As for myself, when I heard the news that Senator Obama had done what I'd hoped he'd do, I went to my window and to paraphrase Howard Beale - yelled out, "I'm pleased as hell that Democrats aren't going to take it anymore!" After Swiftboating, Karl Rove, Willie Horton, Lee Atwater take it all the way back to Richard Nixon's upside-down, inside-out, "Bring Us Together," I'm thrilled to have a candidate who is a bit more Machiavelli and a little less moralist. Even much less a moralist. This is what the Bush administration has brought me to: "By any means necessary."
And - comfort for the idealists - Obama is practicing a "new kind of politics" relative to the norm in the tone of his campaigns. But campaign realpolitik - that only makes the demand for truckloads of cash all the more essential. If Obama refuses to run 3 A.M style ads against McCain he'll need to spend every penny of $270 million. And, when McCain's allies come up with something that makes the Reverend Wright attacks seems quaint in comparison, he'll need a double that to defend himself. In short, every dollar spent being depraved equals three dollars spent being a "candidate for change."
Truth is, if what's necessary to win in November is some outright cheating, I'd be all for that, too. Maybe the ghosts of "Landslide Lyndon" and the Kennedy brothers will help out by stuffing ballot boxes in Texas and fixing vote totals in Chicago.
I don't mean it. I exaggerate... maybe. I'm not sure. To paraphrase Joseph Welch talking to Joe McCarthy, maybe not until this moment have I gauged the full extent of my recklessness and - at long last - I have no decency.
If so I - we - need only remember Florida in 2000. "We should move on." We have too much. The election was stolen by a method so without precedent, so brazen, and confronting it was so unlikely to offer closure, let alone success, that even those who were horrified quickly turned the page. Forget the math, the hanging chads, the votes for Buchanan/ Gore, that sort of flim-flam Johnson and the Kennedys would have applauded. But in 2000 the Supreme Court sat in for Boss Tweed. That transgression alone easily justifies, to my thinking, the slight skullduggery of Obama's decision. The consequences of four years of John McCain in the White House? To my mind, that justifies even greater Machiavellian derring-do. If need be, let's get down in the mud.
Finally, I have heard the goofy idea that he Obama - is "trying to buy the White House." The operative word is "he." Michael Bloomberg, Ross Perot, Steve Forbes, John Corzine are "he"s who opened up their checkbooks and tried sometimes successfully to buy an office. If the Obama campaign funds however obscenely huge they hopefully grow - successfully brings a victory in November, it will be a "them" millions of contributors opening up their checkbooks who got the job done.