October 6, 2008

Using the High Ground to Counter Slung Mud

As we enter the closing weeks of the 2008 election cycle, the campaign of Republican John McCain is foundering. Confronted with a widespread economic crisis that not only serves to highlight the failures and greed of the modern GOP, but the culpability of policies championed by Senator McCain in particular, the Republican presidential nominee is resorting to gutter politics. Apparently unconcerned that the United States is facing a financial disaster with potentially catastrophic consquences, senior McCain adviser Greg Strimple stated:
We are looking for a very aggressive last 30 days. We're looking to turning the page on this financial crisis and getting back to discussing Mr. Obama's liberal, aggressively liberal, record and how he will be too risky for the Americans.
Taking her cue, on Saturday, Senator McCain's running mate, Sarah Palin, declared that "Our opponent … is someone who sees America it seems as being so imperfect that he’s palling around with terrorists who would target their own country." This particular claim, which attempts to tie Senator Barack Obama to former Weather Underground bomber William Ayers, is a charge long ago debunked, and one particularly ironic given Governor Palin and her husband's own documented, lengthy and direct association with the radical, secessionist Alaska Independence Party (AIP).

This type of rank, fear-mongering hypocrisy from today's GOP is nothing new, but unlike recent Democratic presidential nominees - who have attempted to stay "above the fray" when confronted by the smear tactics of GOP opponents and their supporters - Senator Obama appears ready to respond. The Obama campaign has launched KeatingEconomics.com, a site dedicated to the last great American financial crisis - the savings and loan meltdown of the 1980s - as well as John McCain's close involvement as one of the notorious Keating Five. (Something about which, as I have written before, the media has distinctly under-reported.)

A thirteen minute documentary (see below) is the highlight, but KeatingEconomics.com also presents a wealth of research and documentation that convincingly makes the case that Senator McCain's personal corruption and opposition to oversight and regulation are directly related to the systemic rot we are witnessing within the financial sector today. Much can still happen between now and November 4th, but it is refreshing to see a candidate both well-positioned on the high ground and well-prepared to counter the worst the Republicans can sling. As Senator Obama noted at a rally in North Carolina:
They’d rather try to tear our campaign down than lift this country up. That’s what you do when you’re out of touch, out of ideas, and running out of time.


lokywoky said...

Just finished watching the 'town hall debate' or whatever that thing was.

I was disappointed in Obama not answering directly a lot of the questions he was asked by the audience.

I was angry at Brokaw for his favoring John McCain on rebuttals etc.

I was totally freaked out by McCain's performance. He creeped me out by walking around behind Obama while Obama was speaking, all that heavy breathing, the whispery quality of his voice, and his dog-whistle 'that one'. EEEEK!!

Another blogger I know asked what is wrong with McCain. I think the answer is that he is a racist, pure and simple. He hates being on the stage with Obama - he hates even more that Obama is going to win - he hates having to answer intelligent questions from 'colored' audience members, and oh by the way, he hates black people, brown people, yellow people, and white people from the opposite sex.

It's gonna get uglier and uglier. While Obama needs to answer the responses, I hope he doesn't get all the way down in the sewer with McCain. So far he has been able to answer and still retain his dignity and keep from being smeared by the same filth.

Go-Bama 08!

PBI said...

The debate wasn't much of a debate was it? More like parallel informercials. I also thought Brokaw did a terrible job, doing just enough to keep the actual information conveyed to a minimum and gumming up the works.

I don't know that I think McCain is a racist - he's got a Bangladeshi step daughter, after all - I think what we're seeing is really more symptomatic of his sense of entitlement mixed with frustration at losing his "base" in the media (and consequently being held somewhat more accountable for his lies), and the fact that Obama continues to eat his lunch in one-on-one interactions. He's losing the election right now, he's sold his soul and kissed W's ass to get where he is, and he's not happy about it.

Agreed that Obama is taking the right tone in addressing McCain's sleaze, and I think he continued to do so in his recent interview with Charles Gibson. (He basically called McCain out for not making his swiftboat accusations to his face.) If it gets much worse, however, I have no problem with Obama going hard negative if he needs to do so. Better that and a win, than clean hands and McCain in the White House!