Monday, August 04, 2008

Tactical Dangers


Fred Hiatt is troubled once again by the irrationality of the Left:

I was more struck by...Obama's statements that McCain and the Republican Party are so bankrupt in policies that they can win only by spreading fear.

This resonates with an article of faith among many Democratic believers that has been so long and deeply held it is hardly considered noteworthy....
Speaking of which, Dick Morris and Eileen McGann, whose most recent book is rather exhaustingly titled Fleeced: How Barack Obama, Media Mockery of Terrorist Threats, Liberals Who Want To Kill Talk Radio, The Do-Nothing Congress, Companies That Help Iran, And Washington Lobbyists For Foreign Governments Are Scamming Us...And What To Do About It, have an urgent message for John McCain:
McCain needs to make voters afraid of Obama....Oil drilling is an issue, but it does not provoke the fear that the McCain campaign needs to elicit to win.
Getting back to Hiatt, he suspects that accusing GOP politicians of "manipulat[ing] cultural symbols" in order to win elections will infuriate voters who don't think they've been manipulated:
Whatever the substantive merits of this analysis, it seems to pose some tactical dangers to Democratic candidates. One is the risk of offending voters who may not see themselves as easily tricked or too dim to understand where their interests lie....
This, you'll agree, is a vigorous attack against elitism. 'Cause everyone who matters knows that the Plain People of America have neither the ability nor the desire to measure Republican rhetoric against reality (or delusion, for that matter). You might as well ask them to keep their tires inflated!

I don't doubt that there are voters out there who fit Hiatt's description; whether Obama ever had any hope of winning over "middle-class voters who believe passionately that life begins at conception" is another matter.

More to the point, it's impossible to imagine a Democratic position that doesn't "pose some tactical dangers," by Hiatt's standards. Hell, positions are usually the least of a Democratic candidate's worries. Tactical errors Obama has recently committed include ordering orange juice in a diner, bowling improperly, having live music at campaign appearances, using German-language posters in Germany, and reminding Maureen Dowd of a Jane Austen character. If Obama took a stand in favor of vanilla fudge ice cream, he'd immediately be accused of advocating black separatism. It doesn't much matter what Obama says, in these circles, because it's Obama who's saying it.

That being the case, I really don't see that he has much to lose by pointing out that GOP rhetoric serves pretty much the same purpose as a pickpocket's apology for bumping into you on the subway.

1 comment:

MikeJ said...

if Obama took a stand in favor of vanilla fudge ice cream, he'd immediately be accused of advocating black separatism.

Seeeeeeet meeeeee freeeeee whyyyy dooooon't yoooooou baaaabe........