Thursday, August 14, 2008


Where do I write a check to help get this ad in heavy TV rotation in swing states?

It's not from the Obama campaign, obviously, and it's not particularly slick, but I like it.

I think I like it because it takes something that's implicit in all the "third Bush term"/"John McSame" talk and says it flat out: Bush is

the worst president in American history and an international embarrassment.

We all know this. So why doesn't any widely distibuted ad, from inside or outside the campaign, say it out loud? And then draw a link between that statement and McCain's ever-increasing fealty to the president, as this ad does?

I'm thinking about this because of something Steve Kornacki of The New York Observer just wrote, in response to the latest Pew poll:

...McCain now enjoys a healthy 8[7]-7 percent lead over Obama among Republicans....

There was ... talk earlier in the campaign that Obama, with his warm personality and talk of bridging partisan divides, would be able to make significant inroads with Republican voters.... For all of his seeming potential, though, the Pew data suggests that Obama isn't faring much better with Republicans than John Kerry or Al Gore did.

... intense personal animosity toward Obama and the voters he is seen as representing has blossomed on the right.... conservatives have now trained themselves to see Obama as an arrogant and elitist radical -- and his supporters as members of a mindless, celebrity-worshiping cult. That they still aren't very fond of McCain really doesn't matter; it's more than enough (for them) that he isn’t Obama.

... the fact that they're still lining up with him despite this lack of enthusiasm indicates just how powerful their almost-primal fear of Obama has become....

"Almost primal fear" is right. But that's how it works in every presidential election cycle: The Democrat isn't just (in the eyes of Republicans and Republican-leaners) an inferior choice, he's one of the worst people on the planet. He's so dangerous and evil it's scary. This has been the GOP message for twenty years -- even banal moderates such as Kerry and Dukakis were turned into world-historical monsters.

Meanwhile, this year the GOP has a world-historical monster as its lame-duck standard-bearer -- and his successor literally and figuratively embraces the monster and nearly all of his policies. GOP propaganda about Obama gets ever more hysterical, yet we're afraid to call Bush the monster he is. Why?


(Ad via Ta-Nehisi Coates.)

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