Silly Sarah And Mad McCain Launch Scorched Earth Strategy
What’s wrong with the media? Today, at last, they seem to be catching on to what’s going on out here.
The Sunday morning political shows were so similar today that they tend to run together in my mind. The media message was clear today: IT’S THE ECONOMY, STUPID! It didn’t matter whether the guests were from the right or the left or squarely in the middle, agreement was almost consensus that Barack Obama is beginning to move toward a commanding lead in the election campaign. Now, a word of caution to my fellow Obama supporters: do not cancel your election-day plans thinking this thing is in the bag, because it’s not. Here’s why.
The news from the McCain campaign was sinister. Karl Rove is alive and well, at least his scorched-earth political style. The McCain campaign, most likely reading their own internal polls, realizes that it’s getting away from them on the issues. So in the proud tradition of two straight successful George W. Bush campaigns, they have made the decision that going negative is their only chance. Let’s call it McCain’s nuclear option. If you can’t persuade the American people that you are capable of addressing their deepest pocketbook concerns, trash the other guy and scare them to death.
The real surprise of the day was the calm resignation displayed by strong conservative voices on Meet the Press, Face the Nation and This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Every conservative pundit I saw today echoed the same defeatism about where things were heading. On Meet the Press this morning Mike Murphy, who ran John McCain’s unsuccessful 2000 presidential campaign, expressed a glum view of McCain’s chances, but warned against going negative. It seems that he and others know that McCain has his own “pals”, as silly Sarah Palin put it, out on the trail yesterday. Murphy realizes it is a mine field out there for McCain and his campaign should tread lightly.
David Broder appeared on Face the Nation, and commented that he felt the Republicans were not displaying the adaptability it takes to win over the hearts and minds of a wary American electorate. I couldn’t agree more. John McCain and Sarah Palin just keep hammering away at the same old “cut-taxes for the wealthy” message that mirrors the plan followed by President Bush.
The acerbic Peggy Noonan appeared on This Week, and after getting her plug in for Sarah Palin’s performance in Thursday’s debate, she added her doubts that Governor Palin really doesn’t show the stuff from which vice-presidents who would be presidents are made. She also echoed the warning to the McCain campaign that going negative was a mistake. Uncharacteristically, she expressed the view that Barack Obama’s calmness in the face of the Wall Street meltdown played extremely well to the American public. I was stunned by her comment. This confirms what I always sort of suspected. Peggy Noonan would not invite the likes of Sarah Palin to high tea.
Then there was the always cool, above-us-all George Will. While he railed against the possibility of a socialistic turn in our government, he also warned the McCain campaign that going negative was a dangerous option. His advice was to pull out the “divided government is best” card from his vest and scare the people with that.
Fortunately for us on the blue side of things, McCain and his handlers continue to be tone deaf to what the people are feeling and experiencing out here. It’s not hard to understand why. His are the same handlers who brought us George W. Bush, the most tone-deaf president in my lifetime. The Bush Administration has made me wax poetically about the good times under Richard Nixon. How sad!
Thank God for Saturday Night Live. It’s fortunate that they are back with their new season just in time to bring some levity to an otherwise scary campaign. Their equal slaps at both Biden and Palin in the debate were hilarious. But most of all, Tina Fey’s portrayal of Sarah Palin so captures the image I have of her, which is that of a high-school junior running for Student Council President next year. Her gossipy tone and folksy jabs take me back to my own high school days as I sat in an auditorium in Oklahoma City listening to debates from my classmates.
Let’s face it, the issues before student councils were hardly ground shaking, since they had no power at all. So there was no harm done by the popular girl that would win such an election. But let’s not deceive ourselves; a great deal of harm can be and will be done by a President Palin if such a thing should come to pass. I’m startled by the number of people — pundits, partisans or everyday Republican voters – who would put the security and safety of our nation into such unprepared hands. But many would. I guess they represent the same crowd who has given us George W. Bush.
There was much concealed about President Bush’s governorship here in Texas when he was running for President. The most glaring thing was the fact that the Texas Governorship is mostly ceremonial. The founders of the Republic of Texas not only distrusted kings, but they had just gained their freedom from the president/dictator of Mexico. So they wrote their constitution to reflect their fear of presidents who become dictators. The other, and the one that most chafes the liberals and progressives in Texas is the fact that Bush ran for Governor of Texas as a moderate. He cited how many gay friends he and Laura had and how he would NEVER do anything unfriendly toward gay Texans. He also stressed his compassion for the poor and downtrodden. But all of that was swept away during his presidency as he became a gay-bashing, anti-poor, right-wing social conservative Republican in order to win the White House. What came next, you know. [Click here for more detail on Bush’s shenanigans in Texas]
So it is hard to take Governor Palin at her word when she spouts the same drivel in her bid for national office. Presidential politics have a way of changing the way Republicans think about things. After all, winning is everything, isn’t it? Where is the “straight-talk express,” anyway?
So fasten your seatbelts, folks, it’s going to be a bumpy ride to November 4th. There will be much turbulence as we fly through the bombing barrage promised this weekend by the McCain campaign. Do not be deterred by them or lulled by the media who are now predicting Obama’s eventual victory. We still have to keep swinging until the end.