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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Bizarro World campaign

No, no, no John. Barack Obama will play the age card, not the race card.

With unemployment rising, retirement accounts tumbling with the stock market, gasoline and food prices jumping at a pace that will make extend the heat or eat dilemma to millions more Americans, John McCain thought it was time to pull out the Lee Atwater Campaign Handbook -- with a twist.

He's accusing Barack Obama of playing the race card
.

You know the guy who has been the subject of e-mail smears all year about his name, his former pastor, his religious beliefs. The guy whose middle name rolls off the tongue of talk radio hosts with a verbal sneer.

Oh, and the guy pictured in a McCain ad with two of the leading white women pseudo-sexy airheads of today's American culture.

Can you say Harold Ford?

This has been standard GOP campaign fare since Atwater -- adopted and adapted by Karl Rove and Steve Schmidt, who now runs the McCain effort, if you can call it that.

The smear tactics prompted Obama to respond:
Nobody really thinks that Bush or McCain have a real answer for the challenges we face, so what they're going to try to do is make you scared of me. You know, he's not patriotic enough. He's got a funny name. You know, he doesn't look like all those other presidents on those dollar bills, you know. He's risky.
Sure sounds like standard GOP tactics. Think Dukakis in the tank. Al Gore's sighs. John Kerry windsurfing. Attack the character and personality and ignore the issues.

But rather than fess up to the truth, the candidate's manager (what is he, the third?) offers this:
Barack Obama has played the race card, and he played it from the bottom of the deck,” Mr. McCain’s campaign manager, Rick Davis, charged in a statement with which Mr. McCain later said he agreed. “It’s divisive, negative, shameful and wrong.
Divisive, negative, shameful and wrong. All hallmarks of Republican smear campaigns.

No, if the Obama camp wanted to play by the same rules, the would focus like a laser beam on McCain's age -- and his inability to apparently know the difference between Sunnis and Shias, or recognize that Czechoslovakia hasn't existed in more than a decade.

He would focus on the fact that McCain doesn't know how to use a computer or get onto the Web.

Or then he could focus on how McCain is truly Johnny One-Note, whining about how Obama won't acknowledge the surge has "worked," or how the media that he has called "my base" actually plays favorites.

Finally he could note that has no solution for the economic problems facing this country other than to endorse one of the things that got us here -- the Bush tax cuts. And he could also note how McCain has flip-flopped on that score.

But no, McCain would rather play the Atwater card.

Can we trade him for Manny?

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr M.L.,

I'm writing about Greater Boston websites for a magazine you've heard of, and may want to include your site, but would like to exchange a few e-mails with you first. As far as I can see, though, this is the only way to reach out to you.

Please e-mail me at marbs (at) fisherblue (dot) com.

Feel free not to post this to your site since, ordinarily, this would be a private request. But I'm not concerned about it, either...

August 01, 2008 12:05 PM  
Blogger Dan Kennedy said...

Hell, standard GOP fare since Nixon.

August 01, 2008 12:44 PM  
Blogger Outraged Liberal said...

Dan, you are of course correct. Atwater learned at the feet of the master Roger Ailes (where have I heard that name?)during the Nixon campaign.

August 01, 2008 4:05 PM  

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