The Upcoming GOP Narrative on Obama
The last post I wrote on this site took us through the backdoor sliders that Rove and Atwater plunked on Democrats in the Republicans’ last successful bids. At first, I was going to examine how some of the previous backdoor sliders were being used today(The Dean Scream morphing into The Hillary Cackle, for example), but recent events have pushed that one to the far burner.
While it looks like the Rezko situation, which I first believed was going to be the Backdoor Slider that makes Obama freeze at the plate for Strike Three, and would give McCain the White House at that point, I’ve come to realize that Rezko will be the frontal assault – or the High-Inside Fastball that Rove and company will throw at him. McCain, thanks to the href="http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/21/us/pol...">story in the NYTimes (and there was a specific reason why the Times had to be the ‘first’ to break the story – more on that in another post) about the “scandal” which seems to have disappeared off of the radar, gets his inoculation shot concerning the kid gloves treatment he’ll receive after the Democratic National Convention.
The Backdoor Slider will be Obama’s lack of any experience in a fight.
The best thing that happened for McCain last week was when he threw out the bait for Obama about Iraq and al-Queda. href="http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics...">John McCain Fired the First Salvo, which Barack Obama, unfortunately answered in the worst possible way. From a progressive standpoint, Barack’s comments would seem like the appropriate response, but from a political standpoint, McCain threw a left jab and Obama responded by throwing an overhand right that missed everything. Here’s why:
First, even though the response attempted to throw the issue back by blaming McCain and tying the issue back to George Bush, John McCain still has full control of the issue, its context, and the narrative. Obama also made the mistake of saying this:
…while he is committed to withdrawing U.S. troops, he would "reserve the right" to act "if al-Qaeda is forming a base in Iraq."
Which now gives McCain the flip-flip-flop on Obama for the next 4 commercials. Unfortunately, McCain has made clear a view – one that even Obama tacitly accepted with his response – in that al-Qaeda is in Iraq right now. Which means that it must be a situation that must be dealt with. And Obama chooses to deal with it…by pulling the troops out – and thus giving Iraq (and all of its resources) to “the enemy,” as well as a strategic base by which Iran will ally itself with, and threaten the rest of the Middle East. This, by extension, threatens the American economy even more than the currently precarious position it is in now.
Second, since it also clear that he never held a single hearing on the very committee that would (and could) have that kind of information (to have an effective counter-punch, so to speak), this gives McCain a second line of attack – Obama is all talk and no action. And since he gave another politically suicidal answer regarding why he never held any hearings (and, in fact, skipped a few from the Senate FRC) regarding the very issue he is running on, Obama’s anti-war credibility is now seriously in question in the eyes of those who are not part of Obama’s core supporters.
With the fear card now in play, Obama’s “ href="http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/...">pressing the wrong button” story, which got a little bit of play the first time around, is going to pushed as a sub-narrative in two ways: First, that Obama is a flip-flopper who can’t make up his mind and wants to have things two ways; and Second, the “Wrong Button” mess becomes a “Do You Want This Guy With His Hands on the Nuclear Button?” commercial.
Obama as a flip-flopper, a serial liar, and a man you do not want to trust with the nuclear button. And, make no mistake about the next words I say: This will mark the first time that the Republicans will have the advantage of running a War Veteran (and Torture Survivor) as a Hero of the American People. Obama’s personal history, which has not been examined in detail by the press, will probably include some “anti-Muslim” rhetoric in connection to the War on (Some) Terror; Obama’s relatively pampered upbringing compared to McCain’s valor in the face of the enemy; and Barack Obama’s flip-flops on the war and moral cowardice (I can guarantee that this meme will be pushed – hard) as opposed to McCain’s steadfastness and experience. Rove and Mehlman will push on these angles the day after Obama is announced the nominee.
As I state in my previous post, it doesn’t matter whether any of these items are the absolute truth; Republicans nor the SCLM will not quibble over the small details if they get in the way of the narrative that is being pushed (like the Clintons “playing the race card” in SC when they did not). And, also understand that any responses to these charges using a “Progressive” or “Liberal” answer – or with snark that only answers the original charge and fails to change the discourse to one that is not controlled by Republicans – means the answer fails the first challenge, and is rejected by the media.
The GOP is not concerned with a blowout. They only need to keep the electoral college vote close enough that a state or two that they control is now in play for an Ohio/Florida fiasco. Since we have a GOP-controlled SCOTUS, any and all problems will end up there, and we get a repeat of Bush vs. Gore.
McCain becomes POTUS, and lots of omelets on Democratic plates to go around.
I hope I am absolutely wrong on all counts regarding this.