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I feel that the McCain campaign in future years will be studied as a model case of panicking, overcompensation, and ineptitude.

Event 1

Time: Mid-Summer

The McCain campaign, tied to an unpopular war and an even less popular president, is unable to counter (let alone exceed) Obama’s message of hope and change, decides to play dirty.  The Rovian tactics and the “Southern Strategy” come to the fore.  The goal, in the time tested GOP tradition, is to turn Barack Obama into a combination of John Kerry, Willie Horton, and Osama Bin Laden.  Hence the “naïve” meme, how Obama is a “celebrity,” or how he represents some vague threat to your Kindergarten age children.  

The Problem for McCain:

Well, it turns out that Americans have changed somewhat since 1988, and they are not really big fans of being appealed to by a racist campaign (some do, but they were already on board the Straight Propaganda Express).  This isn’t even 2004, since it turns out that the Obama campaign has actually studied past campaigns, and has the indecency to refuse to become Michael Dukakis.  

Event 2

Time: Late August (Post Democratic Convention)

The McCain Campaign, thinking it could coast on racism and implying that the Democrats are traitors (see: Cleland, Max), is in a predicament.  After a successful convention, in the face of atrocious attempts of media framing to fit the narrative (since original thought takes away from eating barbeque), Obama gives a stirring speech in front of tens of thousands.  Sensing that they are deep in McGovern territory, the McCampaign decides to be bold and daring.  It asks itself: “Isn’t there a deep division in the Democratic Party based on gender?  Doesn’t Hillary have a dedicated army 18 million strong?  What are they called again?  Oh yeah, PUMAs. Let’s put a female on the ticket.”  

The Problem for McCain:

The campaign was oblivious (either blindly or willingly) to the fact that the PUMA movement was a myth; consisting in reality of a few irreconcilable bloggers, GOP agents provocateurs, and the occasional baroness.  The Clintons, for their part, have been very helpful in their efforts (contrary to the predictions of many on the Great Orange Satan, including your humble narrator) And Sarah Palin, after a brief flush of fawning coverage by a lazy traditional media, has only highlighted McCain’s perceived flaws in decision making in the long term.

Event 3

Time: Late September

What happens when there is a financial panic (caused by the decades of GOP ideology compounded by the current Administration’s incompetence), the media turns on you for blatantly lying, and your running mate’s eloquence and mastery of the issues makes George W. Bush seem like Winston Churchill?  You TAKE CHARGE OF THE SITATION!  

You “suspend your campaign” (whatever that means, since removing advertising doesn’t seem to be a part of it). You tell David Letterman that you are rushing back to Washington and not able to do his show.  And by the time others have finalize the bailout, you can denounce it (thus mollifying the Club for Growth purists, and distancing yourself from the president) or vote for it and repair your bipartisan credibility.  And, by the way, we should just postpone that debate at the expense of the VP debate.

The Problem for McCain:

First of all, if John McCain was ever known as either a policy wonk or a Senate workhorse, it hasn’t been recently.   It has been fairly easy, by those inclined to do so, to perceive this as a political ploy and as a way to hide Palin from scrutiny (“pay no attention to the corrupt dominionist beauty queen behind the curtain”).  And who would be so inclined to point this out in the media?  How about David Letterman?  You know, the one that McCain ducked out on only to be seen having makeup put on you with Katie Couric?  

Not only did McCain tap into his inner surrender monkey, Letterman was also able to make him look like a liar as well.  And it isn’t like Dave’s audience dwarfs Bill O’Reilly’s or anything.  Plus, while McCain is grandstanding, the country teeters on the brink of financial collapse.  So much for the selfless warrior putting the interests of the country over himself.

Originally posted to Rustbelt Dem on Fri Sep 26, 2008 at 01:53 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  mccain (0+ / 0-)


  •  Tips/Flames/Recipes etc (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    To paraphrase Comic book guy, "First Diary EVER"

    And now that I'm reminded that I could pass for Comic Book guy, I'm going to do some cardio now.

    If McCain is Maverick, then I'm voting for Iceman.

    by Rustbelt Dem on Fri Sep 26, 2008 at 01:59:54 AM PDT

  •  What we are seeing in the open (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rustbelt Dem

    is the way McCain always ran things. The double talk and flim flam and easy grandstanding always worked before when he was not quite so visible. Like a past his prime vaudeville magician going through the familiar motions that always worked before not noticing that it all goes haywire when you are too old to change or even notice that everyone can see the invisible strings and mirrors... If he was a bit younger he could  maybe adjust the act a bit more convincingly...

    Politics has at least a toe in the entertainment business if not a whole foot. Getting a new sexy assistant may help a stage magician but not when everyone has seen your tricks over and over again. If you can't learn new tricks that at least do a better job maintaining the illusion and entertaining folks it's time to get off the stage and pack up the magic wand and cape.

    Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie

    by IreGyre on Fri Sep 26, 2008 at 08:45:56 AM PDT

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