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September 03, 2008


Well obviously Mr Schmidt thinks the Palin firestorm benefits his candidate. That's why he whips it up with threatened lawsuits and "some detailed public statements denying sensational stories that had not previously been reported by any mainstream media organizations" and stage appearances by Levi Johnston and photographs of the McCain-Palin family get together on the airport tarmac.

But why does he think this benefits his candidate?

All of the gaffes in my last comment can be tied to national issues that Obama owns or wants to own. In order: sales tax - progressive taxation; sports complex - executive judgement; library censorship - nosy social conservatives; hair-trigger firings - crony corruption (which ties in to Bush's firings of justice department and of scientists).

And I forgot all about earmarks.

Here's reality: There's no stopping this until it's done.

One little delusion we like to permit ourselves is that someone, somewhere, is in charge of things -- that the Man can flip a switch, change the course, stop the chaos.

Right now, the media is swarming. Ideas and narratives about Palin are slamming together, pushed by a million different people, and what's coming out is some sort of surviving consensus.

Obama doesn't control it. McCain doesn't control it. NBC doesn't, Daily Kos doesn't, nobody does. People -- especially those with larger organizations can try to nudge it, direct the swarm -- the GOP is pretty good at it, but theyv'e spent decades and created an entire set of think tanks and talking point spewing pundits to do so.

The Democrats are just starting to respond -- but they didn't kick off this Palin fiasco, they're not pushing or encouraging reporters to delve into teen pregnancy or supposed affairs over things like troopergates or how someone bankrupts a town that fast...

The media's swarming, their sensationalist urges are latched into this deep and no GOP or Democratic pushback is going to make a dent. Palin's being defined by the amorphous blob of the media, working in some weird meme-driven fashion that no one actually controls.

And judging by the covers of US Weekly and now the National Enquirer -- it's going badly for Palin.

We can play games with what the optics are, who is a winner and who is a loser, and there's always "This is good for McCain" to fall back on -- but let's not act like this is under anyone's control.

For the record: My opinion is that US Weekly and National Enquirer trump pretty much everything else in terms of setting definitions. Palin was defined by those two covers in a way she won't be able to change in 60 days.

Well, I have to say the same thing I did with Edwards – if true it was entirely irresponsible of her to accept with that in her closet.

I doubt that the Enquirer can go two for two though…

There is a larger issue here. If you win just by attacking the weakness of the other side, and most especially when those weakness are specific to the individual candidate in this particular election (i.e. personality issues) then after the election is over and you’ve won, you have no mandate to govern.

Of course, if you lose the election you have no mandate to govern, either. And it doesn't matter whether you lost because the opposition fooled the voters with symbolism, or convinced them with policies. It would be a bad thing for Obama to win by tearing down McCain and Palin on personality grounds. It would be a worse thing for Obama to lose by high-mindedly refusing to engage McCain and Palin's personality-based self-hype.


Model 62, apparently Schmidt believes the McCain campaign can get through this by upping the ante and continuing to play the victim card (all the way through November?). Then again, the constant POW! POW! POW! is essentially playing the victim card as well.

Morat20 said some smart things, back there.

Just heard Kellyanne Conway on NPR with a new Republican talking point: Wasilla may have only 9,000 inhabitants, but 9,000 is also the total number of votes Biden got in the primaries, whereas Clinton got 18 million. Fun statistic, but it's just a lie. Biden actually got over 63,000 votes, not counting caucuses.

The AIP story hasn't "checked out?" What on earth are you talking about, Hilzoy? Maybe she wasn't registered on the voter rolls as a party member, but she is most certainly tightly linked to this group, and not just because of her husband's verifiable membership. She gave a videotaped address to their 2007 convention, for God's sake!! Why are you knuckling under on this? This is why Democrats lose elections to unqualified right-wing nutcases! Gah!

Fun statistic, but it's just a lie.

Lying is what they do.

If I were to venture a guess, I'd say they've forgotten how to do otherwise.

Were I to really step out on a limb, I'd say they'd lie even if there were nothing in it for them.

It becomes a habit after a while. A way of life, even.

Thanks -

Olbermann just said they canceled the video intro for Palin because Giuliani's speech was so long.

Argh, wrong thread.

"The AIP story hasn't 'checked out?' What on earth are you talking about, Hilzoy?"

This post is written by the person with the byline: "by publius." Not Hilzoy. "Gah," yourself.

Well, excuuuuse me for for having a touch of ADHD, Gary. I'm human, after all. What about my point?

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