September 12, 2008

Of Course, Obama Isn't a Liability -- If You're Running as a Republican

Honestly, I feel as if this election is intentionally, malevolently designed to destroy everyone's few remaining functioning brain cells. Leaving aside, just for the moment, that the Democrats and Republicans fundamentally agree on every issue of importance, and that they are determined to preserve and expand the identical goals -- an authoritarian-corporatist state at home and endless violent interventions abroad -- just on the level of political strategy, the following is obliteratingly stupid. Note the last paragraph in particular:
Democratic jitters about the US presidential race have spread to Capitol Hill, where some members of Congress are worried that Barack Obama’s faltering campaign could hurt their chances of re-election.

Party leaders have been hoping to strengthen Democratic control of the House and Senate in November, but John McCain’s jump in the polls has stoked fears of a Republican resurgence.

A Democratic fundraiser for Congressional candidates said some planned to distance themselves from Mr Obama and not attack Mr McCain.

Concern was greatest among first-term representatives who won seats in traditionally Republican districts in the landslide of 2006. “Several of them face a real fight to hold on to those seats,” the fundraiser said.

Tony Podesta, a senior Democratic lobbyist, said members of Congress were “a little nervous” after Mr McCain shook up the race with his choice of Sarah Palin as running mate and intensified attacks on Mr Obama.

“Republicans have been on the offensive for the past two weeks . . . You don’t win elections on the defensive.”

The campaign manager for a first-term Democratic congressman from a blue-collar district in the north-east rejected suggestions that Mr Obama had become a liability. He said his candidate would reach out to Republicans and avoid attacks on Mr McCain.
As many others have observed over many, many years, one spectacularly successful losing strategy for Democrats is to run as crypto-Republicans. A determinative number of voters might well say, as they often have: "Well, if you're gonna get a Republican, might as well vote for the real one instead of the pretend one." And yet, the Democrats are doing it again.

It would be one thing if this were confined to specific local races, where particular dynamics might appear to make such a strategy advisable (I still don't think it is, but who cares what I think) -- but Obama does this nationally on every important issue. Here's one especially awful example. Here's another. Of course, these policies are what Obama actually believes. Which has been exactly my point in numerous essays and which is, you might say, a problem.

You go, Dems! But you aren't learning! Don't say no one ever told you.