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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Blame It On Reality

It’s hard to scan conservative opinion outlets these days without running across monotonous attacks on the incompetence of the McCain-Palin campaign, typically for failing to throw anything at Barack Obama that might even conceivably stick. But Mike Gerson of the Washington Post took a different approach in his column today: claiming that McCain’s just a victim of bad timing. He’d probably be winning, Gerson suggests, in a campaign focused on Obama’s “character,” if it hadn’t been for the financial meltdown.
Well, if I had some ham, I could make a ham sandwich, if I had some bread. While the desire of Republicans for a substance-free presidential campaign this year is perfectly understandable, I don’t have much sympathy. Gerson writes as though the meltdown just happened, with nobody in particular to blame, and as though incumbent parties don’t benefit as well as suffer from circumstances not entirely within their immediate control (remember George W. Bush’s poor public standing and aimless agenda before 9/11?).
Sure, it’s painful for McCain to try to run away from his own party and policies when they are unpopular, and it’s even more painful when said party and policies are making voters want to punish somebody, anybody, with an R next to his name. But let’s remember John McCain had every opportunity earlier this decade to leave the GOP, to become a Democrat or an independent, and chose otherwise. This idea that he is, as Gerson suggests, a “great man” whose services as president have been denied by a twist of fate is simply ludicrous. He’s dancing with the one that brung him.

2 comments on “Blame It On Reality

  1. James Vega on

    Gerson’s piece actually contains the following absurdity –
    In arguing that the Ayers issue is a valid one, he says
    “Can anyone doubt that the past political association of McCain with a right-wing terrorist would attract some attention?”
    Well, in fact, as TDS, Woodward and others have noted, McCain quite notoriously did “pal around with a terrorist” (G. Gordon Liddy) and none of the MSM – NYT, WP etc. picked up the story.
    To paraphrase George Will (writing about Harriet Miers)
    “Such is the perfect perversity of the McCain-Palin campaign that it debases the intellect and character of all who labor in defending it”

    Reply
  2. James Vega on

    Gerson’s piece actually contains the following absurdity –
    In arguing that the Ayers issue is a valid one, he says
    “Can anyone doubt that the past political association of McCain with a right-wing terrorist would attract some attention?”
    Well, in fact, as TDS, Woodward and others have noted, McCain quite notoriously did “pal around with a terrorist” (G. Gordon Liddy) and none of the MSM – NYT, WP etc. picked up the story.
    To paraphrase George Will (writing about Harriet Miers)
    “Such is the perfect perversity of the McCain-Palin campaign that it debases the intellect and character of all who labor in defending it”

    Reply

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