Hold Your Breath Until November

I can almost see the gears turning in the Obama Campaign machine.

Nobody move. This son-of-a-bitch could implode all on its own.

Sometimes I wonder if John McCain wants to throw the election. One person can’t be this reckless, erratic and risky. This has to be performance art. There has to be a trick here, a method to this madness, yet we only see madness after madness.

Even conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer had to fill Barack Obama with backhanded praise for being the one of even temperament and intellect compared to McCain’s high wire, hail Mary circus act. For McCain there’s no problem a tacky gimmick can’t fix. There is no gawdy, grandiose display of “Country First” that’s too shallow, disingenuous or shady. The wheels came off a long time ago, but he’s still sliding around, getting by on what is left of his formerly good name. Relying on culture wars and the “us versus them” that he’s never engaged in with any authenticity to get him through.

Because John McCain isn’t a true believer. That’s the main philosophical difference between him and George W. Bush. He’s a war hawk and a free market lover and a hater of graft (ever since his career was almost destroyed by his involvement in the Savings and Loan debacle in the 1980s). But he’s not a culture warrior. He’s not Pat Buchanan or Phyllis Schlafly. He’s not some Bible-thumping, Jesus-quoting, gay-bashing, master of divide and conquer rhetoric.

Everyone is expecting McCain to become increasingly desperate and dirty if the trend of Obama pulling away continues. People are predicting a dusty return to Rev. Jeremiah Wright (which would be pathetic) and more attempts to tie Obama to William Ayers (which would be the apex of pathetic).

The operatives and pundits recite all on cue that McCain is near the nadir of his campaign, a depth which he may descend to and never dig out of. Chris Matthews remains one of the few TV yakkers who can’t let go of the fact that McCain’s no. 2, Gov. Sarah Palin gave a “spelling bee-esque” performance that could have been done by any well coached grad student. That there was no thought in her answers, just the reciting of talking points and when those failed her, the rambling of words, a stream of consciousness that muddled the McCain’s position on gay rights and the role of the vice presidency.

Did she really mean that the vice president needed more constitutional powers? Was she just bullshitting to get through the two minutes? Could it really be a success, Matthews bellowed if she kept having to look at her notes and had to rely on winks and declaring that she wouldn’t answer the questions as asked no matter what, how could that be deemed a success? All politicians evade answers, he said, but few announced from jump that they would be doing so.

How could the pundits see a tie when all the polls said American saw an overwhelming victory by Sen. Joe Biden, even though their feelings towards her general intelligence and capabilities went from zilch to, “Oh, I guess she was just a little nervous when she bungled those elementary questions CBS News Anchor Katie Couric asked. She seems chipper now. She’s talking loud and saying nothing, but she’s standing on her hind legs and being assertive. Attaboy!”

More than once, Matthews, and many others have simply wondered allowed what on earth is going on in the McCain campaign? Why did every night appear to be amateur night for a veteran politician? All the Obama campaign has to do is lie in the wings and wait. McCain was doing the heavy lifting, dismantling his own campaign exploding brick by exploding brick for Barack.

I’m sure Barack appreciates it too. He needs a “Bradley Effect” buffer. He’ll take every fumble and foible. Those ahead don’t fall over the one behind. He can see the tip of McCain’s sword and is anticipating a fall. No one fully trusts it, but that is the impression given.

Him pulling out of Michigan. Rumors he may pull out of Pennsylvania. The fact that his number one surrogate, his running-mate, can’t do TV interviews. Hardliners pushing for McCain to play Rev. Wright’s greatest hits one last time, but rumors that McCain likely won’t, depending on the RNC and 527 groups to do the muckwork. The George Will Revolt, which continues despite Palin’s make-up exam, with conservative critics suddenly turning on their nominee as if they’ve already declared him dead in the street. They talk as if he’s already gone.

But sometimes they come back.

So we’re left watching, waiting, staring not wanting to make one false move before November. We want to hasten the fall, but we don’t want to delude ourselves into thinking the hard work is don. So we wonder what’s next? No one could be this bad on purpose, we ponder. This has to be a trick.

I don’t necessarily think this is a trick. These are the acts of distraction by a desperate man trying to break through the albatrosses of President Bush and the tarnished Republican brand. He’s trying to survive a collapsing economy and discontent over two wars. He’s trying to argue why a Republican can fix the mess a Republican president created. That they are not two of a kind. That he is not “McSame.” This is how you act when you’re coming from behind. Throw everything, do everything — something has to work. There’s no method to this madness. It’s just madness. But just because they are desperate acts of insanity doesn’t mean they won’t work.

24 thoughts on “Hold Your Breath Until November

  1. I agree…his campaign is imploding. It’s outrageous that they pulled out of Michigan without telling their VP. And she is a moron for telling people she didn’t know! I have never seen anything like it. We still have 4 long weeks. Anything could happen. However the Electoral College numbers are not good at all for McCain.

  2. Snob your right to worry about McCain…The man is known to come back from the dead time and time again. I remember when everyone thought he was finished in the primary and look he made it. Why won’t people just admit there is something wrong with McCain? The guy is a White hero and he is barely slowing down a this Black guy with a Muslim name. Sarah Palin can hurt Obama but only by so much. The economy is the one Killing McCain/Palin chances day by day. McCain needs to convince people he will be different from Bush. However, he’d rather go negative on Obama then do the right thing. Hell, if I was McCain I’d run negative ads against Bush not Obama.

  3. Brilliant post, articulating what we’re all thinking and fearing.McCain pulling out of Michigan is likely a tactic to let his nasty, push-polling 527s take the wheel in the hopes that Rovian tactics will work. They have twice before.I’m absolutely up at night over this campaign. It’s like the end of the horror movie, when you think the rotting husk of the monster is dead, and then he grabs you by the ankle! I can’t count McNasty out yet. I’d love to gloat about our polling numbers, but I’ll save that for January if by some absolute MIRACLE we win.

  4. It’s about to become Birth of a Nation up in here. Hold on, folks. Hold on. Snob, I don’t tell you enough, but you rock. You’re holding it down. Your writing is so on point, and I’m so glad I found your blog.

  5. Great insight snob. I’m with Christ Rock on this whole election thing though. Even though it looks like Obama could win because McCain and his campaign are increasingly erratic, I do not put it pass the Republican Party and the powers that be to pull a Bush. They’ll be talking about, “Oh, you got the most votes…sorry. We changed the rules.” On another note, I didn’t realize how much McCain is like Bush (as far as his background is concerned) until I read Rolling Stone’s coverstory on McCain. <A HREF="http://www.rollingstone.com/news/coverstory/make_believe_maverick_the_real_john_mccain“ REL=”nofollow”> I was shocked when I read that article. Then I just felt like I had been lied to. McCain just has this persona, but it’s false. Anyways, thanks again for the good insight and laughs snob. You’re the best.

  6. I do political science, so the cool, distanced, analytical part of me says “yeah, let’s just run out the clock on this puppy. It’s a wrap. All the numbers are in his favor, and getting better by the day.”But I am too emotionally invested in this election to just rely on the “numbers.” There’s so much ridiculousness that you *know* will occur (I agree with Rikyrah who said it was about to become Birth of a Nation in here), that the hairs on my neck will not rest until his inauguration. I’m just glad Obama has pre-emptively released the lawyers to make sure that we can avoid as many “irregularities” as possible.

  7. McCain made his mistake by doing that “suspension” of his campaign. He needs to let that one die, but the fact that he’s still saying “That’s why I suspended my campaign I think is a harbinger of his stupidity.Then, the fact that Palin’s dumbass went on Fox and gave that sham of an interview on Friday after the debates with whatshisface and I realised, yet again, what a fool she was. I mean, she fired an email off asking why did they pull out of Michigan–my opinion of her stupidity was solidified when David Gergen couldn’t explain her stupidity and just amounted to saying she was a “maverick.”I mean, Palin was supposed to be McCain’s ace in the hole and not unless he does something only worthy of Jessie Helms or current U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, or Obama stumbles, McCain can almost pack it up. I’m sorry, pulling out of Michigan is NOT a good sign. I mean, even Obama kept his offices down here in Georgia and McCain hasn’t stepped foot down here and prolly doesn’t plan to.

  8. It ain’t over till it’s over, as Yogi said. I’ll never count McCain out because he’s a tireless old bird who’s not going gently into the good night. He’s knows his time is limited and maybe that’s why he won’t release his medical report. Desperate people do bad things, so I’m also preparing for the GOP onslaught of cultural ads. Although people say McCain isn’t a divider, he’s more than willing to have others do the dirty work. At the debate, Palin kept ragging on the East Coast media and the Dems for not relating to the people of Scranton. I’m fulling expecting to see Reverend Wright’s visage flashing on the TV screen, just as it was with Willie Horton in 1988. The Dems better make a call to battle stations and start shooting down the Kamikaze planes because it’s going to get hairy around here. Well-done as always, your snobness.

  9. Snob…you’re so on point with this. All the numbers seem to favor Barack in a big way, but it really is like the 8th inning, up by 3 runs, ace pitcher still on the mound and going strong against the last place team in the division, but you never know what could happen. I’m all tense on account of this sh*t. I can’t wait until 11/5 so I can relax finally (and celebrate!) My mom and I have already started making plans to be at the inauguration to witness history.

  10. Snob, yet again you hit the nail on the head. I agree with the uneasiness a lot of my fellow readers are feeling. Sometimes I feel like doing the happy dance because it seems like this long-dreamt miracle is finally going to happen. And then I just get scared. There are many who would rather live through another 4 years of a nightmare, and they will vote in droves on Nov 4 to shatter that dream once again.

  11. snob, mccain is definitely going to step up the attack on obama’s character: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/03/AR2008100303738.html?hpid=topnewsi’m definitely nervous and even though i’m an obama supporter, i can’t bring myself to say “when he’s president” which is what i hear from a lot of obama supporters lately. we’ve got 30 days and a lot can happen in that time. i went canvassing in virginia today and one of my co-canvassers (probably not a word) ran into a few BLACK MCCAIN SUPPORTERS so we definitely can’t take anything for granted.

  12. I’m still just gobsmacked over the McCain supporters I know who simply REFUSE to acknowledge this man has serious faults and a belief that the presidency is his due. I’m amazed that they are all ga-ga over Palin – men and women. Although I know one or two who admit she is way out of her league and not suitable VP material, they are still voting the ticket because they’re conservatives. Some of them have even lost almost all of their nest eggs from the financial crisis and still they vote the ticket. They quote all the lies about Obama, argue he has no experience and will not accede that McCain’s health is of concern. We are witnessing the beginning of the death of the white male patriarchy and they are fighting tooth and nail not to go gently into the light.

  13. greer…your avatar is sooo disturbing. I can hardly be with what you have to say on account of the image with which you have chosen to represent yourself.

  14. I agree with rikyrah and rayna – the GOP will bring back to ghost of Lee Atwater and go full force Birth of A Nation on Obama. I predict photoshopped photos of Obama in a full lust frenzy attempting to rape white women. Documents surfacing on how Obama and his black ilk are fully responsible for the whole mortgage collapse debaucle.McCain has got to be in full-sweat desperation. He was (rightly) cheated out of the 2000 GOP nomination but now he has to suffer the indignity of losing to a black guy. And a newbie at that.Even after Nov. 5 I will continue to stress this election out. It’s not over until it’s over but the GOP will figure out a way to keep it from being over even then.BourgietopiaBecause “elitist” is the new “uppity”

  15. I got my absentee ballot in the mail Friday; I filled it out, and mailed it in today.I know what you guys are saying, and even though I have hope, I really think the rethuglicans (thanks FN)will pull something out of their ass on Obama.Deedlelee

  16. Seriously folks, I’m getting hit by a virus whenever I log into this site. I’m pretty sure it’s a McCain supporter doing the dirty deed. I’m not shutting up, though (even if a lot of people want me to). The voice of the people will not be silenced!

  17. Absolutely love this blog. BTW, just finished watching the 11 pm news here and apparently as the Snob predicted, Palin dusted off Willie Ayres in a rally today. It is character assassination time – phase 1. I agree with everyone and we still have 31 days — who knows what will happen?

  18. Oh, Pardon my previous post, but it seems as Nicole G. was ahead of me about the Ayres story. We are about to see real desparation from a lot of Republicans. Greer, I understand exactly what you are saying about diehard Republicans who are in bad shape, but will die before voting for Obama. My cousin put it eloquently when he said, “some people would rather jump off a cliff, than have Obama save them.”

  19. Maybe Old Man Mac is having a patriotic fit: America will never rid ourselves of the neocon shitstain until they get beat in a fair election. Maybe he’s just doing his part. That may or may not be good given his record. Watch him metaphorically crash another plane into everything and remove the rules after he ejects. Snob, you are practicing some of the best journalism out there right now. Just thought you should know. -Doug in Oakland

  20. the wheels on the mccain bus have indeed fallen off…however, mccain has carl rove and his band of miscreants that masterminded the the fiascos in 2000 and 2004…so, while i know in my heart obama will win this election, i expect very bad things and nasty stunts from the mccain camp…

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