Saturday, September 20, 2008

The 2008 Election Wars

There may not be anyone left standing at the end of this election... it's about to get brutal.
  • The Race Wars. The Weakly Weekly Standard is now reporting that McCain is ready to unleash a Jeremiah Wright attack. Not sure how that will play out... certainly it will play into suburban white fear of the Scary Militant Black Man. It will also play into the slow burning white male resentment of Black Entitlements. I'm relatively certain that those two camps 1) already live in the Republican tent, or 2) quickly fled to the Republican tent at the mere sight of Obama. Still, it's going to be like jabbing a sharp stick into America's still unhealed racial wound. In the end, if Obama wins, and if he governs well, this could be an opportunity to heal the wound once and for all. Whites would have a positive "black experience" with Obama. Also, blacks won't be able to claim "The Man" is holding them down when a black man is "The Man" in the oval office. Hopefully people wore themselves out on the topic when Hillary unleashed it, though. The idea of a rehash bores me.
  • The Religion Wars. The best way for Obama to ward off a Jeremiah Wright preacher attack is to use it as a launch pad to veer into the wonderful world of religion. McCain is still unforgiven by the religious right for his heathenism and no amount of faux contrition and cynical pandering has granted him acceptance in their circle. Adding Palin to the ticket may have soothed the religous righties but I have to believe it's an uneasy truce. On the flip side, a very big chunk of GOP voters are of a fiscal / libertarian bent. It's a tightrope act for McCain here as he tries to appeal to the latter while letting Palin appeal to the former. If anyone were to, say, probe a little bit into just how bizarre Palin's religious activities have been (organizing a christianist takeover of school boards and hospital boards kind of puts that whole book banning attempt in perspective) there could be chaos in the ranks quickly. Divide and conquer, baby.
  • The Ethnic Wars. Obama's latest ad in espanol using Rush Limboob's outrageous quotes was kind of clever. Rush is the messiah of the anti-immigration movement. Plus he's an ego-maniac... naturally he couldn't help himself from using a megaphone to blast his outrage over the ad to the Universe. His outrage over the ad that would have gotten about ZERO media attention if he hadn't drawn it himself. An ad that was probably never intended to target Latinos, but rather... anti-immigration Republicans! A subtle little poke at McCain to draw out some anti-immigration rhetoric that can be used in flip-flop ads that would... pose as a reminder to voters of McCain's previous amnesty support?
  • The Ethics Wars. If McCain wants to go there with Obama's connection to Fannie's Jim Johnson (note to Obama: what in the hell were you thinking??), I strongly suggest that Obama remind folks about the Keating Five. I was about 18 during the S&L scandal but even in my teen age ignorance this is what I retained in my psyche: greed, corruption, bank closings, bail outs, taxpayers being screwed. Sound familiar? The current banking collapse would be the perfect backdrop to point out that McCain is not only more of the same, but one of the original same!
Yes, I realize how horrible I sound for even mentioning these things. But if I've learned anything in the past two years, it's that "fair" has no meaning in an election and if you run on "fair", your opponent will simply clobber you over the head with it while the media watches with a blank eyed stare.

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