Friday, September 12, 2008


Forty years ago. The Election of Attrition. A political year of blood and mayhem, with the pitiful survivors of November crawling into an arena frequented only months earlier by the stars of their sport. Lyndon Johnson took a powder. So did Robert Kennedy, literally. Nelson Rockefeller was figuratively killed by his party for being too liberal, too Happy.

Democrats were left to front Hubert Humphrey, the happy-faced, fast-talking vice president. Republicans backed Richard Nixon, a paranoid scowler who'd already blown one bid for the White House. Everyone else got George Wallace, a racist still unaware of the bullet and wheelchair in his future.

We flash forward to four decades later and the circle is closed. The best candidates -- at least on the Democratic bench -- are back to flipping impeachment burgers (Dennis Kucinich) and minding the Senate store (Chris Dodd, Hillary Clinton). The Republicans overlooked an optimist and a Mormon.

Who would have bet six months ago that John McCain might beat Barack Obama? Bill Clinton:
"[H]e has some redeeming qualities for a Republican: he doesn't believe in toture, he supported campaign finance reform and he doesn't think global warming is a myth ... So it is not gonna be all that easy to beat him."
The Obama faithful sniffed and barked at the Big Dog for not snapping a stiff-armed salute at their Leader, but the Dog knows the truth: This is politics, not the debate club. Want to implement the ideas, the ideals? Win. Or at least act like you want to win, and try to keep your nutty fan club (relatives, close associates, pastors, pill-popping spouses) in the basement until the polls close in the general election.

Obama should be 10, maybe 12 points ahead of McCain at this point, getting ready to vet the cabinet. Bill Clinton was beating Bob Dole like Balboa beats beef slabs in August 1996. Because Clinton knew it's all about the lowest common denominator. Save the oration for the inauguration.

We said last January that McCain was off-his-rocker crazy -- a clinical term, not tossed around lightly -- and thus unqualified to be President of the United States. He's still all that, but turns out he's fox crazy, too, cunning and willing to use the WASP knife in battle. Hence the priggish Sarah Palin, a meaty bone to the GOP base that can't stand McCain (McPain is one of the nicer nicknames the far right uses).

McCain knows he's using his base to win. He knows he's using Palin, even if he believes she's unqualified. He's already on record belittling wanna-bes:
"I am prepared. I am prepared. I need no on-the-job training. I wasn't a mayor for a short period of time. I wasn't a governor for a short period of time."
Democrats will try to use McCain's words against him, but it won't work. They're too angry at Republican hypocrisy to think straight. They're baffled by the bullshit, belittling Palin at their peril. Wily Willie Brown, the best political animal ever to set foot in California, hailed the Palin pick as a brilliant political move:
"Republicans are now on offense and Democrats are on defense. And we don't do well on defense."
Joe Biden has been defanged by the choice of Palin. That attack dog won't hunt. Obama is spending too much time talking about the Republicans' veep pick, not enough time keeping it simple. And raising money, given his flip-flop on public financing of his campaign. He's got to raise $100 million a month to meet his fundraising goals, and he's falling short. While Obama begs for bucks, McCain campaigns.

Democrats don't get it. John McCain wants to win. They want to whine.


Anonymous said...

I was around in 1968, and I am more scared today that what you write of may come true than I ever was of 1968

Anonymous said...

The reason you are scared is for good reason. Once people discover that Obama is an empty suit, capable only of taking $186,000 from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, voters will side with experience.

Don't get pissed at McCain for this mortgage mess, after all, Clinton crony's ran both mortgage houses and left with massive severance packages. If you'll recall, the Black Congressional Caucus worked with both mortgage giants to make more mortgages available for the "masses." Now we can see those mortgages were made to people who did not have the ability to repay the loans.

Congress writes the laws. Socialists have controlled the Congress and did nothing to address the problem.

You are right Ron, Democrats love to whine...and hate responsibility.