Monday, October 20, 2008

Pinata politics

Steve Benen of The Washington Monthly:
The attacks from McCain have been more haphazard. Obama's a rookie. That didn't work? OK, he's a "celebrity." That didn't work? How about, he's a partisan Democrat who won't stand up to his party. Nothing? All right, he's insufficiently supportive of the troops. Or he's a pervert who wants to bring sex-ed to kindergarteners. Or a terrorist-sympathizer. Or he's a socialist. All the while, the subtext of McCain/Palin rhetoric vacillated between Obama's race, patriotism, and/or being "foreign," but it's never come together in a coherent way.

I labeled all of this "pinata politics" back in August, hoping to capture McCain's habit of appearing blind-folded, swinging a bat wildly in every direction. The effect, though, has been the same -- by struggling to come up with a consistent line of criticism, and ratcheting up the hate and fear whenever one line of attack failed to move the needle, McCain's position as the sleaziest candidate in a generation is secure.

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