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07 September 2008

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Grimgrin

Cieran: The Dems can't fight dirty. Remember the media reaction to General Clark saying that McCain being a POW didn't qualify him to be president?

Now imagine what would have happened if they went full swift boat on McCain. Or if they started trotting out high profile names to make snide jokes about Palin being a hockey mom with a pregnant daughter.

It sucks, but the Republican network of talking heads, PR flacks, think tanks and true believers still has too much of a presence in the media for the Democratic party to fight dirty and not have it boomerang on them.

Clifford Kiracofe

Davis sets up a straw man.

He knows very well the "liberal media" is going to support McCain's pro-Israelism, new Cold War with Russia, wars against "rogue states", GWOT and all the rest -- should he win on Palin's skirt-tails -- just as it has for Bush.

Come to think about it, just as most Democrats in Congress have ...

McGee

All,

We might want to catch Saturday Night Live this week. Sarah Palin is a DEAD ringer for Tina Fey. The SNL writers are going to have a merry time with our End of Days Hockey Mom between now and the election, methinks. With lots of segments showing up on TIVO and making their way into more mainstream media.

JerseyJeffersonian

I commend to you good people Glenn Greenwald's latest blog post in which he lays out his all-to-likely scenario for how this will all play out.

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/09/06/carney/index.html

Thank you, Colonel Lang, for providing us with this space. It performs an analogous function to that of the Committees of Correspondence in colonial America. We have a chance to put our heads together, pool information and share our interpretations of its significance. I send out my gratitude to all of the posters who give so freely of their time and wisdom in this blog. My respect and admiration to you all.

Duncan Kinder

For as long as I can remember, the press has been the propoganda arm of the Democrats.

Oh please, explain the following:

1) Intense media scruitiny of "Whitewater" and other so-called Clinton "scandals" as compared to relatively slight media coverage of - for example - George Bush's ties to Kenny Boy Lay.

2) Pre-Iraq War Coverage

3) Failure of media to cover such McCain gaffes as referring to "Czechoslovakia" or confusing Shi'ites with Sunnis.

4) Most incredibly is the following video made by McCain's own daughter of a cookout McCain gave earlier this year for members of the press corps.

Given circumstances such as these, reasonable people, in the exercise of ordinary care either know or should know that the press is no propaganda outlet for Democrats.

Paul

Chalk one up for McCain and Davis. NBC just announced that Matthews and Olbermann will not hold down the election night central desk. That privilege will go to "Warm Spit" David Gregory.

We eagerly await Jack Welch who will no doubt point out the superior management techniques found in Ms. Palin's administration.

jonst

Cieran wrote:

>>>The big question is this: will the Dems choose to exploit this vacuum? They keep insisting on using the Marquis of Queensbury rules even tho they're in a knife fight in a dark alley. What does it take to revive their killer instincts? Do they even have any?<<<<<

How many ways does this question have to be answered before people will stop asking it?

I was at a big neighborhood gathering this week. Independently, 6 people, admittedly, Democrats, from the old Democratic Wing of the Democratic party, commented on the same thing to me....they were 'sick' of hearing Dems praise McCain. How much of hero he is. A friend he is. And a maverick he was.

McCain, Palin, Davis? Perfect metaphors for what is happening in America right now. Oh, and they got Olberman kicked of co-hosting the campaign coverage at MSNBC. The browbeating works.

William R. Cumming

Looks to me like the media has lost another election in the following sense: (1) posturing rather than describing and analyzing; (2) taking sides; (3) no discussion of potential impacts of either set of candidates winning; (4) almost no regard for foreign coverage or foreign efforts to impact campaign; (5) in essence throwing up their collective hands on the basis that it really does NOT matter who wins because policy will not change even though Americans in general are being turned off not on by the political system. Democracy is messy but as some wit stated better system than any of the others. Well we have a republican form of government so no one man vote, one woman vote on every issue. Impossibility really. But now we see why Congress cannot priortize. The voting public and the media cannot priortize. Notice how external and internal events get overdramatized with the significance for today or tomorrow never described. At least we dropped below the 60 day mark until Election 2008.

Dana Jones

"Remember the media reaction to General Clark saying that McCain being a POW didn't qualify him to be president? "
Um, can anyone explain to me just how being a POW makes McCain qualified to be POTUS? I mean, isn't the point NOT to get caught/shot down? I understand that McCain was considered rash back then, and that he engaged in risky behavior, which is what got him a missile up the tail pipe. Where are the Obama people bringing up this record, with the reprimands and all? Did the files get "lost" like GWB's Guard file? Come on, someone has to know about this and wants to tell about McCain endangering himself and others with his rash and reckless behavior. The Dems can't do a little Swift Bucks for Truthiness?

Sidney O. Smith III

Republican strategists sit back and laugh…

At least so far. If the last week is any indication, they certainly know how to flip cultural issues to their advantage.

Maybe it will change, but right now, the difference b/t Republican and Democratic strategists is much like that between a neoconservative professor and some sophomores at Berkeley. Think of Leo Strauss teaching a class at Berkeley and then pressing the buttons of sophomores on certain cultural issues, laughing all the way.

Take Palin for example. Palin emerges on the scene and then suddenly people like Campbell Brown and Andrew Sullivan start saying, “This is all about me.” An ad hominem attack is launched.

And, then the issue is “flipped”, as suddenly the Palin candidacy is defined as a cultural battle between those who shop at St. Johns and those who read the gospel of St. John.

It’s amazing to watch because certainly there are Republicans who shop at St. Johns. And odds are reasonably high that Republican strategists do not start the day with a little devotional time dedicated to St. John (understatement).

But, if the last week is any indication, certainly the Republican strategists are looking forward to bringing up other cultural issues and then flipping them on the Democrats. You can see it coming down the tracks like a train. Democrats, beware. Republicans would just love to see you start demonstrating on other social issues.

And honestly, with a Democratically controlled Congress, it is highly unlikely that Palin can change the legislative landscape.

To harken back to Professor Kiracofe’s idea of a straw man, this campaign, in my opinion, has nothing to do with the cultural issues that the Straussian strategists intentionally raise. None at all. It is all about war where we sacrifice the youth of our nation and in violation of the findings of the 2007 NIE. Yet, all the while, certain Democrat operatives keep saying, “This is all about me.”

Comment

Obama supporters must concede that the Palin pick was good politics for McCain - We have been reduced to quoting Frum et al in defense.

It's all quite sad .

jedermann

The McCain campaign has gone all-in on a bet that it can sell its ticket as the avatars of reform. It has at the very least successfully redefined “The Audacity of Hope”. The hubris and sheer, unmitigated gall of the Republican claim to be reformers will make the scam all the sweeter if they can pull it off. These guys are first and last confidence men and they have plenty of confidence they can sell anything to anyone, the more absurd and unlikely, the greater the glory.

Choosing Sarah Palin is just one more instance of wanting to have it both ways and knowing just how to get it. The base has deciphered the code and no one at Fox is going to have his nose too much out of joint by Davis’s attacks on the media. Fox is, after all, the exception to Liberal dominance of the media and it will soldier bravely on in spite of having to suffer limited access because of the sins of others. The national punditry was astonished and delighted at the form the campaign’s highly anticipated trick actually took when at last it was revealed. Rove’s shop never fails to please. The pundits have their horse race and a shiny new product to ooh and aw over, Hockey Mom. The campaign mad men have re-branded a wingnut wet dream into a spunky, suburban icon. Nice job and it just might work.

Fred

McCain has gone from the Hanoi Hilton to the Halliburton Hilton.

Clifford Kiracofe

Some data on McCain advisors:

"That doesn't mean McCain doesn't call on old Washington hands to help run his show. Veteran lobbyists Charles Black and Rick Davis, both wise in the ways of big money and Republican strategy, have been longtime advisers and run his current campaign along with Steve Schmidt, a Karl Rove protégé put in charge over the summer to bring discipline to a flailing effort."....

"Mark Salter. If many Americans see McCain as a flawed hero, chastened by an awareness of his shortcomings but still best qualified, by experience and character, to serve his country as its president and commander in chief, the man most responsible for projecting the image is a down-to-earth guy named Mark Salter."

Charles Black. The top strategist in McCain's presidential run, Charles Black is a courtly southerner renowned as a tough-as-nails political operative who has played key roles in presidential campaigns for decades."

http://www.usnews.com/articles/news/campaign-2008/2008/09/08/
mccain-relies-on-a-tight-knit-circle-of-confidants-to-guide-his-campaign.html?PageNr=3

Cieran

Re: Democratic killer instincts...

I agree with the commenters who have pointed out the media's role in underpinning legitimate Democratic critiques of the GOP, e.g., Wes Clark's candid (and most accurate!) assessment of McCain's credentials.

The problem with the Democratic response is that it's never a coherent response, so that messengers like Wes Clark get picked off by concentrated fire from the GOP voices in the media. And that's not a fight -- that's a long series of pointless individual executions.

What the Dems need (and they are certainly capable of providing it, if they just chose to do so) is a unified set of talking points and some basic message discipline. Then there's no chance of individual voices being hounded by the media mavens, because there's simply too many voices to attend to at once.

Now that Obama is at the head of the ticket, it's the responsibility of his campaign to provide that kind of message discipline. Will he do so? Will the various Dem factions follow his lead? If so, then the votes of the 80% of the citizenry (the proportion dissatisfied with the country's direction) will help create a landslide, with no safe GOP seats anywhere.

If not, then we'll see four more years of GOP incompetence and corruption. I doubt we'll see more than four, simply because there are too many economic chickens coming home to roost at once, so if the next president is from the GOP, then it's the end of the GOP brand.

Harper

Col. Lang, I wanted to add something to my comments of yesterday on McCain and Soros (Rick Davis and Randy Schuenemann being on Soros' payroll). I do not want to give the impression that Soros alone has his hooks into McCain. I am aware that a group of Naval officers are working non-stop to make sure that McCain is not a captive of the neocon crowd, including those on the Soros dole. There is also a group of Republican Senators, who have been historically close to McCain, who represent a kind of resurgent Eisenhower Republican grouping. This includes John Warner, Richard Lugar, Chuck Hagel, Arlen Specter, and to a certain degree, Lindsey Graham. These are people who are traditional conservative Republicans, and they are part of McCain's close circle of friends and political advisors. Were Warner to be offered the Secretary of Defense post, he'd take it, health permitting. So all is not neocon doom and gloom around McCain.

However, and I emphasize however, I have another worry. McCain, according to numerous people who have known him over the years, is truly a loose cannon. He is not always mentally hinged, properly. The five years as a POW certainly establishes his credentials as a patriot, but that kind of experience has its mental toll, and I have been given numerous examples of McCain's dark side, that I must take into account, in judging whether he has the mental balance to be President of the United States, especially under a period of grave challenges and crises. I assume I am not alone in these concerns, but I'd be interested in hearing from your regular readers and commenters. Is there concern about McCain's mental mooring? Is it something that gets worse, or gets cured over time? I am no psychiatrist, and make no claim of any special competence to judge this. But I do have the right, as a citizen, to worry out loud, and seek counsel from those who may know more.

Sidney O. Smith III

Harper:

In my opinion, everything a Democrat needs to know can be found in McCain’s acceptance speech. Republican strategists crafted a gem. Particularly impressive were the Republican delegates waving throughout the speech thousands of signs with the word “Peace”. Created a powerful symbolic association. Extraordinarily well done and worthy of respect.


Black Friday

George Washington had a vision for this country. Was it three days of uninterrupted shopping? -John Melvoin :o) Happy Holidays!

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