The Asian and European markets are tanking this morning. It’s shaping up to be a fun day on Wall Street.
Now, for the good news — Nate Silver says the McCain campaign is on life support. In “Blame game: GOP forms circular firing squad,” Jonathan Martin and Mike Allen and John F. Harris of The Politico document the unraveling of the GOP political machine. There will be some juicy books written about the McCain campaign when this is over, I bet. The GOP also expects to be routed in the House.
Headline in today’s Los Angeles Times: “McCain’s homestretch strategy: paint Obama as a socialist.” Brilliant.
According to Nate Silver’s “scenario analysis,” McCain absolutely must win Florida and Ohio to win the election. Both states are leaning blue at the moment, but, y’know, stuff happens, especially in Florida and Ohio. On the other hand, Obama can lose both Ohio and Florida and still win the election, Nate says.
It’s looking about as good as it could possibly look for Obama.
In the Washington Post, E.J. Dionne makes the interesting observation that the GOP seems to be splitting into McCain and Palin camps. The stats say Palin is a drag on the ticket, Dionne says,
Yet the pro-Palin right is still impatient with McCain for not being tough enough — as if he has not run one of the most negative campaigns in recent history. This camp believes that if McCain only shouted the names “Bill Ayers” and “Jeremiah Wright” at the top of his lungs, the whole election would turn around.
Then there are those conservatives who see Palin as a “fatal cancer to the Republican Party” (David Brooks), as someone who “doesn’t know enough about economics and foreign policy to make Americans comfortable with a President Palin” (Kathleen Parker), as “a symptom and expression of a new vulgarization in American politics” (Peggy Noonan).
If you think about it, Dionne continues, you see the split forming between the party elite and its rank and file.
Suddenly, the conservative writers are discovering that the very anti-intellectualism their side courted and encouraged has begun to consume their movement.
They’re all scapegoating Bush, of course. But “movement conservatism” is coming unglued, and this is not Bush’s fault alone.
Conservatism has finally crashed on problems for which its doctrines offered no solutions (the economic crisis foremost among them, thus Bush’s apostasy) and on its refusal to acknowledge that the “real America” is more diverse, pragmatic and culturally moderate than the place described in Palin’s speeches or imagined by the right-wing talk show hosts.
Conservatives came to believe that if they repeated phrases such as “Joe the Plumber” often enough, they could persuade working-class voters that policies tilted heavily in favor of the very privileged were actually designed with Joe in mind.
When the dust settles after election day, it will be interesting to see how working-class Americans voted.