Wednesday, May 14, 2008

John McCain a "Distraction" for Obama?

Rich Lowry thinks Obama may be pushing this elitist thing a bit too far, and here's Rich's excellent take on the subject:
After his blowout win in North Carolina last week, Obama turned to framing the rules of the general election ahead, warning in his victory speech of "efforts to distract us." The chief distracter happens to be the man standing between Obama and the White House, John McCain, who will "use the very same playbook that his side has used time after time in election after election."

Ah, yes, the famous distractions with which Republicans fool unwitting Americans. Ronald Reagan distracted them with the Iranian hostage crisis, high inflation and unemployment, gas lines and the loss of American prestige abroad. Then, the first George Bush distracted them with the notion of a third Reagan term, as well as the issues of taxes, crime and volunteerism. After a brief interlude of national focus during two Clinton terms, another Bush arrived wielding the dark art of distraction.

Forget "bitter"; Obama must believe that most Americans suffer from an attention-deficit disorder so crippling that they can't concentrate on their own interests or values.

Obama has an acute self-interest in so diagnosing the American electorate. His campaign knows he's vulnerable to the charge of being an elitist liberal. Unable to argue the facts, it wants to argue the law -- defining his weaknesses as off-limits.

The campaign can succeed in imposing these rules on the race only if the news media cooperate. Newsweek signed up for the effort in a cover story that reads like a 3,400-word elaboration of the "distraction" passage of Obama's victory speech. "The Republican Party has been successfully scaring voters since 1968," it says, through "innuendo and code." McCain "may not be able to resist casting doubt on Obama's patriotism," and there's a question whether he can or wants to "rein in the merchants of slime and sellers of hate."

The Washington Post & Newsweek are part of the same company. Can all the other corporate elements also be rolled by Obama, such as NBC & its lowly cable audience with few eyeballs? Rich thinks the rulebook is simple enough to follow for these Obamaniacs to follow, and he spells them out in case Brian Williams gets brainlock:
Here are the Obama rules in detail: He can't be called a "liberal" ("the same names and labels they pin on everyone," as Obama puts it); his toughness on the war on terror can't be questioned ("attempts to play on our fears"); his extreme positions on social issues can't be exposed ("the same efforts to distract us from the issues that affect our lives" and "turn us against each other"); and his Chicago background too is off-limits ("pouncing on every gaffe and association and fake controversy"). Besides that, it should be a freewheeling and spirited campaign.

Democrats always want cultural issues not to matter because they are on the least-popular side of many of them, and want patriotic symbols like the Pledge of Allegiance and flag pins to be irrelevant when they can't manage to nominate presidential candidates who wholeheartedly embrace them (which shouldn't be that difficult). As for "fear" and "division," they are vaporous pejoratives that can be applied to any warning of negative consequences of a given policy or any political position that doesn't command 100 percent assent. In his North Carolina speech, Obama said the Iraq War "has not made us safer," and that McCain's ideas are "out of touch" with "American values." How fearfully divisive.

Kevin Phillips famously called the Democratic Establishment a "toryhood of change," meaning elitists who wished to manipulate the electorate for change in which they would have a large stake in the profits and benefits---people like FDR & Averell Harriman & Adlai Stevenson, professed idealists who were still capitalist profiteers or at least headed elites with money on their mind. Or so that's my take on what Kevin meant.

Identity politics is fraught no with so many First Amendment exceptions such as "hate crimes" and other vaporous weirdness that Obama may con the MSM, who are part of the "toryhood," to go along for the ride. The country will be diminished if the First Amendment is whittled away and such abominations as "The Fairness Doctrine" and defining categories as "hateful" begin to shrink our political freedoms.

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