Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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July 30, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

MEME WATCH....Rich Lowry's "shrewd friend" — a recurring character at The Corner — emails today to say that Barack Obama is "showing hubris and contempt for the rest of us in how he considers America fundamentally broken and he's the solution." Roger that. But this isn't the shrewd part of SF's missive. The shrewd part is identifying the vector by which this folktale will spread:

The question now is whether Dana Milbank is the bird leaving the wire and every other bird in the press follows him or not. If this narrative sets in, Obama might have to move up his VP announcement to change the story.

Even a cynic might think that the media is finally tired of playing the GOP's game on this score — Clinton was shifty, Gore was an exaggerator, Kerry was a flip-flopper — but that's still an open question. If the press decides to run with Steve Schmidt's presumptuous/messiah/I'm-not-saying-he's-unpatriotic-but meme, then Obama could be in real trouble.

At least, that's what people keep telling me. Personally, though, I don't think it's going to work. In fact, the McCain campaign shows signs of being a little too obviously tickled pink with the pickup they're getting on these stories. There's a good chance they're going to carry it a step too far before long and end up on the receiving end of a major backlash. After all, even the media has its limits. I think.

POSTSCRIPT: By the way, speaking of the I'm-not-saying-he's-unpatriotic meme, do you notice anything funny about this exchange?

STEPHANOPOULOS: You've also taken some heat this week with your comments saying that Senator Obama would rather lose a war than win a political campaign....

MCCAIN: Well, I'm not questioning his patriotism....

STEPHANOPOULOS: When you say someone would rather lose a war, a candidate, that's questioning his honor, his decency, his character.

MCCAIN: All I'm saying is — and I will repeat — he does not understand. I'm not questioning his patriotism.

The funny thing, of course, is that Stephanopoulos himself never suggested that McCain was questioning Obama's patriotism in the first place.....

UPDATE: It sounds like longtime McCain advisor John Weaver agrees that McCain's campaign is in imminent danger of going overboard.

Kevin Drum 5:39 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (73)

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Comments

Stephanopolous does what Tim Russert did-- he plays pitcher-and-catcher with the Republicans. I used to think he was on our side, but I was wrong. He is another Lieberman who holds up a fig-leaf here and there.

Posted by: Swan on July 30, 2008 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK

lose a war than win a political campaign

McCranky said "lose a war to win a political campaign", no?

Posted by: ogmb on July 30, 2008 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

kevin, kevin, kevin: why would you think for a second that the media will "finally tire of playing the gop's game on this score?"

i often think of moses marching the jews through the desert for 40 years because of the golden calf and the talmudic interpretation that he had to wait for the slave generation to die out....

i too think that this won't keep obama from winning, but it may keep obama from winning big.

on the other hand, as i keep pointing out, the 1980 election has some reasonable comparabilities to this one, and it didn't break for reagan until the last week....

Posted by: howard on July 30, 2008 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

showing hubris and contempt for the rest of us in how he considers America fundamentally broken and he's the solution

Bullshit. Lowry and his fellow propagandists are showing hubris and contempt for the rest of us, since the American people overwhelemingly regard the nation as on the wrong track after eight years of Republican misrule.

The crux of the problem for them, of course, is the "he's the solution" bit -- Obama is uppity -- er, presumptuous -- to be showing hismelf to be Presidential, especially as McCain has no solutions at all any American except water carriers like Lowry can believe in.

Good Ford, what a tool.

Posted by: Gregory on July 30, 2008 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

McSame knows how to deliver conservative talking points. Repeat the same stuff over and over again even if it is out of context.

STEPHANOPOULOS : That's a nice tie you are wearing, Seantor.

MCCAIN : Thanks. BTW that tie is more patriotic than Obama.

STEPHANOPOULOS : And a nice suit too.

MCCAIN : Thanks. The tailor is an immigrant from Pakistan. He was more patriotic than Obama.

Posted by: rational on July 30, 2008 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

"on the other hand, as i keep pointing out, the 1980 election has some reasonable comparabilities to this one, and it didn't break for reagan until the last week...."

We're replaying '76, howard, not '80.

Dem candidate who runs on nothing other than personality while selling out the base against a Rep candidate who's not actually responsible for the crushing anti-Rep atmosphere of the zeitgeist.

It's going to be close two weeks out, but it's not going to heavily break either way. And we lose if we win. This ain't rocket science.

Posted by: Petey on July 30, 2008 at 5:57 PM | PERMALINK

The reality is that McCain will keep sending this meme into the echo chamber and all the media (including the bloggers) will cover it and express outrage and all us readers will waste our days reading about it and at the end of the day, there is the lingering impression .... that there is something wrong with Obama.

The only way to avoid it is to send your own meme out about McCain. Maybe something that links his inability to get his facts straight with his teetering old age. And something about the fact that he is a liar, claiming the straight talk mantle while being in bed with lobbyists and Karl Rove.

You can't keep playing defense.

Now hear comes the Britney/Paris ads, setting the agenda for another couple of news cycles.

Still, I'm inclined to agree with Kevin on this -- it won't work. McCain is not smart or subtle enough to pull it off, and Obama is too good a candidate to get beat by this amateurish press manipulation.

Posted by: FRB on July 30, 2008 at 5:59 PM | PERMALINK

Man, I don't know.

In one hand, you have all the Rovian bullshit. In the other hand, you have millions of Americans in very difficult economic pain and they are looking for change.

I don't think Obama is a shoe-in, but people are still extremely pissed, I think, and I don't see a lot of independents putting this kind of weird Rovian crap over the health and general welfare of their family.

Posted by: BombIranForChrist on July 30, 2008 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

Not-questioning someone's patriotism is the best way to question his patriotism.

Posted by: bob somerby on July 30, 2008 at 6:06 PM | PERMALINK

There comes a point where you just have to either trust people, or admit that if they're stupid enough to fall for this crap every election, then to hell with them. Let 'em suffer and go cultivate your own garden.

Posted by: JMG on July 30, 2008 at 6:09 PM | PERMALINK

I certainly don't know who his "shrewd friend" but who would want to be against it being a little fat fuck named Karl Rove?

Look all factions of today's Rethug party have one thing in common: they are sure they are right. Not Right as in rightwing, but right as in absolutely correct in what they believe. The libertarians think they can save their little asses with their popguns, the Jesus-freaks are sure the Earth is 4004 years old, the rich think they completely earned every cent despite the governemnt and shouldn't be taxed, the neo-cons are certain the (fill in the blank for today)s are a greater threat than Nazi Germany, you all can go on.

Yet they also are sure that they can never get elected if they show their true colors, because they think the majority of Americans are idiots. So they make it about personality.

It doesn't get any more arrogant and presumptious to think you have to lie to or at best misdirect the American people to get them to elect you.

Posted by: doesn't matter on July 30, 2008 at 6:16 PM | PERMALINK

I'm with JMG on this one.

Posted by: Lew on July 30, 2008 at 6:17 PM | PERMALINK

If George W Bush's presidency wasn't so unspeakably awful, maybe the prospect of Obama being in charge wouldn't seem like such a divine blessing.

Posted by: lampwick! on July 30, 2008 at 6:17 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin wrote: "After all, even the media has its limits."

The evidence from the media's 2000 goring of Al Gore and the 2004 swiftboating of John Kerry, and their shameless glorification of Bush in both campaigns, demonstrates that there are no limits on how far the handful of giant corporations who own and control America's mass media will go to put Their Man McCain in the White House.

This is only the beginning. The RNC and the right-wing media will generate an endless flow of smears against Obama, and the corporate-owned mass media from which most Americans get most of their information will amplify it into an onslaught of character assassination, just as they did to Gore and Kerry, only much worse.

It will be a close election -- close enough for the Republicans to steal it with voter disenfranchisement and fraud as they did in 2000 and 2004.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on July 30, 2008 at 6:21 PM | PERMALINK

They're trying to toggle the resentment switch. Resentment by life's losers of a winner-- someone smart and accomplished and right, just like Kerry and Gore. These McCain-targeted losers are a huge part of the GOP base and they represent a not insignificant slice of "independents" in middle America. If McCain's ads have a little black-white angst in them fine-- they think--, but the real button they're pushing is Obama's golden image to stir up resentment of the very capable by middling-to-muddled minds.

After the last 15 years I'd like to jam it right back down their throats and tell them straight up to think twice about voting for another dumbshit. There might even be value in losing the election if we could kill this fucking beast at the same time. I hate what these people have become.

Posted by: dennisS on July 30, 2008 at 6:21 PM | PERMALINK

petey, i've made the '76 analogy myself, and i agree that it is the other election that holds some clues for us.

but the big difference is that carter had an enormous lead over ford, something that obama will never amass. indeed, i'd say that voting patterns may well echo '80 while the politics more echoes '76, which is why i think both are useful.

and i agree that obama is hardly the savior, but no, if we win, we don't lose: if mccain is elected, we lose, all of us.

Posted by: howard on July 30, 2008 at 6:24 PM | PERMALINK

"and i agree that obama is hardly the savior, but no, if we win, we don't lose: if mccain is elected, we lose, all of us."

If this were actually a replay of '76, I'd say we would indeed lose by winning. We'd lose seats in '10 and '12 without gaining any policy achievements to compensate. We'd enable future Republican ideological advances without any policy achievements to compensate. We'd take the heat for governing during four years of hard times without any policy achievements to compensate.

The degree to which this really is a replay of '76 is up for debate, of course. However, I am not sanguine.

Posted by: Petey on July 30, 2008 at 6:33 PM | PERMALINK

This is a strange way to deal with your political opponents: just hope that they will go overboard with the smears and there will be backlash.

If Obama is listening to such advice, better brace for eight more years of Republicanism.

Posted by: gregor on July 30, 2008 at 6:34 PM | PERMALINK

The reason that Hon. Sen. McCain came out with the "I'm not questioning his patriotism" unprompted, is that there simply is no way to interpret the charge that someone would put their own political self interest above "losing a war" than as an attack on his patriotism, which in essence is the desire to make one's personal desires subservient to the greater good. The operative word here is 'lose.' It would be one thing to state that someone thinks that ending the war is the best option, or that it can't be won outright, only managed; these ideas are not chosen, which leads one to the implication that Hon, Sen. Obama, knowing that the war is "winnable," instead plays to the crowd, to curry electoral victory.

Posted by: jhm on July 30, 2008 at 6:36 PM | PERMALINK

"... is in imminent danger of going overboard."

A new standard of understatement.

Posted by: George on July 30, 2008 at 6:36 PM | PERMALINK

"the pickup they're getting on these stories"

Has it ever even dimly occurred to you that these things are getting picked up because they are, like, true?

Posted by: xx on July 30, 2008 at 6:41 PM | PERMALINK

There's a good chance they're going to carry it a step too far before long and end up on the receiving end of a major backlash. After all, even the media has its limits. I think.

EPIC FAIL...

Three elections in a row, and Kevin Drum, like Charlie Brown trying to kick the ball from Lucy thinks...THIS TIME IT WILL BE DIFFERENT!!!

bwahahahahahahahahahah...

there you have it...the reason Democrats can never get over the hump. They rely on a media that they think are friendly, when they inherently hate their guts...

Here is what THE MEDIA thinks of your two cents Kevin...

HALPERIN: There’s been a little bit of the paradigm shift. I think that McCain web video might have had the same effect as the Saturday Night Live parody that…on the Clinton/Obama race. I think some reporters recognize going forward if we replicate the way the coverage has been, the imbalance, the unfair pro-Obama coverage going forward, it would do a disservice in the general election. This…whenever I go on TV and say, ‘this election is about a referendum on Obama, that’s the whole thing,’ those guys with the Cheetos on the end of their fingers…

Apparently, Mark Halperin and ABC, which for better or worse is conventional wisdom, didn't get your memo Kevin.

oh well...sounds like we are headed for a 3rd Bush Term if this is the playbook...

Posted by: justmy2 on July 30, 2008 at 6:45 PM | PERMALINK
Has it ever even dimly occurred to you that these things are getting picked up because they are, like, true?

umm, No?

Posted by: paxr55 on July 30, 2008 at 6:46 PM | PERMALINK

Yea xx like another 4years of a republican running things and Somalia will look like the garden of eden by comparison to here.

Posted by: Gandalf on July 30, 2008 at 6:50 PM | PERMALINK

Yea xx like another 4years of a republican running things and Somalia will look like the garden of eden by comparison to here.

Posted by: Gandalf on July 30, 2008 at 6:50 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

If you're looking for ugly memes being disseminated that maybe YOU can do something about, how about the many usually wonderful liberal bloggers turning "presumptuous" into "uppity" and making it a racial slur, and then doubling that by claiming one ad comparing him to Hilton and Spears is McCain making a Harold Ford call me blows kiss commercial demonstrating that Obama is really after our white women.

That's an ugly meme based on scant evidence and misinterpretation, and it's WE WHO ARE spreading it.

Posted by: jerry on July 30, 2008 at 6:53 PM | PERMALINK

This is a strange way to deal with your political opponents: just hope that they will go overboard with the smears and there will be backlash.

If Obama is listening to such advice, better brace for eight more years of Republicanism.

Ding, ding, ding....we have a winner...

bingo gregor...

Posted by: justmy2 on July 30, 2008 at 6:58 PM | PERMALINK

For jerry @ 6:53. Thanks. Now I get it. If we analyze infectious words and images here and on TPM, responsibly and with insight--then we're spreading the disease?

Posted by: paxr55 on July 30, 2008 at 6:59 PM | PERMALINK

jerry, would you mind finding for us evidence that "presumptuous" has ever been used against a major party's candidate?

because lacking that evidence, it's very easy to understand why we all think that "presumptuous" is code for "uppity." what's hard to understand is why you don't....

justmy2, thanks for reminding me why it is that halperin is such a jerk.

Posted by: howard on July 30, 2008 at 7:00 PM | PERMALINK

The candidate is the candidate is the candidate, for better or worse. Obama is NOT going to start calling McCain names as the upset people on this and other comment threads want. It's not his thing.
It'll either work or it won't. But at some point, you have to believe people are capable of using their brains when making a decision. If you think voters are the same simple, ignorant, lazy, cowardly selfish clods Karl Rove does, give up politics. No Democrat will ever be able to beat a Republican at nonsensical lies and hate.

Posted by: JMG on July 30, 2008 at 7:05 PM | PERMALINK

The question now is whether Dana Milbank is the bird leaving the wire and every other bird in the press follows him or not. If this narrative sets in, Obama might have to move up his VP announcement to change the story.

Or maybe, just maybe, "shrewd friend" is no more shrewd than any other sentient creature that's been aware of the fact of a white-hot focus the Obama team has placed on VA Gov. Tim Kaine as their VP selection, and both "shrewd friend" & Lowry would like to pretend that the "truth" is finally out about the junior Sen. from Illinois. They like to pretend that McCain has -- for once in the general campaign -- begun to control the events & discussion of this election.

This is nothing more than amateurish preemptive spin of Obama dominating the news cycle yet again.

Posted by: junebug on July 30, 2008 at 7:11 PM | PERMALINK

presumptuous to me fits in with:

1) age-old premature drape measuring attacks
2) hubris, but not necessarily uppity

If you're going to make outrageous claims, you need outrageous evidence.

Claiming bigotry is an outrageous claim. It could be true. It certainly was in the Harold Ford ad.

Dana Milbank's column, echoed and mined as it usually is by others on the campaign trail, is not outrageous evidence.

Bleating this about prematurely makes us look like standard liberal speech police and thought police. If it's untrue, it's a smear. If it's true, wait, there will be more evidence and a clear pattern will emerge.

Posted by: jerry on July 30, 2008 at 7:17 PM | PERMALINK

A few weeks ago, Chris Hayes and Ross Douthat taped a really interesting diavlog on bloggingheadstv.

I particularly liked their association of American exceptionalism with Obama being personally exceptional, succeeding in spectacular fashion at whatever he turns his hand to--and what a nice American story of true merit it (he) was and is.

Then think of McCain, the sort of anti-Obama. A poor legacy at the Naval Academy. The poor showing as an aviator, with his crashed aircraft. His personal life. His shit-eating grin and lousy speeches. It hurts to look at him when they set him out in the sun. Obama, not so much.

The ugly themes that surfaced this week, thanks to a McCain campaign going earnestly negative--are really the only way to take us away from Obama's evident superiority as a candidate.

If the issue terrain is about the economy or the war, then Obama wins. If the McCain camp can yell "thin resume" then pivot to "arrogance" and "presumption," well, those target visceral and not very pretty emotions for Americans. Then maybe McCain has a chance. I don't think so, but, maybe.

I guess McCain has no choice, since he has nothing to run on.

Agree with JMG that a concomitant counterattack--tit for tat--is not Obama's thing. But it's also not Obama's thing to have no plan at all for the Milbanks of the village.

I say it gets more interesting from here on out.

Posted by: paxr55 on July 30, 2008 at 7:23 PM | PERMALINK

The media is still looking for the narrative on Obama. They will find it. When found, it won't be pretty, and will be repeated ad nauseum until the election. The media is lazy. They don't want to write policy or platform analysis. Besides, the parent companies have cut the news staffs so much, few researchers remain. And let's remember, they will do whatever it takes to keep this election close. Close elections translate into larger audiences. Larger audiences translate into larger advertising income. Larger advertising income translates into larger elitist salaries. Screw the country - - it's a great story, isn't it?

Posted by: Keith Frohreich on July 30, 2008 at 7:26 PM | PERMALINK

jerry, one hates to be reduced to simple dictionary games, but sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

i turn to merriam-webster online, which offers this as its one-and-only definition of "uppity:"

"putting on or marked by airs of superiority : arrogant, presumptuous"

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/uppity

Posted by: howard on July 30, 2008 at 7:37 PM | PERMALINK

I dont listen to the tabloidal canaries of flag lapel pin fame. They go from one beauty parlor hen pecking to another and another.

Posted by: Jet on July 30, 2008 at 7:39 PM | PERMALINK

The candidate is the candidate is the candidate, for better or worse. Obama is NOT going to start calling McCain names as the upset people on this and other comment threads want. It's not his thing.

Then he is going to lose. Big time.

Just like Kerry.

Posted by: gregor on July 30, 2008 at 7:39 PM | PERMALINK

jerry, the things you learn online! for example, i didn't know there was such a thing as thesaurus.com, but there is. here's what it offers as synonyms for presumptuous:

arrogant, assuming, audacious, bold, brash, brazen, conceited, confident, familiar, forward, haughty, insolent, pompous, pushy, rude, smug, uppity

http://thesaurus.reference.com/browse/presumptuous

and just to confirm, here's what it offers as synonyms for "uppity:"

assuming, assumptive, audacious, bold, boldfaced, brash, brazen, cheeky, contumelious, familiar, forward, impertinent, insolent, malapert, nervy, overconfident, pert, presuming, presumptuous, pushy, sassy, saucy, smart

http://thesaurus.reference.com/browse/uppity

Posted by: howard on July 30, 2008 at 7:41 PM | PERMALINK

When I speak to McDodo supporters I tell them I hope he wins because America cannot become better until it's lust for domination is destroyed, and since McDodo is the worst of all possible evils, he is the best candidate for this purpose.


Posted by: Go McDodo on July 30, 2008 at 7:42 PM | PERMALINK

The media has a hard time admitting that McCain is swimming in the sewer with all of these attacks. When they do, they have to suggest that Obama is there too. I just heard Charlie Gibson say on ABC that "the mud is flying...Obama constantly compares McCain to President Bush. McCain compares Obama to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton." sheesh.

Posted by: ed on July 30, 2008 at 7:43 PM | PERMALINK

McCranky said "lose a war to win a political campaign" -ogmb

McCain also said victory in Iraq was easy, implying the 'war' [which it isnt] has already been won. The war is on terror which will continue after we leave Iraq and Its disengenuos for the politicos to constantly conflate the two to win a political campaign.

Posted by: on July 30, 2008 at 7:47 PM | PERMALINK

dream on, kevin. there is a huge racist element in this country that will eat up and perpetuate anything and everything said against O.

Posted by: John McCain: More of the Same on July 30, 2008 at 7:52 PM | PERMALINK

Obama is both pert and malapert?

Sounds like a flip-flop to me.


Posted by: thersites on July 30, 2008 at 7:59 PM | PERMALINK

I always thought Dana was a woman, til I found out he wasn't.

Posted by: lampwick! on July 30, 2008 at 8:09 PM | PERMALINK

Dana is Maureen in drag

Posted by: Colonel Coondog Sanders on July 30, 2008 at 8:32 PM | PERMALINK

Many a great political ad can be called childish. I was getting my haircut when it came on in the "salon," largely populated by women who immediately started laughing and talking about it.

Posted by: DF on July 30, 2008 at 8:54 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin. Kevvvvv-innnnnn. Sooooooooooooooooooooo tiresome. How many more cookie cutter posts do you think people can stomach here of your bashing McCain and boosting Barry, or hashing over some truly insignifican daily development in this fucking endless two year campaign from hell? We get it. Everyone here is voting for Obama. McCain suxks. OK? We can get this tiresome masturbatory crap anywhere. What the hell's happened to your blog? It's pathetic, dude. You used to stand out with moderate, fresh commentary on subjects others neglect. Now you're a poor man's KOS who spends all day bitching about Dana Milbank.

Posted by: Pat on July 30, 2008 at 9:21 PM | PERMALINK

The Obama guys look at the campaign as a Harvard forensics competion, while the GOP looks at it as a roughly-played football game, complete with crackback blocks at the knees, elbows at the windpipe, helmet-to-helmet tackling, and plenty of gouging, biting, and spitting in the pileups. As sad as it is, my money will always be on the guy who can play rough. And Americans as a rule have a soft spot in their hearts for such tactics.

I'm not sure that Obama and David Poof truly understand is how thoroughly toxic the media environment is, either. They seem to think that a sternly worded email or press release will effectively counter a smear TV ad seen by hundreds of thousands or millions. The high-mindedness of those people kill me.

Just as a fr' instance: The other night I was in the kitchen cooking dinner and the TV was on. I heard an Obama commercial, and the focus of it was nuclear non-proliferation, for chrissakes... I just about sliced my finger off I was so disgusted. At a time when the McCain campaign and Fox News and Rush are busy savaging his character 24/7, they're running TV commercials about a subject that is hardly even on the radar of the American voting public. It was off-target the same way the Berlin speech was. That spoke volumes about the Obama people: they're not really ready for prime-time. They disdain being truly aggressive, I guess because they don't want to get their hands dirty, which means they're continually on the defensive. You won't win the Presidency that way.

I'll be very interested to see what kind of ads the Obama folks are going to run during the Olympic, but I don't have high expectations.

Posted by: bluestatedon on July 30, 2008 at 9:22 PM | PERMALINK

The question now is whether Dana Milbank is the bird leaving the wire and every other bird in the press follows him or not.

Judging by the response, there was some early pick-up which reinforced that perspective. However, there appears to have been some pullback after the full quote of Obama's remarks were published.

I don't think that the "arrogant" label alone will work, but it could still be significant. If McCain can cement it quickly--without tarring himself irrevocably as an angry old man in the process--he still has plenty of time to pivot.

Moreover, we're in a relative lull, and the press is obviously starved (especially after last week). McCain, for better or worse, has given them something to talk about. Obama needs to do the same.

Posted by: has407 on July 30, 2008 at 9:25 PM | PERMALINK

VOTE DIGBY-CLARK-2008---VOTE THE INTERNET knowledge and experience.

Posted by: Mike Meyer on July 30, 2008 at 10:11 PM | PERMALINK

[content deleted]

Posted by: overman on July 30, 2008 at 10:14 PM | PERMALINK

Well, overman, you've just proven you're a stupid Mick, worth of the treatment your ancestors received. I'm not impunging your patriotism, of course.

(That was just so you'll understand what's wrong with McCain. I actually like the Irish.)

Seriously, however, I agree with Kevin that this won't work. I think that the vast majority of people think well of both McCain and Obama, wrongly and unfortunately in the former case. (I think the latest CNN poll demonstrates this admirably. 2/3 to 3/4 of respondents don't buy what McCain's ads are selling.) People will continue to like them, probably to the end of the campaign, unless they find they really don't like McCain's negative attitude or something Obama does. Barring that outside chance, the election will be decided on the issues, and McCain will lose by 6-10 points.

You heard it here first.

Posted by: David in NY on July 30, 2008 at 10:27 PM | PERMALINK

Pat, no one makes you show up here, no one makes you read kevin's posts, and no one makes you read the comments.

that you might think that kevin would ignore the apalling prospect of a mccain presidency suggests your reading comprehension skills could be better....

Posted by: howard on July 30, 2008 at 10:39 PM | PERMALINK

My next book will be titled "Harry Potter and the Concern Troll."

I've been skimming blogs like this for inspiration.

Posted by: J. R. Rowling on July 30, 2008 at 10:44 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, thanks for addressing the "I'm not questioning [my Democratic opponent's] patriotism, I'm questioning his/her judgment" formulation that GOP candidates have been using in presidential and congressional races for a long time now. Beginning a sentence by saying you're not questioning someone's patriotism - when nobody had ever brought that up - is a non-sequiter. It's intended as a weaselly way of questioning someone's patriotism.

Posted by: Another Chris on July 31, 2008 at 12:13 AM | PERMALINK

Hmmmm... after the initial rush on this story, it seems to be fading a bit, and the lede now seems to be that McCain is his own worst enemy, reactive and unable to maintain a consistent message.

We're also starting to see more ink devoted to the flight from the RNC by candidates in local races. Of course, it's only one news cycle, so it's too soon to tell. But at the moment it appears the McCain's camp attempt to equate Barrack with Britney and Paris has fallen flat, and that the campaign's message and party's disarray (especially local races given the Steven's indictment) is what's hot.

That said, I think Obama needs to do more working the press to put and end to the arrogance meme. He's shown a willingness to roll the dice when it counts--such as with his Middle East and Europe tour--maybe now is the time to put a fork in it.

Posted by: has407 on July 31, 2008 at 12:14 AM | PERMALINK

I don't care what anyone says, going negative this early shows pure desperation on the part of the R's. Hell, I watched McCain’s add and not only did Obama attract 200,000 supporters in Berlin, even Britney and Paris were there. This whole Mr. Nasty approach generates severe cognitive dissonance with the image of John McClain as the clean cut maverick (just forget all that Keating five stuff). We have them on the ropes, we just need to keep punching hard and finish them off.

Posted by: fafner1 on July 31, 2008 at 12:38 AM | PERMALINK

Blow me, Howard. I've been posting here for five years and am embarassed for Kevin at the change in the blog from what it was and what CalPundet was. He's becoming another run of the mill partisan hack, like KOS, but with many thousand fewer readers, of course. The clearest evidence of that is the ever diminishing number of posters here. And, of course, the appearence of tireless dumbasses like you who bridle at any suggestion outside the "my team, good, other team bad" box. Comprehend that ok?

But, please, I digress. Please return to villifying John McCain and jocking Barry Obama, regardless of the subject matter. Then repeat.

Posted by: Pat on July 31, 2008 at 6:55 AM | PERMALINK

but with many thousand fewer readers, of course

Ah, but he's never in danger of losing you, Pat. That "ever-diminishing number" of posters' standards may be too high for Kevin's blog, but you're here to tell us (again) that yours aren't.

Posted by: shortstop on July 31, 2008 at 7:39 AM | PERMALINK

Of course McInsane will try to recreate the "success" of the Dumbya reelection campaign, but will it work? I say no. According to exit polls, as much as 10% of voters cast a vote for Dumbya simply because "you don't change horses mid-stream:. In this regard, Rove's calculus was perfectly played. He knew he could count on a significant percentage of voters who would vote for the incumbent simply because they didn't want to change leaders in a time of war. I knew many myself.

And maybe this is propelling McInsane's "I'm running for Dumbya's 3rd term, but I'm not" campaign - he thinks he can confuse voters into thinking they're reelecting Dumbya. It won't work. I've said all along that McInsane has gone so negative so early because his internal polls reveal a much more dire situation than do the nationals.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on July 31, 2008 at 8:36 AM | PERMALINK

My low standards aside, shortstop, you, unlike Howard, have been posting here long enough to know it's true. Tell me you see no change.

Posted by: Pat on July 31, 2008 at 9:22 AM | PERMALINK

jerry,

If you're going to make outrageous claims, you need outrageous evidence.

Bwahahahahahahaha. Oh, man, (wiping tears from eyes) thanks. Ah. Nice way to start the day.

I'm sure this standard applies to the ultra-rich slime machine throwing everything including the kitchen sink to see what sticks.

Here, let me help them:

Uppity - Impudent - Rude and Disrespectful

assuming, assumptive, audacious, bold, boldfaced, brash, brazen, cheeky, contumelious, familiar, forward, impertinent, insolent, malapert, nervy, overconfident, pert, presuming, presumptuous, pushy, sassy, saucy, smart

I sure hope they ain't paying big bucks for their college republicans to look at an on-line thesaurus because they are wasting their money.

Posted by: Tripp on July 31, 2008 at 10:23 AM | PERMALINK

"He believes our world is dangerous, our economy in shambles. John McCain doesn’t always tell us what we “hope” to hear."

Cy Tolliver's vo for the McCain "Hope" ad. Sounds like the only person who can save us is a messiah.

Posted by: Steve Paradis on July 31, 2008 at 10:36 AM | PERMALINK

My low standards aside, shortstop, you, unlike Howard, have been posting here long enough to know it's true. Tell me you see no change.

I've been reading and posting since the Calpundit days and the difference to me is that we get a lot more right-wing trolls who only want to come in and spread lies, and no matter how often their "evidence" is debunked, they come right back with it in another thread.

I can't be the only person who gets tired of seeing the same old-same old Rush Limbaugh talking points over and over again in the comments. I still read Kevin every day, but I don't usually bother to post a comment because it's just not worth having to deal with such stupid people.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on July 31, 2008 at 11:09 AM | PERMALINK

Pat,

Tell me you see no change.

What you are seeing is the regular seasonal change that happens in the summer. Unlike the sad, pathetic right-wing shills and dateless college republican losers, those of us who actually "have a life" are usually busier in the summer with, you know, having a life.

It is sad I need to explain this to you but I promise if you come out of your parent's basement, squint and blink until your eyes adjust to the light, you will see that there are actually a whole lot of nicer things you could be doing.

Well, you could if you weren't a crabby worthless loser that is. Maybe you are better off typing here and viewing internet porn. I don't know. Just remember, it is your call.

Posted by: Tripp on July 31, 2008 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

Nah, Tripp. I've got plenty of pictures of your Mom without going to the internet. Thanks anyway. Oh, you forgot to bash McCain and jock Barry. Tsk, tsk!

Posted by: Pat on July 31, 2008 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

The GOP has used this smear strategy successfully in the last three elections. The challenge for the Obama camnpaign is to overcome the tactic. So far, they Obama machine has proven itself smart and nimble. Overcoming Hillary and engineering a good trip over seas. Lets see how they handle the swift boating of their candidate. They knew it was coming, they have to have a strategy. So far, I've been impressed with Obama's team. This will be their biggest test.

Posted by: the fake fake al on July 31, 2008 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

Even a cynic might think that the media is finally tired of playing the GOP's game on this score — Clinton was shifty, Gore was an exaggerator, Kerry was a flip-flopper — but that's still an open question.

The press sure liked the Dems' game plenty well, too. GHW Bush was an out of touch elitist. Bob Dole was crotchety old fool. GW Bush is a dim draft dodger. Works both ways (at least).

Posted by: Brian on July 31, 2008 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

Sexually ambiguous Pat,

Yo Momma? Yo Momma?!

That's all you got? Really? You better hope whoever's paying you doesn't see this because they are not getting their money's worth.

Pwned baby, pwned.

Posted by: Tripp on July 31, 2008 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

I fucked your mother! I'm obsessed with Kevin Drum! People suddenly remember they're late for appointments when I start conversations with them! Brojo had to take out a restraining order on me! I can't sustain a relationship! I'm leaving the Democratic Party because it didn't pick my candidate! I swear to God I am! Soon!

Posted by: Prat on July 31, 2008 at 4:22 PM | PERMALINK

Tell me you see no change.

Ad hominems have devolved into abuse.

Abusive parents have driven their children so insane they join the military in order to escape their parents' stifling oppression. When the children escape, these parents turn to the internets to exercise their abusive personalities. These parents will not rest until they can extend their abuse to all of America's children. Their hope is a McCain presidency will conscript American children into the military to be institutionalized with violence to continue the culture of abuse with the next generation. Their goal is turn all of America's children into little McNasties, who will have no inhibitions about using military violence to extend American power. In this way they intend to replicate the abuse learned from their mothers and fathers to the rest of the world.

Posted by: Brojo on July 31, 2008 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

And by the way, I am outraged by your use of the term "yo momma." "Yo!?" "Yo!?" Do you really think it is funny, to mock and perpetuate a racist sterotype of the way African American speak? Its insulting and typical of the old style attack politics. And as an African American I am personally offended. And you claim to be an Obama supporter. I doubt it, sir. I highly doubt it.

Posted by: Pat on July 31, 2008 at 9:46 PM | PERMALINK

[You can keep posting it, but I will keep deleting it, until I get pissed off enough to ban you. Your call. --Mod]

Posted by: Pat on July 31, 2008 at 10:15 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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