End of Days, the Prequel

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.

Even Scott MClellan endorses Obama.

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.

20 thoughts on “End of Days, the Prequel

  1. Video The Vote – DO IT!

    So many of us are avid video types… shooting our mini-epics and getting them out on the web, that it is not amazing to find an organization like Video The Vote getting into the act to protect our democracy from vote fraud. This from their site:

    Video the Vote is a national initiative to protect voting rights by monitoring the electoral process. We organize citizen journalists—ordinary folks like you and me—to document election problems as they occur. And then we distribute their footage to the mainstream media and online to make sure the full story of Election Day gets told.

    Their promotional is at their site or mine.

    Ready to get involved?

    Under The LobsterScope

  2. Even Scott MClellan endorses Obama.

    Someone noted yesterday, “Forget Reagan Democrats. We now have Obama Republicans.”

    We’re certainly living in interesting times. For all that old proverb means.

  3. All this sounds good, but then there’s the NYT this morning with a piece by Adam Nagourney entitled “In McCain’s Uphill Battle, Winning Is an Option.” Followed by a subhead: “Given the question marks hovering over the race, some observers argue John McCain still has a path to victory.”

    That’s what did it for me. I fired off an email to the Obama headquarters here and offered my services as a professional photographer, or as a caller on a phone bank, or whatever, and added that when I see the Gray Lady saying McCain “still has a path to victory,” I become literally nauseated.

    Barack is right. This is no time to get complacent. I’m going to work my ass off to make sure the freak show finally comes to an end. ENOUGH!

  4. McCain’s only mistake was that he announced his running mate a month and a half too early. He allowed too much time for his “brilliance” to dim.

  5. “Conservatism has finally crashed on problems for which its doctrines offered no solutions…”

    This statement does not go far enough. Conservatism has finally crashed on problems for which its doctrines ARE THE CAUSE. All they have left is blame-shifting, since their only goal is winning (and keeping) power.

  6. But “movement conservatism” is coming unglued, and this is not Bush’s fault alone.

    You have to admit he is a damn fine avatar for it, tho.

  7. Gallup has Jewish Vote going to Obama by more than 3 – 1

    Looks like Sarah Silverman’s Great Schlep has paid off. Gallup has the Jewish vote in a big swerve to Obama:

    Jewish voters nationwide have grown increasingly comfortable with voting for Barack Obama for president since the Illinois senator secured the Democratic nomination in June. They now favor Obama over John McCain by more than 3 to 1, 74% to 22%.

    Under The LobsterScope

  8. Palin in 2012? Well, maybe if she and her supporters go Third Party on us. Maybe by then the Greens and the Libertarians (perhaps the Progressives, too) will have a chance of winning the Presidency. It’s all air.

    I think Dan’s comment takes some of the revisionist spin (or is it right-handed screw?) out of the upcoming necropsy of the Reagan Conservatism. Policies that were shiny and new in the ’80’s didn’t wear long or well. Those who hold to failed policies go toxic as the decomposition progresses. Playing the “Ayer and Wright” card? John McCain might as well vest up in sack cloth and dust himself with ashes of conservatism. At least that might seal the deal with a tone of autheticity.

    (BTW– Here in Ohio– Endless Political Ad State– The Republican Jewish Alliance (?) is running a negative (and characteristically logic-challenged and fact distorted) ad using Hilary’s statements against Obama ( naive on foreign policy) from the primary. Apparantly, 3-1 odds against McCain is still within the margin of error for mcCain-Palin ticket.

  9. Obama ran a brilliant campaign. He was prepared, he thought things out to the end, (unlike most Republicans we know) and he implemented smart strategies from the start. I know a teenage volunteer who was working the first grassroots effort last year, signing up voters in the first wave after his nomination. It snowballed from there. Today he’s a major volunteer at Ohio State.

    I heard someone say yesterday that when Kerry was running for President, he had Democratic volunteer campaign offices in three major counties in Ohio. Obama has them in every county. He covered every inch of a Red state and now it might go blue.

    That’s the kind of thinking, planning, and execution that wins.

  10. I hope voters turn out in record numbers. There’s still an outside chance that McCain could come from behind and pull out a win honestly or dishonestly.

    But more important, Americans need to make a statement: it’s time for change. It’s time for Americans to be involved again.

    There’s no doubt in my mind that our country needs two parties but the right wingers have done enormous damage to our country. I’m glad to see Republican moderates and even some conservatives supporting Barack Obama. They know their party needs to rebuild. Republicans have allowed themselves to be dominated by the loud know-nothing wing. That has to change. Even Greenspan now admits, though only partially, that the right wing noise machine probably affected his judgment on economic matters.

    The reality is that the United States is in crisis. The world is in crisis. We need to look at the world as it is, not as it is spun in places like Fox News. We need a new direction and a new leadership if we are to deal with the economy, global warming, energy and growing poverty. State by state, it doesn’t matter if Barack Obama is way ahead in a state poll or way behind, people need to vote and make themselves part of history.

  11. They are coming out all over! Former Massachusetts Governor William Weld joins Scott McLellen, Christopher Buckley, Colin Powell and the rush of moderate Republican politicians to jump on the Obama bandwagon.

    “Sen. Obama is a once-in-a-lifetime candidate who will transform our politics and restore America’s standing in the world,” said Governor Weld.

    I agree.

    And let’s take a look at the current Newspaper Endorsement Score, thanks to Editor & Publisher:

    The Obama-Biden ticket maintains its strong lead in the race for daily newspaper endorsements, by 134 to 52, an almost 3-1 margin and an even wider spread in the circulation of those papers. Obama, not surprisingly, gained the major nod from The New York Times plus The Philadelphia Daily News.

    Obama’s lopsided margin, including most of the major papers that have decided so far, is in stark contrast to John Kerry barely edging George W. Bush in endorsements in 2004 by 213 to 205.

    At least 28 papers have now switched to Obama from Bush in 2004, with just four flipping to McCain (see separate story on this site).

    The value of endorsements have often been questioned, but such a flash flood of support is hard to ignore.

    Under The LobsterScope

  12. I did the early voting thing today, many Black folks and Hispanics were voting. Hispanics in my neck of the woods are predominately Puerto Rican and Dominican, although there are minor numbers of Cuban, Mexican, Colombian, And Venezuelan Americans in my county also.

    I travel the state frequently, and I’ve noticed that McCain is very popular in the wealthier ‘burbs and in the Bible belt areas like Rural Polk Co. and Plant City (Just East of Tampa).
    It looks like a real close race in Florida, too close for me to call.
    Florida is like about four states in one. The panhandle is very conservative, but the military vote may be split (lots of military up there). SW Fl, Naples in particular is very Republican.
    SE Florida is very liberal, and the Central and interior is a strange mix of everything from new arrivals to native Americans, very diverse.Most of us are wage earners, you’d think would vote for Democrats, but its a chicken/Col. Sanders thing I don’t understand.
    As Joan R 16 said, this will be interesting.

  13. I’ve been thinking about what will happen to the Republicans after this rout we all hope occurs. Will the moderates manage to boot out the extremists, and regain control of their party? Or will the moderates join the Democrats, abandoning the Republican party to the angry fringe? Or will the country’s problems be so massive that the Democrats will become weakened, and both parties head toward anarchic factionalism?

  14. Palin calls Bush a major obstacle for campaign

    🙂 It’s not me, or my maverick buddy, it’s that asshole Bush!

  15. Palin is positioning herself to survive her upcoming defeat by crafting an image of herself as Rebecca of Donnybrook farm. Her mantra is now..speak the truth and shame the devil. I think she’s got her eyes on the prize..2012.

  16. I’ve been chewing on this for a while now, and I’ve managed to almost convince myself that there never really was a solid right bloc that dominated politics for so long… Bear with me on this. It’s probably stupid. 🙂

    Righties rabidly attacked Clinton throughout his presidency. They started the investigations and accusations in the 1st term, and he won a second one. They impeached him in his second term… and W managed to barely eke out a win in the Supreme Court after a massive vote suppression campaign. If he won at all, it was by 12 votes in Florida.

    Then Bush was handed 9/11 and terrorism as a campaign issue which he flogged to death during the 2004 campaign against a very poorly run Democratic campaign… and he won by maybe 12 votes in Ohio.

    That’s not exactly a sustainable movement. That’s more like a rabid noise machine that fooled some of the people some of the time. No right-domination at all. Just racket.

    I think rational people are seeing the noise for what it is, and seeing the policies for the disasters they are. Humble opinion.

  17. McCain seems to be, and have been, on a self-destruct trajectory for most of his adult life. His complete 180 on issues from 2004 and on was to endear himself to the Republican Party elite whose wholehearted endorsement he needed for his presidential run in ’08 – and which he had always lacked.

    When he chose Palin as a running mate, he successfully and assuredly ‘killed’ any endorsement they might have given him.

    Lord, I’m sick of these ‘crippled’ specimens (one succeeded) who want to be President. Is there something about the ‘office’ itself that attracts the emotionally crippled? I do wonder.

  18. When I read WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH KANSAS, I kept being reminded of how the Republican party has sold itself its own rope. This whole trope of better days, better places, better Americans, better past is ultimately destructive of both parties, not just their original Democratic enemies. I was away for almost a month without computer access, and when I returned, I caught up on newspapers and favorite blogs. The shrillness and repetitiveness were depressing. The fact-free zone in this campaign keeps getting larger. That means pulling together the angry and the ignorant will not be easy when this is over.

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