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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

With Beams in Their Eyes

One of the more annoying facets of the Cult of Palin that’s been erected over the last two weeks has been the interminable whining by the McCain campaign and the entire conservative commentariat over the alleged “personal attacks” on the vice presidential nominee. Sure, some Democrats and some media observers challenged her qualifications for the high office, but that’s no more “personal” than the identical criticism we would have heard from Republicans had Obama chosen, say, Tim Kaine or Kathleen Sebelius as his running-mate–or for that matter, the identical criticism of Obama’s own credentials. But as part of their longstanding effort to tie the “elitist” Obama to the “elitist” media, Team McCain and its own media allies have artfully filled the airwaves with charges that Democrats and “the liberal media” have sneered at Sarah Palin, her family, her home town, her religion, and–in an unfamiliar pose for conservatives–her gender.
In a Washington Post column today, Michael Kinsley rightly describes the whole thing as a fraud, calling out David Brooks and Bill Kristol by name for making the plenary “elitist snob” charge based on nothing more than random comments by Bill Maher and Marty Peretz, hardly opinion-leaders in the “liberal media” and far from spokesmen for Barack Obama.
This effort to make Gov. Palin some sort of St. Joan of the Tundra being persecuted for her family and faith is especially galling at a time when the McCain campaign, right out in public and with the candidate’s own stamp of approval, is taking a very low road in its attacks on Barack Obama. The latest despicable ad charges him with wanting to subject toddlers to “comprehensive sex education,” referring to Obama’s suggestion that children be taught how to avoid sexual predators.
This ad was the McCain campaign’s response to a wonky Obama speech on education, in which the Democratic nominee belied conservative attacks on him as the captive of teachers unions and bureaucrats by calling for an expansion of charter schools and the institution of merit pay for teachers.
Next time a Republican politician or pundit waxes indignant about imaginary smears against Sarah Palin, he or she should be asked about that McCain ad and others like it. As the Good Book would put it, they have beams in their eyes.
UPCATEGORY: Democratic Strategist

5 comments on “With Beams in Their Eyes

  1. Basilisc on

    I’d like to repeat a question that was raised recently at TPM: Where are the surrogates??
    Obama is a cool, reserved kind of guy. We may want him to attack more, but that just isn’t his style. He thinks it’s beneath his dignity to respond to stupid attacks with more stupid attacks, and it is. He’d rather laugh off the stupidity and focus on what matters.
    But that doesn’t mean someone else shouldn’t be out there making the case and grabbing the media by the lapels. We’ve already heard Biden doing it, but he can’t do it alone either. What if there were a press conference, today, with, say, Hilary Clinton, Claire McCaskill, Brian Schweitzer, and Mark Warner. What if they said, “We’re asking the media, right now: cut it out. Stop doing McCain’s bidding by chasing every stupid issue he tosses to you. Report on the issues. Report on the candidates – on who they really are, and what they’ve done, not on who they want you to think they are.” Just a simple, clear message – then repeated, as nauseam, in speeches, interviews, whatever, around the country, day after day. That’s how the GOP does it – because it works.
    The media won’t report on something unless it’s an event. So you have to create the event. And the best resource for creating events are the dozens of well known, well respected Democrats around the country. Don’t leave Barack out there to respond to all this garbage by himself.

  2. cvh1789 on

    How about turning the “elitist” charge against the Republicans?
    I’m thinking of a commercial that pans across the faces of Washington and members of his first cabinet–Jefferson, Hamilton, Adams, etc.
    The image would suggest that the Founders were an elite insofar as they were unusually talented, knowledgeable, and sophisticated.
    Even a SERIES of commercials using iconic moments from American history:
    Would Lincoln be a Republican today? No. Would Teddy Roosevelt, the Trust Buster, be one? No. Would Ike? Probably not. Is this the same Republican Party the country used to admire? No. (Not since Nixon.)
    Use these images from American history both to appeal to patriotism [remember how many people watched the PBS series on the Civil War] and to show that Democrats value talent and want to advance merit, that Obama & Biden belong to that tradition.

  3. ThinkingGuy on

    But just how do we do so? Isn’t that a catch 22? Especially when they get to attack us without cautious or remorse? If we compliment her, we are confirming the wisdom of the pick, and her fitness for office, but if we attack her, we are attacking working mothers??

  4. Keith Smith on

    What you are missing is how any real or imagined attacks of Palin by Obama put McCain in the sympathetic role of the protective father. They want us to attack Palin, they will create imaginary attacks even if we don’t, and it will work for them.
    The only way to attack Palin is in conjunction with McCain, Palin, Bush & Cheney. We have to elevate her to McCain’s level. We have to stand her up before we can knock her down.

  5. bacaangel on

    Interesting article on Joe Scarborough that has been kept quiet by the MSM!
    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!
    In a cleverly pre-emptive strike, McCain is falsely accusing Obama of wanting to teach children sex education — it was to teach children how to protect themselves from sexual predators — because they knew Newsweek will be soon coming out with an article on Sarah Palin! “Judge Warned Palin About Emotional Child Abuse.”


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