I have read a lot of questions lately that are variations on the same theme. Sarah Palin mentioned she remembers Biden’s speeches from when she was in, like, the second grade, you betcha. A question appeared in many places, "Does Sarah Palin really want to bring age issues into this campaign?" Then there was the time Ms. Palin referred to her own "experience" as an executive, and Obama’s lack thereof. Internet pundits asked, "Does Sarah really want to bring up experience?"
Today Ms. Palin attacked Barack Obama for a non-existent connection to William Ayers. It surprised everyone, and by everyone I mean nobody. She recited one of her talking points for the day:
Our opponent … is someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect, imperfect enough, that he’s palling around with terrorists who would target their own country. This is not a man who sees America as you see America and as I see America.
She made that statement to a small group of donors at a private airport, but that doesn’t change anything in the era of instantaneous communication. Her comments are making their way around the globe. Governor Palin’s words are being read from monitors in living rooms and basements. No doubt her words will be on the major cable news channels very soon, if they aren’t already. Even if it doesn’t get picked up today, that attack will definitely make its way around the networks in the coming weeks.
Steve Benen wrote about Palin’s words at the Political Animal. He pointed out that there is no legitimate connection between Obama and Ayers. He recounted how the attack had already been thoroughly debunked, as recently as today. He pointed out that the McCain campaign is desperate, so it’s turning to lies, smears and dishonorable tactics. Then Benen asked, "[D]oes Palin really want to play the guilt-by-association game?"
Asking that type of question hasn’t worked. It’s more than obvious Palin really does want to play the guilt-by-association game. She does want to try to make Biden’s age a factor, even though John McCain is a fossilized trilobite. She wants to bring up everything her own campaign is most guilty of, because they really don’t have any other options at this point.
I’m done asking what Palin and McCain want to bring up or talk about. I believe it’s time to hit the McCain campaign with the same negativity and intensity the Republican Party has used against Democrats so often. Obama and Biden will never stoop to the level the GOP candidates will, and I am thankful for that. Here on the Internet we don’t have to worry about how cable news will portray our attacks. We don’t have to look Presidential or Vice Presidential. We can take all the shots at them we want, with all the negativity we can muster.
I know that many of the fantastic writers in the blogosphere haven’t really pulled many punches while covering the twists and turns of this election, myself included. I suspect that dumbing down the message I’d like to get out may be more effective in countering the extreme negativity the Republicans are about to ramp up. Voters seem to pay more attention when confronted with sheer, unadulterated animosity. The McCain campaign plans to use wide open animosity, even hatred, in a last ditch attempt to regain the lead in this election. Maybe it’s time to consider doing the same, at least from time to time. I would hate to look back on November 5th, while McCain celebrates his victory, and think, "I wish I had given them a taste of their own medicine."
I’m not advocating curse filled rants or negativity for its own sake, and I can not speak for anyone else. For my part I’ll be relying less on sarcasm until November 4th. I’m going to stop being witty and highbrow when I discuss how terrible a McCain Administration would be for our nation. The GOP candidates have basically begun calling Barack Obama a terrorist, and that is completely unacceptable. I plan to spend all of my free time making Johnny and Sarah look as bad as I possibly can. The idea of abandoning my writing style and the high road gives me pause, but only until I think about President McCain.
I am honored to be able to write here at Firedoglake. I suppose tonight I should have written one of the extremely harsh diaries I am talking about, but this is my first post here. On top of that I am running out of time, and to do a proper job will take a while. I just read Benen’s post "Yes, Palin Can Get Worse" about an hour ago, which was what sent me down the path I plan to tread. The negativity will just have to wait until tomorrow though.
I have really been enjoying the Oxdown Gazette. I’d like to say thank you to Ms. Hamsher and everyone else who made this happen. And thank you to all the writers who have been contributing through their diaries.