The weblog of Joshua Drescher

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Look out, Senator Obama! It’s a trap!

August 13th, 2008 · 1 Comment · Politics, Rants

What is it with Democratic Presidential candidates and vacationing during campaigns? To Obama’s credit, he hasn’t been caught floating about on the S.S. Elite wearing a captain’s hat and an ascot, so he’s at least doing better than John Kerry did, but it still seems odd for him to take a week off in the middle of his campaign like this. McCain, on the other hand, continues to grind away, attending a constant stream of small events that are apparently barely worth covering. To be honest, I’ve gotten the sense that his campaign is often moving forward blindly, with the expectation that “something” will eventually happen that works in their favor. Any efforts they’ve made to manufacture that “something” have, thus far, failed.

But then the Russians stepped up and handed McCain a big, shiny life-line. While Obama is in Hawaii, McCain has been issuing red-faced condemnations of the Russian invasion of Georgia. Compared to his statements, the President’s responses have been passive and measured. Now some folks have pointed out that McCain has close ties to lobbiests from Georgia, but I think there’s a simpler explanation for his rather vigorous posturing.

The Russians can help him win in November.

Obama has the “youth vote” locked up, but everybody else remembers the Cold War. Everybody else remembers being raised on a diet of paranoia and fear of all things Russian. And, like riding a bike, fearing the Russians is something Americans definitely haven’t forgotten how to do.

Whether or not this becomes useful to McCain will largely be up to Obama. If, after the luaus and wake-boarding are over, he fails to condemn the Russians, he’ll have given McCain the ammunition he needs. If he issues a statement that is balanced and considerate of the intricacies and complexities of the relationship between Georgia and Russia, he’s in trouble. If he does anything other than stare straight into the camera and threaten to poke Putin in the eye, McCain will be set to pounce (well… like an old man pounce - sort of a spasmotic, lurching lean in Obama’s direction). Yes, True Believers, if Obama stumbles McCain will be able to simply re-release… THE BEAR:

And I’m only partially joking. I actually think McCain could use that exact ad to remind older voters of their past fears about the Commies and to immediately rekindle the fear that we’ll march back in that direction unless we elect a hawkish Republican president. Unlike Iraq or Afghanistan or Iran or North Korea or the economy or unemployment or social security or health care, there’s not really anything we can DO about the Russians - which makes them the perfect foil for Republicans. If you can’t ever actually do anything (and both sides know it), you can SAY anything you want without fear of repercussion. If McCain’s smart, that’s exactly what he’ll do.


1 response so far ↓

  • 1 ralf // Aug 14, 2008 at 7:12 am

    Ooh, bears. I hate and fear bears. Which candidate will have the daring and foresight to propose some sort of ‘Bear Patrol’? Won’t someone please think of the children?

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