Thursday, September 11, 2008

McPalin Gets Beat On the Ground

All day long MSNBC has been pushing "Lipstick Politics." CNN is also focused on the spat. Everyone is. Did Obama call her a pig? Maybe. Should I care? I'm not so sure....

The media is allowed to make hay in any field they like. That's their perogative. That the ground forces of political change are engaged in the promulgation of such stupid stories should be cause for both alarm and celebration. Some mud slinging functions as cover fire. It's a good thing. But there needs to be an overall battle plan to win. There is a time and a place for mud slinging. Right now the place is everywhere, and the time is always. But not everyone needs to get involved in the project. Or simultaneously we need to engage in what we can do better than ever because of Obama's masterful campaign: get our folks to vote. 

While it is fun to talk about what an idiot Sarah Palin is, or what a monster she is, or what a hypocrite she is, it doesn't really get us anywhere. We're witnessing a marketing campaign that is being executed with great skill, and masterfully. The strategy is tailor-made for GOP voters, a homogenous block of socially similar dunderheads. Democrats are a different species. We like nuance. Yeah, yeah. We all know that, right? Well, we need to cater to that homey truism if we want to win in November.

How do you market to a far-flung group of individuals who are connected by an ideal that says they don't all have to believe in the same thing? Democrats have a few big ticket notions that always prevail (truth, justice, equality, opportunity), and the Obama campaign has done a good job dilineating that. McCain's campaign certainly stole Obama's post-acceptance thunder last week when they announced Palin as running mate. But the smoke can clear now if we stop stoking the fire--after all it's a conflagration started by our opponents.

McCain is vulnerable. First he was a maverick. Then he was McBush. Last week he was a bible-thumping dominionist. This week? Why, he's a centrist for change. Wha? It's only a matter of time before the dittoheads notice the way McCain flaps in the wind. Let's hope it bugs them as much as it did when John Kerry ran for president. 

In the meantime, it's okay to hope less while applying more shoe leather to the real task at hand: turning out Democratic voters. Push out the message for change that Obama is pushing. Be complex, engaged, and earnest about the issues. And let's not forget that most fights--whether they're started in a dive bar or during an election--are lost and won on the ground. McCain just got his 84.1 million from us taxpayers. He's only now opening field offices. We're way ahead of him there. This is finally a fight for votes, and while the fundy's may be powerful, ground organization is better.

In this regard, Giuliani did us a big favor underscoring Obama's experience as a community organizer. Let's thank him by winning. 

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