Monday, May 19, 2008

FRAUD SQUAD. At National Review Online's The Corner, Andrew Stuttaford delivers a standard-issue plea for "skepticism" about climate change (or, as he puts it, "'climate change'"), but finishes:
That said, whatever their practical effects (some would be good, others not), McCain’s gestures to greenery are politically shrewd. Environmentalism is these days not only a widely-held civic religion, but, at least amongst some folk, a religion religion. Friendly nods in its direction are therefore a good electoral move, essentially harmless, and in the finest tradition of American political pandering: the equivalent, perhaps, of just another prayer breakfast.

As a wise man once (reportedly) said, “Paris is well worth a Mass.”
The Cornerites previously briefed Rudy Giuliani in the uses of dissimulation in getting over on gun nuts and abortion foes; Stuttaford's post suggests they may be preparing to give McCain lying lessons as well. Having previously been very, very cold toward the man they now embrace, they are certainly qualified to do so.

Obama is at a real disadvantage here. All his hope 'n' change stuff begs for conservatives to attempt to debunk it. Their ploys, from Rev. Wright to "Sweetiegate," have been mostly flimsy, sometimes even admittedly so, as with Jim Geraghty's item at NRO telling readers that though he is a "skeptic" of the rumor that Michelle Obama rails against "whitey" on a videotape, people may be inclined to believe it, which justifies his repeating it.

So they keep it up, throwing whatever they can get hold of, and declaring that their fusillades have penetrated Obama's facade, mask, disguise, fraud, etc. to reveal his socialist agenda, racism, devotion to Islam or the Devil or some damn thing -- because if he weren't guilty of some of it at least, why would people be paying attention? And when Obama pitches it back at them, he is accused of being thin-skinned, whiney, and, of course, guilty.

Obama is thus vulnerable to charges of hypocrisy because he has raised high expectations, and even an imputation of fault can reduce him. A similar counter-offensive against McCain can't be nearly as effective -- not because he is any less of a politician than Obama, but because no one sees in him anything to be hypocritical about.

Small wonder his supporters would so openly advise him to lay on the bullshit. It's their greatest strength.

UPDATE. Regarding the Michelle Obama tape rumor, commenter Julia asks, "Why is it, do you think, that all the angry black person dialogue these people invent for two ivy-educated lawyers with government jobs sound like Link from the Mod Squad?"

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