TIME FOR THE MCCAIN CAMPAIGN TO GET REAL
I do not know what planet the McCain campaign is living on, but it cannot be the same one as the rest of us. You have to be able to adapt quickly to changing circumstances in a campaign and they have not done that. You have to know what the strengths of your candidates are and what their limitations are and plan accordingly. The failure of the McCain campaign to do any of these things has caused their supporters to become extremely frustrated to say the least. It is clear that these supporters know what is at stake here and at least John McCain himself does not have a clue. John McCain apparently thinks that Senator Obama is a decent family man and that the two of them just have major differences on philosophy and policies. His supporters think that Senator Obama is the most dangerous politician this country has seen since Aaron Burr.
Now why do they think that? The McCain-Palin supporters are great believers in the notion that "by the company they keep, ye shall know them" One can overlook the Ayers connection if that was the only dangerous connection Senator Obama has. After all, what Ayers did was a long time ago and now he is a college professor instead of being in jail. Most of the folks who live in a blue state like Illinois are willing to overlook such associations as being ancient history. That is precisely why Illinois is a blue state. The McCain supporters are not willing to overlook that and then when they see that Senator Obama's other associations in his early years look like a rogue's gallery of people who belong on the FBI's ten most wanted list, they go ballistic. To them, it looks like Barack Obama has been molded to turn this country into not just a socialist country, but a fascist one as well.
We have been indoctrinated to think that fascism is a right wing phenomenon because the political spectrum is a straight line from left to right. The fact is that the political alignments are not a line but a circle. The extreme left wing and the right wing meet around in back in embracing fascism. They both want to harness the police powers of the state to suppress any beliefs opposed to their own. They are both into group think and will not tolerate anyone who deviates from their truth. Such people are to be ruthlessly persecuted. Once a fascist movement gets started, it simply gets more extreme in its oppression of any opponents, real or imagined. McCain-Palin supporters see political correctness is just a modern term for fascism. They may not articulate it as that, but they know suppression of free speech when they see it. They know that the loss of a free press is the beginning of the end for democracy. They look at the mainstream media and see that they are totally in the tank for Senator Obama to the point that they are now not a source of news, but only propaganda.
Every political group has its "spear chuckers", supporters who think that the world will come to an end if the other camp wins the election. That is nonsense because ordinarily a winning political group cannot really screw things up much worse then they are already are because the opposition will keep them in line. However, all bets are off if a winning group is willing to harness police powers to suppress the opposition. The McCain-Palin supporters look at how free speech is now being suppressed as being racist by their opponents and their phalanx of media supporters and the red flags go up. They look at how the Obama campaign has no compunctions about lining up not only their spear chuckers, but officials in the justice system in places like Missouri, to suppress free speech as being a violation of hate crime statutes and the red flags start waving like they would in a hurricane. At this point, a lot of them think that Obama is a Hitler in the making.
Then they look at their candidate who is busy extending Senatorial courtesies to his opponent and even defending him at times. Is it any wonder that they boo him when he does this? They wonder where is the fire in his belly? Why does he not see Senator Obama as a fascist wolf in a Democrat sheep's clothing like they do? If their own candidate does not see the incredible danger they see in him, how can the undecided voters be convinced of this danger? One of the reasons that Sarah Palin is so popular with them is that they feel that she does get what is at stake. To these supporters, nothing less than the future of the United States as a democracy is at stake in this election. They know that no one in the mainstream media is going to make this case for them and that leaves them no place to vent their frustration except the internet and talk radio, but here they are just preaching to the choir and they know it. Those undecided voters are not visiting their sites. They know that the people who pay the least attention to politics are going to decide this election and that those people are not being reached by anyone but the media.
Of course, everyone else knows that the exaggerated fears of these uneducated right wing nuts are not only unfounded but totally ridiculous as well. Or are they? A reasonable person who is not totally in the Obama camp already has to admit that there are some worrisome signs at this point. Senator Obama has the highest rating from the Americans for Democratic Action of anyone in the Senate. How can anyone be more liberal than Teddy Kennedy? But Senator Obama is just that. Forget about all of the other danger signs and just consider that one. Does this not make Senator Obama outside the mainstream of American politics? By no stretch of the imagination can Senator Obama be considered a center candidate, let alone a center-right one which this country has been for several decades now. One can argue that the financial situation is driving the country to the left, but not nearly as far to the left to be even remotely close to where Senator Obama is. Add in those worrisome associations and one has to wonder why Senator Obama has a snowball's chance in hell of getting elected.
I think it is fair to say that in an ordinary election, he would not have any chance. But after eight years of misrule by President Bush and the Republican abuses of power that caused the voters to throw them out and elect a Democrat Congress, it is a wonder that all but the guaranteed red states have not gone for Senator Obama. The fact that Senator Obama does not have this election sewed up by now is a sure sign that a lot of voters have their doubts about where Senator Obama will take this country. Obviously, the financial meltdown is a godsend to the Obama campaign and may very well put him over. This is without a doubt the strangest election I have ever been involved in. We are seeing a candidate who could not possibly get elected President under any ordinary circumstances seemingly on his way to victory. How is it possible that such a candidate so far out of the mainstream of political American thought could have gotten this far?
Obviously, the mainstream media have been a huge help to the Obama campaign. I have not seen this kind of bias in favor of a Democrat and opposed to a Republican candidate since 1964. In that campaign, they made a racist who had voted against every piece of civil rights legislation in years past into the savior for black Americans. They painted Goldwater, who had been instrumental in getting the Arizona National Guard and the Phoenix Union High School District desegregated and who had gotten the United States Senate cafeteria desegregated when it refused to serve his black secretary, look like George Wallace and a Nazi to boot. They got what they deserved in Lyndon Baines Johnson as President. Many McCain-Palin supporters think that the media will get what they deserve in President Obama, but unlike the media, they feel they know what they will get in President Obama and they do not like it one damn bit.
In fact, the 1964 election is very instructive about the media's role in an election. They produced a landslide for LBJ that altered the political landscape. How is that they have not succeeded in doing the same in this election? Perhaps they have and the signs are just not clear enough yet, but I doubt it. By this time in 1964, Goldwater was totally toast and the only question was how bad the bath he was going to take was going to be. This only serves to show how reluctant many voters are to buy into Senator Obama's totally unfulfillable promises. Yes, President Bush, the former Republican Congress, the media and the financial situation have helped immensely, but Senator Obama should still not be leading given his track record or lack thereof. Even allowing for all the breaks he has gotten, Senator Obama should still be trailing in the polls given how much heavy baggage he is carrying. That baggage does not include his race since that is clearly helping him more than it is hurting him.
The real reason for Senator Obama's success lies in the help he has gotten from the most unlikely of all sources, the McCain campaign itself. The campaign was doing everything right until after the Republican convention and then inexplicably started doing everything wrong that it possibly could. I have been involved in politics all my adult life and I have never seen any campaign so badly mismanaged as the McCain campaign has been in the last six weeks. If they had deliberately set out to get Obama-Biden elected, they would have done exactly what they have done. No wonder the McCain supporters are totally frustrated out of their minds. Conspiracy theories are already flying that the Obama has hidden agents in charge of the McCain campaign. The McCain supporters have been reduced to hoping against hope that some appointed Democrat federal judge is actually going to rule that Obama cannot be President because he was born in Kenya and not Hawaii.
It is probably already too late because millions of Americans have already voted in this election and Cindy McCain can bet her Sedona ranch (actually Cornville ranch) that the majority of those did not vote for her husband. The McCain campaign seems oblivious to the fact that early voting started 30 days before the election. I know for a fact how many early ballots have been cast in Arizona already and I am sure that a similar proportion have been cast in other states. Has the McCain campaign even looked at what has been happening in the polls in the battleground states on www.realclearpolitics.com? Surely you at least know that electoral votes are all that matter. Pray tell how are you planning to get 270 electoral votes? What the hell are you still doing sending McCain and Palin to any blue states at all with the possible exception of Maine? That is the only blue state you have had a prayer of carrying in the last two weeks and you could not even manage to send Palin there to do that What in God's name are you doing in Wisconsin? What makes you think that Minnesota, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania are any better bets than Michigan was at this point? For Pete's sake, wake up and smell the coffee!
Already Virginia is slipping away. Surely you realize that if you lose Virginia, it is all over. You must carry every remaining red state to win and you have already lost Iowa and New Mexico. Now you absolutely must win in Colorado and that is getting increasingly unlikely. Even if you get off your butts and send Palin to Maine and she succeeds in carrying the whole state for you instead of the northern congressional district, you only get a tie in the electoral college without Colorado. Even you must know that the House of Representatives is going to elect Obama even on a state by state basis. Do you really think that Democrat Representatives from a red state are going to vote for McCain just because he carried their state? Get real!
Assuming for a moment that you really want to win the election, you camp in the red states from now until election day Do not bother with Iowa and New Mexico since they are lost causes. Pull all of your resources out of the blue states except for Maine and pour them into the remaining red states. In politics you go where the ducks are and the ducks are no longer flying in the blue states and several flocks of them are rapidly being shot out of the sky in your remaining red states. You see those so called toss up states on the electoral map? You need ever last one of them plus Virginia to win. Get your head out of the sand and start playing defense. Start harping on Senator Obama being outside of the mainstream and to the left of Teddy Kennedy and do not stop. Anyone who thinks that Senator Kennedy is or should be the center of political thought is voting for Obama-Biden and may very well have done so. Pour most of your money into Colorado and Virginia right now to stop the hemorrhage because all is lost without both of them. Then shore up Florida, Ohio, West Virginia, North Carolina, Missouri and Nevada. If you lose any of these states except Nevada, you cannot win.
Palin was your greatest asset and you marginalized her by protecting her from the press. Then you sent her into the den of Couric and Gibson after working overtime to make her unsure of herself. What did you expect except for her being made to look like a total twit by that bunch as I have pointed out? I have personal friends who think she is totally unqualified to be Governor of Alaska let alone Vice-President. I can argue until I am blue in the face that a twit cannot get elected governor of any state, let alone against an incumbent governor of her own party and a former governor of the other party. I ask them how she got such a high approval rating if she is such a dumb bunny. Their answer is that she bought that approval rating with the refund checks from increasing taxes on the oil companies. Besides only stupid people would live in a state with a climate like Alaska, so what do you expect from them except to vote in an equally stupid governor? Just what that says about the people who live in the other northern snow states is beyond me
Have you forgotten that Senator Reid is from Nevada? If Nevada has elected him, what makes you think it won't go for Obama? Send Palin to Maine for a day in case you do lose Nevada to avoid a tie. It is probably too late now but it is still worth a day of her time. There is no recent Maine polling data to see if Obama has stopped his slide in Maine, but most likely he has. Your only chance to rehabilitate your greatest asset is to have her hold a press conference like I have suggested. Did you even notice that you got a slight bump in the polls after the vice-presidential debate and that more people watched that debate than the presidential ones? A few people began to realize that she could hold her own against the gasbag from Delaware who makes things up as he goes along with impunity. You can get more of this by holding that press conference. The media have to cover it after all their bitching about her being unavailable to them. This will let her convince the American people that she is a winner by talking to them right over the heads of the media.
Assuming you really do want to win this election, you must do all of these things and you need to do them right now. Having failed to oppose the bailout bill which obviously did nothing to alleviate the financial slide, your options are narrowing every day. There is still a chance to pull this out, but with every passing day that you do not do those things, it gets harder to do. I cannot speak for anyone but myself, but the idea of a President Obama scares the daylight out of me even if my worst fears about him are groundless. In the face of economic stress, his stated goals will insure that things will go from worse to a total disaster. That does not even begin to address what will happen if his proclivity towards a police state rears its ugly head.
TIME FOR THE MCCAIN CAMPAIGN TO GET REAL