Friday, 16 May 2008

Say it: Disloyal [Updated: The Path to Victory]

The dust-up over Bush’s ridiculous effort to drag the tired, moth-eaten Neville Chamberlain analogy out of the attic is another sign of how intellectually and morally bankrupt our rulers are, but it also demonstrates the lack of fighting spirit from the Obama/Everyone-else-not-clinically-demented camp.

Obama responded with a lame effort at reason and common sense, arguing somewhat defensively that talking to your adversaries is a time-honored tradition known as ‘diplomacy’. I don’t know what planet he’s living on, but that gets you exactly nowhere with Rove-inspired smear tactics and the West Virginia voters who aren’t embarrassed to tell the TV cameras that they don’t like black people.

I’d like to see a response along the lines of: George Bush is disloyal to what America stands for, betrayed us with phony threats, led us into a disastrous war and sent troops off to kill and die based on a pack of lies while his lazy-ass war-profiteer buddies are all getting obscenely rich.

Okay, I’m hallucinating. But I think it would be reasonable to expect some rhetoric commensurate with the level of criminality and venality that this pack of gangsters continues to manifest with indecent glee. Some people will have a cow, but a lot of others will respect the Democrats’/Obamanians’ capacity to kick some serious butt, even if they disagree.

Every time the Bushites rachet down the level of their attacks to new depths, the supposed opposition bends down to reply, which partially reinforces the accusations. Instead, they should be resetting the terms of the debate. I look forward to some of that, if not from OB himself then from some of his more skilled attack dogs.

It’s not as if there’s any lack of material.

[Updated] Done, hallelujah. Obama came out swinging in exactly the way I had hoped: ‘divisive’, ‘dishonest’, ‘naïve’, ‘irresponsible’, ‘a lot to answer for’, ‘trying to fool you and scare you’. This is the lexicon of a leader staking out territory and marking it strongly.

There is an automatic gain in this type of approach, unknown to Dukakis, Kerry and Harry Reid: whether people agree or disagree, they know you stand for something, and they can see you stand up for it vigorously. After all, that’s half of John McCain’s bizarre appeal, that he isn’t afraid to take an unpopular position.

Obama is showing that he’s willing to take on the Bush neoconderthals, and that makes him look like someone capable of taking on the nation’s enemies as well. It’s a winning formula, whatever the final vote turns out to be. It’s the first sign I’ve seen in ages of the Democratic Party looking like a real opposition.

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