I don’t have to tell anyone that politics is a nasty business. But this latest ad from McCain, which casts Obama as a pedophile, really defies description and categorization. Anyone with a shred of decency left, will condem it without reservation or delay.
Well, we’ll see how long and quickly formed that line will be in DC and on TV.
Also today, we get confirmation from the horse’s ass that Karl Rove is working for the McCain campaign (while still being a ‘fair and balanced’ analyst on Faux News).
Coincidence? I think not.
You know how Rove’s famous playbook is to find an opponent’s strength and use it against him? I think they are doing that with Obama’s calm and “cool” temperment.
Obama, as a black man in America, must of course not come across as angry, or he will be painted as Field Marshal Cinque (yeah, he is anyway, but, if he actually fit the characterization in any way, it would be over for him). As far as I can tell, Obama’s innate personality is not one for emotional displays, but he is still having to be careful.
(Now, any sane person would want a rational, calm person in the role of commander in chief and leader of the free world, but for at least half this country, there’s no point talking about sanity. So the hottest head in Washington has a fair shot at the job, if current polls are accurate and hold.)
Anyway, I think with this ad, and some of the other nonsense they are throwing at Obama, they are trying to do one of two things (either would be a win for McCain camp).
Like they did with Dukakis and the question about his wife getting raped, they goad Obama with something repulsive to which he has no workable response.
- If he reponds with professorial calm (like Dukakis), to rationally assess the situation, and sternly says, “stop it,” then he’s a wimp who won’t defend himself, so how can he be expected to defend the country.
- If he gets angry, he’s Huey Long, Che Guevera and OJ, rolled into one, and should be locked up, not elected.
Democrats, even some in the media, are calling for Obama to fight back harder. But it’s a trap either way.
I really am in complete despair over this election. What the hell has happened to my country?
Update: Huffington Post has a piece this morning by John Neffinger, who writes pretty much the same thing I did — only phrased a lot better.
He also references the Dukakis business, even titling the thing “This Crazy Sex Ad is Obama’s Dukakis Moment.”
He agrees that point is anger, as in Obama better show some.
This is not a moment for Obama to be relaxed and detached and thoughtful. This is a moment for him to show America how he behaves when something despicable is done to him, so we can all see how he would behave as our leader if something despicable were done to us – as it was on 9/11, and could be again. He should be dignified, but he must be fierce as well.
Update 2: Joe Klein (whom I don’t often agree with) sends McCain a pre-emptive refusal of a possible future apology for “one of the sleaziest ads I’ve ever seen in presidential politics[.]” Joe links to Hilzoy, another blogger, who’s made a very good catch: seems that the Cub Scouts, like Obama, want to teach young children “about sex.” Heavens, alert the media!