Vote Better

Ask Thomas Jefferson: the problem with persuading somebody to accept a truth that you hold to be self-evident is, well, it’s supposed to be self-evident.  And yet…

The RCP polling averages give McCain a razor-thin lead (only half the margin-of-error), but since is the first time he hasn’t been losing, it’s a big deal. In terms of buzz and media coverage, McCain’s second trophy wife– er, vice presidential candidate — has stolen Obama’s thunder.  The road is looking rocky for Barry O from the barrio*. Could it possibly be that a campaign of honor, integrity, and substance would lose an American presidential election?  (Yes.)  Won’t somebody please think of the children?! (Only if they’re not born yet.)

Democrats are feeling the heat, revving up third-party Political Action Committees to produce negative ads, an option Obama had put the kibosh on earlier in the campaign to prove he’s classy. His campaign will of course remain focused on issues such as the collapse of global security, the economy melting down, and other silly trivialities. But while he’s doing that, many independent progressive groups will be saturating swing states with ads such as this one:

Meanwhile, McCain and Palin will continue to dominate news cycles and polls will remain close. Everybody is gonna freak out and warn Obama that his rope-a-dope strategy is the same as the old Democratic strategy of huddling in a urine-soaked corner in the fetal position until the Republicans win.  Lots of pundits will admire McCain’s ability to exploit ignorant people into voting for an American Idol contestant — er, vice presidential candidate.  Obama will grow jheri curls and tell everybody to act like little Fonzies. And what’s Fonzie like? He’s cool.

Im tryin, Ringo. Im tryin real hard to be the shepherd.

"I'm tryin', Ringo. I'm tryin' real hard to be the shepherd."

See, at the end of the day, Obama’s gonna walk out of the diner of media spin and anxious hysterics holding his “Motherfuckin’ President-Elect” wallet in hand. Two reasons:


At the GOP convention Obama was repeatedly mocked for the community organizing job he took after college. But Obama will win the general election the same way he won the primary: by efficiently running a huge organization of volunteers and community organizers to boost voter outreach, registration and turnout.  In late 2007 everybody freaked out that he wasn’t killing Hillary in the polls. Then he won Iowa and tied her on Super Tuesday. Then in the spring everybody freaked out that he hadn’t sealed the deal and the party was going to schism. Then he inevitably won the delegate race and buried the hatchet.  Now everybody’s freaking out again.  They don’t need to.  Nobody reports on the candidates’ field operations, they report on their press operations and sometimes, maybe, their policy positions.  But field operations are a huge part of campaigns. Obama’s is vastly superior.


John McCain ran against Bush in 2000 and was slandered by Karl Rove politics and lost.  Bummer for everyone.  Trouble was he really really REALLY wanted to be president. So he got cozy with the Republican power network– the crazy policy advisers who designed the Iraq War, the corrupt politicians who defeated him in ’00, the religious leaders who preach that real Christians vote Republican.  He had birthday cake with W on the day of Hurricane Katrina. He sold himself out to the very people who defeated him so that he would get a chance to be president in 2008. And you can tell in clips like this one that he is not comfortable with the scummy political behavior this compromise requires:

Since picking Sarah Palin this pattern of behavior has gotten a million times worse. John McCain has officially jumped the shark (a rare example of Fonzie being totally not cool).  More in-depth analysis of his descent into self-parody will have to wait, but his new approach has already alienated many of his closest journalist supporters (Time magazine, Washington Post).  He can’t even go on The View without being called out for his unprecedented levels of bullshit. There’s no turning back now. He is running a Rove campaign just like the one that beat him in 2000.  On the issues, that is to say on the merits, John McCain forfeited the election to Obama three weeks ago.

And that, you see, is why Obama’s eventual victory is self-evident.  McCain is  an insecure and blustery candidate, and Obama is the one who has demonstrated consistent foresight, confidence, and solid planning.  You know, like a good president. Remember, good presidents?

*Barack Obama is not, in fact, from the barrio. Ese.


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