Thursday, August 07, 2008

How to defeat McCain

After the VP running mates have been chosen and the dust settles from the conventions, the real race for the presidency will begin. There will be the continual punch, counterpunch and the constant attacks regarding experience, taxes and all the other issues. But let's face it, the candidates represent both the left and right of the political spectrum, so it's common sense to conclude that pretty much everyone has already decided who they'll vote for. However, there's still about 5-10% of the voters who haven't chosen a candidate. I would refer to this segment as "people who faithfully vote but honestly don't have an active interest in politics." They go to work, pay their taxes and raise their family but just aren't interested in the political scene. They quietly conclude; well, I'll vote because it's my civic duty but it really doesn't make a difference anyway. Perhaps they have a point. These people represent a VERY important segment of the voting population, especially this year. These are the voters you need to sway - the tiny fraction of undecideds.
It seems as though the Republican strategy will be to make Obama look like a celebrity who doesn't have the necessary experience. He'll raise your taxes and prematurely withdraw from Iraq. They'll try to make it a generally negative campaign about HIM. Probably a wise strategy.
The Dems will try to tie McCain to the past 8 years of the failed Bush administration. They'll portray him to some extent as a war-monger who wants to attack Iran, give further tax breaks to big oil companies and basically follow in the footsteps of Bush/Cheney. Considering the current unpopularity of Bush, that's probably the right way to go. And of course they'll push the change agenda.
So the attacks will continue back and forth. The 3 presidential debates could provide a huge opportunity for success or failure. The candidates will be well-prepped for just about anything but the most obscure issues. However, I think there's an opening for Obama on a critical issue that you rarely hear discussed in the media - THE OVER-REACHING POWER OF
THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH under the Bush/Cheney administration. I think here's where Obama could really put the nail in McCain's coffin. Whether or not you agree with the invasion/occupation/liberation of Iraq, almost everyone could agree on one point. The policy was set forth by Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld and their cohorts. They set the agenda and had the CIA wrap the intelligence around it. I'm not going to debate whether they were right or wrong, or whether the invasion of Iraq was a success or failure. But I think the vast majority of the country would agree that Bush has upset the checks and balances of the three branches of our government. This has led to increased partisanship, diviseness and vitriole between the major parties.
If Obama could make this case and explain that if he were elected, an Obama administration would take immediate action to restore the checks and balances of our govt., I think it would resonate with voters. Hey, here's a guy seeking the presidency who's genuinely worried about the abuse of the executive branch. If we elect him, he'll go to great lengths to ensure that our president acts within the confines of the constitution and not as a king or despot. He's actually willing to roll back the power of the presidency. Obama could also bring up the rampant cronyism that revolves around Bush and the all the poor appontiments, failed cabinet positions and a huge list of premature resignations.
This strategy is good for 2 big reasons - A. McCcain won't know what hit him and how to defend himself. He'll be totally unprepared for this line of attack. B. It would successfully tie McCain to the past 8 years of Bush/Cheney - this is the recipe for a grand slam. It also crushes any remaining appeal that McCain had as a maverick. You might be thinking, oh Saf, this kind of constitutional mumbo jumbo won't appeal to anyone. I totally disagree. After months of hearing the back and forth about taxes, gas prices, mortgage foreclosures, etc. blah, YOU NEED A NEW ISSUE. You'd have to frame the argument well. I think Obama and his team could convey it without sounding too egalitarian. This argument TRANSCENDS the political tit-for-tat and would dominate the news cycle. Trust me, MCain would be look like a deer in highlights. It would only work in the debates and you'd have to choose your timing. I suppose it would work in a town hall setting as well, which would be devastating to McCain.
Once again, I'm not trying to make the argument that Bush has been good or bad (trust me, he's totally incompetent and has never grasped or understood the magnitude of the office). I just think this would be a homerun for Obama. It's a no lose proposition for him. It also ties in well with the repetitive notions of "change" and "a new forward looking future." Plus, it would set a new precedent after 8 years of dictating policy rather than developing policy. Obmam would be regarded as thoughtful and contemplaitve rather than brash and arrogant, like McCain/Bush. It also helps Obama get away with nuanced stances on a myriad of major issues, which could be a problem for him as election day draws close should the Republican 527s unleash aanother wave of "flip-flop" ads which absolutely killed John Kerry in 2004.


sonofsaf said...

I neglected to mention... After you attack him on the Iraq war (failed WMD intelligence, greeted as liberators not occupiers, oil revenue will pay for the war, etc.). Then you crush him on the other ones -
Selective firings of US Attorneys
Anthrax attacks were of a Middle Eastern origin
The bungling of Katrina featuring "Brownie"
Cheney's oil exec buddies developing energy policy in a closed meeting
these are some of the big ones that demonstrate the abuses of the presidency, but the list goes on and on.
It's a real broad attack theme. An absolute win-win for Obama and the Democrats nationwide. McCain just can't defend this. It kills him from every conceivable angle. It's kind of like asking McCain that question, "How many times a day do you beat your wife?"

Anonymous said...

Obama Sucks !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm sure Obama would refuse to go home until the rest of his comrads could, while being tortured on a daily basis---

-I think he shouldn't be elected simply because his wife was once in the spice girls ;0

Not to mention the fucker has blue lips!!!!!!!!!!

sonofsaf said...

Wow! Anonymous makes some gutsy and informative observations. An unfortunate by-product of a country which affords everyone the right to vote.
I'm not sure I framed my initial argument to the best of my ability. Here's how I would execute the strategy. When asked by a moderator at one of the debates, "What would be the first order of business in an Obama administration?" - you come out swinging with the rollback of the executive branch. You offer up all the points I've mentioned, plus the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame (that's Dick Cheney, err uhhh Darth Vader, pulling off one of his most disgusting stunts).
After going through the argument, point by point, you turn to McCain and say, "I"m sure my Republican opponent would have to agree with the necessary rollback of executive power, considering the calamitous nature of the actions of the current administration. Plus, we have to ensure that future administrations, regardless of their political affiliation are kept in check." POW! The election just ended. McCain would be left stammering, "Friends, friends, my friends... uhh, we've got to let the oil companies drill offshore."

sonofsaf said...

I forgot to mention. You've got McCain rambling on about the sovereign rights of Georgia being violated. Obama can crush any semblance of the moral high road when you ask the simple question, "How can the U.S. take the moral high ground on the issue of Russia attacking neighboring Georgia, while we attacked, invaded and occupied Iraq which is halfway around the world."
Just an aside, Bush has really exhibited a lot of growth in his role as president. In his first term he was often disparaged for not asking the tough questions. So it comes as no surpirse that he has stepped it up in his second term. When recently briefed about the Russian attack on Georgia, Bush looked up at his staff; Bewildered and confused, he stammered, "Why the hell would they want to bomb Hotlanta?"

Anonymous said...

"How can the U.S. take the moral high ground on the issue of Russia attacking neighboring Georgia, while we attacked, invaded and occupied Iraq


First of all SonofSaf----We had the RIGHT to invade Irag when they shot at our planes in the "no-Fly zone" Clinton refused to do so, which is why the Bush administration had follow through with what should have been done in 94 and/ or 95. Do you follow history? Obama wants to appease, whci I'm sure the Russians will respect. At least McCain took a hard stance against what was clearly the Russians testing the waters to rebuild their lost empire. Should the U. S. allow this? Obama blamed both parties--can he at least take a stand against clear Soviet style aggression against one of our allies. I'm sure you understand security comes with a price. A price that you would never be willing to pay. I'm sure when the rest of the world sees Obama for what he is WEAK our dollar will fall to depths unknown. You blab on about the unjust Iraq war, but like so many of the uninformed you refuse to learn from history. Weakness allows for you to be further weakened. Allow the bullies to take advantage and they will! We havn't taken a penny from Iraq, We have only asked for them to have a representative government. Bush won two terms, could you be wrong? Of course not. Could those that have a diffenent opinion from yours be right-------you refuse to have an informed debate------you can't--you only mock the strength you could never have. How sad you and your opinions are. I

"rollback of executive power" The power that Roosevelt had dwarfed that of any president since and he was a democrat you twit!

"Dick Cheney, err uhhh Darth Vader"
Wow stealing jokes from SNL very original!

"The bungling of Katrina" was the fault of the democratic local government-Bush has too much power--- but he should have entered the State without the request of the States Governor read a book once in a while Saf-son of

Anonymous said...

You suck

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

You're gay lolololololololololololol

Anonymous said...

No, really gay lololololololololol

G Max said...

I love this guy/gal!

sonofsaf said...

"You suck, Fag, Looser (sp)...." How on earth did anonymous know that G Max would make a post? He/she must have had a premonition.

sonofsaf said...

I'm assuming that there are 2 different people who are using the "anonymous" heading. At least that's my impression. I'd like to address some of the more credible comments that were posted. Just some background info - I'm in favor of a strong national defense. It might interest you to know that I come from what many would consider a military family. My father served in the army in the Korean War and my brother was Navy Flight through the 1990's. My father vehemently opposed the Iraq invasion while my brother supported it. I have a hunch that my brother was more easily swayed by the govt. propaganda onslaught leading up to the invasion of Iraq. I have never served in the military nor do I have any desire. It's my belief that the unilateral invasion and occupation of Iraq has seriously undermined our national defense. We've got soldiers on their 4th and 5th deployments trying to referee an internal civil war between Shias and Sunnis. Do you know the main difference between a Sunni and Shia - it has to do with who they think is the real son of Mohammed. You always hear from the Bush administration that the general military morale is high. I have serious doubts about this. But I guess that's a matter of opinion. This war will cost the American taxpayers about a trillion+ when it's all said and done. Hopefully, McCain doesn't get elected and try to further the cause of liberty in Iran. Enough of that.
Alright, the main point of the original post was to convey a credible attack startegy for Obama. I think the majority of my plan has merit. The bungling of Katrina... Well, that might be pushing it a bit. The handling of Katrina would have been a disaster regardless of who was in power. But it did take Bush WAY TOO LONG to even address the issue.
Anonymous seems to believe that we have the inherent right to invade and occupy Iraq. That's his opinion. He obviously views or viewed Iraq as an imminent threat to our national security. I've never thought this was the case. I never thought they were a threat in 2003. Oddly enough, nowadays, I think there are elements in Iraq that represent a grave threat to our military. Basically, because the green zone is surrounded by people who hate us. Go figure - you invade a country and aren't welcomed as liberators. Perhaps, the best option is to withdraw. We have established military bases in Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Turkey, and the UAE. Not to mention a huge naval presence in the Meditarranean and the Straights of Hormuz (I think that's the correct body of water). Anyway, maybe there's a possiblilty we don't need another giant base of operations.
People wonder why all great civilizations eventually crumble. It's called EMPIRE. I think Bush has taken us down the path of trying to expand the empire in numerous ways that are detrimental to the existence of the United States. I honestly believe this. Perhaps it's time to take a more universal approach and try to engage nations with greater diplomacy rather than just threatening military force. I think Obama wants to pursue this course of action - that's the main reason I'm supporting him.
Sorry if this meanders a little - there was a lot to address. And by the way, feel free to use your real name. If I know you, I won't be too offended. People have called me far worse. Plus, believe it or not, I enjoy the discourse and think some of the statements in your post have merit (not the stuff where I'm called gay and looser).

sonofsaf said...

I was at The Ranch (formerly, The Crossroads in mid-Marshall County) last night and briefly spoke with this guy outside. I'm not even sure how the topic came up, but I inquired about something going on later this month and he mentioned that he was going to Afghanistan in 12 days. Then, he mentioned he had served two earlier tours in Iraq, both in Fallujah. This guy was pretty reserved in his attitude and general demeanor. He said something that resonated - "I really don't have a hard time killing people. That's the easy part. It's the cleaning up the bodies. That's what's tough." This exchange happened about 10 hours ago.

sonofsaf said...

INCREDIBLY insightful excerpts from a conservative writer. Hits every point directly and eloquently.

Anonymous said...

Dear Sonofsaf,

There are many reasons for the fall of nations and "empires". The United States has never acted as an "empire" We have always shared our wealth with other nations rather than just exploit them for the most part i.e. Japan, Germany, Korea, etc. We could force Iraq to pay for their re-building, but we do not. Even if we did act as an "empire" the truth is that empires in the past failed for two reasons: over expansion and internal political fighting. Every country that acts or intends to act as an empire i.e. Russia, China, etc... show no internal conflict politically. I'm often amazed at the criticism of the Patriot Act, and the support for Tibet by the Hollywood elite when nobody is actually critical of China, please read the interviews with their athlets, whom have no idea where their families are, or if they can ever return to them. Also pay attention to Putin, who will never respect the weakness that Obama is sure to represent to him. We can't even get people to criticize Putin when he eliminated the press in Russia, or poisons persons critical of his regime in another nation. This all sounds familiar to me--the same mentality is present throughout the world of Islam. As far as the Middle Eastis conserned, the Iranians clearly see themselves as the Persian "Empire", as clearly as the Russions dream of the rebirth of the U.S.S.R. The "Persians" will stop at nothing to take control of the region. No amount of "talk" and "understanding" will preven their militant expansion throughout the region. I am an amature historian and am sure of one thing, Weakness, or the perception of weakness is always tested and taken advantage of. Obama is only hope for the left wing in the U.S. and the enemies of the U.S. abroad.

Also the fact that men/woman have done two, three, or fifty tours of duty is inconsequential. In the times of "empire" the military was a calling and fighting a war or wars was what was to be expected for ten, twenty, or thirty years. For true warriors sitting around waiting to fight was a waste of time. "empire" welcomed their heroes home when they returned from a fight and cheered them as they left again a few days later to return to the fight. If you are in the military the job you have is to deter and kill people. One can not be had without the other! IF you are not expanding you are contracting---look at the history of Britain, France, Russia, etc.. Every Nation/"empire" follows this path. We don't act as an "empire" but I feel we should! At least we should demand the spoils which we never have. And understand this, the European nations historically have never been able to stand together and will not be able to do so for the "Euro" to continue to dominate the dollar. The Euro will eventually fail, as well the value of the Asian market due to communist refusal to allow full democracy. The western European nations will again need to depend on a "strong" U.S. to save them with our military(They no longer have one), or economically.

Stay strong Sonofsaf, live, learn, and understand.

p.s. old, rich, white men have made this nation the most successful "empire" in the history of the world! Why would I want to change that? just saying ;)

Anonymous said...

I love g Max!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I don;'t know you but I did happen on this blog while researching Son of Sam for a college paper :). I'm 28, Male, and reside in Pittsburgh, PA

also a registered (conservative)Democrat

Gino Marinacci

Eric said...

Some very intriguing points. I think we have a fundamental disagreement on what constitutes a modern-day empire. I'm seeing "empire" in a much broader sense. These days we use a great deal of coersion to enhance our standing. Think about some of the members of the "coalition of the willing" who were sent to overthrow Saddam and restore freedom to the Iraqis. Think about it. Do the citizens of El Salvador, Poland, Italy really have a real stake in a Sunni Baathist regime? Hard to understand why their govts felt so compelled to send troops to the Middle East. The sad truth is - we used up all the U.S. prestige and goodwill with the war in Iraq. Even now, with approval ratings of Bush in the high 20's and the Iraq war generally regarded as a historical blunder of enormous proportions, Bush is trying to secure weapons/oil deals well beyond his term.
I just have serious doubts about the U.s. maintaining a puppet regime in a country where 97% of the adult population hates us. Maybe the "give candy to the impoverished kids strategy" of the Bush administration will work in the long run. But I doubt it.
I'm digressing a bit. I just think that the situation in Iraq literally reaks of "Empire." An impudent, reckless invasion/occupation of a country half way aorund the world which was not a threat tot he security of our country, but in reality, has resulted in the decimation of our armed forces. And I disagree with the idea that tours of duty are irrelevant. Eventually, memeber of our armed forces are going to get sick of "protecting" Rosie O'Donnell and Kobe Bryant. There's already a shitload of tension between the amry grunts and the Halliburton contractors. Think of what will happen if this endless path continues.
Empires crumble from within as well - demise of the nuclear family, the fall of the middle class, blah etc. Sounds like we're an empire to me. Maybe juts not the historical version of one.

Anonymous said...

Empire = a state that extends dominion over populations distinct culturally and ethnically from the culture/ethnicity at the center of power. The U.S. is fighting for its very survival------
if we don't dominate the middle east than others-i.e. Russia, China, Modern Persia will-------the oil is our life blood and we need it---just because Bush couldn't be honest about why we were doing what we were doing dosn't make it any less necessary. We are living in times that will cause our demise if we don't control what all of us in the world are attempting to control-------oil---and for good reason--none of us exist without it!

As far as the miliary goes-I'm in favor of a draft, but just give kids(male/Female) a choice of military or civil service----two years service and then free college. Civil service could be just like the cilil corps during the depression to clean, work on roads, and/or social work. Their are solutions-----I just think that to dream that we can talk and reason with countries that reside ion the 1st century is unrealistic, or to attempt to do so with nations that truly are empire i.e. Russia, China---I mean really there are big difference between Russia, China and the U.S. but most liberals act like there isn't-how sad----and how unrealistic-----

Good debate though------