Saturday, September 13, 2008

Stoking the Fire with Gasoline

Recently, Fred Barnes of The Weekly Standard penned a column dripping with crocodile empathy tears for Democrats who are stuck with Barack Obama and his vice presidential choice.

Of course, everything Mr. Barnes wrote is absolutely true. In short, Obama blew it. Big time. Yet, every time someone like Barnes focuses his punditry on what's wrong with the Democratic presidential ticket, ALL down-ticket Dems are hurt by the meme.

Although Obama's campaign has failed to live up to pledges made to superdelegates to help with organization and $$$, the howler doesn't especially like to read some neocon blabbermouth rue on the foolish predicament Dems now find themselves in, even if it's right on the money.

Well enough of finger-pointing and howling for now; here's what Barnes initially had to say on the subject of party unity, the all-import swing states of Ohio and Pennsylvania as well as Arkansas.

Party unity. Democrats have come together fairly well behind the Obama-Biden ticket--but not as well as they would have if Obama had chosen Clinton. We still hear from disgruntled Hillary backers. Reporters have discovered they're easy to find at McCain-Palin rallies. Polls can't tell us how many will ultimately vote for McCain and Palin. But a chunk of them will--perhaps a few million--which means that Democrats aren't as unified as they might have been.

Ohio and Pennsylvania. Republicans figured these states, notably Pennsylvania, were all but goners if Clinton won the Democratic nomination. Even as veep, she'd have had a favorable impact. When she was passed over by Obama, Republicans jumped for joy. Ohio, which a Republican presidential candidate has to win, now leans McCain. Pennsylvania, which is crucial to a Democratic candidate's chances, has become a ripe target of opportunity for McCain.

Arkansas. As a Southern state, Arkansas is inclined to vote Republican in presidential races unless there's a compelling reason not to. One of those reasons: a Clinton on the Democratic ticket. Without Clinton, Arkansas moves into the leaning (strongly)McCain camp.

This is so pathetic. Equal to McCain's selection of Palin, which everyone knows would've never happened in a million years if Hillary had been on the ticket, the howler could just scream bloody murder about electoral map prospects for November; and how GOPers are taking full advantage of Obama's game-changing blunderbuss to hurt the Democratic Party brand and every Dem running in '08. Not that anyone can really blame Republicans; it's just politics; that dirty word that shall remain unspoken...

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