Tuesday, August 5, 2008
The Big Star Spangled Smear
I was so outraged by John McCain's undercutting Obama's superb job on his overseas trip with kryptonite ads, shot mercilessly all week across tv screens like Elsa Maxwell out of a cannonball, that I wrote the following letter to my local newspaper, the Roanoke Times. (The ads succeeded so well that the week was spent by the media discussing the pros and cons of these ads. Nobody bothered to assess Obama's trip.)
Letter to the Editor:
While Barack Obama was abroad, working hard to restore America's standing in the world and succeeding wherever he went, John McCain was busy at home plotting his opponent's downfall. For a solid week McCain lashed out at Obama with scurrilous and degrading television ads, hoping to delegitimize Obama's potent popularity and make him out to be nothing more than a tawdry glitz queen, on a par with Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. Afterwards, he said it was all meant to be a joke. Forgive me if I fail to get the joke.
Pundits say this election will be a referendum on Barack Obama's fitness to lead. This is to intentionally omit the other crucial half of the equation. Someone needs to say it, so let it be me: there ought to be a referendum on John McCain, who so far has demonstrated a lethal combination of stupidity, desperation, and ruthlessness that clearly makes him unfit to fulfill his tragic ambitions to be our president. The difference between these two candidates is so dramatic as to be almost unbearable.
Thumbail portrait of McSmear:
McCain appears at a motorcycle rally in Sturgis SD/Mayhill Fowler
"President Johnny!" the bikers shout as John McCain takes the stage. VROOM-VROOM-VROOM! The choppers add their chorus. "I'll take the roar of 50,000 Harleys any day," McCain says in reference to Obama's crowd in Berlin. "FREEDOM!!!" the poachers at the press table roar, and the table shakes as if under attack. McCain mentions his rival again, saying Obama wants to save gas by inflating tires, and some of the bikers cry, "Fuck him! Fuck Obama!"
McCain outlines his campaign strategy at the National Republican Senatorial Committee gathering while running for the Senate :
I play to win. I do whatever it takes to win. If I have to fuck my opponent to win I'll do it. If I have to destroy my opponent I won't give it a second thought.
John McCain's team has decided, given the gale forces against his candidacy, that he must destroy his opponent. Nine out of 10 political strategists, when faced with his playing field, would probably take this route. Barack Obama is struggling with a more complex strategic question: How does he counter the mud and not tarnish his own brand? A casual attempt this week to flick McCain's charges off his shoulder dragged Obama into a silly and distracting discussion of race. The ghosts of losers past must haunt his team -- will Obama be Swift-boated if he doesn't strike back hard?