Monday, October 06, 2008

Of liberals and terrorists

The Christian Science Monitor casts a cold eye on the coming McCain shitstorm and makes an important distinction between two lines of attack: the just-launched campaign of character assassination on one hand, and plans to "focus on 'discussing Mr. Obama’s aggressively liberal record'” on the other. The latter line of attack is legitimate; the former is a disgusting smear that will leave McCain in the ashcan of history with Bush and Nixon.

Former McCain advisor Mike Murphy makes the right distinction:

GOP strategist Mike Murphy... agrees [with David Brooks] that it is all about the economy and that the character game isn’t going to work. But he, unlike Brooks, thinks mentioning the L word and the potential for the L party to dominate the executive and legislative branches of government might equalize the poll numbers.

“Bring up the issue of the concept of a runaway liberal one-party train here in Washington,” Murphy told host Tom Brokaw. “You know, just no checks and balances at all. McCain, a partisan, can-do pragmatist vs. the idea that everything in this town being run by the Democrats with no restraint, no balance, no control, and that’ll affect the economy in a bad way. I think that’s a better prosecution for the McCain campaign than these character attacks…”

The argument outlined by Murphy is a mirror image of Obama's perfectly legitimate claims that McCain will continue Bush's policies and that those policies constitute a "radical" dismemberment of supports and protections for middle and working class. It's fair to warn that dominance of Congress and the White House will lead the Democrats to overreach-- as the Republicans have over the last eight years. It's also legitimate to charge that Obama will drastically increase Federal government spending and raise taxes.

Don't look for much of such relatively reasoned, if oversimplified and distorted, policy argument, though. McCain is primed for the lowest of low roads - the "palling around with terrorists," "isn't one of us," "dangerous angry black man," guilt by association route. That's why Murphy is a "former" adviser.

Forget about glass ceilings -- it's time to blow McCain's glass houses to kingdom come. Lobbyists' tool, gamblers' crony, Keating lackey...McCain's going to unleash the whirlwind.

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