Saturday, September 13, 2008
Posted by Daniel Greenfield 5 Comments
And so the double standard is in good and roaring form.
According to the media and Obama's supporters, it's okay to belittle the work of a State Governor, but not a Community Organizer. It's also okay to parse McCain's ads for "hidden racism" but it's not okay to criticize Obama for referencing a Navy veteran as an old fish and a female candidate as a pig.
The McCain campaign's attempt to call Obama on his "old fish" reference to McCain and "lipstick on a pig" reference to Palin that had Obama's listeners cheering ran into a hostile press eager to repeat back the Obama campaign's talking points.
But rather than emphasizing sexism, what the campaign should have emphasized is what those lines or Obama miming McCain's inhibited range of motion or the infamous middle finger scratch or the choice of theme song or the 3 AM announcement that Biden not Hillary would be his VP.
What it shows is a dangerous kind of pettiness, disturbing in a man who wants to be President because it suggests a man who feels the need to repay every slight, but to do it just enough under the radar to hold up clean hands. It's not only petty and immature, but it's the act of a coward who can't deal with a straight up fight.
It's a part of a pattern for the man whose campaign first covertly released an ad depicting Hillary Clinton as a Big Brotheresque Tyrant on YouTube, denied he had anything to do with it and when it turned out the video had been put up by an employee of his campaign, claimed that he had done it on his own initiative. None of this stopped the media from celebrating what amounted to a vicious attack ad by promoting it as some sort of new model in political advertising.
Backstabbers whose strategy is to show a positive image in public rely on maintaining a facade of civility that disarms their opponents and critics. "But he's such a nice guy", they expect everyone to say, even as they're doing their dirtiest work. They don't know what to do with a full frontal attack because it sidelines their entire strategy of a public high road and a private low road.
Backstabbers like Obama are by definition cowards, they don't know what to do with a Mano a Mano fight. While Obama's supporters are pushing him to go negative, he's too cowardly to actually hit back, relying on under the radar lines like "Old Fish" and "Lipstick on a Pig" to satisfy his supporters.
Obama's whole effort has been to develop a public "nice guy" persona and he's too afraid to jettison it because he won't have anything left. After all if Obama isn't the nice friendly guy who's eager to reach out to everyone, what is he? The short answer is nothing. The long answer is far more troubling because it would involve finding out who Obama really is under the phony smile, something he's worked to keep from happening, whether it involves sealing records or sealing lips.
Obama has always counted on having his hired guns and his media pets sink in the knife. Now he's realizing that he really will have to fight and his supporters are realizing that he's too weak to do it. They want him to go negative, but Obama is smart enough to know that if the race goes negative on both sides, he will lose no matter what the media will do on his behalf. He's tried to run on being a uniter, offering a new age hug for America and the world. McCain is instead trying to force him to play the warrior and on those terms he will lose.
Instead Obama has released a weak ad attacking McCain for not using the internet, more of a compliment to himself than anything else, whined about Swift Ad attacks and continues using the media as his crutch to do the attacking for him. And while the media is more than eager to do Obama's work for him, the American people are not stupid and know an unfair umpire when they see one.
McCain has offered Obama a man's fight, Obama instead called out a bunch of paid off referees and the polls on media bias show the public gets it and doesn't like it. After two weeks of relentless media attacks, McCain's poll numbers continue rising.
But the race is not over by far. Beyond the media assault, the ace in the hole for Obama will be dirty tricks and a possible desperation alliance with the Clintons, as Bill Clinton and Biden's comments signal a plea for reconciliation. It will be a tough fight and the toughest is yet to come.