The Campaign

I’ve given quite a bit of money to the Obama campaign this year & I’m likely to give more, but not until I see them go on the attack. I got an email this morning form David Plouffe (me & millions of other contributors) to the effect that the answer to Sarah Palin’s sneering attack on “community organizers” is to say, “Community organizing is how ordinary people respond to out-of-touch politicians and their failed policies.” sorry, the right response will be to hang Palin out to dry for her lies & radical right-wing ideas. Don’t explain, don’t complain — make the right wing culture warrior play defense. That’s when I’ll cut another check.

Later: Here is another view of the email I referred to above. I also posted the above paragraph in a discussion thread at TPM, where one person responded by saying that “getting down in the mud” with McCain & Palin was a losing strategy. I don’t think you hve to get down in the mud in order to aggressively attack the lies & distortions coming out of the Republican convention — Mitt Romney’s assertion that McCain / Palin will change “liberal Washington” doens’t meet the laugh test & ought to be mocked mercilessly. Same goes for the Republican’s claims to be “reformers.” And it is not “getting down in the mud” to point out that Sarah Palin, as a mayor, tried to get the librarian to remove Harry Potter from the library because it offended her Christianist beliefs; then, when the librarian refused to go along, that Palin tried to fire her. Palin wants to put her experience as mayor up against Obama’s Harvard law degree & public service? Great, let’s look at the quality of Palin’s experience. The Republicans have decide this election is going to be fought on cultural grounds. Bring it on.

Soap Opera

I have to admit that I’ve been as fascinated as everyone else by John McCain’s selection of Gov. Sarah Palin as his VP. Fascinated, but also offended. No, not because Palin’s daughter is pregnant, but because McCain showed such poor judgement in naming a lightweight ideologue like Palin. Country first, my ass: this was a nakedly political selection. And I’m doubly offended by the slapdash manner in which this sop to the radical right was reviewed by the campaign. Or not reviewed. Now it turns out that McCain really wanted to put Lieberman on the ticket, but the anti-abortion radicals wouldn’t stand for it. Look, I wasn’t going to vote for McCain in any case & Joe Lieberman turns my stomach, but picking Lieberman would have demonstrated political courage whereas picking Palin attempts to produce the illusion of political courage while actually demonstrating the most craven sort of cowardice. (It’s also not going to do any good. If McCain thinks more than a handful of Clinton voters are going to switch to McCain because he picked Palin, he’s even more delusional than I imagined.) I suspect the main effect — since the hard right is rallying round the choice — will be to corrode a bit of the teflon that McCain has been coated with as far as the press is concerned. The Republicans have worked hard to put fake debates about “character” at the center of American politics & the press has gone along, moralizing like a Victorian ladies club, but here we have an actual character issue — a 72 year old presidential candidate choosing a corrupt intellectual lightweight ideologueas his VP candidate & by doing so demonstrating that he cares more about politics than about patriotism. Oh, & he has hired the guy who slimed him in 2000 to work with Palin — I guess he was looking for a liar with a lot of experience.