02 October, 2008

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

McCain retreats from Michigan:

With about a month until Election Day, the McCain campaign has found itself with some unwelcome and uncomfortable questions to consider. The Obama campaign is stretching the map, and putting plenty of "red" states -- Ohio, Florida, Iowa, New Mexico, Virginia, Nevada, North Carolina, Indiana, and Missouri -- in play. McCain would love to play offensive, but with
Obama's poll numbers looking stronger, he has to start giving up on some "blue" targets.

And according to the Politico's Jonathan Martin, McCain will
no longer try to win Michigan.

John McCain is pulling out of Michigan, according to two Republicans, a stunning move a month away from Election Day that indicates the difficulty Republicans are having in finding blue states to put in play.

McCain will go off TV in Michigan, stop dropping mail there and send most of his
staff to more competitive states, including Wisconsin, Ohio and Florida. Wisconsin went for Kerry in 2004, Ohio and Florida for Bush.

Those states he's got to back off Michigan to defend? Let's just say it's a bad sign for the Republicons:

That the McCain team has quietly slipped Indiana and North Carolina onto the list of key battlegrounds that are "tied or ahead" is striking. North Carolina hasn't voted for a Dem since 1976; Indiana, not since 1964.

What's more, Pollster.com actually has Obama ahead in several of these key states the McCain team has already placed in their definite (and crucial) "win" column: Virginia, Florida and Ohio (where it's virtually tied).

Asked on the call how it was that things got to the point that they were aggressively defending red states, McCain advisers offered a creative defense. They said, in essence, that they'd played rope-a-dope with Obama, spending nothing in them while letting Obama advertise aggressively in them in order to waste his money.

"One of the strategic decisions our campaign has made is to let Mr. Obama spend his resources until we got closer to the election," Strimple said. Those states, he added, "will snap back aggressively in our favor."

For the McCain camp to be conceding that the must-win battleground is comprised of red states, some of which Obama holds leads in, and that two states that haven't voted Dem in decades are now real battlegrounds, doesn't seem like a very strong position at all.

Not. Even. A. Little. Let's just forget the lipstick-on-a-pig defense that they were letting Obama have his way. That shouldn't have mattered a bit in solid red states. The fact that they're forced to defend safe ground is striking. And, to me, vastly entertaining.

Looks like the electorate isn't quite as stupid as they'd hoped. Heh. Heh heh.

And it could be that they're getting a little fed up with rampant Republicon corruption. It seems like nearly every agency under Bush has become a scandal-plagued joke. Today, the FDA joins the list:
After nearly eight years, it's tempting to think we probably wouldn't see any new corruption scandals out of the Bush administration -- but think again. Last month, it was the Interior Department's Minerals Management Service, where an anything-goes atmosphere led to Caligula-like corruption and debauchery. Today, it's contract corruption at the FDA.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration had an image problem. For months last year the agency had been pummeled by Congress for poor inspections of tainted vegetables, drugs and other products.

FDA leaders decided to hire a contractor for a public relations campaign that would "create and foster a lasting positive public image of the agency for the American public," according to agency documents.

A competition, as prescribed by government policy, was not held to get the lowest bid for the $300,000 contract. Instead, FDA officials came up with a plan to ensure the work would go to a Washington public relations firm with ties to the FDA official arranging the deal, according to an examination by The Washington Post.

All right. So they went about hiring a contractor in an utterly corrupt way, and that's news, but I just want to point out another facet here: instead of fixing problems, instead of restoring trust by doing a better job, the FDA hired a public relations firm to shore up their fucking public image.

We don't need to feel good about them. We need them to do their fucking jobs right. But in Bush's world, impressions mean more than reality. If you can't wow the public with competence, woo 'em with bullshit.

For fuck's sake.

And now they want us to believe another fairy tale:

In May, controversial former Justice Department official Hans Von Spakovsky withdrew his name from consideration for the Federal Election Commission, following months of opposition from lawmakers and civil rights groups. Since then, Spakovsky has busied himself by
writing opinion pieces for conservative news outlets like the
Wall Street Journal and National Review.

In an article for the right-wing Human Events today, Spakovsky criticizes efforts by Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-IL) presidential campaign to get attack ads by the “American Issues Project” off of
TV, saying that the “actions should cause every American to ask,
can Obama be trusted with the powers of the Justice Department.” Spakovsky claims that the Justice Department under Obama would be “partisan and politically-biased”...


Spakovsky’s worries are ironic given that six of his former Justice Department colleagues wrote to the Senate Rules Committee in June 2007, claiming that he “injected partisan political factors into decision-making” when he ran the Voting Section of the DoJ’s Civil Rights
Division. Critics say Spakovsky used every opportunity “to make it difficult for voters —
poor, minority and Democratic — to go to the polls,” including pushing through Texas re-districting
that violated the Voting Rights Act.

Oh, yeah. Just the person qualified to tell us Obama would politicize the Justice Department. You've noticed they have a remarkable propensity for projecting their own tendencies and failings onto their opponents, right?

They really do think the American public doesn't have a single functioning brain cell between them. They're about to be proved very wrong indeed.

In final news, the long-anticipated Biden/Palin debate has begun. I'll have highlights for ye later.


Cujo359 said...

If McCain is really giving up in Michigan, that strikes me as a really big deal. Not all that long ago (before the conventions, at least), MI was thought to be in play.

nickysam said...

McCain believed that the old coalition of Reagan Democrats in the swing areas of Macomb and Oakland Counties could help put him over the top in a state where voters are as mad at the Democrats as they are with Republicans.

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