Georgia As the New Celeb

While I think the "Celeb" moment has been incredibly useful in throwing up a cloud of dust in Obama's face and putting him on the defensive, I don't think it's anywhere close to what McCain's closing argument should be. Ultimately, it's attacking Obama for his popularity, and popular isn't a bad place to be.

Where McCain twists the knife is on Georgia.

Georgia is where McCain highlights the necessary flip side of Celeb -- Obama's naivite and inexperience. Part I of the narrative is that Obama is just a rock star who packs stadiums. Part II is that rock stars don't solve your problems. 

The Georgia/Russia crisis is the reason why Americans have elected Republican Presidents for 28 of the last 40 years, even if they lean a little to the left on domestic issues. In a time of crisis, you need a hard-headed, tough leader who will have his eyes wide open on foreign threats. McCain, a long-time Putin critic, is perfectly suited to that 3 AM role. In a thumbnail way, Obama is the least-well-suited Democratic candidate on this score since McGovern.

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Paris Hilton style blowback

Expect some Paris Hilton style blowback if Georgia is used as a defining moment:

Dangerous World Helps Republicans

In a cruel twist of irony, one of the main goals of the conservative movement was to win the Cold War, and that victory was one of the worst things to happen to the Republican Party.

I think had the US not gone into Iraq, or it had been an "easy" war like Desert Storm, the Republican Party would have had a huge amount of additional support as a result of the War on Terror.  American voters only want doves when the world feels safe, like the 1990's, or when hawks seem to make the world more dangerous, like Vietnam or Iraq.  (even though I disagree)

The Iraq war seems to be largely won, and Obama's main reason for his candidacy now seems irrelevant, even a liability.  He's still calling for a retreat, saying the war is unwinnable, even though the U.S. is on the cusp of victory.  Americans don't like losing wars.

The dangerous world will now have new challenges in addition to the War on Terror, like Russia and China.  An inexperienced, left-wing dove like Obama seems less and less likely to be the commander and chief of a superpower.

McCain needs to hammer home that the most important job of the President is to be the commander-in-chief of our military.  Obama in that role seems absurd, McCain, on the other hand, seems ideal.


" that victory was one of the worst things to happen to the Republican Party."

So they said ... until 1994 election rolled around.

Fact is, the Republicans do well  WHENEVER REAL ISSUES ARE AT STAKE.

If it is war, economy or values issues - Republicans win on issues campaign.

We lose on celeb-based campaigns or who is the best personality. Especially this year.

Iraq - Reason to vote NO-bama

The Iraq war seems to be largely won, and Obama's main reason for his candidacy now seems irrelevant, even a liability.  He's still calling for a retreat, saying the war is unwinnable, even though the U.S. is on the cusp of victory.  Americans don't like losing wars.

I agree. There really is absolutely no reason to vote for Obama.  And Iraq has turned from in 2006  being a reason to vote Democrat (wake up the Bush admin) to in 2008 being a reason NOT to vote Democrat (they were wrong on the surge and the only reason we are winning in Iraq was the Democrat Congress was too incompetenet to manage to lose it like they intended!)



Your blind spot

We'll see how this discourse unspools in coming days, but I think you guys may have this exactly backwards. Start with your frame: George W. Bush and Dick Cheney embarked on a foreign policy that was a vast departure from the entirety of America's Cold war–era policy, pursuing an adventurist course with partisan bludgeoning and public deception and dissimulation. That course subsequently became the Iraq disaster (and if you don't see it as such, keep watching). Now you submit that John McCain, who has taken to calling the Bush Administration "accommodationist" in the Georgia crisis, is going to ride this crusade to wild electoral popularity.

Here's the problem: People are sick of foreign adventures; sane people, who understand power politics, view the Georgia fiasco as an instructive lesson in why we can't just sign up every nation on Russia's borders into the NATO pact. And to many foreign policy hands--not a few of them notably conservative--this whole affair smacks of a Gilbert & Sullivan comic opera. 

I don't see how that works to McCain's advantage as days turn into weeks if he keeps carrying on with this libretto, "We are all Georgians now." But as I say, we'll see.

loco indeed

A fine gaggle of windy, eloquent, non sequitorial rubbish.

Note to loco: Dont discuss Foreign Affairs after your third hit at the bong.


Obama and co. still think history ended

"People are sick of foreign adventures"

Not Putin and the Iranian mullahs.  Polonium, anyone?

We need a tough experienced guy to deal with this situation, not some naive con law egghead/ neighborhood shakedown artist.

The troops must not have gotten the memo Ironman.

"Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, criticized by his Republican rival because of his support for a timetable to withdraw combat forces from Iraq, leads among all candidates in donations from U.S. servicemembers overseas, according to a new report based on government data."

Obamedia propaganda

Read the details and you find the numbers are miniscule and the FEC data is self-identified. Its not perfect. Vast majority of military people are not supporting Obama, they are supporting mccain.

"Voters who have served in the U.S. military favor John McCain over Barack Obama by a 56% to 37% margin.

This data, from a Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey, is based upon interviews with 3,000 Likely Voters, including 588 voters who have served in the military. Voters with no military service favor Obama 50% to 43%."

ballots are what counts

I  presume Obama expects to carry the districts containing Ft. Bragg and Camp Pendleton by that metric.  if you choose to buy this concept, fine, I want everyone to be happy, to a point.

with all Mccain's experience why all the personal attacks?

Joe Klein and I want to know.

There is a straight up argument to be had in this election: Mcain has a vastly different view from Obama about foreign policy, taxation, health care, government name it. He has lots of experience; it is always shocking to remember that this time four years ago, Barack Obama was still in the Illinois State Legislature. Apparently, though, McCain isn't confident that conservative policies and personal experience can win, given the ruinous state of the nation after eight years of Bush. So he has made a fateful decision: he has personally impugned Obama's patriotism and allows his surrogates to continue to do that.

(Time - swampland )


BS meter pegged

"ruinous state of the nation after eight years of Bush."

What a pile of cr*pola right there. America is a strong country today. Why do you and Obama have to run America down to win? Huh?

"he has personally impugned Obama's patriotism and allows his surrogates to continue to do that." No he hasnt. The only one who has raised the patriotism question is Obama himself, through his own words and actions.

Streetfighting rules

Ironman, some basic rules apply to what pundits love to call "the Great Game."

Numero Uno: Do not lead with your jaw. We don't yet and may never know what has gone on between the White House, President Saakashvili (who foreign policy genius McCain likes to call "Shashkavili"; who the hell does he think he is--Jim Lehrer?), presumptuous presidential candidate McCain, his foreign policy advisor and agent-of-a-foreign-power (namely, Georgia) Randy Schneuerman-Shashkavili-whatever....

But whatever happened, we're in the middle of a sadly busted play, looking weak and foolish. If that's your recipe for righteous world domination, I'll have to take a pass.

Rule before Numero Uno

Show up. Or is mentioning Obama's incurious record ,naivete  and disengagement deemed a "personal attack" by the likes of Joe Klein?

Joe Klein has a lot of cojones calling anyone out after making millions trashing the Clintons as "Anonymous".  

As for "busted plays", most highlight films in sports feature them. Who wants to see a back gain four yards running straight ahead.?  I suspect the play Team Obama will feature will be punting. I suspect they will do that so often they will get quite proficient at it.

Excellent Observations Patrick

One, regardless of what Pres. Bush says he saw in Putin's soul, does not see a man of peace & brotherhood when we look at Putin. Obama's naieve foreign policy & lack of experience are truly exposed when one looks at the Russian invasion of Georgia. I've not heard much in the news from Obama on this.

Some free unsolicited advice

Because I admire some of the spirit of what I see on this site (while standing basically utterly opposed to your worldview):

The historic gambit of your ilk is to run for office enwrapped in the flag whilst beating your chest about patriotism. That's fine (well, also obnoxious and predictable)--but you should refrain from truly buying your own hype. Where the Right seems to have come unhinged in the Bush-fils era is precisely here--too many seem genuinely to believe that they are better, truer, more patriotic Americans than people like me, or George McGovern, a decorated war hero, or John Kerry, ditto. Guess what? I'm a guy from small-town America. I marched in summer parades that ended up at the Elks hall. I studied politics long and hard. I went to the Soviet Union--I went to Tbilisi, Georgia, twice. I went through Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin. I saw the evil of Comintern Communism with my own eyes. I have been all over this country, and I yield to no one in my love for it. 

What is wrong with you people that you cannot understand that? It is a sad, broken place that you have ended up in. Our electoral opponents always used to unite after election day in an exercise of civic piety--the victor radiating benign (dare I say liberal-minded?) magnanimity, the vanquished pledging their loyal and patriotic opposition in a spirit of acceptance. In the presence of Dick Cheney and Karl Rove and their thuggish kind, however, this civic semireligion lies dead in the water, throttled by arrogant belligerence and an overweening belief in the superior patriotism and truer Americanism of one faction in this great and varied pluralistic nation of ours. 

It is, in a word, un-American, and it should go the way of the Permanent Republican Majority. Let's try to get back to a place of mutual civic respect. I mean you, Patrick Ruffini. I dare you! 

well, I don't think I'm better than you are

I'm sure in some respects I'm not. I didn;t get to Europe as a young man, having pressing things to do back here.

What I do believe I am is more realistic and sensible.  And you ought to be able to do better than to do some odd John Mellencamp riff off the "dissent is patriotic" meme.  Ya know, sometimes patriotism is patriotic.

There's an awful lot of projection from liberals as to how conservatives look down on their opponents. If I had a nickel for every time the term "shred the Constitution" got used I could buy out Steve Jobs.  "General Betray-us", anyone?   Seems lots of folks on the left ought to use their mirrors, as that would greatly enhance the whole "mutual civil respect" gig you suggest  is lacking.  Really, running Al Franken for the Senate was not the way to promote the idea , ya think?

It's not about looking down

No, Ironman: It's about thinking you're more patriotic or more American than me and those who share my political views. If you genuinely don't think that way, then you should be rightfully proud of having a mature civic sensibility worthy of our forefounders. I will confess to occasionally looking down on some of the illiterate, ad hominem types who respond to my comments here, for example--but I am simply not in the habit of having it enter my mind that they are somehow less American than me, or less deserving of a place at the political table, or that they and their views should be bullied, suppressed, and made synonymous with treason.

But the notion is absolutely epidemic on the Right, not that the judgment of people like me is wanting compared to yours, but that somehow I am not fully American and don't entirely love my country as much as you do. It's a pretty clear and basic difference from merely looking down your arrogantly belligerent nose at me--and the evidence is everywhere underfoot. Limbaugh, Rove, Cheney: These people have made such convictions very clear.

And if you don't think the U.S. Constitution and the political order that it established has been soiled by the current executive regime, then, yes, I am afraid that you are part of the problem, after all. As do many voices on the Right, from Bob Barr to Bruce Fein and from many other serious, legally astute, and profoundly erudite quarters. I am probably wasting my time here--but I am doing it out of a growing conviction that this political culture is toxified in ways that may actually harm and even threaten the Republic--this profoundly original, astonishingly novel, historically unique and wonderful country. It's ours to lose, as even the founders warned. 

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