's poll also scored 'Independents" as giving a 57-31% edge to Obama. A CBS poll of uncommitted voters revealed even more asymmetrical numbers a 53%-22% win for Obama. What does that tell us about the wisdom of our Official Pundits?

Those deluded CNN viewers also gave Obama a 70-22% edge of "likability." And a ten-to-one edge on who spent more time on the issues than on attacking (Here's a wrap-up of the post-debate snap polls).

Other than that, a great night for John McCain.

I see little point in performing yet one more autopsy on McCain's decomposing political cadaver other than to say -- per usua l-- Obama maintained a Xanax-level coolness and steadiness while the Gentleman From Arizona fidgeted, grimaced, sighed, flailed and jabbed.

As the Asian markets nose-dived, the Nikkei falling 10%, and on a day in which Americans found their 401Ks shrunk another 7%, McCain mumbled repeatedly about Joe The Plumber and Ayers The Terrorist. With that discourse, along with his hard-line against choice, he shored up the conservative base and guaranteed he would lose the center -- and the election.

Fine by me!

There is some sweet irony in this. In the end, let it be noted for all his brandishing of the Weather Underground bogey man, it was really John McCain who wound up adopting their suicidal strategy. After a half decade of mounting anti-war opposition in the Sixties, with more and more of the political center turning against the policies of LBJ and Nixon, Bill Ayers and the Weathermen squandered the accumulated moral capital of the peace movement by staging what were called "the days of rage" and then by "declaring war" on the U.S. government. They lost their base and ceded the moral high ground to their opponents.

As terrorists, the Weathermen were as tragically inept as John McCain has been as a presidential candidate. If you look at their record you'll see that most of their bombings were duds. (Was Sarah Palin's mom running their show?) Indeed, if their goal was to spread terror in the name of stopping the war, their only real victims were among their own ranks. Not a single innocent death was officially charged to the Weathermen (though there were suspicions that a bombing that killed one police officer was a Weathermen action). The only people who we are sure died because of their actions were three of their own members who blew themselves up on March 6, 1970 in a Greenwich Village townhouse.

Play with fire. Die by fire. Isn't that true, my friends?

Next stop: John McCain's concession speech.