Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Death Spiral

After McCain's appearance on David Letterman last Thursday, it seemed inevitable that his campaign would let up with the nonsense, and while still raising some sort of ruckus, build up the goodwill and consistency to make it a close race by the turn of November.

The inevitable didn't happen. Since Thursday, the McCain campaign and their contemporaries in the Conservative movement revealed that they were willing to wallow in the gutter in its attempt to win at any cost.

Starting with the increasingly appalling robo-calls on Thursday, detouring through Palin's and Rep. Michelle Bachman's commie-baiting assertion that there were "anti-American" forces in the US - spearheaded by Obama, McCain's ranting that Obama is a closet socialist, ending with the stunned Conservative reaction to Ret. Gen. Colin Powell's endorsement of Barack Obama, the Right continued to exhibit its necrotic approach to politics.

If there were two videos from the weekend that should be seen by all, it'd be Powell's endorsement, and Pat Buchanan's reaction to that endorsement (sorry, Palin on SNL, though entertaining and sharp, was nowhere near the chart).

Powell's endorsement is compelling in its considered honesty. Here's a maverick for you. If and when the Conservatives ever stop complaining about it, they may do well by themselves to sit and wonder why someone they once held in high esteem would turn on their movement. The man let himself be used by the extreme factions of their cause, and it cost him his dignity and stature as a military leader. It may be that he was trying to buy back some of that by being truthful and speaking his mind.

As Keith Olbermann points out in the clip embedded below (last night's special comment on the Divisive Tactics of the Right), it was Buchanan, ABC's George Will and Rush Limbaugh who most prominently suggested that Powell's endorsement had less to do with political reasoning and more to do the color of his skin.

What does the same party that jumped at the chance to accuse Obama of playing the race card when he mentions that they were going to prey on fears the he didn't look like someone on a dollar bill do when faced with an honest and heartfelt critique of its status? They play the race card, and kill the messenger by calling him shallow, disloyal and opportunistic. (It is karmically fitting to have Pat "Culture War Instigator" Buchanan be the recipient of Joan Walsh's Catholic sympathy and Chris Matthews' softened parrying.)

The hit parade doesn't end there. After spending weeks making insinuations about Obama, ACORN and voter registration fraud, today it was revealed that the McCain campaign knowingly hired a man proven guilty of same in the past to the tune of $175k. This could only be topped off with a threat from a McCain party spokesperson going on record as reconsidering their Rev. Wright approach.

It is hard to resist making assessments that we're witnessing the last desperate, ugly gasps of a political movement; though you have to admit that there's a certain Pompeii flavor to these proceedings. The Grand Old Party has proven nothing if not resilient, however, and there's still fourteen days until the election.

Watch: Olbermann's Special Comment On Republican's Divisive Tactics


Abby said...

You know, I've always wanted Obama to win, but somehow victory isn't going to be as sweet because I feel like the McCain campaign has completely and utterly lost their integrity. It's less fun to win when the other guy blows it this badly. I used to like McCain - not enough to vote for him, but I liked him. This McCain is making losing look REALLY ugly.

Joe said...

Watched the Powell endorsement on Sunday, then watched it again last night with my in-laws. What an excellent speech. He was so dead on with so many of his points. Viva la Powell!

Anonymous said...

Abby, then think about the disciplined, hard campaign Obama lead in fighting off Hillary. Tough, tough fight.

Anonymous said...

i am thoroughly disheartened by the behaviour human beings actively choose to display.

from the lie-filled rallies, to fox news, from robocalls to wasted trees in the form of propaganda fliers being sent to registered democrats...and it's on both sides to a degree. yes Obama is running a more admirable campaign but he seems to also have ignorant supporters who make ridiculous claims and steal yard signs and call names...

hell things are no better in Canada...this election season conservatives in Toronto were cutting the break lines of liberals' cars and vandalizing homes.

but ya really, the behaviour coming from the McCain campaign and other elected officials is unfathomable to me.

JJisafool said...

Powell's best moment was "not that there's anything wrong with that."

Very eloquently took his party to task for their continues pernicious attempts to make "Muslim" a slur.

Erin O'Brien said...

effing hell. too much to say!

What blew me away about Powell was how organic his delivery was. He was absolutely confident in his every word. It was not contrived, paid for, or out of obligation. He was speaking out of pure honesty and it really came through.

I have disagreed with Powell, but he was always the one Repub that didn't seem dirty to me. I will forever wonder about what sent him to the U.N. floor with the war plea in (?) 2002.

Now while I agree that McCain's campaign is filthy, what I find even more repugnant is the hate and bigotry bubbling up all around the internet on personal shitbag sites authored by candy-ass anonymous cowards.

I love showing up--all five towering feet of me--wearing my name on my chest and pointing at them. At least I can do that.

Enough of my gassing on! I am off to view the Buchanan vid linked in this post ....