Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Overmatched and Dysfunctional

Bill Kristol is right to characterize McCain’s campaign that way in the article Julie links below. But I also note that the advice Bill gives McCain now is quite different from what he was telling him just a week or two ago. At this point, we all have to concede that Mac’s strength is his authenticity, and his weakness is every other area of campaigning--from issues to debating to strategy to raising money to organization. So he has to get back in character, and we have to hope that the result isn’t disaster. There’s little point in the various experts offering any more unsolicited advice.

The most recent polls show Obama ahead everywhere that was studied--including North Dakota--with the exception of Georgia. But the truth is he isn’t that far ahead. Maybe the Stock Market surge will create space for a McCain surge in the mode of Truman or Humphrey or Ford. Even McGovern closed fast and avoided a record lost. Even the MSM gets bored with any guy who’s ahead too easily for too long.

Discussions - 4 Comments

The posters opines: "[W]e have to hope that the result isn’t disaster"

Surely the pro Democrat, anti-Foley/Macaca-strategy Mr. Lawler so gleefully identified (and predicted as a GOP defeat in 2006) continues unabated this year, no?

Surely a guy like the clean-cut, anti-Republican John McCain will save us from more of the GOP "politics of corruption," and thus seat a Congress full of "country first" politicians ready to pass Maverick-like "nonpartisan" stuff. no?

A "disaster"? I should think the poster would thus be thrilled no matter who wins, so long as they're not a "R" fellow. The Big D rules, folks, even for Mavericks like Mr. Lawler.

Is it true that Reagan was further behind Carter in '80 at this point than McCain is behind Obama? I heard that yesterday but haven't had time to look it up to verify . . .

If character is McCain's only real advantage then McCain (barring a certain kind of sudden foreign policy crisis) can't win. In fact, the financial crisis hasn't just exposed McCain's lack of competence on the economy, it has eroded his advantage on character. McCain's hollow and moralistic poses on the economy (threatening to fire the SEC chairman for no apparent reason, suggesting hiring a Cuomo for no apparent reason, threatening to punish unnamed Wall Street greedheads for unspecified crimes)were seen through by the public. McCain's empty posturing made him look like just another oppurtunistic politician. People will sometimes go with a political oppurtunist if he seems to master the political issues that people care about (hence Bill Clinton) but thats not McCain's strong suit either. The reason the financial crisis is killing McCain is because his responses make him look both clueless and phony.

And a sidenote. Great David Brooks column in the New York Times today about the return of Big Government politcs. My only quibble is that he seems to think that Obama will tend to side with the Robert Rubin style economic moderates in his party. I tend to think Obama is much closer to his party's liberals that to its moderates. I think that there is a case of projection going on here. Obama seems to smart, reasonable and mentally stable. Many conservatives who see those qualities in themselves assume that Obama can't be THAT DIFFERENT from the them. Yes he can.

I do not see that the media in any past election in my memory, save Nixon/McGovern, ever told me the Republican was going to win and the Democrat was going to lose. Well, maybe Reagan's second election, but even that seemed a surprise to the media on election night. I think since I have been a conservative, some 30 years, I go into every election already feeling defeated.

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