Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Memo: Would Everyone Please Calm Down

We're in the middle of a big election, an election that may well help decide the future of America. Which is why we all need to calm down a whole lot.

That may sound paradoxical but it isn't. The crucial thing in any fight is to keep a clear head. By contrast an emotional seesaw does nothing but wastefully drain your energy while cultivating chaos. Which means that declaring that the battle is already lost, haranguing the McCain campaign and behaving hysterically is the worst possible thing to do.

The left went into this election with a plan and they are close to achieving their goals. The right went into this election haphazardly and has just barely managed to sort of unite around the nominated candidate.

Up until the convention too many conservatives seemed ready to peg McCain as doomed, then with the convention slash Palin bounce they seemed ready to proclaim that New York would be won, now it's back to doom and gloom. And that kind of attitude and behavior is self-destructive and stupid.

Some conservatives like Noonan and Buckley have rushed to jump aboard the Obama bandwagon. After all why not go with the "inevitable" winner. Others are railing at the McCain campaign for not hitting harder or offering advice that varies between the unrealistic and the outright stupid. The prize example of which has to be the following Bill Kristol, New York Times editorial.

Now giving a Republican campaign advice in the pages of the New York Times is a lot like giving America advice in the pages of Pravda. And such advice as it is definetly belongs nowhere but in the pages of the New York Times.

It’s time for John McCain to fire his campaign. What McCain needs to do is junk the whole thing and start over. Shut down the rapid responses, end the frantic e-mails, bench the spinning surrogates, stop putting up new TV and Internet ads every minute. In fact, pull all the ads — they’re doing no good anyway. Use that money for televised town halls and half-hour addresses in prime time.

Provide total media accessibility on their campaign planes and buses. Kick most of the aides off and send them out to swing states to work for the state coordinators on getting voters to the polls. Keep just a minimal staff to help organize the press conferences McCain and Palin should have at every stop and the TV interviews they should do at every location. Do town halls, do the Sunday TV shows, do talk radio — and invite Obama and Biden to join them in some of these venues, on the ground that more joint appearances might restore civility and substance to the contest.

Or McCain could just concede now, since the gist of Kristol's advice is to all but suspend the campaigjn and put his fate in the hands of the press. The same press that is busy doing its dishonest best to lynch him. All the while jettisoning the ads that have actually put McCain ahead at every turn.

Now while Kristol's advice is fundamentally stupid, the people championing a more aggressive McCain campaign are missing the point, which is a campaign that does nothing but hit Obama, also does little to promote any kind of positive image for McCain. We're the ones who can be counted on to conduct the aggressive campaign online and offline, just as McCain can count on Palin to keep hitting Obama, while he expresses a larger vision for America.

McCain's campaign is by no means perfect, but neither is it as weak or dysfunctional or out of touch as its critics would like to believe. McCain is running an old fashioned political campaign against the media centered cult of personality Obama campaign. It isn't a clueless campaign by any means and counting McCain out would be foolish indeed.

For one thing McCain won the primary back when it was supposed to be Romney. He's managed to change the race in very little time and fighting the media upstream every step of the way. McCain isn't doomed and despite the polls, the race remains close. I don't need to remind most people of which way the media was calling Gore vs Bush or Bush vs Kerry. These days a Republican going up against a Democrat is sure to encounter the reverse of the Dewey Beats Truman effect.

This will be a close race. It will be a hard fought race, every day and every step of the way. There will be lies, hate, fraud and every ugly and dirty trick and meme the enemy can put out there. We aren't done yet and we won't be done until election day, one way or another. And the best way to get there the right way is to keep calm, to avoid the hand wringing and to just do what we can along the way.

Right now there are Obama supporters on social media sites who routinely pretend to be conservatives while spreading defeatist statements. This behavior is not random. From the very beginning, the Obama campaign worked to create the image of the inevitable candidate who could not lose. Too many conservatives have been convinced and programmed by that image. Some like Buckley have jumped ship. Others have simply accepted a premature defeat.

But victory and defeat are not inevitable, as Obama's media surrogates would like us to believe. They are the product of decisions and efforts and our own efforts are part of that larger equation of defeat or victory. So the memo here is calm down, do what you can and avoid being rattled by the propaganda. Neither candidate has won or lost. The battle continues.


Keli Ata said...

Naturally the NY Times would want to sabotage McCain's tactics just as his campaign is gaining steam.

I watched clips of tonight's debate on the news. Right off the bat I could tell Obama is lying through his teeth when he says he wants to lower taxes for 95-percent of Americans. With such drastic tax cuts how will any social programs for the poor be funded?

The lawyer talking out of both sides of his mouth again.

I'm calm about the election. Although...I do have a rambling post coming up on my feelings about Obama and the poor. More metaphors lol.

Sultan Knish said...

sure he's lying about his tax policies 8 different ways

Lemon said...

What the NYT needs to do is to leave the country and go back where their ancestors individually came from. They are hardly American.

Anonymous said...

I agree that the battle continues. It's not over.

Keli Ata said...

Yep. It's not over till the fat lady sings. Who knows? Oprah could be singing fairly soon lol.

Funny. Nobody has a problem with queen Oprah calling Obbie "The One" but everybody jumps on McCain's back when he referred to Obama derisively as "that one."

Yobeeone said...

I can't believe anyone believes a politician when they say they're lowering taxes. Not happening.

This really is going to be a close race and being the paranoid little Jew that I am - the polls will be fixed. :]

Keli Ata said...

LOL Yo. I think there's gonna be another chad problem.

You know, I sort of glaze over with what, huh? when politicians start talking about taxes but when Obama started with that ridiculous thing about lowering taxes for 95-percent of all working Americans and yet having funding avaiable for healthy care form and all these social welfare programs one word flashed in my mind--Liar.

I wasn't too thrilled with his idea of the "middle class" either. Only a rich, Harvard lawyer would consider $250,000 a year middle class.

Sorry but a quarter of a million dollars isn't middle class. The cutoff line in my book of politics is $100,000. That's upper middle class and beyond that your rich, wealthy, well-to do, whatever.

As for campaign tactics, I do hope by the next term candidates stop appearing on late night TV and SNL. I understand the need to reach out to voters wherever they are but these shows have taken the high office of the president into the gutter and made it almost too common.

My one criticism of McCain last night was with the constant "Joe the plumber" remarks. Between McCain and Obama it started to sound like a mockery of the working class.

Not to mention throwing this guy's private life into chaos. He's not a licensed plumber and owes money on his taxes.

And now there are tons of parody videos of him on You Tube.

Anonymous said...

I am critical of the McCain campaign but I agree with the Sultan. Stop listening to the pundits, pay no attention to the phony polls (particularly Gallup, CBS, NYT, CNN), donate, volunteer (if you can), and vote. At least you can say that if God forbid the Socialist wins, you did all that you could as an individual to prevent it. I believe this election will be a nail biter. The fact that The One has not blown it open leaves me hope that there will be a massive turnout on our side of people sick at the thought of a neophyte becoming Commander-in-chief. A lot of folks may relish the thought of Chris Matthews and Keirth Olbermann throwing a temper tantrum and watching Coln Powell eat crow.

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