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Thursday, August 21, 2008

For Those of Us Who Are…

posted by on August 21 at 7:44 AM

…losing our minds watching Obama’s lame response to John McCain’s attacks, a bracing rant from Theda Skocpol at TMPCafe.

For weeks, Obama has ignored or wheedled when McCain and Lieberman attacked his patriotism and judgement. He has repeatedly begged them to stop because, supposedly, they are more honorable than that. He has asked them to discuss the issues dispassionately. What an insipid approach! McCain has NOT been honorable or honest, and Obama and his surrogates need to hammer on that incessantly. Use words like “lying” and “losing himself” or ” (better) “forgetting what he is supposed to stand for.” Stop focusing on decades ago in the POW camp. Talk about now, about the last years and months. Make the really obvious point that no candidate for President at this time can really be putting country first if he runs a dirty, lying campaign of false smears. That betrays the public trust. Tell it like it is, Obama!

Politics is not just about issues, it is a metaphorical test of strength. If a man will not get immediately—if quietly—angry and fight back when his patriotism is attacked, why should we trust him to defend the country? And if he won’t punch back by explaining clearly why his approach to foreign policy is actually tougher and smarter, why McCain’s is thoughtless and reckless, why would we think he is better to be Commander in Chief?

Listening to Obama “attack” McCain for attacking him—but only after going out of his way to “honor” McCain’s service—is making me nuts. Just attack John McCain. Not for his attacks on you, which require you to repeat McCain’s attacks, but attack John McCain on issues, on character, on substance. Knock him back on his fucking heels and force him to respond to your attacks, don’t just stand there with your arms folded over your face whining about the punches he’s landed, Obama. Land some fucking punches of your own.

How about hammering away at this: John McCain doesn’t know how many houses he owns. Neither does Cindy McCain. Average Americans are losing their homes in record numbers thanks to the Republican mania for deregulation—and the Democratic mania for acquiescing to Republican manias, but you can skip that for now—and here comes John “$500 Italian Loafers” McCain who can’t keep track of how many houses he owns—or how many houses have been purchased for him by the rich heiress McCain dumped his crippled first wife for. Because, McCain says, some of their properties are condos, not houses, and you know how hard it is to keep track of condos.

And you’re letting this guy get away with painting you as the elitist?

Back to Skocpol:

And pick a FIGHTER for VP, please. Do it yesterday. Obama, you need someone who will push hard at your side and make you better, too. And you never should have gone on vacation (shades of Kerry) without a VP to carry on. Biden will work, I think, but—and I never expected to believe this—it might be time to turn to Hillary. She is at least a fighter, and this election really matters to a lot more than you and her.

Hillary? She’s not the only fighter out there. How about this guy? He could teach you to land a fucking punch.

UPDATE: Well, this is some comfort…

But we were heartened by the tough ad that Anthony posted yesterday. And today we learned that it’s only running in Atlanta. So great ad, although some folks think McCain owns at least 10 homes, not seven. But where is it running? And how often?

RSS icon Comments

1

I have to agree, Obama needs to fucking FIGHT!!! And what the hell is happening with the VP announcement? Obama blew a chance of getting some positive coverage in the news (and a bump in the polls going into the convention) by delaying the announcement. At this point an announcement will be lost on people getting ready for the weekend since no one really pays attention to the news Friday through Sunday.

Why is Obama the black John Kerry?

Posted by Whitworth Fag | August 21, 2008 8:01 AM
2

Why is Obama the black Kerry?

Why do the Democrats not fight like the Republicans do?

Why are they willing to lose election after election?

Why do they adopt centrist positions to appeal to the conservatives?

Why are the Democrats more willing to shuck their values - their constituencies - in order to gain any victory they can get their hands on?

Why do people keep supporting a party like this?

Why do you continue to ask why and not listen to the answer?

Posted by patrick | August 21, 2008 8:07 AM
3

It seems to have started:

Crunch Time

The two basic points: 1) McCain is very rich and out of touch; 2) McCain is a hothead. I would add 3) McCain is very old and creepy, but I think they have to do that under the surface (how about explaining that "when it comes to the economy, we've been doing the job with old tools the past eight years, and it's time to set those old tools aside"?).

Anyway, here's the problem for which I believe there is no easy solution: John McCain is a fucking war hero. Tough as nails. Integrity. You attack him, out comes the POW stuff. You might as well attack the flag from the World Trade Center.

You know the GOP convention will be an orgy of mythmaking over McCain's POW years. He'll look like Jesus Christ by the time he takes the podium.

I don't think any Democrat would beat John McCain this year. That POW story is an iron wall.

Posted by Andy James | August 21, 2008 8:09 AM
4

Stop being such a sexist, Dan.

Posted by Mr. Poe | August 21, 2008 8:10 AM
5

Oh, and this very new ad is pretty good:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpmFd25tRqo

Posted by Andy James | August 21, 2008 8:14 AM
6

Watching Obama riff on how his VP isn't going to be like Dick Cheney was annoying me as well. He needs to look to the future, not the past. And yes, he needs to attack McCain.

That thing about not knowing how many houses he has drives me insane. EVEN AFTER HIS STAFF HAD TIME TO THINK ABOUT IT they don't know. It might be four, it might be seven.

Posted by Fnarf | August 21, 2008 8:19 AM
7

This is exactly why many of us supported Hillary all along. She can take the Republican slime attacks and give back times two. Obama's not going to change the way politics has been done for thousands of years. It's rough, nasty and mean. Little Bambi Obama is going to get his clock cleaned if he doesn't show he's got balls at least as big has Hillary's, and soon.

Posted by Mason | August 21, 2008 8:26 AM
8
Listening to Obama “attack” McCain for attacking him—but only after going out of his way to “honor” McCain’s service—is making me nuts. Just attack John McCain.

Dan, this is the kind of thinking that had you writing lengthy editorials supporting the invasion of Iraq five years ago. I don't know if it's because you're from Chicago or what, but you seem to have this idea that escalation is always the best response to an attack and that anyone who doesn't understand that is just being unrealistic. It's a stupid short-sighted approach.

It's kind of like your "Fuck Bill Clinton" post the other day. I followed that link expecting to see another "intellectually honest" attack on Obama from a Democrat, but all I found was Clinton praising both candidates for their merits. And I don't really appreciate that kind of thing from Clinton -- given his anti-Obama record -- but the principle of bipartisanship is necessary to restore the functionality of our government. The culture war has essentially made it impossible for the minority party to fulfill its function of watchdoging the majority party; the electorate assumes that all minority criticism is purely partisan. In order for that to trend to be reversed, someone will have to at least suggest the idea of bringing honor back into the political dialogue.

Posted by Judah | August 21, 2008 8:33 AM
9

We're sunk.

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | August 21, 2008 8:36 AM
10

We can't afford to honor the principles of bipartisanship, Judah, while they tear into us. We can't stand there stoically and insist we're better than this—and *they're* better than this, when they prove every four years that THEY ARE NOT. All the average voter see is weakness, and voters will go for, to use Bill Clinton's term, the "strong and wrong" over the weak and respectful every fucking time.

The time for bipartisan bonhomie is *after* the fucking election.

Posted by Dan Savage | August 21, 2008 8:42 AM
11

...some of us ... have said for months that without Hilary he loses and offered good reasons including her fighting spirit - the last moths of her campaign were great iron fist campaigning - just what is called for now ... in the big states ... a bright Obama friend was telling me how with the right campaign Obama can carry Nevada - who gives a shit about Nevada, his arch supporters are huffing and puffing to defeat

still true, sorry Hilary haters, the dream ticket is still the dream ticket, and the only sure win

get ready for nuclear war, perhaps soon after taking office, preemptive to stop Putin early on, even if we loose Chicago and LA, if DC is written off, he will not be there - Mc Cain will do it

By the way, China is paying our bills and they would be glad to see us nuke Russia, quid pro quo for another trillion or two of credits

Posted by John | August 21, 2008 8:43 AM
12

@11, not only Chicago and LA but Seattle is a first strike target as well (U of W, Boeing, Microsoft, the Port of Seattle, Bremerton etc.) Most of us will be vaporized in seconds but it is a great way to get away from it all.

Posted by Whitworth Fag | August 21, 2008 8:52 AM
13

Maybe you don't understand. Obama asked you to join a "Movement", and you did. You didn't ask "Where are we moving to?", but he told you.

We're moving to a magical post-adversarial island, where both foreign and domestic policy will ensue naturally from a unified State of Innocence (so long as we can keep the dread Lobbyists off the island).

That was the Defining Moment. That was the Theory of Change. That was what you bought when you traded interests and arguments for tears and goosebumps, when you rose up and followed and shouted down your skeptical neighbors.

p.s. soylent green is people. That is all.

Posted by RonK, Seattle | August 21, 2008 8:54 AM
14

@ #3 - Where'd you get the "Integrity" thing? POW I can understand. "War hero" is a stretch. But integrity is not by a long shot any part of McCain's personal makeup. He's lied about so much of his past that really the only thing we know for sure at this point is that he was a POW. His stories shift faster than dunes beneath the simoom.

Posted by Calpete | August 21, 2008 8:56 AM
15

Great ad but it really should have ended, "...and that's one house we can't afford to let McCain BUY."

Be patient people. Have some faith. If you're going to trust this guy, trust him. He's smart, I think he knows what he's doing and if not I'll eat an oyster.

Maybe, just maybe, rather than have everyone be sick of not just McCain's attacks but of Obama's too, he's waiting for something like, oh say, a live debate. Or maybe he's letting the media point out just how ugly McCain's attacks are (they'll start to notice, we keep reminding them).

I'm willing to admit I could be way off base here but I really think he knows what he's doing and I like that he's doing it. It's called taking the high road. Sometimes it works.

Besides McCain can only fake it on whatever charisma he has for so long. You see how many flubs he makes? I don't think he has the stomach for this.

So I'm not really all that anxious for him to throw blows.

Posted by monkey | August 21, 2008 8:57 AM
16

@14 -- to make it clear, I think John McCain is a douchebag, and a dangerous one. I'm paraphrasing what other people think. Even my father, with his Obama bumper sticker, gets indignant if you disparage John McCain: "He's a war hero, and a man of honor."

Posted by Andy James | August 21, 2008 9:06 AM
17

I have been thinking about something that I think would stick to McCain and still fit into Obama's idealogical campaigning. It is all about the saying "If you are a hammer, all your problems look like nails" This would seem to get some traction I would think. Consider the possibilities:

Someone brings up McCain being a War hero, yep, he is a soldier. But that doesn't mean his ham-handed approach will fix the economy. McCain on foreign policy, yep he can start wars, but he certainly isn't delicate enough to end them. McCain on sticky issues like abortion his response "rights start at conception" definately not a thought-out approach to a policy so far reaching. McCain had a lot of one liners in the saddleback forum basically the action of a hammer . . .WHACK . . . that is solved . . . WHACK. . . that is solved. McCain is not what is required in a leader, not versatile enough to be able to respond to varied issues that come up to any administration. We need an engineer, an architect, a carpenter, a plumber, and every tool known to man.

This one size fits all approach that McCain has seems to be his forte and his foible. He has one answer to all questions "smash it"

Plus it gives us the opportunity to call him a tool. :)

What do you think ?

Posted by Liarbility | August 21, 2008 9:21 AM
18

Obama can't afford to honor the principles of bipartisanship. He needs to lead the testicle-less party of liberal wimps into the global war. He needs to Confront the danger, Tack Right, capture and kill(tm) the Democrat party, remove it from the Woodstock show in Denver, and assume command of his natural constituency with the Grand New Party in St. Paul.

The only Way to Win is to embrace the inner republican.
Shock and awe.
Thousand points of light.
Up with hope! Down with dope! Keep hope alive.

Posted by GeralDeanFerraro | August 21, 2008 9:23 AM
19

What I think is pretty clear from the Daily Kos post is that the Obama campaign IS going on the offensive, but it's selective, targeted, and focused on specific localities and demographics (presumably in so-called "swing states"), so naturally, Washingtonians for example, aren't necessarily going to know that Obama is running an attack ad in say, Nevada, or Indiana, or Georgia.

Unless of course, they're complete pol-geeks, like many SLOGers appear to be...

Posted by COMTE | August 21, 2008 9:23 AM
20

Obama NEEDS to start hitting right now and often. This isn't a playground this is the big time. As a gay man I think I will lose my mind if he fucks it up a third time and we get another republican president. Don't kid yourselves either, those polls closing in means trouble. We need to push this house shit till even we are sick to death of hearing it, then move on to McSame wanting to bring in a new draft.

Posted by Jersey | August 21, 2008 10:55 AM
21

If Obama comes out swinging in televised debates there is one awesome outcome: McCain will lose his cool and use the N word.

I can't wait.

Posted by StC | August 21, 2008 11:05 AM

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