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Monday, October 6, 2008

The Dying Art of Secrecy

posted by on October 6 at 14:54 PM

McCain puzzles Rove:

Asked about the candidate’s decision to shut down its Michigan operations, Rove, who serves informally as an adviser to McCain, seemed perplexed that the campaign did it with such apparent flair.

“I don’t know, I don’t know,” said Rove. “And not only that, but it set off a spat of warfare inside the Michigan Republican Party with the former national committee man sending a letter to Sarah Palin saying ‘please contest the state,’ and leaking that to the members of the state central committee which guaranteed it would be in the hands of the press.”

Later in the program, Rove was quizzed about a Washington Post piece that contained a quote from a McCain aide saying the campaign wanted to “turn the page” on the economic crisis and start going after Obama on character traits. Rove didn’t dismiss the idea, arguing that it needed to be accompanied with a positive economic message that voters could latch onto. But he was, once more, at odds to explain why McCain would talk about it publicly.

What’s McCain lacking? A sense of secrecy. He should have quietly abandoned Michigan; he should have attacked Obama without saying why and how he was going to do so. But is this openness a sign of incompetence or a sign of a new stage in American politics? We might very well be in a moment, an age, a period that no longer needs the cover of secrecy, or the practice of vetting, or even the effort to stretch the truth. Just break the truth, throw anyone who gives you any advantage into the race, and be open about your devious maneuvers. McCain might be onto something new. This is how he might not be exactly McSame. Bush still wanted the prestige of winning a fair fight; he wanted the illusion of playing the game by the rules. Not McCain. For him, winning is just that: winning.

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This is the latest stage of evolution for what I've been amazed by for at least eight years: Rebpublicans don't even try to lie now. They tell you upfront what they're going to do and then they do it.

Hooker Heels Palin is the embodiment of this. Either they've lost the finesse, they have an extraordinary low opinion of the public and/or they're so confident of the outcome of any given thing, it doesn't matter what anybody thinks.

And by following this strategy, they've destroyed the country in less than a decade.

Posted by whatevernevermind | October 6, 2008 3:12 PM

@1 so what? the truth is bad now? you have a low opinion of the public if you tell them the truth?

Posted by infrequent | October 6, 2008 3:17 PM

McCain doesn't lack secrecy; he lacks clues. He's barely paying attention to his own campaign, and so the different parts of the leaderless team are all going in separate directions, while the boss spews unfocused hate. I think he's imploding, and I think he's going to get fewer than 150 electoral votes.

Posted by Fnarf | October 6, 2008 3:18 PM

Oh, fnarf, from your keyboard to G-d's ears.

Posted by Calpete | October 6, 2008 3:31 PM

It is so wrong/strange that a political advisor to both Bush (and a criminal, ignoring subpeanos and all) be rewarded with a seat on a nationally televixed program/network like FoxNews.

When ever in the history of the political landscape has an advisor had this opportunity to quietly push the agenda of his candidates under the guise of journalism?

It's a snapshot portrait of how conveluted and disgusting the conservatives and that channel (Fox) in particular has become.

I can't wait to read the Media history books about this, because it's big, and it's happening before our eyes

Posted by Non | October 6, 2008 3:43 PM

I suspect that both announcements were poor attempts at spin. Let something happen and the press will explain it there way. Make an announcment and there's a chance they will at least present your spin.
McCain's unsteadiness and Palin's stupidity make it impossible to play the media though. So one wonders if the entire campaign is just in denial when it comes to their ability to work with the media.

Posted by kinaidos | October 6, 2008 3:52 PM

Considering the lambasting the media took from McSame not too long ago, and the vitriolic response he's received in return since then, perhaps this is simply his attempt to mollify them somewhat by providing a heretofore unprecedented level of access to his campaign's inner workings.

Doesn't mean it's still not stupid and ineffectual, but frankly, I can't think of any other reason, short of sheer idiocy on their part, for why else they might be publicly telegraphing their strategies to the press.

Posted by COMTE | October 6, 2008 4:28 PM

"This is the latest stage of evolution for what I've been amazed by for at least eight years: Rebpublicans [sic] don't even try to lie now. They tell you upfront what they're going to do and then they do it."

Shock horror! Transparency--what a totally unscrupulous tactic! Is there NOTHING they won't stoop to??

Seriously though ... I find myself for once in agreement with Mr Mudede. Mr McCain SHOULD have attacked Mr Obama, and he should still be attacking now, and he should continue it. But then--as Mr Mudede also points out--Mr McCain is famous for ditching the rules when it suits him--that's how he got the 'maverick' label that Mr Biden so famously denounced in the Veep Debate.

Posted by Seajay | October 6, 2008 8:03 PM

Partisans in the Socialist Republican Party are acting the way all rats do when the ship is sinking.

Every rat for itself.

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 6, 2008 11:09 PM

Will is right. Rove smells the loser stench and wants to distance himself from this sinking ship so that in the future he will be remembered as at least an evil WINNER. But whatever. Rove sold gullible people a stack of shit pancakes and now they all have dysintery, and they don't want anymore.

It reminds me of the hubris of Bill Cosby, who thought he could sell anything, pitching New Coke to us all. When everyone rejected that abomination, Coke pulled it, and Cosby actually saw that as a slap in the face to HIM, by Coke. It undermined his credibility, you see; he tells us all how delicious it is, and superior to the old Coke, and now he has to eat his words. Boo Fuckin Hoo, as Darby Crash says.

I hate people who sell crap and don't care.

Posted by Phoebe | October 7, 2008 2:20 AM

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