Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Two Willies

Mud Pies for ‘That One’
Published: October 7, 2008

In the latest turns in the election, Maureen Dowd is seeing echoes of a previous campaign.

Some of John McCain’s friends, from the good old days when he talked straight, feared that his Greek tragedy would be that he would be defeated by George Bush twice: once in 2000, because of W.’s no-conscience campaigning, and again in 2008, because of W.’s no-brains governing.
But Dowd sees McCain as being partly to blame.
But if McCain loses, he will have contributed to his own downfall by failing to live up to his personal standard of honor.
While the Alliteration Alert® level is down to yellow, she does slip a few in, especially when discussing reptilian Republicans.
[McCain] been running a seamy campaign originally designed by the bad seed of conservative politics, Lee Atwater.

It was adapted in 2000 in Atwater’s home state of South Carolina by Atwater acolytes in W.’s camp to harpoon McCain with rumors that he had fathered out of wedlock a black baby (as opposed to adopting a Bangladeshi infant girl in wedlock).
Maureen uses a Dowdversion® based on "common" to show the inherent hypocrisy of Atwater-style attacks.
Atwater relished teaching rich, white Republicans to feign a connection to the common man so they could get in office and economically undermine the common man.

Then she draws the bigger parallel.

Willie Horton
In the 1988 campaign, the Machiavellian ran to help George Bush Sr. defeat Michael Dukakis with this unholy quintet of charges:

The Democrat was a ’60s-style liberal who would raise taxes and take away guns. He was weak and would not protect the country militarily. He was a member of the elite “Harvard Yard’s boutique.” He had a foreign-sounding name and was not on “the American side.” He was on the side of the Scary Black Man.
William Ayers
Certainly, at some level, John McCain must be disgusted with himself for using the tactics perfected by the same crowd that used these tactics to derail him in 2000. He’s now curmudgeonly, even hostile, toward the press — the group he used to spend hours with every day and jokingly describe as his base.

He unleashed Sarah Palin to slime their opponent and suggested that the Democrat with the foreign-sounding name who came from the Harvard Yard boutique is not on the American side.
Sound familiar?
And while Dowd does not use the "R-word", the racial undertones of the Wille Ayers/Rev. Wright association does not go unnoticed.
Atwater gleefully tried to paint Willie Horton as Dukakis’s running mate. With a black man running, it’s even easier for Atwater’s disciple running McCain’s campaign to warn that white Americans should not open the door to the dangerous Other, or “That One,” as McCain referred to Obama in Tuesday night’s debate. (A cross between “The One” and “That Woman.”)
Maureen may be stretching by trying create "That One" as a portmanteau between The Messiah and Monica Lewinsky, but there is a ring of truth there.

And by using Palin as the pitbull, McCain is making her do the dirty work.
The woman is sounding more Cheney than Cheney.
Maybe that’s why McCain didn’t bring up Ayers or Wright during the debate, instead leaving it to Sarah Barracuda.
Our only Movies With Maureen® moment comes from a brief queen bee aside with it's own alliterative aspects.
Asked if she thought Senator Obama was dishonest, McCain’s Mean Girl meandered:

“I’m not saying he’s dishonest, but in terms of judgment, in terms of being able to answer a question forthrightly, it has two different parts to this. The judgment and the truthfulness and just being able to answer very candidly a simple question about when did you know him, how did you know him, is there still — has there been an association continued since ’02 or ’05, I know I’ve read a couple different stories. I think it’s relevant.”

Of course she does.
And by that, Maureen means that it is both irrelevant and that Palin only says it is because that is what the slithering consultants handing the candidates mud pies told her to believe. And to aim some smears at That One.

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