April 11, 2008

McCain's strategy

John Dickerson in Slate sums up what the GOP strategy will be against Obama:

"The GOP's attack will boil down to the accusation that Obama is a big phony."

I presume I was the first person to point out in detail that Obama's campaign themes, which are based on common assumptions about the political implications of his life story, are contradicted by his actual life story. And two months ago I explained how McCain could use this.

So, does that make it my fault if McCain gets elected and blows up the world?

Perhaps.

But, it's not as if nobody in the GOP would have noticed if I hadn't been hollering about it for so long. I just hastened the process.

It's actually to Obama's advantage that the GOP has figured out their strategy so early. It gives him seven months to figure out a counter-strategy, such as, to pick an unlikely example, to stop being a big phony.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

As a Democrat, I find McCain to be infectious. Every time he does those jocular candid interviews, I like him a little more.

The other day they announced that McCain's 19 year old son is a lance corporal in Iraq. I was impressed!

Obama on the other hand reminds me of Al Gore. I initially had a very high opinion of him but every time I see him, I'm less impressed.

By November, McCain will have won the crucial "who would you rather have a beer with" test.

KingM said...

I admit that I'm curious why you keep hammering Obama. Is it because the MSM is giving him a pass on all these questions?

Because at the end of the day it still seems like Obama would be an improvement over McCain, who would be more of the invade the world, invite the world, borrow from the world strategy of the Bush administration, only perhaps a bit more competent.

Obviously, Obama has deficiencies, but even if he's harboring a huge, leftist idea of redistributing wealth from rich white people to poor black people, there's no way that entrenched interests will allow this to happen. I suspect all of the opportunist tendencies that you note will make Obama a centrist if he actually wins.

This probably means a modest turn toward the social state, but it might also mean a disengagement (at least militarily) from the ME, which I would think you would favor.

dearieme said...

Big pony versus Small ferret: bring it on.

mhagneto said...

Can you imagine Obama's appointments to the federal judiciary?

keypusher said...

By November, McCain will have won the crucial "who would you rather have a beer with" test.

I would have thought that test had been discredited forever by our current president.

Also, I wouldn't want to have a beer with George Washington, and I am sure he wouldn't want to have a beer with me. Yet he was a decent president, they say.

Lucius Vorenus said...

keypusher: Also, I wouldn't want to have a beer with George Washington, and I am sure he wouldn't want to have a beer with me. Yet he was a decent president, they say.

I think that GW was a whiskey guy*.

And, yes, as much as I loathe whiskey, I'd give just about anything to have a round with GW and his posse.

*PS: Which, of course, raises the question of conflict of interest in the Whiskey Rebellion, but maybe we don't want to go there.

Anonymous said...

"Because at the end of the day it still seems like Obama would be an improvement over McCain, who would be more of the invade the world, invite the world, borrow from the world strategy of the Bush administration, only perhaps a bit more competent."

Let's break this down:

Invade the world - We don't have the troops or the resources to invade any other countries. Whoever gets elected, there won't be any new countries invaded. And despite the differences in rhetoric, there is little difference between what McCain and Obama would actually do in Iraq: we'll still be there in 4 years, regardless of who wins the election.

Invite the World - Both candidates are in favor of open immigration, though McCain has at least claimed he would go for enforcement first. Fortunately, the collapse of the residential construction market and the increase in local enforcement have put this issue on the back burner: with fewer job opportunities for them, fewer illegals are trying to come here.

In hock to the world - McCain gets the clear advantage here. Of the two candidates, McCain is more likely to have the stones to fight for some cost-saving reforms to the entitlement programs that consume 45% of our federal budget and are growing fast (the Iraq War, consumes about 5% of the budget). Obama would try to add additional entitlements -- most of his constituents wouldn't have to pay for this anyway.

- Fred

Anonymous said...

Dickerson's Slate article cites pretty technical and inoffensive issues that the McCain crews points to hints that BO is "a big phoney" on:

* press access/openness
* facing hostile crowds
* bipartisanship

Most people don't care much about these spinnable issues and there is no emotion or big surprise to shock the masses. BO can stick to his Chauncy Gardner Sermon on the Mount routine with under the cover of an adulatory MSM and enraptured elite set.

What will be interesting is if 527 groups, independent of McCain and in defiance of him, will be able to effectively show the big issues where BO is a "big phoney" - ones that Steve has raised here that do surprise, shock and motivate the ill-informed masses when given the slightist light of day.

Joseph said...

"Big phoney" will certainly be one avenue of attack on Obama. They will also point to his voting record as a card-carrying left wing Democrat. Northern left-demos have not done well in presidential elections.

Obama's vulnerabilities are personal. McCain's weaknesses are external, namely Iraq and the economy. If Iraq quiets down, troops coming home, and no serious recession then McCain in a near landslide. However....

Josh said...

I never for an instant considered voting for Obama...but I did respect him and found him likeable! However,the long long long election season has pretty much changed my mind. Especially when he attacked his own granny--after I learned yet another salient fact about him,that his granny was putting the food on the table!! One of these days,maybe I'll read one of those Obama books. (No..seriously! :P )

daveg said...

Yeah, despite everything I still can't vote for McCain. It is worse to be attacked from your own party.

Bush has already made the Republican party the 20% rump party and McCain will continue that trend.

McCain is not going to do ANYTHING that a conservative will like except continue the war (assuming you like that, which I do not).

He is not going to stop immigration, he is not going to appoint conservative judges, he is not going to keep taxes low.

Maybe if you pull in over 250K per year, you might have a reason to support McCain as Obama will increase taxes on that crowd as well as for capital gains, but otherwise you are wasting your time thinking McCain will do anything conservative.

Remember, McCain almost left the Republican party some years ago.

You might as well save a few $ and a few American lives by getting us out of Iraq and then see if we can get a real conservative in four years.

Richard A. said...

So this election will be the phony vs. the warmonger. BTW, they both favor amnesty but McCain is a zealot supporter of the guest worker concept. This makes McCain worse than Obama on immigration. The GOP deserves a good bloody nose this election year.

King Obama said...

You are an evil man, Steve. An evil, evil man.

bbartlog said...

If the GOP strategy is already revolving around 'how do we make the other guy look bad' rather than 'how do we promote our guy', I'd say that reflects weakness.
In any case I'll be curious to see how the massive advantage Obama has in fundraising plays out. When it comes to TV ads it's fair to say that the fight has not yet begun, and in terms of both money in the bank and demonstrated fundraising you're looking at a 5:1 edge in favor of Obama (and that's while he's still splitting the Dem fundraising with Clinton).

tommy said...

A funny look at Obama's history of borrowing other people's rhetoric.

testing99 said...

Steve, it's narcissistic and naive to think America is the determinant of who "blows up the world."

Tribes with Nukes(tm). Pakistan has em. Iran will shortly. Saudi, Turkey, have announced their programs. WaPo says Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Sudan, Jordan, Oman, Yemen are in the early stages of such programs. Nukes are 60 year old tech, same with ballistic missiles (V-2).

We need a hefty dose of realism, deterrence, strength, and fear of the United States into Tribes with Nukes(tm). Obama and Hillary ain't it. Maybe McCain could provide it. I don't know about you, but I'd prefer LA/NYC/Chicago/DC not to be nuked because some tribal guy figured he'd "count coup" or whatever to get more prestige and power back home.

THAT more likely than phoniness is McCain's secret advantage. And Obama can't help but be phony. He's a hard left, Communist and white-hating Black Nationalist. It's why he's done so well in the Primaries and is McGovern in the General.

"Warmonger?" Funny I see a country racing towards nukes threatening genocide on Israel. Any "warmongering" is done by Iran and it's would-be Global Caliph Ahmadinejad.

Iraq is a sideshow and largely irrelevant. It's Iran and it's nukes, and even more, **Pakistan** and it's nukes, that will confront the US. How do you deal with Tribes With Nukes(tm)? [Iran is just likely another reminder of the inevitable process of proliferation once Clinton failed to get China to agree to maintain nuclear monopoly in the 1990s by force.]

[Ultimately, we are likely looking at loss of one/more US cities and having to wipe out a tribe as an example. Welcome to globalization!]

Anonymous said...

Looks like Obama has sealed his reputation as a complete phony now.

While doing fundraising in the Getty mansion in San Francisco's "Billionaire's Row" Obama spoke about the folks in the towns of Pennsylvania:

And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

So not only is he saying this from inside a mansion in the wealthiest block in the world, he says it after claiming that he can't separate himself from Wright and his religion and xenophobia.

What a guy.

testing99 said...

Yeah Anon, it makes Obama the fatally weak candidate. What is it about Dems that they keep putting up guys who can't relate to anyone but rich white liberals?

It's demographic erosion. Dems are a fragile party, far more fragile than Reps, based on rich white Yuppies and various minority and grievance groups. Because they have the Press in their corner they can pull off some close ones occasionaly, but the downside is that they don't get reality checks early enough. This is shaping up to be a McGovern wipeout.

Obama will still get the nod, because Superdels are scared: that Blacks will stay home and make it worse (wipe out safe districts) in the General and of riots, etc. Lemmings over the cliff in what should have been their year.

[Reps are bad because the ineptness of Dems don't force better candidates and policies.]

Aldoph H. said...

Invade the World - McCain is probably the biggest warrmonger/imperialist thats this close to being POTUS. If he had his way, we'll be in Iran/Iraq for the next 100 years.

Invite the World McCain and Obama are two peas in a pod. The Republicans might fight Obama if he proposed "Amnesty", but they'll roll over for McCain.

In hock to the World McCain loves free trade, globalization, and doesn't care about the average American. At least Obama pretends to care.

Lucius Vorenus said...

Anonymous: Looks like Obama has sealed his reputation as a complete phony now.

While doing fundraising in the Getty mansion in San Francisco's "Billionaire's Row" Obama spoke about the folks in the towns of Pennsylvania:

And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.


Yeah, Michael Savage just did a fantastic riff on that theme - STREAMING AUDIO: 910knew.com

Mike said...

I disagree with your assessment, but the way you said it had me grinning. Touche.

Sideways said...

Can you imagine Obama's appointments to the federal judiciary?

Well, let's quote Obama himself on that

"We need somebody who's got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it's like to be a young teenage mom. The empathy to understand what it's like to be poor, or African-American, or gay, or disabled, or old. And that's the criteria by which I'm going to be selecting my judges."

funny that he included old.

Sideways said...

If the GOP strategy is already revolving around 'how do we make the other guy look bad' rather than 'how do we promote our guy', I'd say that reflects weakness.

BBartlog,
Usually that's true. this case is a rare exception: a significant portion of the Obama voters think that the man is the messiah. They pay little to no attention to his policies. Making them realize that Obama is just another asshole politician could be devastating to him.

Anonymous said...

Obama would be an improvement over McCain, who would be more of the invade the world, invite the world, borrow from the world strategy of the Bush administration

1) Invade the World: It's gunna be very hard to convince anyone to start another war anytime soon. There'd be political hell to pay.

2) Invite the World: Can't disagree with you there, although maybe, possibly, maybe McCain will want to keep his fellow party members happy by enforcing the law - but it's hard to think he'd be worse than Obama or Clinton.

3) Borrow from the World: McCain DID oppose the Bush tax cuts, and while he theoretically now supports them, I suspect he wouldn't lose to much sleep if they expired.

mq said...

We'll be out of Iraq by the end of a first Obama term, and not just still in but even more deeply committed by the end of a McCain term.

Book it, it's true.

The notion that being in Iraq is some kind of irreversible law of nature is just a form of political defeatism. Our strategy of occupation is idiotic, it harms us, we can stop doing it.

Martin said...

"Sideways said...

Can you imagine Obama's appointments to the federal judiciary? Well, let's quote Obama himself on that

"We need somebody who's got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it's like to be a young teenage mom. The empathy to understand what it's like to be poor, or African-American, or gay, or disabled, or old. And that's the criteria by which I'm going to be selecting my judges."

Yes, that's instructive. As empathy for middle-class, middle-age white guys is not a requirement, clearly these would not be judges who would be favorable to my interests or whom I would support. What Obama wants is judges who will illegally sieze money from those who work and are resonstible in order to give it to those who are slothful and irresponsible.

Anonymous said...

" to pick an unlikely example, to stop being a big phony."

So then he becomes Charlie Rangel Jr. with a veneer of niceness? at least the real Rangel won a Bronze Star.