Thursday, October 23, 2008

Hey, GOP! It’s Not Too Soon To Start Pointing Fingers

Well, it sure looks like McCain has lost. The real question now is how badly and why?

Enthusiasm for a prospective Obama Administration is only exceeded these days by hopes for a very public internecine conflagration in the Grand Old Party. There's so much blame to go around, so many villains -- dupes, incompetents, mush-headed intellectual poseurs, con artists, buffoons, bullies, liars and plain, old hypocrites -- that the circular firing squad will need gatlin guns. And who but the Republicans come well-armed enough for this kind of genocide?

It would require a virtual Encyclopedia Of 21st Century Republican Blunders to tell the whole story. In reverse chronological order one wonders who’s to blame for: The Ayers Strategy, The Palin Choice, The McCain Campaign Suspension To Do Nothing About The Bailout Package, The World Financial Crisis, The Military Failure In Afghanistan, The Iraq War Debacle, The Katrina Disaster, The Global Warming Denials, The 10 Trillion Dollar Deficit, Enron, Energy Deregulation…?

What’s next? Who’s going to lead your party?

What’s the GOP's next new great idea?

Got Ideology? Milk it.

Is Palin the future of your party?

Is Romney?

How bout Mike Huckabee?

Are you set to become the party of the low-information right and hidebound social conservatives too resentful to vote their own self-interest? Or... What other choices do you have?

For a history and credit list of McCain's Campaign Bunglers, see next weekend's New York Times Magazine article, "The Making And (Re)Making Of John McCain"

A powerful and somewhat counter-narrative about the selection of Sarah Palin can be found in Jane Meyer's "The Insiders" piece this week in the New Yorker.

The real story of Sarah's selection will be some time in the making. Clearly, the competing stories have as their essential difference the extent to which John McCain was the agent of or the unwitting victim of her selection.

Someone, whom exactly varies with the version (and neither of these articles even tries to dabe dabes), apparently told the Senator that he could not have his first choice, Joe Lieberman. The real question is who put their foot down, how hard and with what rationale.

The Palin battle for the soul of the party looms as the most interesting and potentially devastating conflict on the GOP horizon. But the number of self-inflicted wounds that her nomination has already caused is heartening.

For example, the doyenne of conservative commentators, the ever-fatuous and dishonest Peggy Noonan who is treated with such undeserved deference and is such an unabashed shill for whatever bullshit is being peddled by the Republicans, has this performance after the Palin-Biden debate to live down.

"She killed"

For Noonan to then write, a few days later in the WSJ, when it was apparent Palin's debate performance was largely a flop:

"In the end the Palin candidacy is a symptom and expression of a new vulgarization in American politics. It's no good, not for conservatism and not for the country. And yes, it is a mark against John McCain, against his judgment and idealism."

Makes her over-the-top "assessment" a transparent instance of the kind of tone-deaf, and to a degree ideologically blindered punditry, she has always practiced. Her cred suffers. She, after all, helped give us W., too.

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