Republicans Getting Desperate

The little map in the upper right corner has created a terrible weight for the Bush/McCain campaign as the days, and the stock market, tick down. It appears that some elements of the Republican team are starting to panic. This is hardly the way to project seasoned leadership in a time of crisis. Dana Milbank reports today in the Washington Post:

Worse, Palin’s routine attacks on the media have begun to spill into ugliness. In Clearwater, arriving reporters were greeted with shouts and taunts by the crowd of about 3,000. Palin then went on to blame Katie Couric’s questions for her “less-than-successful interview with kinda mainstream media.” At that, Palin supporters turned on reporters in the press area, waving thunder sticks and shouting abuse. Others hurled obscenities at a camera crew. One Palin supporter shouted a racial epithet at an African American sound man for a network and told him, “Sit down, boy.”

More signs of panic and desperation in reporting by HuffPo, and Jack and Jill politics. Update: Kathy has the same story here, in a post I just saw (Oops!). Thanks, Kathy!

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19 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. I posted that hastily in a diary earlier today.

    Playing the race card=desperation.

    Sarah Palin is being really irresponsible whipping up hatred. What if it spills over into violence?

  2. You see it here with posters as well....

    desperation and panic.  Not the virtues of a president.

    • It's an interesting phenomenon. Our differently winged friends

      come here with the cries "Ayres! Terrorist! Rezko!" and flee when confronted with a challenge. They must be looking at the electoral map and crying. I mean, Indiana is in play! One of the reddest of the red states.  

      • Yes, true ... Hey, BMG Republican posters, you're still welcome here

        Just please try to skip the absurd talking points of the moment, and concentrate on the practical differences between McCain and Obama, such as they may be.

        In fact, Obama has taken many of his policy positions from ideas the G.O.P. claims to hold dear. Consider, for example, his assertion that personal responsibility is key:

        "But we also have to demand more from ourselves," he said. "Now, I know there's some who've been saying I've been too tough talking about responsibility. But here at the NAACP, I'm here to report I'm not going to stop talking about it. Because ... no matter how many 10-point plans we propose, or how many government programs we launch -- none of it will make any difference if we don't seize more responsibility in our own lives."

        Anyway, reality-based arguments are your best hope for  success anyway.

  3. that Lee Atwater hiding in the bushes?

    Those of us who've been through a few of these have been waiting with dread for -- please excuse the expression -- the "Scary Negro" phase of the campaign.  Now that it seems they're playing from behind, there's obvious tension in the McCain campaign between wanting to start the Willie Hortonizing now, and waiting for the last moments of the campaign, when there's no time to react.

    The good news is this:

  4. Barack Obama has done such a good job of laying the foundation regarding his character, etc., that it might just sustain this cycle's Swift Boat attack.
  5. Also, the lessons have been well-learned about reaction time, which has almost been reduced to minutes by the Internet and other factors, to the point that there may not be an effective last moment for stunts and dirty tricks.
  6. Third, I believe many previously-undecided voters have already reached the point of no return.  The most vocal critic of McCain in my office is now a Republican friend for whom the choice of Sarah Palin (and the cynicism that it displayed) was the tipping point.
  7. With fingers crossed, of course.

  • A better tactic in a close race, though

    Does this sort of thing net them more than a point or two?  That won't be enough.  These sort of things work better when there is a a smaller margin.  This might wind up simply making them lose badly, rather than well, and cost the GOP in down-ticket races.

    FWIW, I think it is hard to separate the "Scary Negro" effect of Willie Horton from the "Democrats think that we should give violent criminals a hug, but them an ice cream cone, an apologize for causing them to be criminals" effect of Willie Horton, which was a pretty big weakness of the Democrats up until 1992.

    • Yes, and not really

      I agree on the first point, but hell-bent seems to be the only option they think they have, regardless the down-ticket downside.

      On the second point, you may be one of the few left alive who has difficulty recognizing what went on in that race; in fact, didn't Lee Atwater eventually confess to the whole thing?  If the point was that Democrats are "soft on crime" (whatever the hell that means), were there no mug shots of white violent criminals available?  Do you think Nixon's "Law and Order" campaign -- in an election where the top three concerns of the American people were Vietnam, Vietnam, and Vietnam -- was about law and order, too?

  • How can they keep this up?

    The question I keep pondering is this: if these are their tactics on October 7th, what will they be on October 27th?  They have to kill the next four weeks, and they've already spent their "he's a terrorist!" and "itz the media's fault!" shots.  How much more can the rhetorical pressure be raised?

    And what do you do when you're out of rhetorical attacks?

    sabutai   @   Tue 4 Dec 7:00 PM
    • perhaps you satge other sorts of attacks

      a la agents provocateur

      • Obama's beginning to hit his stride ...

        Making a deal now?  Get the guy to make some assertions and bingo, you win the election.  It wouldn't have to have any truth behind it, only has to last 'til election night. A favorite ploy of Dukakis, I'm sure the Republicans aren't above using it.  

    • Good point.

      They should have saved this crap for the last week of the campaign. They are running on fumes now.

      • With more and more early voting...

        and an earlier cycle resulting in more people cementing their vote in their own minds long before Nov 1, late October surprises do less damage than they used to.

        I have no idea what the correlation is between early voting states and swing states -- it could be that early voting states aren't swing states thereby eroding my claim.  Even if so, I think the latter half -- that people are cementing their opinions earlier than in prior elections due to earlier starts and more media saturation -- does hold true.

    • consider it therapeutic

      I prefer the exposure of the latent inner ugliness during the campaign, really.  Bigotry is an animal that slowly dies when it has to live in the light for long enough.  It's nastiest and strongest and most violent when it has hidden in the dark for a long time.

      I'm guessing we'll have a very subdued last week before the election.

    • Another question arises...kill who?

      During a Palin rally, according the Washington Post

      "Now it turns out, one of his earliest supporters is a man named Bill Ayers," Palin said.

      "Boooo!" said the crowd.

      "And, according to the New York Times, he was a domestic terrorist and part of a group that, quote, 'launched a campaign of bombings that would target the Pentagon and our U.S. Capitol,'" she continued.

      "Boooo!" the crowd repeated.

      "Kill him!" proposed one man in the audience.

      Kill who?  Ayers?  Or "that one"?  I know the Secret Service is asking this genius that question.

      sabutai   @   Tue 4 Dec 7:00 PM
  • A talk show caller

     brought this to my attention today.  Is TheBush Administration, namely Condoleeza Rice, palling around with terrorist? I mean Gadafi is reformed and all.

  • I will admit

    Recently, I've been playing Chocolate City by Parliament Funkadelic repeatedly, only because I feel that it would really piss Republicans off.

    sabutai   @   Tue 4 Dec 7:00 PM
  • Glad I found this website!

    I am adding it to my list of blogs I read.  Please check ours out too.


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