–Well, actually, I want to start with this weekend. This weekend, we could have lost the election.
Imagine this scenario. Say that either McCain or Palin had not just paused after shouts of “terrorist” or “kill him” but stopped and said, “Hold on. That’s no an appropriate comment. Accusing someone of treason or advocating for his death is unacceptable. It’s inhumane. And I’m not going to stand for it.”
I think that would have swayed right there a bunch of undecideds. Shoot, it would have made me feel good about them, like it wouldn’t be too terrible if they won.
But as it is now, it’s a weird thing hanging out there. Every decent person knows that, no matter how much you personally dislike someone, you don’t stand by and let people accuse them of executionable crimes or shout for their deaths if you are in a position to stop them.
And here’s what I think, just from a symbolic position, is wrong with not saying anything. You are, in essense, auditioning for leader of the free world. And you’re unable to control your own crowd, address your own people and keep them in line in public? The trick is to have the crowd eating out of your hand, not to be at the mercy of it. Those pauses were a problem.
It made both of them look weak–like they knew they should say something but decided it’d be easier not to.
Standing up to the hecklers could have been a game-changer and I’m both relieved and disappointed that it didn’t happen.
—Note to Campfield: Yes, please keep harping on the “sex ed to 5 year olds” line, so that we can keep saying “You know that’s ‘stranger danger’ right? Obama wants to teach kids how to protect themselves from child molesters. You don’t think teaching kids that no one should touch their bathing suit areas is a problem do you?”
Again, it’s one of those attacks that probably works well broadly, but when people learn the specifics, they’re baffled as to why it’s an issue.
How unwinning an issue is it? Neither Lee nor Exador has bothered to try to make it here.
–The Debate: At this point, I think the election is Obama’s to lose. McCain did just fine, I thought. Shoot, I don’t even think it’s worth arguing abot whether he won or not. His problem really was that he did just fine. I suspect that many undecideds came away thinking “Well, he’d be fine if this Obama thing doesn’t work out.” You cannot win if people think you’d be a fine second choice.
Unless, of course, that first choice is somehow no longer available.
Which brings us back to my first point.
I am no political genius. And if I can figure out that Obama’s going to win unless he does something to not win (which is looking less and less likely) or he becomes unavailable for winning (because, let’s face it, no one is clamoring for a Joe Biden presidency), McCain is probably not going to be president, so have a lot of other people.
I say this in all seriousness, if John McCain truly loves America, he owes it to America to continue to campaign for a win while at the same time preparing the way for a fair loss. Which menas he owes it to all of us to squash out any talk of Obama deserving to die.
I’ve heard what a great patriot John McCain is. Now’s the time to start seeing it in action.