Archive for February, 2008

Hillary Clinton really needs to be more conscious

Thursday, February 28th, 2008

about what’s behind her when she faces people with cameras in their hands. Heh! The news site upon which it originally appeared seems to have thought better of publishing such a picture of a Clinton, even a Clinton on a greased rail to failure as a presidential candidate.

Mac & Sleeze: When Serving Kinder Gentler Compassionate Conservatism Just Won’t Do?

Thursday, February 28th, 2008


Those hoping for a kinder gentler presidential election complete with a heaping helping of compassionate conservatism might want to prepare themselves for a plate of partisan politics that will be far less palatable. I find myself suspecting that the GOP may be laying the groundwork for a bait and switch strategy aimed at satisfying voters newfound penchant for a civil campaign.

With the emergence of John McCain as the seemingly inevitable Republican nominee, voters may be under the impression that we’re moving beyond choreographed character assassinations and stealth swiftboating strategies. My hunch is that the GOP’s alternate approach includes John McCain appearing to take the high road while the usual suspects redouble their efforts to eviscerate the enemy.

I’ll try to explain. This week, we may have witnessed a preview of the plan. My concern is that the orchestration was evidenced in Bill Cunningham’s introduction of Senator McCain (and his effort to define Barack Obama)…which was followed by Senator McCain rapidly renouncing Cunningham’s remarks…even though the campaign had arranged the appearance of the raucous radio personality.

What happened before and after McCain’s criticism seems implausible to me. How could the McCain campaign have been so oblivious to what Cunningham was going to say? Why did Cunningham almost instantly withdraw his support for the Senator…stating instead that he would now join Ann Coulter in supporting Hillary Clinton? One, I can’t imagine the McCain campaign didn’t discuss the introduction with Cunningham. Second, I doubt anyone who is so well connected to a campaign such that they are chosen to introduce the candidate makes such an instantaneous about face. Hence, it’s important to analyze his actions; searching for the underlying objective.

Note that in shifting his support to Clinton, Cunningham has left himself room to change his mind should Obama be the Democratic candidate (the same candidate he sought to define as a soft on terror Muslim sympathizer). If we project ahead, let’s suppose Obama is the Democratic nominee; leaving the Coulter’s and Cunningham’s of the GOP without a candidate. We could assume they won’t vote…or we could assume something far more strategically savvy. Using Cunningham’s own word, I look for these current outliers to suddenly announce their own “kumbaya” moment…the one that states, “I actually supported Hillary Clinton…and that’s a difficult calculation to make…but when I imagine an Obama presidency as the alternative to John McCain, I have to support John McCain”.

So what does this achieve? Well, it sends GOP voters two important messages. First, it says that some establishment conservatives were actually willing to support one of the most reviled Democrats (Clinton)…a candidate the base could never support. Second, once Obama became the candidate, those same establishment conservatives decided to come back and support John McCain…because Barack Obama must be worse than Hillary Clinton. So what is the conclusion GOP voters will be asked to draw? If the choice in November is between John McCain and a candidate that is worse than Hillary Clinton, they have to get out and support John McCain.

By utilizing this approach, it allows people like Cunningham and Coulter to continue to rail against Obama as they supposedly support Clinton…all the while further defining Obama as worse than Hillary…doing the work for the McCain campaign while he keeps his hands clean and moves to higher ground. At the same time, the media darling McCain can stay below the radar and avoid being directly associated with the scorched earth strategy.

The bottom line is that the GOP desperately needs to define Obama…negatively. Having the GOP candidate do this dirty work isn’t ideal in 2008 given that a majority of voters don’t seem inclined to accept more of the partisanship fostered by the likes of Karl Rove. If this can be achieved by unattached surrogates who also have the ear of those Republican’s less apt to be enthused with a McCain candidacy, all the better.

If they succeed, then the entire GOP can sit down at the table…together with the independent and moderate voters they must have to win in November…ready to indulge in the equivalent of a twice baked batch of kinder, gentler, compassionate and conservative, comfort food…a delectable dish of “Krafty Mac & Sleeze”.

Cross-posted at Thought Theater

Says What??? Exactly.

Thursday, February 28th, 2008

dowd.jpgPeople who know me know I’m no fan of Maureen Dowd. She has no self editing, and considering her national exposure, I find this lack careening between pathetic and alarming, with an occasional off-road trip into ludicrous, irresponsible claptrap. To wit:

Beating on the press is the lamest thing you can do. It is only because of the utter open-mindedness of the press that Hillary can lose 11 contests in a row and still be treated as a contender. — Maureen Dowd

A sphincter says what? The only reason the press treats Hillary as a contender after 11 losses is to sell papers and magazines. If there is no race, there’s no story. Same with the whole brokered convention wet dream. Please — cut the sanctimonius drivel about open mindedness.  This is a bottom line industry masquerading as a bastion of independence. After the BushCo pass the media handed out for seven years, nobody believes the corporate press has a mindset that can’t be monetarily persuaded. (You want access? Report only what we want and you’ll get to write something that will sell your cellulose.)

We’re dealing with a delusional national mindset of “I said it, so it must be so”. How long America is content to be the lip-sticked pig in the global playpen is anybody’s guess. A little critical thinking would go a long way.

In the spirit of “utter open-mindedness”, I say we start with Ms. Dowd.

No Country for Old Men

Monday, February 25th, 2008
Nader is 2 years older than John McCain. Here’s an SAT math question: Ralph Nader is older than John McCain. McCain says he is older than dirt. What is Ralph Nader’s relationship with dirt? — Vote From Abroad

Yikes. It begs the question though, since the real dirt here is that Nader’s primary source of funding last time out was Republicans, and that resulted in the Bush presidency, does anybody really buy that Nader is going to siphon off Dem votes this time? Anybody?

Yeah. Me neither.

Quote of the Day

Friday, February 22nd, 2008

From my email today:

John McCain may try to claim that the past careers of his advisers are irrelevant, but look at this passage from today’s Washington Post article about Charlie Black, McCain adviser and chairman of lobbying firm BKSH and Associates…
But even as Black provide a private voice and a public face for McCain, he also leads his lobbying firm, which offers corporate interests and foreign governments the promise of access to the most powerful lawmakers. Some of those companies have interests before the Senate and, in particular, McCain’s Commerce Committee.

Black said he does a lot of his work by telephone from McCain’s Straight Talk Express bus.

John McCain literally has a lobbyist for “corporate interests and foreign governments” working from the “Straight Talk Express.”

Where will they work from if he wins the White House?  — Howard Dean

Same corrupt crap, different package.