Monday, October 06, 2008

Let the feces fly!

Here we are less than a month from the 2008 election. You thought things were nasty before? Get ready--the shit's really going to start flying now.

Despite his pledges to the contrary, McCain signaled early on he was more than willing to wade into the cesspool. Remember the stink over the "Celeb" ad? That was the tip of the iceberg. There's plenty more.

Obama, to his credit, responded quickly and vigorously to these, having learned the lesson from John Kerry that unanswered attacks only encourage more of the same.

McCain thought he'd run this election using the Bush "National Security" playbook ("the Surge worked," etc.), but a funny thing happened on the way to the polls: Wall Street had a meltdown. And it is a truism in politics that the economy trumps almost everything.

Senator McCain has admitted in the past that economic issues are not his long suit. With the US teetering on the brink of a recession, suddenly voters are noticing McCain's Achilles' heel.

His response?

Go negative. "There's no question that we have to change the subject here," said a senior Republican operative (quoted anonymously), "We've got to question this guy's associations."

In other words, the shit-fest is about start in earnest.

"There you go again, pointing backwards again," the Divine Sarah quipped (a little ungrammatically) during her debate with Joe Biden, "Now doggone it, let's look ahead and tell Americans what we have to plan to do for them in the future."

She promptly turned around and winked and mugged her way through speeches this weekend in Colorado, accusing Obama of "palling around with terrorists," a reference to the fact that he served on a board with William Ayers, a 60's antiwar activist, and further stating, "This is not a man who sees America like you and I see America." When the Associated Press called bullshit and said her charge about Ayers was unsubstantiated, she sniffed, "the Associated Press is wrong."

She's at it again today, this time in Florida, criticizing Obama's association with his former pastor, Jeremiah Wright.

This is looking forward? Maybe if your world view is bass-ackwards.

She's on dangerous ground here. Palin's folksiness masks a lot that is ugly including her own casual racism. More than one commentator has raised the point that her attacks flirt with racist appeals to white voters.

McCain has stated he regrets his opposition to legislation establishing Martin Luther King's birthday as a federal holiday, as well as his initial refusal to criticise the Confederate flag atop South Carolina's statehouse in 2000. Palin's recent remarks may be another area he soon comes to regret.

Meanwhile, in response, the Obama campaign is (finally) bringing up McCain's past -- specifically his involvement with the Keating Five. The new campaign video points out McCain's lack of judgment in a previous financial disaster, how it cost taxpayers $3.4 billion, and his coziness with a different kind of maverick -- the ones who cost us all that money -- back in the 1980's.

Given the current situation with the economy (my 401k is now worth half of what it was in January), I daresay this will resonate with voters.

McCain has shown he'll do anything, no matter how risky or ill-advised it turns out to be. Do we really want him gambling on our country's future?

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