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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I was always taught that victory, as a bare concept, was something to be aspired to. You've never heard metaphors for winning described in a top-down format. You've never seen a bumper sticker proclaiming, "This Car Climbed Down Mt. Washington".

So why is it that this country (and its news media) continuously rewards politicians who sink to the deepest depths?

John McCain seeks such rewards, and he's made plain with his actions (moreso than his promises) that he's willing to descend to the deepest depths to reach them. And the media (and judging by the polls, the voters) are rewarding him for it.

Look, I could go on and on about this. I've accepted the fact that McCain wants to fight this out in the mud, and that this may very well be where the election is decided, to everyone's detriment.

Here are several other opinions that speak on this much better than I could. But what makes me boil is that I think Senator Obama, despite a very forceful repudiation of Team McCain's faux outrage today, played into their hands. He responded to the jab and not the uppercut.

Here's his retort:

Now, this was effective, sho' nuff. (Maybe not as much as this might've been, but c'est la vie.) But why on earth he didn't go after McCain for this sick attack ad, I'll never understand. McCain completely misconstrues the bill in question so as to make Obama look like some kind of sicko (the darkening of his skin and use of his smiles in the direction of cute little White children is just an added dog-whistlin' bonus).

I didn't agree with David Kurtz earlier this morning, but I do now:
I can't understand the rationale for Obama to clarify his "lipstick on a pig" remark first thing this morning at the top of his speech. It was a good line. It riffed off of Palin's lipstick/pitbull line in her acceptance speech. It was pointed, sure. But so what?

Yes, Obama sort of laughed it off and dismissed the criticism with some elan. He wasn't overly defensive about it, but he was still playing defense. His whole orientation is wrong. Today, you come up with a good new line. You play off of the previous day's good line. You keep moving the ball forward.

The McCain camp is running an ad linking Obama to sex and children -- and Obama is taking valuable time at the beginning of his speech to explain how he wasn't really indirectly calling Sarah Palin a pig?

Forget about all the Chicken Little cries for the supposed need for Obama to "go on offense". That's hardly the point. Obama is caught in a bit of a predicament: he can't stoop to McCain's level, for that's the only way he's sure to lose. The point is not to hit back harder. It's that he needs to know who to hit, and where.

(Image: Talking Points Memo.)


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