A couple of weeks ago, I plaintively bleated that the Obama campaign had to begin hitting back at the GOP slime machine in order to prevent a loss in two weeks. It isn’t over yet, of course, but that bitch Reality seems to be doing all of the hitting that is required. Are we witnessing the complete implosion of the McCain campaign? What exactly do they have left?
- In the debate last week, John McCain propped up Joe the Plumberas his new strawman and used him to great effect, repeatedly telling the audience wrongly (hey, he’s old and he forgets things, okay?) that Obama’s tax plan would tax the “Joe the Plumbers” of the nation, downplaying the fact that most plumbers don’t actually make 250K per year. McCain exploited this by claiming that a progressive tax system, in which the wealthy pay a higher percentage, is socialist. Well, this has riled up socialists like me, never a safe thing to do (snicker), and only serves to make the McCain campaign appear (more) out of touch and control. I expect the “socialist” rant to continue through to the end of the campaing, but it will have less and less traction each time someone mentions Sarah Palin’s clothing budget. Remember folks, socialism is for the rich, the rest of you get the shit sandwich (see figure, right).
- A couple of weeks ago, the attack-du-jour was alleged fraudulent voter registration perpetrated by Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN). Well, expect this thread to be stopped, as it was revealed, unsurprisingly, that contractors hired by the GOP have been arrested for exactly the same thing. It’s just like sexual impropriety – if a politician is all over the map against gay rights, he’s gay, if it’s family values, he’s dicking around a campaign worker. Guaranteed.
- William Ayers is becoming a non-issue. With Osama bin Laden still on the loose, Afghanistan spinning out of control, and the Global War on Terror a global joke, playing the terrorist fear card was a longshot at best, but arguably the best shot the GOP had. Fear and the Swift Boaters won in 2004, after all. Unfortunately for them, making a distant connection between Obama and a guy he was on a school board with was cast by the Republicans as a challenge to his patriotism. This brought out whack-jobs like Michele Bachmann and Nancy Pfotenhauer who tried to cut the country up into pro- and anti-American areas (based largely on voting preference) and launch witchhunts on those agin us. Naturally, not to be out-stupided by anyone, Sarah Palin also decided grading the nation based on patriotic fervour was a good idea.
- On the topic of Sarah Palin, polls are showing with increasing clarity that American voters do not trust her anywhere near the big house, and the brief bump the GOP saw in the immediate aftermath of her appointment was just that – brief. This also plays into the increasing uneasiness that voters appear to be having about John McCain’s own judgement. In a time of economic troubles, all but the stupidly-partisan will be leery of voting for the one making obviously bad snap desicions.
So what’s left for the McCain campaign? Aside from statements about how he’ll be okay if he loses, make no mistake, he wants to win at any cost. If it means tearing the country in half with race-baiting tactics, as has hinted at by all of the references to “real America”, William Ayers, and terrorists, then so be it. I don’t think we’ll see any “Hide the white women” t-shirts or anything, but McCain has already sunk lower than even I thought he would. It’s all that’s left in the McCain arsenal.
Let’s hope it doesn’t work.