And So It Begins
Jonathan Martin of the drudgerrific Politico actually has an interesting read. He says the McCain camp is unhappy with the unfair treatment McCain receives from the media. Seriously. Which is actually a very clever stance to take, because it will help chill any attempts by the media to tell the truth about McCain. Not that they are so inclined, anyway.
Martin also had this. Try not to laugh:
Charlie Black, another top McCain adviser, agreed that the key was to stay on substance.
“You keep it on issues, you never let it be personal,” Black said. “And I think he goes out of his way to try to say it’s not personal.”
The Republicans always make it personal, because they can't win on the issues. Because even when Reagan was running, the bulk of the voters sided with the Democrats on the issues. With Reagan, the lapdog media made him so lovable that people didn't care about the issues, but starting with Poppy Bush, the only way for Republicans to compete with the Democrats was to destroy the Democrats. Personally. As they had been trained to do, under Nixon. Which is why the McCain team will play the game of distancing themselves from those who will do their dirty work. Speaking of which, the Los Angeles Times says Floyd G. Brown, the vermin responsible for the truly sinister 1988 Willie Horton ads, is back:
Brown is raising money for a series of ads that he says will show Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) to be out of touch on an issue of fundamental concern to voters: violent crime. One spot already making the rounds on the Internet attacks the presumptive Democratic nominee for opposing a bill while he was a state legislator that would have extended the death penalty to gang-related murders.
"When the time came to get tough, Obama chose to be weak. . . . Can a man so weak in the war on gangs be trusted in the war on terror?" the ad asks.
Though in this presidential race crime has taken a back seat to the war in Iraq and the economy, some Republicans think Obama is vulnerable on the issue -- and they hope to inject it into the campaign.
Of course, it's all about the issues. Or something.
Obama's campaign, and some independent observers, say Brown's work is misleading at best. FactCheck.org, a political watchdog, has called the death penalty ad -- which suggests that Obama's vote made him responsible for the gang-related deaths of three youths -- "reprehensible misrepresentation."
The legislation was largely symbolic, because many gang killers were already eligible for death under state law. It also was running up against concern over the administration of the state death penalty law. That concern ultimately led to a statewide moratorium on executions. The Republican governor at the time, George Ryan, eventually vetoed the legislation.
Ryan, of course, later emptied Illinois's death row, with a blanket commutation, stating:
Our capital system is haunted by the demon of error: error in determining guilt and error in determining who among the guilty deserves to die. What effect was race having? What effect was poverty having?
Factors neither Brown nor McCain will care much about. Because McCain is going to try to win on the issues. No matter how dishonestly or reprehensibly he has to frame them.