Tuesday, August 26, 2008

McCain 3 AM Phone Call Greets Democrats on Defense

John McCain's got a brilliant new ad buy out attacking Barack Obama in 3:00am-style, with Hillary Clinton playing a starring role:

It's hard to imagine a more effective advertisement. The beauty is that by showcasing Hillary Clinton's criticism of Barack Obama, McCain inoculates the GOP from recriminations over going negative. What better way to hit the Democrats where it hurts than by using the potent Clinton wedge to both hammer Obama and potentially exacerbate tensions within Democratic ranks?

The McCain 3am call greets a Democratic Party on defense. Opening night in Denver showcased a bunch of left-wing partisans hesitant to go on attack against the GOP.

Josh Marshall wants Democrats to turn up the heat, to "attack, attack, attack," but his readers warn that Michelle Obama had to pitch her message softly. The unsaid reason? Mrs. Obama had to pump up Barack Hussein's family values. Otherwise, she'd only come off sounding shrill, with the effect of simply reminding voters of her rage against the machine, that with Barack Obama's nomination, this is the first time she's been proud of her country.

Marshall illustrates why the Democrats are on defense:

The real weapon the Republicans have on the table right now is simply burying Obama in so much sleaze, xenophobia and slurs that he becomes unelectable. In that sense, humanizing Obama, discrediting the attacks through an affirmative message, is the key to sealing the deal for Obama. I see that argument. To a significant degree I agree with it. And if this just wasn't the night for attack, attack, attack, that'd be fine. I just need to know it's coming and that - even if mainly in the hands of surrogates - it won't stop until election day. Listen to Begala. It's not about responding quickly to the attacks. It's about making McCain respond to Democrats' attacks.

If the Democratic nominee, his wife, and top party spokesmen have to rely on "surrogates" to attack "Bush/McCain" it defeats the whole purpose of a national nominating convention.

Paul Begala's right: The Democratic Convention got off poorly last night. The party's got emotion and uplift, but it also showed that as soon as it goes negative, it risks a "mirror, mirror on the wall" effect, that is, by going "bitter," Democratic attacks will work to emphasize the Obamas' essential opposition to American decency, an opposition that is the deep, sub rosa message of anti-Americanism from which Barack Obama and his wife so desperately need to hide.



Taylor Marsh laments the Democrats on defense:
Watching the convention from the media room, but also at times from inside the convention hall, you get a different take from what's being seen by the television audience. Still, when I get a gut feeling, well, it's usually worth listening to. I got that feeling last night when as the minutes, then hours ticked by, I still didn't know where it was all going. What the hell was it all about? At the end of it all I still didn't know. The whole night just floated from one moment to the next. I also didn't hear the most important thing of all.

Attacking George W. Bush? No.

Attacking John McCain who's agreed with George W. Bush 95% of the time? Nada.

Attacking the horrendous policies of the last years that has taken this country into the worst situation at home and around the world we've been in looking back decades? Zilch.

If this convention doesn't build to a unmitigated dissection of George W. Bush and John McCain, especially on foreign policy, but also the economy, one thing will happen. We will lose in November.

This is Marsh's buyer's remorse, you might say ... she's just not coming out with it.