Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Wright stuff for McCain?

It seems de rigeur among liberals to speculate when (rather than whether) McCain's campaign will play the Wright card. I'm thinking that this is a proper question, but I don't think it will be very crippling, and here's why:

  1. It will seem like a desperation play, which might make the media/voters discount it.
  2. Unless they have new tapes, it's not news, and literally everybody knows about it. Sure, reminding folks in Indiana and North Carolina who are leaning toward Obama about Wright would be bad news, but I do think that Obama has been successful in defusing the idea that he's a crazy radical. There's no way to tell unless it happens, though.
  3. Obama's camp could hit back in several ways--how about videos of Sarah Palin's nutty preacher, who believes in witchcraft? How about a little discussion of the Keating Five scandal? After Ayres and Wright become part of the conversation again, McCain has nowhere left to go, while Obama has a few aces up his sleeve.
  4. Maybe McCain has some residual sense of propriety? Okay, that was a silly one.

Ultimately, though, if McCain goes there the left can hit him for hypocrisy, since McCain vetoed ads from the Tennessee and North Carolina State Republican Parties on Wright before he decided he'd do anything to win. They can hit him hard on hypocrisy, and they'd have him dead to rights (pardon the expression). So I think there's more of a downside than an upside, but the McCain campaign has become so sleazy that I have no expectation that they will actually refrain, unless they figure the backlash would exceed any benefit. Based on these points, I believe that it would.

I also doubt that the campaign will become explicitly about race. I don't even know what that means anymore. The only thing McCain can do is what he's been doing, which is to bring it into the conversation subtly, like in the evil Franklin Raines/defenseless old White woman ad.

The Man, The Myth, The Bio

East Bay, California, United States
Problem: I have lots of opinions on politics and culture that I need to vent. If I do not do this I will wind up muttering to myself, and that's only like one or two steps away from being a hobo. Solution: I write two blogs. A political blog that has some evident sympathies (pro-Obama, mostly liberal though I dissent on some issues, like guns and trade) and a culture blog that does, well, cultural essays in a more long-form manner. My particular thing is taking overrated things (movies, mostly, but other things too) down a peg and putting underrated things up a peg. I'm sort of the court of last resort, and I tend to focus on more obscure cultural phenomena.