Adam Nagourney reported today in the NY Times that many Democrats are really starting to sweat. McSame is pretty much running neck and neck with Obama despite riding the coat tails of 8 crazy and criminal years of Bush & Co. So if Obama loses the Presidential we would have to wonder what will become of the Democratic party. Will Democrats still be relevant if they are at all even wanted? Even if they gain in Congress, (which they are surely projected to do according to months of polling,) an Obama loss in the Presidential election would not only immolate the “progressive” brand for….what… a decade? but also pressure a Democratic Congress to conciliate even further with an executive power with already unprecedented power. Think of it: John McCain, “the war hero,” with “bipartisan” backing from the ”opposition” with Joe Lieberman smiling and Sarah Palin waiting in the wings. Hillary will be there too. Off shore drilling will be just tip of the iceberg. One can only imagine the blame-game played out between Jonathan Alter and The Nation. Sean Hannity would finally earn his keep for making even Caligula blush.
PT Barnum once wrote that one should never underestimate the tastes of the American public. But how low can we really go? Obviously the GOP has developed very successful strategies to push through all that it can to once again cast Democrats as ineffectual “liberal” degenerates. These strategies effectually “honor” the ethos of ordinary red-state resentment. The plan of attack is much like starting a food fight where anyone and everyone joins as the ninnys and nerds, i.e., Democrats, end up retreating into the corner to complain. These strategies bank on providing the electorate with the following “choice:” the tough guy who throws down shots with the rest of ‘em, and gets away with it all, no matter what shit gets hurled, or the know-it-all-smarty-pants guy from Harvard who wants to stand on top of the table to preach to the choir, and stay above the fray of realpolischtick – and who also happens to be black.
Putting Sarah Palin on the ticket shows that “experience” may not be that important after all despite McCain flip-flopping on the issue. Yes, should McCain choke on a pretzel if he is President the small town ex-newscaster will be given the reigns. But in some ways Palin was a brilliant move because she not only plays the McCain's “maverick” card so well but also co-opts the rhetoric of Change. Dangling a VPILF also seduces the JoeSix Packs while also tempers those who think of "attacking” a "hockey-mom." In short, the Republicans keep playing that fiddle again and again to mobilize the anti-liberal crusade, as Palin herself did in Coultergeist manner when patronizing Obama for being a "community organizer." In spite of Obama's crowds, which now look like a mere passing fad, the GOP has once again tapped into the bottomless well of red-state indignation.
But there was a surprise encounter also on – of all places – The View when McCain was pressed to explain “lipstick on a pig,” as well as his position on Roe v. Wade, Supreme Court appointments, and other issues. It was great to see McCain squirm at being denied the free-pass all politicians are accustomed to on national TV. And it was great to see Bawbra, Whoopi, and Joy simulate the role of intrepid journalists who actually care about the despotism run amok in their country. Adam Howard praised Barbara Walters in The Nation. The danger, of course, as the Dems should know, is that anyone who confronts McCain by asking “why are you spreading lies?” puts an old white man on the defensive from “a liberal media.” Yet confronting the opposition goes a long way in defining the opposition, and it is a fight the Dems cannot shy away from if it is done wisely. Should Obama himself start throwing the kitchen-sink? Definitely not. To do so would risk adulterating Obama’s Change label even more. Others in the media who want to expose the political hypocrisy of McCain must do it for him without looking either desperate or unfair, just as it will likely be done from the other side. If they go after McCain keenly with passion and interest his reputable “character” will eventually be revealed for what it is and always has been: a stale opportunist.