MAYBE NOW DADDY WON'T BEAT US WHEN HE GETS DRUNK!
Yes, there could be sudden massive reductions in political nastiness starting tomorrow, according to #5 of Mark Halperin's "5 Things to Watch on Election Day":
If Obama wins, expect a victory speech that is long on bipartisan outreach and soaring talk of national purpose and unity -- and look for a McCain concession address that has the exact same tone. Taken together, the twin talks will make it very difficult for other Republicans to lash out at Obama or question his legitimacy.
The naivete is charming, but give me a break. It may seem as if the McCain campaign crawled into the gutter just to win the election, but the other goal was winning the next battle in the GOP's Long War, by undermining a President Obama's ability to govern.
All the talk about ACORN and "voter fraud" is meant to ensure that, if there's an Obama victory, large portions of the country will never believe it was legitimate, however large it turns out to be. (And while we're on that subject, why are so many people certain that this will be over tonight? I think Team McCain will litigate in every state that goes to Obama by 1% or 2% if Obama wins and such challenges could theoretically keep him under 270 -- and that that will happen however preposterous the allegations of irregularities are. Even if the effort fails to overturn the results, it aids in the deligitimization process.)
Redifining a belief in progressive taxation as the "socialist" hidden agenda of a Manchurian candidate -- a guy who pals around with terrorists! -- is meant to make even Clintonesque tweaks to the tax code impossible. Suggesting that we don't "really know" Obama is the official campaign's method of legitimizing the fake-birth-certificate/oath-on-a-Koran wingnut rumor mill.
And so on.
I'm not saying all this will work against a President Obama -- maybe none of it will. But Halperin's naive hope is already belied by what's right before his eyes.
Yes, when this election is over the speeches will be full of soothing words and bipartisan outreach. (Well, maybe not Palin's.) But after that, for the GOP, it'll be back to business as usual.
UPDATE: On schedule, the GOP effort to delegitimize the election has begun, with right-wingers howling about "voter chaos" and "fraud" in Philadelphia. You know what that means: Even if Obama wins Pennsylvania by double digits, he did so because all the blacks cheated!!!!
Wingnuts are directing us to this video of a Fox report on Philadelphia. The video's headline is "Republicans Intimidated at PA Polls," but the Fox reporter, acting somewhat like a journalist, presents it as essentially a Dems-said/Republicans-said story -- and we're told that the Committee of 70, a nonpartisan watchdog group, says there's no real problem.
It's OK for a Fox reporter to protect his journalistic credibility by acknowledging that a story like this is less than it seems -- but don't be fooled, because the point is just to get the story out there, whereupon Republican apparatchiks (presumably up to and including the chief honchos of the McCain campaign) can play their usual game of Deliberate Telephone and distort the story until it's one of MASSIVE VOTER FRAUD!!!