Thursday, September 18, 2008

How Liberals are Helping McCain

I've been fairly critical of McCain's VP pick on this blog, but it pales compared to the maliciousness with which those on the left are attacking Palin. If you're a McCain supporter, this should not worry you, however, because ultimately it helps McCain.

If Obama is going to win, he will need blue-collar Democrats and independents from swing states like Florida, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan to vote for him. If you look at the attacks on Palin, many of them are attacking Palin for being like these same voters. Here are three examples:

1. This editorial cartoon by Pat Oliphant recently appeared in the Washington Post:
As you can see, it mocks Palin's charismatic background. So, how does mocking the fastest growing segment of Christianity in the US (and the world) help the Democrats? Additionally, the charismatic movement has been particularly strong among the politically important Latino population. (To its credit, the Washington Post later condemned the cartoon and it no longer appears on its website.)

2. Maureen Dowd's September 16 editorial in the New York Times, "Barbies for War!," makes fun of hunters, Wal-Mart shoppers, and Pentecostals. She writes about her experience of walking through a Wal-Mart in Wassilla, AK as if she were visiting a zoo and describing the strange things she discovered there. So, how is she helping Obama win over those rural middle-class voters in places like central Pennsylvania?

3. And then there was this odd little tirade by Matt Damon:

There were nearly 3 million views of this video on Youtube. Ultimately, I think that if Damon has had any impact with his remarks, it is to energize McCain's base. Think about it this way: what undecided voter is going to be swayed by Matt Damon? Particularly, when his argument is as incoherent as this one?

If liberals really want Obama to win, they should stop talking about Palin. Whenever they do, it helps McCain. There are essentially two reasons for this. First, it energizes his base. The base of the Republican Party was never excited about McCain. But every time Palin is attacked it energizes them to help defeat Obama.

Secondly, when the question of Palin's experience is raised, it puts the issue of experience in the heads of voters. Voters vote for the top of the ticket, however, not the VP. So if they head to the polls with the issue of experience on their minds (even if it was put there by liberals attacking Palin) it will help McCain and hurt Obama.


Stephen Maynard Caliendo said...

Right. And beyond this, comparing Obama with Palin diminishes him, as it's comparing a presidential candidate with a vice-presidential candidate. These attacks are both petty and counter-productive for progressives. Issues need to be front and center. Once the debates begin next wee, there's a better chance of that being the case. I'm anxious to see the Nielsen ratings for the debates this year. Should be through the roof.

karenwalker said...

I agree with you on the first two examples. I know that most of the southern states are not considered swing states. However, southerners and democrats have lived with this sort of prejudice for years. Might I remind the readers about the Jimmy Carter presidency- the smug remarks that were made about him being a “born again” Christian, “lusting in” his heart, wearing jeans in the White House, not serving hard liquor in the White House, having guests leave by midnight so that the staff could go home and not be paid overtime. I could write a book on the way that President Carter’s family was ridiculed for being just like the rest of us. Only President Carter was not just like the rest of us. He graduated 59 out of more than 800 from the Naval Academy. His nuclear power training was cut short when his father died and he had to go home to run the farm. I could fill a comic book with the cartoons that depicted President Carter and his family as a bunch of country bumpkins. So I would like to set the record completely straight- this is not about one party doing this to another party, or being liberal or conservative.This is about being narrow minded and intolerant.

karenwalker said...

However- Matt Damon wasn’t writing a move script or a college essay and YouTube is mostly entertainment. However, I do think that rather than a scary Disney movie, Sorkin could make it yet another political drama. I suppose my sadness about Ms. Palin is all Sorkin’s fault. I long for a Josiah Bartlet presidency.

Dr. N said...


You are correct when you point out that there are intolerant conservatives as well as intolerant liberals. The difference in this campaign is that Obama already has an energized base, but for McCain, not so much (though Palin has helped). So, the intolerant liberals can have more of an impact by mobilizing a previously un-mobilized base. For Obama's base, however, it's hard to imagine it getting more hyped than it already is by intolerant conservatives.