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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Replaying the Tapes

Eve Fairbanks at TNR makes a pretty good observation about the anti-Obama tactics that Republicans have embraced since he officially became president: they are eerily similar to the anti-Obama tactics that the McCain-Palion campaign used unsuccessfully to try to keep him out of the White House in the first place.
Eve mentions the earmark-“pork” attack on the stimulus legislation, various “dramatic” gestures, and hilariously failed efforts to get cool with rock-laden videos intended to go “viral.”
But I think there are some other examples as well: the blame-the-poor reaction to Obama’s housing proposal; cries of “welfare” over Obama’s tax proposals, of “socialized medicine” over his health care proposals; and of “socialism” over his banking proposals. And you can’t help but think of McCain’s adoption of Joe the Plumber when viewing the current conservative mania for Rick Santelli
Moreover, it’s not so much that Republicans are imitating the McCain campaign as that the McCain campaign itself out of desperation embraced some of the longest-playing themes of the hard-core Right. Anyone who’s spent much time listening to conservative talk radio over the last couple of decades would find the rhetoric of both the McCain campaign and of today’s congressional Republicans depressingly familiar. They’re replaying some very old tapes here, and it’s clear they think they are timeless classics.

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