In the face of what seems an insurmountable electoral challenge, in spite of running the most negative of campaigns and dubious eleventh hour challenges to the rights of non-Republicans to vote, the Republicans have withdrawn to their last line of defence, unilateral declarations of treason on the part of their opponents:
"We believe that the best of America is in these small towns that we get to visit, and in these wonderful little pockets of what I call the real America," Ms. Palin said, according to a pool report. "Being here with all of you hard-working very patriotic, um, very, um, pro-America areas of this great nation. This is where we find the kindness and the goodness and the courage of everyday Americans."
Mark Leibovich - Palin Visits a 'Pro-America' Kind of Town NYT 17 Oct 08
'Wonderful little pockets of what I call real America?' As Obama spokesman Bill Burton wondered, 'What part of the country isn't pro-America?' But never mind, they're just throwing out red meat to the remaining 'little pockets' of their constituency, right? Apparently not, from these recent comments by McCain surrogate, Representative Michelle Bachman:
"What I would say is that the news media should do a penetrating expose and take a look. I wish they would. I wish the American media would take a great look at the views of the people in Congress and find out, are they pro-America or Anti-America? I think the American people would love to see an expose like that."
thereisnospoon - Help Kick Michelle Bachmann out of Congress. NOW. www.MyDD.com 17 Oct 08
So now we have McCain surrogates questioning the loyalty of our elected representatives? This kind of 'madhattery' would lead you to believe that these are just isolated outbursts from reckless and undisciplined voices in the campaign, wouldn't it? But the evidence is starting to accumulate that we are seeing a concerted effort to delegitimise the majority of the country which doesn't happen to be McCain Republican. For example, specific localities are being targeted for rhetorical disenfranchisement, in this case the non-rural areas of Virginia:
It's all about division. For Sarah Palin, it's about dividing "pro-America" communities from those parts of the nation she's less fond of. For Michelle Bachmann, it's about dividing "un-American" members of Congress from the rest of the chamber.
And for the McCain campaign, it's about dividing individual swing states, pitting one region against another.
On MSNBC this morning, McCain adviser Nancy Pfotenhauer asserted that "real Virginia" does not include Northern Virginia: "I certainly agree that Northern Virginia has gone more Democratic.... But the rest of the state -- real Virginia if you will -- I think will be very responsive to Senator McCain's message."
MSNBC host Kevin Cork gave Pfotenhauer a chance to revise her answer, telling her: "Nancy, I'm going to give you a chance to climb back off that ledge -- did you say 'real Virginia'?"
But Pfotenhauer didn't budge, and instead dug a deeper hole: "Real Virginia, I take to be, this part of the state that's more Southern in nature, if you will.
This comes just two weeks after Joe McCain, the senator's brother and campaign surrogate, referred to Virginia's two most northern counties as "communist country."
Steve Benen - The 'Real' Virginia... Washington Monthly 17 Oct 08
If there is a winning electoral strategy in all of this one could be forgiven for failing to see it. 'Real' America is very likely about to deliver the biggest defeat Republicans have had for a long time. It would seem that instead of contesting this election on it's merits the Republicans have in fact conceded the 'real' election and are retreating to the bunker of false rhetorical divisions, indefensible distinctions of 'values' and politically useless assumptions of moral superiority. Am I missing something here or are the Republicans conceding the election and preparing to fight a bitter war of absurd ideological legitimacy to explain their pending failure?:
"It comes down to values - in America, do we simply value wealth, or do we value the work that creates it?" Obama said at a rally under the Gateway Arch. "I'm not giving tax cuts to folks who don't work. I'm giving tax cuts to folks who do work. That's right, Missouri - John McCain is so out of touch with the struggles you are facing that he must be the first politician in history to call a tax cut for working people `welfare.'"
Obama made the remarks at a rally that drew an estimated 100,000 people--second only to the 200,000 people who turned out for his speech in Berlin, Germany, and more than the 80,000 people who attended his Democratic National Convention speech--in a state that John Kerry had pulled out of at this point four years ago.
"At least in Europe, the Socialist leaders who so admire my opponent are upfront about their objectives," McCain said in his Saturday radio address. "They use real numbers and honest language. And we should demand equal candor from Sen. Obama. Raising taxes on some in order to give checks to others is not a tax cut; it's just another government giveaway."
Obama would "convert the IRS into a giant welfare agency, redistributing massive amounts of wealth at the direction of politicians in Washington," McCain said.
Carrie Budoff Brown - 100,000 at Obama rally--calls McCain 'out of touch' Politico 18 Oct 08
Socialist? Republicans have regressed into the anachronistic culture wars of the 20th century as we move forward toward the greatest challenges of the current one. If they are 'redefining' the Republican party it is certainly starting to look like a paranoid, poorly informed and angry little group. We just might have a good, long run in government if this is the alternative they seem determined to offer the American public for the future.