Wednesday, August 20, 2008

McCain chose

When John McCain took his campaign negative, despite promising that he wouldn’t, it was everyone else’s fault but his. That’s the inevitable conclusion you get from reading David Brooks’ Op-Ed piece in the New York Times. Blame bloggers and journalists who are too young to know what they’re doing. Blame the news media’s supposed love affair with Barack Obama. Blame traditional Republican strategy. Blame everybody, in fact, except McCain.

Brooks points out that McCain used to ridicule the “Message of the Day” talking points that Republican Senators were all supposed to use so they could stay “on message”. He then goes on to document how McCain once held utter disdain for traditional partisan politics. But he ends up suggesting that McCain had no choice but to go negative, thanks to bloggers, indifferent journalists and the Republican political machine.

That, of course, is the most odoriferous kind of bovine excrement.

Writing on CBS News.com, Kevin Drum demolishes Brooks’ nonsense:

Bloggers are somehow responsible for McCain running juvenile ads comparing Obama to Paris Hilton and Britney Spears? A bored press is responsible for McCain claiming that Obama puts personal interest ahead of country? The conservative establishment prevented McCain from calling out Jerome Corsi's book for the vile trash that it is? The system forced McCain to hire one of Karl Rove's disciples as his campaign manager?

McCain, in fact, chose to conduct his campaign this way. Brooks actually revealed the real reason McCain is running a traditional Republican negative campaign: “As… McCain’s campaign has become more conventional, his political prospects have soared.”

McCain had a choice. He could’ve run a campaign based on the different kind of politics that he promised. Instead, he chose to break his promise. Instead, he chose to follow the example set by Karl Rove and the Bush/Cheney campaigns. In doing so, John McCain proved he really is just like George Bush.

There’s no chance that McCain will reform himself or his campaign, so he certainly would never reform Washington. It’s increasingly obvious now that he really is running for George Bush’s “third term”. His negative campaign proves it.

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