Since the infamous days of the “swift-boating” of John Kerry in 2004, it has become conventional wisdom that the Karl Rove playbook involves shooting down the opponent’s strengths. And while many have shaken their heads in disbelief, over the irony of Kerry’s decorated service as compared to Bush’s, the other side of the equation is rarely discussed: that the opponent’s targeted strength, is also the Republican candidate’s weakness. Rachel Maddow brought this up in a recent segment on the whole canard of ACORN somehow being a source of massive voter fraud. She starts the segment off by noting that Steve Schmidt, protégé of Karl Rove, has perfected the technique of attacking at your "candidate’s own weakness." Maddow points out that:1) McCain, whose operatives - especially campaign manager Rick Davis - are knee-deep in Fannie-Freddie connections, accuses Obama of Fannie-Freddie connections;
2) McCain, whose campaign is flush with lobbyists, declares war on the Washington lobbyist culture;
3) McCain and Palin are attacking Obama for his supposed ties to ACORN, and fretting about voter fraud and the downfall of Democracy, when:1- It is the GOP that has engaged in voter suppression tactics;
2- Voter fraud and voter registration fraud are very different things; AND
Since Maddow’s piece on ACORN, the latest canard has been the absurd accusation that the Obama campaign are secret socialists looking to redistribute wealth, stealing from hard-working Americans and giving to the unworthy ones. While AmericaBlog points out the irony of this one, in the face of the huge government takeover of the banking industry, it was especially gratifying to hear David Gergen - advisor to both Republican and Democratic presidents - make this point to Wolf Blitzer over the weekend:
“GERGEN: The former treasury secretary and a Democrat to be fair. But if you go back to the distribution of wealth in 1979, 30 years ago versus today, the people in the bottom 80 percent are losing, compared to back then, $600 billion a year. The top 1 percent of the population is gaining compared to back then. We have had a redistribution of wealth in this country, up. BLITZER: What the McCain people are suggesting and even Senator McCain yesterday in his radio address, suggested this is almost socialism.
GERGEN: We just had a Republican government that put $150 billion into banks. They have injected the government more fully into the banking system, the financial system than any time in history. And so it's a hollow argument. I mean, I think the Democrats, if they want to join this argument, they can. This is their very strong argument to say you guys are socialism when you just spent $150 billion as a down payment?”
Beyond this latest desperate move, the list of projections hurled by the McCain-Palin campaign is almost endless. For instance, while McCain has snarled that Obama doesn’t understand foreign affairs, it is McCain that has confused Sunni and Shia, Spain and Latin America, and the borders of Pakistan.While McCain and his supporters accuse Obama of being un-American, it is Palin who addressed the secessionist Alaska Independence Party, of which her husband was a member for seven years.And of course, while McCain and Palin pound Obama for his irrelevant contact with William Ayers forty years after the Weather Underground, McCain has a much closer relationship with G. Gordon Liddy, who - among other things - encouraged the killing of ATF agents on the air.
On the 10/19/08 special Sunday edition of Hardball, Joe Scarborough actually suggested that Obama would have been at a great disadvantage had he been white with a more familiar name. As Tom Hartmann pointed out the other day on his radio show: can you imagine if the Obama’s had had a pregnant teenage daughter, of if Michelle Obama had belonged to a secessionist political party, or if Obama had been a member of the Keating 5?
Pot, meet Kettle.