Random Notes on the Worst Presidential Campaign in Modern History, Tonight’s Debate, and Other Rumorous Swill
“Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.”
– Mark Twain
“Sooner or later people are going to figure out that if all you run is negative attack ads you don’t have much of a vision for the future, or you’re not ready to articulate it.”
— John McCain in 2000.
Gov. Cosmetically-Enhanced Pit Bull has hit the road, eructating hoary disproved Obama slurs and smears to try and save what’s left of McCain’s Electoral Death March from burial under an FDR-size landslide next month.
The McCainiacs have become so tone-deaf, and run out of so much of the infamous bullshit alluded to by Howard Beale in “Network,” that McCain’s camp is inexplicably continuing to chase the GOP base that responds to Palin’s cutesy-wink tirades and snippy town-gossip slights. Even if the 30 percent of registered voters that comprise this ballyhooed base turn out to vote, McPalin still loses big, in no small part due to the most badly managed presidential campaign in modern history.
Faced with an economic crisis that may eclipse the Great Depression, the McCainiacs bafflingly went small-bore with discredited petty minutiae: Obama hung around with ‘domestic terrorist’ Bill Ayers; received favors from Tony Rezko; was part of the Chicago political machine that breathed it ‘s last a decade before Obama entered politics. If they are enthralled by the notion of legions of Working Class Independents showing up to save the day, maybe they should check Frank Luntz’s focus groups of Uncommitted voters who are checking the box for Obama this election — the blue-collar voters of yesterday are the blue-vest voters of today, and they aren’t happy with the Republican Slide to Doom. As the Time blog noted on Luntz’s focus group in August:
“They don’t like his choice of Sarah Palin for vice president. Only one person said Palin made him more likely to vote for McCain; about half the 25-member group raised their hands when asked if Palin made them less likely to vote for McCain. They had a negative impression of Palin by a 2-1 margin … a fact that was reinforced when they were given hand-dials and asked to react to Palin’s speech at her first appearance with McCain on Friday — the dials remained totally neutral as Palin went through her heart-warming (?) biography, and only blipped upward when she said she opposed the Bridge to Nowhere — which wasn’t quite the truth, as we now know.”
Things haven’t improved for Palin since then: Her peculiar winky-dink debate performance, while it may have raised a cheer from the truly oblivious wingnuts, and something else from the NRO’s ‘Lonely Guy’ Rich Lowry, did nothing to add independent voters to the McCain margin; just the opposite – Obama’s numbers ratcheted up once millions got a good look at Alaska’s Horse-Hockey Mom in full roar.
Political junkies wonder which McCain is going to show up tonight to debate Obama: the sour, smirking old crank ready to pop with contemptuous anger that appeared at the last encounter, or the cloying used-car salesman with his eyes wide open to denote false virtue and his oily “My friends” jargon that induces somnolence. Either way, if Grandpappy Maverick veers off into the ‘Land of Dirty Mudge,’** which seems likely, he chances making Obama look even more presidential in contrast or risks a devastating counterattack from the Democrat.
Latest word is the Obama camp has been letting McCain’s surrogates play out the hanging rope on the Keating Five scandal by insisting that McCain made a single mistake long ago in an otherwise sterling political career, apologized for his ethical apostasy, and has taken the high road of the Populist Reformer since. Next watch for Obama ads featuring McCain’s connection to lobbyist Vicki Iseman in the late 1990s and his unethically interceding for her clients, and damning new evidence that didn’t appear in The New York Times story on the disgraceful ‘tit-for-tat’ episode to expose the lies of the McCain apologists.
Then there are McCain’s ties to the anti-Semitic and racist U.S. Council for World Freedom, which might make even some conservatives hesitate to vote for him – after all, the group has been linked to ex-Nazis.
Incidentally, notice Palin has given up on that ‘moose-huntin’ Mom’ tripe lately. Seems the GOP geniuses pulling her puppet strings discovered that most small-town America Hockey Moms are appalled at women who hunt large animals with a gun and then drool over dressing and eating them — these conservative stay-at-home housewives think big game hunting is for the menfolk and not a very feminine activity. Ooops – a little oil spill in the driveway on her road back to Wasilla.
Speaking of Rednecks: Rumor is there’s trouble in paradise as Bristol Palin’s prospective shotgun-hubby is supposedly balking at marrying her. The Palin family wanted it done before the election, but the self-styled ‘fuckin’ redneck’ Levi Johnston isn’t cooperating. Note to Johnston: Better not get a job working for the Alaska State Police, at least while Ma Palin is Governator.
Jay-Zeus! Last Thursday’s VP debate moderator Gwen Ifill babbling on Meet the Press about Palin treating her questions like dog meat. Gee, Gwen, why didn’t you step up the plate and re-ask the question and try to force Palin to answer you directly – even if she hadn’t, she would have looked like she was avoiding the question. It’s been done – watch what Katie Couric did over at CBS. Instead, you let Palin run right over you – this wouldn’t have anything to do with your close relationship to uber-Bush Republican Condi Rice, would it?
**(Mudge: A combination of political mud, sludge and sleaze.)