hope-and-dope.thumbnail.jpgWhat’s really interesting to me, in watching the Obama-McCain endgame play itself out, is the stark difference in how the two candidates and their staffs have operated. There are ideological differences and temperamental differences that play a part, but they all feed into a larger point — which is that, ironically enough, straight-up civilian Barack Obama understands the value of an overarching strategy in a bone-deep way that would make someone like Bradley or Grant or Sherman nod his head in recognition, even as the wild and purely reactive veerings of Navy legacy baby John McCain show that neither he nor anyone else in a top-level position in his campaign has the slightest friggin’ clue about strategy. Yes, the Obama campaign values hope, but they know full well the military maxim that hope, alone, is not a plan — so they made dead certain sure that they had a plan, and a very well crafted one at that, one that both anticipated most of the McCain campaign’s moves and had enough flexibility to allow for changes as needed.

As John Cole said the other day, about Obama:

He plays long ball. He knew what they were going to do. And that is why they panicked. Obama is running the most disciplined and best campaign I have ever seen.

Even better: He’s running a disciplined campaign against a spoiled brat who doesn’t know the meaning of the word "discipline". Here’s what I mean by that:

Obama’s background has been a blessing to him, in the same way that Bush’s and McCain’s backgrounds have been curses. He not only had to claw his way up on merit like Bill Clinton did, he also knew that as a black man he had to keep his nose super-duper clean and to avoid any of the temptations that sunk Clinton, but which Republicans like Rudy and Newt and Dan Burton commit without electoral penalty.

Because of this, because he understood how the deck was stacked against him, because he earned every damned thing he got with hard work, discipline and talent honed to a razor’s edge, he is flummoxing the lazy, undisciplined, talentless time-servers on the other side. Not just McCain, but the ranks of College Republican legacy hires that fill up the sheltered workshops that they call ‘think tanks’—the Ben Domenechs and Jonah Goldbergs and Ann Coulters of the world. They screech and screech and chase their own tails because they have never had to actually think hard and work, and now they’re up against someone for whom hard work, discipline, patience, and proper use of brain and talent is as natural as breathing.

Worse yet for them, the old tools that worked for them in the past, the crutches they relied on to avoid thinking—the appeals to racism and stupidity and naked selfish greed—are losing their power. Despite the McCain’s camp’s breaking through the bottom of the barrel with their nakedly racist and inflammatory posturings, they’re losing ground with the very group towards which those posturings are directed: working-class white people.

And meanwhile he rolls on, unruffled, No-Drama Obama, calm in any situation, and crushes the McCainites and the rest of the GOP while keeping a steady hand on the wheel.

Res ipsa loquitor. The thing speaks for itself.

Phoenix Woman

Phoenix Woman