Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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September 10, 2008

PURE SLEAZE.... Last night, Hilzoy tackled the substance of John McCain's latest TV ad -- the one that suggests Obama's support for giving sex-ed lessons to kindergartners -- and explained why it's breathtakingly wrong.

But stepping back, it's probably worth putting the ad, arguably the most offensive campaign commercial of the cycle, in the broader context, and consider what it tells us about John McCain.

Asked for a response to the ad, Obama campaign spokesperson Bill Burton issued a statement: "It is shameful and downright perverse for the McCain campaign to use a bill that was written to protect young children from sexual predators as a recycled and discredited political attack against a father of two young girls -- a position that his friend Mitt Romney also holds. Last week, John McCain told Time magazine he couldn't define what honor was. Now we know why."

That's clearly the appropriate tone, but Josh Marshall says what the Obama campaign is reluctant to articulate.

[L]et's not be surprised. McCain is pure sleaze. Sound harsh? Sure. But any other interpretation of the man at this point amounts to willful obliviousness or an embrace of the fantasy that he somehow doesn't know what his campaign is doing in his name. This is the race he's decided to run.

The bottom line is straightforward enough: it takes a degree of courage to run an honorable campaign. It takes a degree to integrity to tell voters the truth, present a credible vision for the future, and ask for the nation's trust.

Cowardice is much easier.

There is a clear strategy emerging for the campaign's homestretch. The more the McCain campaign comes up with new disgusting attacks and blatant lies, the more the Obama campaign has to respond. To leave attacks unanswered, or obvious distortions unacknowledged, would be a mistake. At the same time, the more time the Obama campaign has to respond to McCain's sleaze, the less time Obama has for his own message.

In other words, if Obama responds to McCain's sleaze, McCain benefits. If Obama ignores it, McCain benefits.

Remember, McCain's own campaign manager conceded last week, "This election is not about the issues." And the only way to ensure it's not about the issues is to run nauseating ads like the one the McCain campaign unveiled yesterday afternoon.

I've long felt that the challenge of being a good political writer is knowing, or at least learning, how to express an emotional reaction without losing one's cool. It's tempting to let one's frustration out, writing in all-caps, and using every expletive that comes to mind -- maybe even making up some new ones -- in order to fully convey one's sense of disgust. But that, in some ways, is too easy. It's more difficult to convey the same sense of revulsion without flying off the handle.

So, I'll just say this: John McCain has no business leading the greatest nation on earth.

Steve Benen 8:50 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (63)

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Comments

I've long felt that the challenge of being a good political writer is knowing, or at least learning, how to express an emotional reaction without losing one's cool.

Well, Steve, I think you make it look easy. Keep up the great work.

Posted by: Vermonter on September 10, 2008 at 8:53 AM | PERMALINK

Furthermore, as we're seeing in some of the media reaction to the Bridge to Nowhere lies and the press's response to faked up outrage about "lipstick on a pig," the media WILL respect a campaign that calls out untruths and will cover the lies and lack of integrity. But the Obama campaign has to give them the hook to go over the McCain campaign. I think reporters feel burned about what the McCain folks have been doing because they actually believed the hype that he cared about experience and was a maverick - and now they see that's nonsense.

Posted by: democrat on September 10, 2008 at 8:54 AM | PERMALINK

John McCain was once an honorable man but his ambition to be President and willingness to use repeatedly exposed lies shows he no longer has any honor.

Let me say it clearly so he can hear it, John McCain, you are a lying weasel and do not deserve a single vote.

Posted by: The Other Ed on September 10, 2008 at 8:56 AM | PERMALINK

I'll just say this: John McCain has no business leading the greatest nation on earth.

And I'll say this: this kind of mindless, nationalistic sloganeering is why ordinary folk don't respect political pundits.

Posted by: jeremy on September 10, 2008 at 8:59 AM | PERMALINK

Remember in the wake of the Rev.Wright controversy and increasing racial campaigning by the Clintons Barak Obama responded by delivering a high profile, serious and sober speech on race relations. It was tough and hard hitting, and it was eloquent in equal measures. Barak Obama needs to do it again. Deliver a major and serious speech on the tactics being employed by John McCain, Sarah Palin and the Repulicans. Tie it into the serious problems facing the country and how we deserve better. The speech needs to be blunt, honest and heartfelt. He needs to make clear the American people are being duped once again and we're in for even worse than the past eight years.

He can take the high road, but he has to crush these people definitavely. Make them look like the sleazy, sniveling jackels they are.

And he has to do it now.

Posted by: Saint Zak on September 10, 2008 at 9:00 AM | PERMALINK

What's the big deal? Everyone knows Palin shoots fetuses and McCain eats them. Everyday.

Posted by: hollywood on September 10, 2008 at 9:01 AM | PERMALINK

Interesting article on Joe Scarborough that has been kept quiet by the MSM!

http://www.truthalliance.net/Archive/tabid/67/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/583/Default.aspx

Lest, we forget, there would have been no need for a Surge if Bush & Co. had not taken the U.S. into a Phony & Pretend War on Terrorism while the Real War on Terrorism in Afghanistan where Bin Ladin lived, was ignored! And if we do not Wise up this might happen in the future!
http://www.youtube.com/v/PdJUCU1UH2w

In a cleverly pre-emptive strike, McCain is falsely accusing Obama of wanting to teach children sex education because they knew Newsweek will be soon coming out with an article on Sarah Palin! "Judge Warned Palin About Emotional Child Abuse!"

Posted by: Angellight on September 10, 2008 at 9:01 AM | PERMALINK

Jeremy, tell me, if the lying pos is running a campaign like this, how do you expect him to run the country? What Steve said isn't sloganeering. It is the God's truth. His campaign has forfeited all respect and John McCain has no business leading the greatest nation on earth.

Posted by: Ron Byers on September 10, 2008 at 9:04 AM | PERMALINK

I'd like to suggest a news conference or a speech in which Obama takes this issue up directly. My sense is that he could play it so that he criticizes McCain, chides the press, and wins himself a day of coverage. Answering ad for ad is a waste of time and resources, as tomorrow McCain will come out with another stupid advertisement that might be even worse than the last. Obama has to cut through the Gordian knot.

Posted by: sjw on September 10, 2008 at 9:05 AM | PERMALINK

John McCain has no business leading the greatest nation on earth.

... the media WILL respect a campaign that calls out untruths and will cover the lies and lack of integrity.

I'm torn, really torn. Ive had to literally turn away from television, cable, radio even many of my favorite blogs since the end of the fascist's come-to-Palin revival in St Paul because of the unending stream of garbage being written, spoken and posted about this election. For a low-information voter, the cacaphony is absolutely overwhelming. For regular listeners of AM shoutcasting, the drumbeat has intensified with the blatant lies and distortions.

I do not believe the traditional media in America is up to being able to separate truth from fiction. If the once-vaunted 4th Estate is the ONLY path to redemption for America, we as a nation are vertically fornicated forever.

My sole hope is that Biden and Obama put the brass knucks on and bloody these fuckers with no mercy, ruthlessly, repeatedly - McCain is presenting a big, soft target that anyone can hit.

Posted by: GuyFromOhio on September 10, 2008 at 9:07 AM | PERMALINK

slightly off-topic, but not totally.

i heard a clip from mccain this morning that said he had never requested an earmark and had never accepted an earmark while he was senator.

surely this can't be true, can it?

orange

Posted by: just bill on September 10, 2008 at 9:11 AM | PERMALINK

As they run, so shall they govern.

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on September 10, 2008 at 9:11 AM | PERMALINK

Thing is, Steve, Kevin Drum got this right last night. Even if McCain wins this ugly, he can absolutely forget actually achieving anything in his administration. Democrats will be absolutely furious and will essentially do anything they can at anytime to damage his administration. The worst part is, as Kevin suggests, this kind of scorched earth politics creates a very ugly environment for whomever actually wins. Oh, McCain will change Washington alright. He will make it even less governable than it is now.

Posted by: brent on September 10, 2008 at 9:12 AM | PERMALINK

"In other words, if Obama responds to McCain's sleaze, McCain benefits. If Obama ignores it, McCain benefits."

Only if Obama's responses do not follow a theme of their own, like, say, John McCain is LYING TO YOU AGAIN.

Seriously: each punch is an opportunity for a counter-punch, but the response is NOT the counterpunch. That's the parry. The punch needs to be part of a one-two reply.

Posted by: The Phantom on September 10, 2008 at 9:13 AM | PERMALINK

joe biden should be the attack dog and that would allow barack obama to focus on the message. but obama needs to speak with passion rather than vocalizing in his halting delivery. he needs to get with the simple delivery and stop the hemming, hawing, and seemingly trying to find the correct words. simple is better than elaborate explanations. bumper sticker quotes work.

Posted by: grumpyoldvet on September 10, 2008 at 9:17 AM | PERMALINK

"John McCain has no business leading the greatest nation on earth."

If this nation elects McSleazeball & Prettier-version-of-Ann-Coulter, then we can't possibly be the greatest nation on earth. The 'greatest' status will END effective Nov. 4th.

It's up to us. Write to your newspapers, sign up and volunteer, whatever it takes...

Posted by: Ohioan on September 10, 2008 at 9:17 AM | PERMALINK

In 1988, I was co-chair of the Student Caucus for Dukakis at a sizable midwestern university. For much of the race, Dukakis had been up in the polls. The Pledge and Willie Horton stuff had hurt, but we all still were fired up and thought we were in good shape to pull it off.

And then it happened. The Question.
We were having a debate watch party when that better-rot-in-hell POS Bernard Shaw asked what Mike would do if Kitty were raped.

Dukakis gave a calm, technocratic answer - which substantively may have been just fine, but even in our highly partisan room nobody heard it. Everyone literally deflated, slumped in their chairs. We all knew in our guts that it was over. We all want Mike to literally get up, go over and bitchslap Shaw and tell him if he ever asked such an offensive question again, he'd beat him even worse the next time.

Dukakis' campaign never recovered from that answer.

This is Obama's rape question moment. We win or lose on this ad.

Posted by: zeitgeist on September 10, 2008 at 9:19 AM | PERMALINK

Oh, McCain will change Washington alright. He will make it even less governable than it is now.

This premise suggests that McCain -- or the Republicans writ large -- have any interest in governing, as opposed to simply holding power. The last eight years reveals that Republicans simply aren't interested in governing.

Eight years, did I say? I recall once again P.J. O'Rourke's comment back in the '80s: Republicans campaign on the theory that government doesn't work, then get elected and prove it.

Posted by: Gregory on September 10, 2008 at 9:19 AM | PERMALINK

Throw in the fact that McCain's been completely emasculated and eclipsed by Palin, and McCain looks pretty small indeed.

Posted by: Del Capslock on September 10, 2008 at 9:20 AM | PERMALINK

In April, McCain pledged to run a "respectful campaign." Now he's running the 21st century's first Willie Horton ad replete with enough dog whistles for an obedience class. Honor? Hardly. He has surrendered honor, truth, and dignity to his ambition to be elected. He is just an ambitious, grasping, angry, old man.

Posted by: Dennis - SGMM on September 10, 2008 at 9:21 AM | PERMALINK

Jeremy, your problem is you've gotten used to being lied to. You've bought into every slogan the Republicans have thrown at you. "WMD," "connections between Iraq and AQ," "Muslims want to kill us", "Drill Here, Drill Now", "War on Terror", "Death Tax", "Global Warming is not man-made," "Creationism in the classroom," "Christian nation," "Obama wants to raise taxes", "Sarah Palin said no to the Bridge to Nowhere," "the Russians are back." All of these well-crafted right-wing slogans are demonstrably false. And yet, somehow you and all the other Rush ditto-heads can hear them, ignore the reality in front of your eyes, and accept them as fact.

No wonder when Steve makes a valid point, backed up with real, verifiable evidence that John McCain is, in fact, campaigning on lies, distortions and sleaze, that you simply can't recognize it for what it is: the truth.

Jeremy, the fact is you want to be lied to. And you wouldn't know the truth if it filled your belly full of sausage and shoved a dog up your ass.

Posted by: chrenson on September 10, 2008 at 9:22 AM | PERMALINK

Ron, my point is simply this: on my travels in China, I spoke to many people who were very reasonable & sane until you happen to mention geopolitics, at which point they would turn into programmed nationalistic robots. "The Japanese are actually just historically Chinese", "China is the greatest country in the world", etc etc. I'm sure they meant no harm, but quite frankly it made them come across as a bit brainwashed.

I just expect a little better from the American left, that's all.

Posted by: jeremy on September 10, 2008 at 9:22 AM | PERMALINK

Can we please stop tiptoeing around this ad?

It's not about lying, or distorting Obama's record. It's not about supporting sex ed for children.

This ad is dangerously close to saying Obama is some sort of pedophile.

If you don't believe me, look at the ad again.

Here's a link from TPM:

http://tpmelectioncentral.talkingpointsmemo.com/2008/09/new_mccain_ad_badly_distorts_o_1.php

After showing some white kids, we see Obama looking down with a mischievous smile on his face.

He's "not right for your family."

Think about it, and please look at the ad again.

Posted by: anonymous on September 10, 2008 at 9:24 AM | PERMALINK

um, jeremy, what the hell was that last post all about? it makes no sense.

orange

Posted by: just bill on September 10, 2008 at 9:26 AM | PERMALINK

It's happening again. Reason tells us Obama is running an issues campaign that addresses the pain of the middle class. He should be ahead by double digits. But Rovian smear strikes again - effectively. Will Obama take the opportunity to deck McCain on his dishonesty and lack of honor in the upcoming face-to-face debate? Further, should the GOP win (or steal) this election, will the Democrats FINALLY stand up to a McCain administration? When will these donkeys ever grow a pair!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Chopin on September 10, 2008 at 9:27 AM | PERMALINK

I want to see some blood on Hillary's knuckles too. If she doesn't answer the call and Obama loses, there is no way the Democratic party doesn't split if she runs next time. Of course, by then, it may not matter.

Posted by: Michael7843853 on September 10, 2008 at 9:27 AM | PERMALINK

I know that the heart has its reasons and all that, but sometimes the personal does indeed inform the political, and anyone aware of the particulars of how McCain ended his first marriage can not be very surprised by his behavior now.
Like many other war heroes, for a few years he was called upon to live up to a higher standard, and has spent much of the rest of his life showing what an aberration that time was.

Posted by: Steve Paradis on September 10, 2008 at 9:28 AM | PERMALINK

You liberal babies should just concede defeat. McCain, like a real man, just kicked Obama in the teeth and all Obaby can do is cry. No thanks. I'll vote for the guy with the balls to be president and so will America.

And by the way, the ad is accurate -- no one has disputed its assertions. The Obama campaign has not denied a single fact in the ad.

Posted by: Rock on September 10, 2008 at 9:28 AM | PERMALINK

i heard a clip from mccain this morning that said he had never requested an earmark - just bill.

Let's ask Politifact. They say false.

Posted by: Danp on September 10, 2008 at 9:28 AM | PERMALINK

Your control is admirable. I personally just want to put my fist through the wall. After what they did to Kerry (the purple bandaids), I didn't think I could hate Republicans any more. But McAsshole has taken the prize. Despicable. I have always tried to view politics as a very tough partisan business, but I've also tried to view it more broadly that we are all Americans, regardless of party. Honestly, I just don't believe that anymore. I really want no part of their Amerika. Be that as it may, how can this Country possibly move forward to solve its massive problems in such a polarized condition. And the election in November will be just the beginning. Who ever is elected, it is likely that they are presiding over a political and cultural cadaver.

Posted by: Scott F. on September 10, 2008 at 9:29 AM | PERMALINK

What doesn't make any sense? I'm objecting to this "greatest nation on the face of the earth" nonsense.

Posted by: jeremy on September 10, 2008 at 9:29 AM | PERMALINK

Everyone knows it will be Gov. Palin leading the greatest nation on earth - just as we all know Cheney really runs everything from his VP office.
Don't worry - McCain will be safely taken care of. He is in good hands with the Barracuda.

Obama decided to make the mantra of his campaign the word "change" defining that change as himself. The "change" wasn't the issues it was his person. This campaign is not about issues because Obama wanted it that way.

Now back to your regularly scheduled wailing and flailing progressive discussion.

Posted by: Orwell on September 10, 2008 at 9:30 AM | PERMALINK

As we like to say in these parts, death to tyrants, and flatterers! The vote the November will slay McCain's campaign of ill-tempered illusion and distraction. -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on September 10, 2008 at 9:30 AM | PERMALINK

John McCain apparently wants to run on a platform of making life easier for pedophiles.

Posted by: Mark on September 10, 2008 at 9:30 AM | PERMALINK

Steve,
You're right that if Obama does nothing, he gets hut and it he overreacts, he gets hurt. My guess is the McCain campaign is going for the later (they know Obama won't just sit idly by) but I think they want to see if they can provoke a "Dean Scream" like moment from Obama so that they can say "see white Americans...he's just another angry black man". They then contrast that with pictures of the "original mavericks"...the happy warrior McCain and the hockey mom Palin. That is where this is all headed, methinks.

Posted by: Mike P on September 10, 2008 at 9:30 AM | PERMALINK

The ad says, with Obama's smiling face on the screen, looking down, at the children, "learning about sex before learning to read?"

This isn't about distorting his record.

This is about portraying Obama as a pervert - a pervert when it comes to CHILDREN.

This ad is much worse than you think it is.

Posted by: anonymous on September 10, 2008 at 9:31 AM | PERMALINK

Let's face it, the very fact we are discussing how Obama should respond shows just how far behind he is. By the time he bothers to say anything, McCain will have begun a new attack cycle.
The train left the station a long time ago, and Obama is still on the platform. his only hope at this point is that the McCain camp stumbles.

Posted by: g. powell on September 10, 2008 at 9:31 AM | PERMALINK

The way to respond is to say that apparently McCain opposes protecting your children from attacks by sexual predators.

Posted by: David on September 10, 2008 at 9:31 AM | PERMALINK

Jeremy,

I don't know WTF you are talking about. Your campaign runs a sick, twisted, disgusting ad that has no basis in truth whatsoever and you're complaining about "nationalistic sloganeering"?

That is totally psychotic.

Posted by: bdop4 on September 10, 2008 at 9:36 AM | PERMALINK

Rock: You liberal babies should just concede defeat.

Oh, you mean like when McCain/Palin burst into tears over the "lipstick" on a pig thing?

Speaking of "babies" shouldn't someone change McCain's diaper? He's stinking pretty bad.

Posted by: chrenson on September 10, 2008 at 9:36 AM | PERMALINK

Obama has to keep pointing out the sleaze and lies. And in the next breath tell the electorate what change really means with a healthcare plan. With investment in infrastructure that will also have the benefit of putting people to work. With plans to develop energy alternatives to oil.

Hit McCain hard. Then tell us how much better off we will be without him.

Posted by: jcricket on September 10, 2008 at 9:36 AM | PERMALINK

Tempting when they are so pathetic,but let's not feed the trolls today. They can go claim their prize from whatever 527 let them borrow its computer.

Posted by: Scott F. on September 10, 2008 at 9:40 AM | PERMALINK

If Obama's camp doesn't come out forcefully TODAY and call out this sex ed ad for what it is, they risk the fate of Gore and Kerry.

Obama should hold an impromptu press conference and come out like a father of two young kids who is absolutely shocked and sickened by this negative attack. No verbose campaign rhetoric, no attacking MCCain or Palin or Bu$h.

He should demonstrate his revulsion to the very notion that the REPUBLICANS led by ROVE are running the most despicable and sleazy campaign in modern history. He MUST forcefully deny that he was ever in favor of teaching sex ed to kindergartners, and that in fact the bill he signed was a bipartisan bill supported by plenty of Republicans. He should then attack the republican smear machine and highlight the fact that it is they who pull the strings, and not their candidate.

Then ask the question, why are these people doing this? Is this all they can come up with? Are they that DESPERATE to deflect attention away from the issues? What are they hiding from?

Then point out the obvious: Republicans have no character or integrity left, it has been shredded by their deeds. Does the American public, in these very troubling times, want a party running our country that is more concerned with slandering an opponent than talking about the problems we face?

Then leave it at that. Pose that question. Let it sink in to the public. State that he hopes he won't have to talk about subjects such as this again because he is busy working hard to bring change to this country. Calmly walk off stage.

Posted by: citizen_pain on September 10, 2008 at 9:43 AM | PERMALINK

Steve...this is why we're your loyal followers!

McCain is not so much a "maverick" as a gladfly. How quickly he abandons honor! Palin was made in the same mold.

Glenzilla has a series of articles lambasting the MSM, one this morning on the "lipstick" brouhaha. My question is, what can we do to prevent the MSM from hijacking yet another election? With less than 60 days left, what is feasible? A massive boycott? A letter writing campaign? What?

Posted by: Just Us League on September 10, 2008 at 9:44 AM | PERMALINK

The parallels between the tactics used by the Brown Shirts and those used by the Repugs since Rove took over are very similar. History rightly wasn't kind to those who stood on the sidelines and permitted the lies and intimidation. Time to step it up.

Posted by: Scott F. on September 10, 2008 at 9:45 AM | PERMALINK

Ugly smears, and blatant lies from the republican team.

We've already seen what this team will bring to the White House because that team has been there for eight years.

Who is writing and producing the sleaze for ads run in the name of McCain? Who is writing the dishonest speeches for McCain and Palin?

Everything done within the McCain/Palin organization is being organized and carried out by the same people that organize and carry out the malfeasance in the White House.

Only the poster boy has changed.

Posted by: jcricket on September 10, 2008 at 9:46 AM | PERMALINK

Citizen_Pain,

Excellent post. I've got my fingers crossed.

Posted by: bdop4 on September 10, 2008 at 9:47 AM | PERMALINK

I say f*ck it - fight fire with fire.

Posted by: inthewoods on September 10, 2008 at 9:56 AM | PERMALINK

another dilhema here is the dynamic of responding to scurrilous accusations..think of the classic LBJ anecodate - he'd accused an opponent of bestiality and when asked why when we knew this to be untrue he said something like "I know he didn't do it - I just want to hear him deny it"

Posted by: aidan on September 10, 2008 at 10:02 AM | PERMALINK

i think the key is to respond as a parent. That needs to be the source of his rightous indignation - not as a candidate. that as the proud, loving father of two beautiful school-age girls, he is appalled by the suggestion that he would ever have anything but the best interests of his daughters, and those like them in families across the country, in mind. that he wants to see them protected from sexual predators, and sadly that is a real concern - and it is sad and shocking that John McCain would trivialize that concern by turning it into a political hit job, trying to call Obama some kind of pervert for wanting to protect our children in the same way that many states do and that, in fact, the Cub Scouts do. John McCain cant say he loves this country while politicizing the safety of this country's children, its very hope for the future. John McCain should be ashamed of himself, and this is one proud father who will not stand idly by and allow such hateful lies to stand.

you get the idea.

Posted by: zeitgeist on September 10, 2008 at 10:11 AM | PERMALINK

I sent a message to factcheck.org asking them how the list of untruths and half-truths against Palin matches that against Obama that they can claim both have been "slimed". I have yet to receive a response.

Posted by: ogmb on September 10, 2008 at 10:29 AM | PERMALINK

Responding as a parent, as zeitgeist suggests, is exactly the way to go---but it should be as a parent who challenges the "honor" of McCain.

The legislation in question---the very core, fundamental essence of the issue surrounding McCain's ad---was about two things---pedophilia, and protecting kids from pedophilia.

Clearly, McCain thinks it's horrible to want to do something that protects kids from pedophiles. If he thinks that it's wrong to help protect little kids from child molesters, then he can only be in favor of subjecting them to child molesters.

John McMolester wants to be my president? As a concerned father of three, I have no alternative but to say "absolutely not."

And---just to ramp things up a wee bit---he had damned well better not ever let himself get caught anywhere near any of MY kids---because as a parent, I would, of course, have to perform my "protective duties."

As a parent who fully understands the meaning of the word "honor," that is....

Posted by: Steve on September 10, 2008 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

I think every Republican candidate and officeholder should be put on the spot about whether they believe McCain's sleazy campaign tactics and lying are acceptable. They can repudiate him, or have their reputations and careers go down with him.

Posted by: david1234 on September 10, 2008 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK


Saint Zak,


I gotta say, what you just said, about the press conference with the major speech? I'm almost positive he'll be doing this in short order, like today or friday (tomorrow would be crass in this political climate of stupidity).

It should be a dandy too.

keep yer chin up, we're still doing fine!

cheers!
neil

Posted by: neilt on September 10, 2008 at 10:54 AM | PERMALINK

I think your breakdown of the McCain strategy is 100% accurate... throw mud nonstop and force the other side to play defensive catchup. It works really well, especially when the press utterly fails to equilibrate the facts and presents both 'sides' to avoid 'media bias' and fill the hour show.

The only way to fight this kind of a campaign with these variables is to get down in the mud with the snakes and throw so much mud yourself that the media gets subsumed in the morass and competing claims get lost. Then the election comes down to which candidate is the lesser idiot.

Of course the McCain campaign knows this and for Obama to be the 'lesser idiot' he has to have attack dogs do his mudslinging on his behalf. So where are they?

Posted by: Bigsky in AZ on September 10, 2008 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

"There is a clear strategy emerging for the campaign's homestretch. The more the McCain campaign comes up with new disgusting attacks and blatant lies, the more the Obama campaign has to respond. To leave attacks unanswered, or obvious distortions unacknowledged, would be a mistake. At the same time, the more time the Obama campaign has to respond to McCain's sleaze, the less time Obama has for his own message."

In short, Obama is being swiftboated. Pure and simple. I want him to unleash the 527s. I want to hear about the Keating 5. McCain's adultery and divorce. His being a kept man like John Kerry. Palin's crazy church. Jews for Jesus. Troopergate. McCain's 7? 8? 12? houses. All of it. And then some. I thought we learned in 2004 that nice guys finish last. It looks like the gun Obama promised to bring to a knife fight is a water pistol. Sigh.

Posted by: SpaceCat on September 10, 2008 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

Saint Zak said: "Remember in the wake of the Rev.Wright controversy and increasing racial campaigning by the Clintons Barak Obama responded by delivering a high profile, serious and sober speech on race relations. It was tough and hard hitting, and it was eloquent in equal measures. Barak Obama needs to do it again. Deliver a major and serious speech on the tactics being employed by John McCain, Sarah Palin and the Repulicans. Tie it into the serious problems facing the country and how we deserve better. The speech needs to be blunt, honest and heartfelt. He needs to make clear the American people are being duped once again and we're in for even worse than the past eight years.

He can take the high road, but he has to crush these people definitavely. Make them look like the sleazy, sniveling jackels they are."

AMEN a thousand times over. I was thinking this myself earlier today. He needs to build it up as a major address to get roadblock coverage, then explain, in detail, the tactics McCain has used. Work in a little ridicule, something along the lines of, "Is this for class president or president of the United States? We're supposed to be adults here." Hoist them on their own petards.
There is a way to respond to these scurrilous attacks without validating them. Hold them up high for all to see and bash McCain/Palin over the head with them. Don't try to debate the "finer points" of whether Obama wants to teach sex to kids before they learn to read.

Posted by: SpaceCat on September 10, 2008 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

Every Democrat who goes on tv should be repeating the mantra, McCain has thrown away his honor and love of country to win. He has hired the people who slimed him in 2000, his ads are the sleaziest and most dishonest in memory and he doesn't want Americans to know that he has every intention of following Bush/Cheney policies if elected. Look straight into the camera and sadly say you don't know what happened to the McCain you thought you knew, but he is gone.

Posted by: Th on September 10, 2008 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

I debunked every single statement made in that "Education" ad. Every statement was a lie. Every. Single. One.

Posted by: MsJoanne on September 10, 2008 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

So, I'll just say this: John McCain has no business leading the greatest nation on earth.

Or the US, for that matter.

Posted by: LJR on September 10, 2008 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

If the McCain-Palin ticket wins on the basis of blatant lying over opposing lobbyists and pork-barrell spending, denigrating community service, and perversely distorting the record to insinuate Obama is a child-predator, then there is no way the US is the greatest country on Earth. John McCain is scum.

Posted by: Adamo on September 10, 2008 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

It's a two-part strategy: run the sleaziest, most disgusting campaign in history and complain that people who notice are insulting his honor.

Look I know it's been customary to praise Maverick's "integrity" when he found it expedient to occasionally disagree with Bush. But let's not confuse this tradition with the belief that the man actually has any.

Posted by: Aatos on September 10, 2008 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/93/SB/PDF/09300SB0099lv.pdf

13 ... Each class or course in comprehensive sex
14 education offered in any of grades K -6 through 12 shall
15 include instruction on the prevention of sexually transmitted
16 infections, including the prevention, transmission and spread
17 of HIV.

Posted by: Neo on September 11, 2008 at 11:15 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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