Thursday, August 21, 2008

Aw, picket lines, picket signs / Don't punish me with brutality

And so it begins.

McCain opened up a five-point lead, according to a Zogby/Reuters poll published yesterday, completely overturning the seven point lead Mr Obama had in July.

Mr McCain now leads Mr Obama among likely voters by 46 per cent to 41 per cent.

Is it all over bar the coronation? No, there will be a bounce back after Denver, but it’s getting much closer.

There has been so much gung-ho bravado and bullshit over the Georgia issue but, for my euro at least, both Max Hastings in the Guardian, and Bernard Chazelle at A Tiny Revolution made some sense.

But that is neither here nor there and what the populace, most especially the US populace, most wants to hear is the bravado and bullshit.

Which is why I think McCain won the 3am contest hands down last week. And why Obama lost the same competition so badly. That, partially is reflected in these worsening Obama poll numbers. McCain and the GOP strategists know that talking so-called tough (except it's not, it's the easy option), spouting gung-ho slogans and talking down to the US voter within a narrow band of language works. It's a GOP strategic cornerstone and a major point of difference between them and Obama who still assumes that middle America, outside a few big cities, thinks deeply about these things (and before I'm accused, talking down to the electorate is not just a winning US victory strategy).

And the most gormless thing said last week was We Are All Georgians. Especially when most Americans would be wondering who exactly had invaded Atlanta (I don’t think that link was serious but hat tip to Bob, and it could be..seriously). Read through that OpEd linked above, it’s stuffed full of such simplistic heart stirring twaddle as:

This small democracy, far away from our shores, is an inspiration to all those who cherish our deepest ideals

and, incredibly:

At the same time, we must make clear to Russia's leaders that the benefits they enjoy from being part of the civilized world require their respect for the values, stability and peace of that world.

Is it possible to be any more arrogant than that? But that sort of arrogance and dumbing down is what Rove and the other GOP navigators specialise in. They assume the American voter is stupid, they look down on them as a mass, and they know that simplistic semi-Rambo-ish slogans resound incredibly. It’s a huge part of what has kept Bush going for all these years, and why 1 in 3 Americans still thing he da man…

Obama, well, he failed this test. On several levels. Firstly he half heartedly bought into the Repressive-Bear gung-ho-ness rather than providing the sort of independent leadership we non US voters are clamouring for and he has repeatedly promised to provide. He did that because he’s scared of the support-the-troops, we-invented-democracy, taking-freedom-to the-world gormlessness that is such a much repeated US cornerstone.

Secondly, having bought into this nonsense he then didn’t buy into it at the resounding Fox news-ish simplistic sloganing level which is what is required and what the GOP, since Reagan, who was the king of half baked sloganing, have been the masters of. Thus he sounded weak on that level.

Thirdly he made the assumption that the US voter actually cares beyond the slogan. McCain, whose minders know that most Americans don’t really understand or really care what cause they are actually being rallied to, did the short sharp Rambo thing, made Obama look weak and then moved onto the next attack platform…

If only Obama had had the balls to say, what (as much as this pains me to link to the man, but he talks some sense) Pat Buchanan says here (once again, tip to Bob). But he doesn’t and that is another reason why McCain will win.

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Anthony Judd said...

It's a horrible thought that I can't bear to consider. But luckily I don't think that you can really separate the candidates at this stage (see here and here for summaries).

And even though I wouldn't be hugely surprised (just very disappointed) if the Republicans took another one, did you see the article in Rolling Stone this week about how Bush Destroyed the Republican Party?

The election simulator at 270 To Win (which simulates the results by electoral college) is still predicting Obama.

Simon said...

Hi Tony,

Today's Poll of Polls:

With the six polls released today and the dying off of our 30-day window in our poll of polls estimate, McCain has come to within 3 electoral votes of Obama. And if we weight all of the state polls into a weighted national average, we have a razor thin margin between Obama and McCain that is less than 1%.