Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Timing is Everything

An otherwise clever ad campaign demonstrates this truism with tragic irony. McCain’s otherwise silly use of Britney and Paris in his campaign ads last week appears, now, to look wise. But that’s only because Obama is doing everything he can to help McCain in this by attacking the ad and giving the appearance (whether founded or not--and I guess that depends on when you ask him) that he agrees with critics who think the ads were racist.

In the meantime, this news cannot be good for Obama. With almost half of America claiming to be sick of hearing about you, the time may not be ripe for a whiz-bang spectacle of a convention in a football stadium.

Speaking of timing . . . with Congress now out of session for their five-week vacation (returning just in time to go out and campaign for a couple weeks) and the energy issue sitting in limbo, now might be a very good time for Republicans to remember that while the President’s approval ratings hover somewhere around 30%, the approval ratings for the DEMOCRATIC controlled Congress are only half as good. Wouldn’t now be a very good time to go for broke, double down, and bring it home? If Obama thinks he’s going to tie John McCain to George W. Bush and make hay with that, why not tie Barack Obama to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid? Why not tie every Democrat running for Congress to them? After all, unless a Democrat plans to vote against Pelosi or Reid in the leadership a vote for that Democrat is tantamount to an endorsement of the record of this failed Congress.

Discussions - 12 Comments

Good points. But I'll add two comments. 1. Branch Rickey: "Luck is the residue of design." 2. Lumping Obama with Pelosi and Reid probably won't do the trick. Saying "Democratic Congress" over and over might do what you suggest.

Earlier today I bought a newspaper in LA. The vendor charged me tax, and I objected. A guy at the newstand said "Schwartzeneagger needs the money." It's the same with regard to the federal government. The name of the chief executive is taken for the whole thing. It will be very hard to get the public mind to associate Congress with one or two people's names.

JULIE, there wasn't anything "silly" about McCain's use of Obama's celebrity status. He equated Obama with other celebrities. The media and Obama's campaign have made hay on him BEING a celebrity. McCain's guys said to themselves: "Well, if he wants to be a celebrity, then let's tag him as a celebrity, an airhead just like the rest." The story is that the ad found traction with the electorate, and the unreported story heretofore is precisely WHY the ad found immediate traction.

That ad PERFECTLY built on a PREEXISTING suspicion that there's nothing much to Obama, {other than race, which he can't mention enough}. That ad hit hard, and went directly after Obama's greatest strength, his name recognition and the fact that the media follows him just like they follow Hollywood starlets.

Well, Dan . . . I'm not going to argue about it now but, had Obama not acted like an indignant teenager in a high school debate, I don't think the ads would have been as effective as they have turned out to be. Indeed, the immediate reaction to them was pretty negative and Obama might have scored a point by keeping quiet. I don't object to the substance of attacking Barack's celebrity status but I probably would have tried to make the same points with sharper pins--as I said in an earlier post. Maybe you or Richard are suggesting that McCain anticipated Obama's move . . . maybe . . . but I doubt it. Anyway, it seems to have hit a nerve. Press on.

McCain's campaign has barely begun tagging Obama, and what has been the reaction of the false messiah, the wife, the staff and his media, {and so much of the media is in the tank that it's appropriate to term them "his media"}, what's been their reaction? They're beginning to howl, and I do mean howl.

And what was the specific nature of their reaction, they IMMEDIATELY reached for the race card, which they and their media deem their ace in the hole.

But Obama's team should've recalled the line "that a fool and his bolt are soon parted." For they foolishly shot the bolt of racism before it was appropriate, and did so over 90 days out from the general.

Now if they try to use it later, the electorate is going to be expecting it, and dismissive of it.

McCain team isn't simply hitting the false messiah, they're slowly but surely STRIPPING the saliency of Obama's most important feature, his race.

Stepping back, and taking a wide view, what we're seeing is that: McCain is hitting Obama;

McCain is exposing his oddness;

He's exposing how thin skinned the untested and unready Obama is;

And perhaps most importantly, he's preparing the electorate to anticipate Obama crying racism, --------------- when no such racism exists.

McCain is advancing on a variety of fronts. Think of it this way, by striking in this manner, McCain isn't simply hitting the target, but he's also making suppression strikes, which limit the ability of the target to respond to the strike upon him. What McCain is doing is running a typical strike op, but this time the target isn't in "Route Package 6," it's Barrack Hussein Obama.

Thats a good point Dan. Most Americans don't want to think of themselves as racist and don't want to vote for someone who has made anti black appeals. That was (and is an asset for Obama). But alot of persuadable Americans have contempt for cries of bigotry where its is clear that none exist. The Obama campaign jumped the gun. They could have played the race card in an instance when claims of racist appeals were plausible. Something would have come up eventually. But now that Obama has played the race card and been caught doing it in a cynical manner, its value has decreased. People will be less likely to take his complaints at face value.

The good news for Obama is that its only August. The race card will probably be available for use again by October (how many normal people will have the arguments over the Paris Hilton ad fresh in their minds in two months), provided the Obama campaign does not insist on using it on a regular basis.

One other point. In the last several Presidential elections, the race card has been used by Democrats to mobilize the black community against the Republican party. The most famous example was the ad that implicitly compared Bush to those monsters that dragged a black man behind their truck. It has worked. Black turnout has been very high and its run about 9 to 1 or more against Republicans. Obama doesn't need the race card to rack up huge margins against McCain in the black community (he needed to and did use it in the primaries against the Clintons). He is using it to move persuadable (and mostly white and latino) voters against McCain by stigmatizing all anti Obama arguments as racist arguments. I'm not aware of any evidence that such a strategy would work to move that population. I doubt that most persuadable whites and latinos are ready to take Obama's word that mcCain is racist absent clear evidence. I also doubt that they will have much patience with a candidate who regularly accuses others of rascism as a way to deflect all critiques.

PETE, I don't know if there's any "good" news at this point for Obama. Think about it, his numbers haven't ever crested over 50%, McCain is ever so gently rapping him on the knuckles and he can't develop a response, because he's so used to crying racism and watching the media jump to his defense. The defense mechanisms which worked against Hillary aren't likely to avail against McCain, because those very mechanisms aren't likley to find much sympathy with the wider electorate.

Which suggests to me that the Obama campaign DOESN'T KNOW what to do. The thing that worked for them, howling about racism, has just blown up in their face, and they themselves were forced to admit that it was the Obama campaign which tried to inject racism into the race.

I'm increasingly convinced that the Obama campaign is in much deeper trouble than most pundits dare suspect.

Howling about racism, when no such racism existed, worked against Hillary. But that was the Democrat primary, and within the Dem rank and file, Hillary had her supporters, but also those dead set against her.

I don't think Obama's campaign has a "Plan B" ready if accusations of racism don't cut it.

The Media, wholly dominated by the Left, may be convinced that the GOP is the party of organized racism in the United States, but the American electorate thinks otherwise, which is why our party has frequently won rather handily ever since 1968. The American electorate knows McCain, knows he loves his country, knows he's proven it beyond doubt and also knows that he's NOT a racist.

How can Obama cry racism against a guy the electorate knows isn't a racist?

That's a "riddle me this....."

As for Black turnout, anticipate it be over 90%, and also anticipate it not to be a factor. This race is going to go down to Catholics and independent women. Wright alienates Catholics, Obama's false messianism is wearing thin amongst Catholics AND women. Thus the more that Obama stresses the fact, that in his words, he "doesn't look like the other guys...," the more he irritates those desirous of voting for him, but desiring to vote for him for something in addition to him being black. The more he stresses his "blackness," THE MORE HE EMPHASIZES that there's no other issue he's capable of speaking to. He himself is pounding the message home that he's an unready lightweight.

You want to "tie" OBAMA to Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi? That sounds like a thinly veiled hint as to the need for a lynching. Your racism is glaringly obvious, and the followers of the Messiah will not let you get away with such transgressions. You should apologize, and place an Obama for President banner ad on the webpage. That MIGHT be an adequate beginning...

Dan, I think you are underestimating Obama. He starts out with the Kerry vote of 2004, and Kerry (a worse candidate than Obama) lost by less than 3 percent.I have no way of knowing this, but I suspect that the Republican Rove/Bush turnout machine that ground out millions of center right voters will be in far weaker shape this time. Those circumstances give Obama one heck of a base to work from. It doesn't guarantee Obama anything, but counting him out is wishful thinking.

But one thing about Obama ought to worry his supporters. He has spent his entire adult life (As an organizer in Chicago, at Harvard Law, in the Democratic primaries) in situations in which liberals were the majority and conservatives were at best equal in numbers with left wing extremists. Obama has never had to face a serious contest in which upper middle class liberals and/or African Americans were not numerous enough to deliver him a win. He might have gotten such an experience in his Senate race, but his strongest opponents self destructed, letting Obama win in a walk. That probably seemed like good luck at the time, but I wonder if he would have been better off if he had been forced into a tough race where he had to work alot harder to win the votes of working class whites and moderate suburbanites.

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