Sunday, October 19, 2008

Quote of the Day

A warning from TPM's Josh Marshall on why overconfidence is very dangerous right now-
"Yes, it looks good for the Democrats. But you need to play close attention to the McCain campaign's final weeks' strategy under and just above the radar...

....Stripped down to its components McCain's message to voters is this: 'Don't forget. He's definitely black. And he may be a terrorist.' That's the message. The nuts and bolts is a concerted effort to keep Democrats from voting -- through intimidation, by striking new voters from the rolls, which is going to happen to lots of them, clogging polling stations to create delays that keep late day (predominantly) Obama voters from voting altogether. Smears in the air and voter suppression on the ground.

Many people say, well ... all this stuff just hasn't worked. But the truth is that the really corrupt and vicious part of McCain's effort only comes now because it's only in the last couple weeks that you can pull stuff that the press won't get to call you on before election day -- after which it doesn't matter. Will it take Obama down? So far McCain's gutter campaign has hurt him more than helped. But there's no reason to be sure it will continue that way. And many Obama supporters, sure the election is basically wrapped up, appear ready to slack in the stretch and let McCain smear and cheat his way into office."

And the scary part is that the swing demographics that the Obama camp needs to ensure victory are the ones most susceptible to these smears and innuendo (older voters, small town white voters, etc). I don't need to re-link to all the videos/stories about the racist anger the GOP is fomenting in these final weeks (see some links in my odds and ends post from Friday)... we've all seen them by now. And if you call them on it? They accuse you of playing the race card. You'd be amazed at what people with absolutely no shame can, and have, gotten away with.

As for the GOP's voter suppression efforts-- perfected over the last eight years-- you need only read this investigate Rolling Stone piece to see reason for concern. That's what all this GOP/Fox News-pushed ACORN insanity is about... a magician's sleight of hand trick to get you focused on the fake-out while the real act is being performed elsewhere. Mickey Mouse can't show up and vote on election day, but a lot of real people who do plan to vote will find doing so much more difficult thanks to Republican efforts.

And the 'socialism'/'class warfare' card, while not mentioned by Marshall, I would argue is another sleight of hand trick. The policies and actions of the Republicans have devastated our economy. The results have been on the front page of the papers for months. And they haven't, and won't, defended those policies. So they will spend the final weeks warning against strawmen (Barack will destroy us with middle class tax cuts and health care!). Do these attacks still work? We won't know until late in the evening on November 4th.

I don't know what any of us can do about all of this except, a) correct the misconceptions of our swing state friends/family, b) vote, and c) hope and pray that they fail this time.

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