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WP: Ambushed by History


Henry

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They tried, but other than being close in polls I have not seen much evidence for this. I would attribute polls back then to people being more familiar w/ McCain.

Is your arguement that people liked Obama more back then because they knew him less than McCain, then as they got to know Obama more, McCain closed the gap, and now for some reason McCain has fallen away?

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/president/us/general_election_mccain_vs_obama-225.html

On 6-20, Obama has a lead of 5.5. He mantains at least a 5 pt. lead until 7-28 (so for over a month). From there until 10-02, he doesn't get back to a 5 pt. lead.

To say that the McCain campaign hadn't constructed a reasonable method of attacking Obama is ignoring history.

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As an undecided voter with no dog in the partisan fight I didn't see it that way.

Alexey's post seemed awfully defensive to me, but since I'm no fan of defending the GOP I figured I'd let it go.

I think Alexey's post was more offensive than defensive. I think folks are pissed. I'm pissed. The title of the article "ambushed by history", paints the wrong picture. Paint's the GOP as a helpless gazel prancing through the grass and is totally suprised by a mean foul breathed tiger jumping out and ripping their throat out. Thinking to itself as the light goes out of it's eyes, Oh the inhumanity!!, Oh the injustice!!....

A lot of folks don't see the GOP as the innocent gazel in that story and are a little offended anybody else can.

Not saying it's reasonble... Just saying I understand their opinion.

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Alexey's post seemed awfully defensive to me, but since I'm no fan of defending the GOP I figured I'd let it go.

The article contained a number of blatantly incorrect assertions and misrepresentations of reality. I was a surprised that a reasonable-sounding person like yourself would go along with it.

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I think Alexey's post was more offensive. I think folks are pissed. I'm pissed. The title of the article "ambushed by history", paints the wrong picture. Paint's the GOP as a helpless gazel prancing through the grass and is totally suprised by a mean foul breathed tiger jumping out and ripping their throat out. Thinking to itself as the light goes out of it's eyes, Oh the inhumanity!!, Oh the injustice!!....

A lot of folks don't see the GOP as the innocent gazel in that story and are a little offended anybody else can.

Not saying it's reasonble... Just saying I understand their opinion.

LOL! That was a pretty good dramatization.

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The article contained a number of blatantly incorrect assertions and misrepresentations of reality. I was a surprised that a reasonable-sounding person like yourself would go along with it.

I'm surprised a reasonable person like himself is voting Republican, or might vote Republican, or whatever. Not because voting Republican is automatically unreasonable, but based on his posting history.

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I think Alexey's post was more offensive. I think folks are pissed. I'm pissed. The title of the article "ambushed by history", paints the wrong picture. Paint's the GOP as a helpless gazel prancing through the grass and is totally suprised by a mean foul breathed tiger jumping out and ripping their throat out. Thinking to itself as the light goes out of it's eyes, Oh the inhumanity!!, Oh the injustice!!....

A lot of folks don't see the GOP as the innocent gazel in that story and are a little offended anybody else can.

Not saying it's reasonble... Just saying I understand their opinion.

I didn't see that at all. The article wasn't about the GOP. It was about McCain. In fact, the point of the article was that the GOP was unfairly blaming McCain for losing this election when it wasn't all just his own fault.

I agree that a lot of you are frothing at the mouth these days about what the GOP has done with it's recent power. And you know, I don't disagree with you. But this article is not about making excuses for the GOP.

For all their talk about respecting the constraints of reality, conservatives generally hold to the great man theory of history. It is leftists who embrace economic determinism. Conservatives read biographies of Winston Churchill and wait in constant expectation for the second coming of Ronald Reagan. Charisma and truth, in this view, can always overwhelm material conditions.

And this often leads to the small man theory of electoral setbacks. A losing Republican is not merely unfortunate; he must be incompetent, politically blind, and betrayed by his bumbling underlings. If he is not a winner, he is a fool.

John McCain has reached this stage of criticism among conservatives. Some attack him for "frenetic improvisation," while others urge him to frenetically improvise. His campaign is in a "defensive crouch" while also being "obnoxious" in its "phony populism." McCain's running mate is a "fatal cancer" who should "read more books."

This kind of cheap shot is, thank goodness, the prerogative of the commentator -- an option I will doubtlessly exercise in the future. But having once been on the political side of the divide, I remember how truly obnoxious such advice can become. If only the candidate would fire his entire campaign staff and travel the country in a used Yugo, speaking in the parking lots of 7-11s, the gap would be closed. If only the candidate would buy three hours in prime time and give a bold, historic speech (which has been helpfully sent under separate cover), the entire election would be turned around. If only the candidate would finally highlight his opponent's ties to Colombian drug cartels, the illuminati and the British royal family -- or perhaps abandon all this suicidal negativity -- the election could certainly be won. And yes, above all, the candidate must be himself.

With this kind of opening you think this is some sort of defense of the Republican party?

Sorry, I don't take every article that doesn't paint McCain as some gibbering idiot and Obama as some brilliant statesman as a defense of the GOP. Sometimes an observation is just that. An observation.

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To say that the McCain campaign hadn't constructed a reasonable method of attacking Obama is ignoring history.

On what basis do you attribute this achievement to McCain's campaign and not to Hillary's campaign or natural human tendencies to be weary of the unknown?

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As an undecided voter with no dog in the partisan fight I didn't see it that way.

Alexey's post seemed awfully defensive to me, but since I'm no fan of defending the GOP I figured I'd let it go.

The article pretty obviously takes shots at Obama and the tone of the article is "sore loser" if anything at all. It excuses or fails to mention the great number of McCain mistakes, largest of which is losing himself and allowing his campaign to reshape his image, and takes jabs at Obama through out.

True this is not an election McCain should win - but that doesn't excuse the fact that a Maverick enjoying a great deal of popularity in the media and amongst the american people allowed himself to be transformed into a negative campaigner that sold out on every major issue that earned him his reputation. McCain 00 would be ahead in this election. Sadly that McCain was deemed too weak to win the nomination by his campaign staff and McCain didn't have the strength of character to resist CHANGE.

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Americans still don't mind voting for Democrats at a local level. But Americans - for whatever reason - don't seem to trust Democrats at a presidential level.

I think Bush's popularity' date=' appeal and facade of competence had pretty much worn off by the 2006 interum elections. I think the Dem's taking back the house and senate was more about disatisfaction with the GOP than trust or faith in the Dems.

I think power changes hands in this country dramatically like that only when their is a percieved failed party in office.

Meanwhile Rs win by monster blowouts.

I don't think the Dems have had a truely sucessful president since FDR...

  • Truman was a critical and historic sucess but left office with bush like popularity levels.
  • Kennedy was assassinated.
  • LBJ turned an entire democratic country post Kennedy assassination into Republicans.
  • Carter was a disaster as President.. Unemployment at 10% and inflation at 11% (Reagan's famous Missery Index 21%)... Home morgages at 16% and the United States getting kicked around by Iran in foreign policy... Only Bush keeps Carter from being called the worst president in the modern era.
  • Clinton made the country ashamed and embarresed, even if he did a good job managing the economy. Every wife and husband in the country had to confer about what was and wasn't sex, and every parent had to field questions from their elementary kids what a BJ was.

It doesn't seem to matter what the circumstances are surrounding the election' date=' Republicans seem to have a natural advantage during presidential elections.[/quote']

I disagree. The dems have had their shots. They've screwed them up.. It's as simple as that.

It's all we have as voters..... Every now and then we change out the crooks when business as usual becomes unbareable.

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I'm surprised a reasonable person like himself is voting Republican, or might vote Republican, or whatever. Not because voting Republican is automatically unreasonable, but based on his posting history.

I wouldn't see it as voting Republican. I'd see it as voting for McCain.

If I was voting 'Republican' I wouldn't be voting for Warner and Connolly.

For the amount of people who complain about blind partisanship on this board, there sure is a lot of it.

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The only chance the GOP had this year was to have someone at the head of the ticket who could separate himself from the GOP itself. John McCain was the only national candidate they had who might be able to do that. Frankly, the fact that the race was a close as it was a month ago is a testament to McCain's appeal. Unfortunately, he's still heading the GOP ticket. The fact that the race is moving away from him now is a testament to the lack of appeal that his party currently has with the electorate.

IMO.

You omitted the economic crisis from your post, and I think that is a major oversight.

Even you thought that McCain would win a month ago. He had successfully shaken the the Republican brand. Picking Palin simultaneously rallied the Republican base and unified his ticket under a "Maverick" brand. If nothing changed, I was pretty sure that McCain was going to win.

The only thing that changed was the economy. Imagine how well this Ayers-Wright strategy would be working right now if there were no serious economic cloud hanging over the country? The polls would have been razor-close, and the attack ads would be turning the tide in Ohio and Florida and Virginia for McCain.

McCain had a great gameplan. The circumstances changed, and McCain did not adjust well. Part of that is just bad luck, but I don't think it can really be blamed on the Republican Party. Without the economic crisis, McCain would have won this election. With the crisis, things tip dramatically in Obama's favor, but I still don't believe that there was nothing McCain could do. He tried to do something with the bailout bill but he failed, exacerbating the damage. If that whole suspending the campaign thing never happened, I think McCain would be closer right now. That's a clear mistake, and it's something that could have been changed. Could he still win? I don't know, and maybe it will require some major mistake by Obama, but McCain certainly wasn't doomed from the start. Both you and I thought he would win before the mortgage market crashed.

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On what basis do you attribute this achievement to McCain's campaign and not to Hillary's campaign or natural human tendencies to be weary of the unknown?

Well, unless you are going to claim that Hillary's campaign was affecting polls about three weeks after she officially suspended it, I can rule that out. If you are going to make that assersion, I'd suggest the burden of proof lies on you and not me.

As far as tendencies to be weary of the unknown, I think again, you'd have to make the arguement that something changed w/ respect to those tendancies. Obama was less known in Feb. 2008 (in which he essentially led McCain for the whole month), then April (in which the race was essentially a toss up), and then as I stated, he then opens a lead back up in June, just to lose it again.

I find it difficult to attribute such a back and forth movement to a general tendency to be weary of the unknown unless your going to argue that Obama was unknown (he did start way down in the polls), became known (leads McCain through Feb and into March of 2008), then was some how forgotten (the gap closes and it is essentially a toss up until June), then reknown (Obama takes and holds a 5 pt. lead in June), then forgotten again (McCain closes the gap and actually leads for a while), and now has been rediscovered (Obama takes another lead).

I would probably agree that such a tendancy did play a role in the movement in the polls, BUT was spured on by actual events, including in the case of the McCain catching up this summer, ads run by his campaign.

Which would mean the McCain campaign had constructed an effective method to attack Obama.

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Well, unless you are going to claim that Hillary's campaign was affecting polls about three weeks after she officially suspended it, I can rule that out. If you are going to make that assersion, I'd suggest the burden of proof lies on you and not me.

As far as tendencies to be weary of the unknown, I think again, you'd have to make the arguement that something changed w/ respect to those tendancies. Obama was less known in Feb. 2008 (in which he essentially led McCain for the whole month), then April (in which the race was essentially a toss up), and then as I stated, he then opens a lead back up in June, just to lose it again.

I find it difficult to attribute such a back and forth movement to a general tendency to be weary of the unknown unless your going to argue that Obama was unknown (he did start way down in the polls), became known (leads McCain through Feb and into March of 2008), then was some how forgotten (the gap closes and it is essentially a toss up until June), then reknown (Obama takes and holds a 5 pt. lead in June), then forgotten again (McCain closes the gap and actually leads for a while), and now has been rediscovered (Obama takes another lead).

I would probably agree that such a tendancy did play a role in the movement in the polls, BUT was spured on by actual events, including in the case of the McCain catching up this summer, ads run by his campaign.

Which would mean the McCain campaign had constructed an effective method to attack Obama.

Or maybe McCain simply continued the effective method to attack Obama developed by Hillary which relied on natural human tendency to be weary of the unknown.

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I didn't see that at all. The article wasn't about the GOP. It was about McCain. In fact, the point of the article was that the GOP was unfairly blaming McCain for losing this election when it wasn't all just his own fault.

Yes the GOP cast as the faithful dog, sitting by the hearth with the Great man's slippers in it's mouth; only to be disappointed when the great man betray's their trust and comes up wanting.. Please....

How about the GOP cast as a school of deveous paranah's who entered into a demonic pact with a nardowell former antagonist in order to move itself to an area of richer feeding... Now when their ally looks like he is going to fail them, they turn on him and devour him with thousands of small bites... a perculation of boubles and blood as his bones are exposed and his flesh is ripped appart. The school of hungry fish, Knowing all the while his death means their own diminishement.

Henry, the GOP is McCain. He's the head of the ticket and the head of the party. He's the guy that told the sitting president to video tape his campagne speach and he's the guy who told the sitting VP, he didn't need to talk at all during the convention.

The GOP is a party of people and those people are the same people today as they were in 2000, 2004 and 2006.

The same folks who were wearing bandaids with purple hearts drawn on them to mock Kerry and who are now telling us to honor McCain's service.

I agree that a lot of you are frothing at the mouth these days about what the GOP has done with it's recent power. And you know, I don't disagree with you.

I preffer looking for accountability, over "frothing at the mouth"... thank you.

But this article is not about making excuses for the GOP.

Really "Ambushed by History", where is the active verb? where is the taking responsibility? The entire article is an excuse.

It's Pedestrian struck by car... with the GOP as the Pedestrian. How unfair it is that the Democrates are going to benifit from they the GOP, through no fault of their own, are now the victems of a chance accident, a systemic force of nature which errupted at the most inoprotune time.

Sorry, I don't take every article that doesn't paint McCain as some gibbering idiot and Obama as some brilliant statesman as a defense of the GOP. Sometimes an observation is just that. An observation.

How about "Attacked by History", The GOP and McCain are violently being buffeted by the policies of the previous administration which they supported.....

How about "Assaulted by Reality", "Retaliation of the electorate", or "besieged by their victems"... or my favorite.. "Penetrated by their Positions".

How about some active verbs, some responsibility, some admission that they have been at the wheel for eight years in the exectutive and 12 out of 14 years in the legislature.

How about, We screwed up, we know we screwed up; and we can fix it better than the other guys.

What I don't want to hear about is how they are the helpless victems "ambushed by history"...

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Actually, I think that has hurt with a lot of independents. I think the new CBS poll showed that that was listed as the number 2 reason independents did not like McCain.

But, it does make me realize something else about McCain's campaign that he can blame on himself... in the primary, he spent the time running as a more moderate republican, but republicans didn't like that. So, in the general, he has been running to the base. Its a backwards strategy. Most strategists will say you build the base in the primaries and then run to the middle in the general. And its indicative of exactly the results we are seeing. Moderates and independents are leaving him that were there before. Just a thought.

we have a winner folks, this is absolutely spot on. McCain's campaign is doing everything all wrong and backwards. I was wondering exactly what it was about his campaign that seemed to go backwards since he was nominated. now its very clear.
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Or maybe McCain simply continued the effective method to attack Obama developed by Hillary which relied on natural human tendency to be weary of the unknown.

Well, I wouldn't give to much credit to the Hillary campaign. It isn't like they invented it. It was essentially the same idea ever used to attack a less experienced rival.

The McCain campaign did however adopt language that was novel and really couldn't be adopted by the Hillary campaign- Obama as the celebrity (as stated in the original piece).

Yes, it ties into the fact that he is unknown, but it was still a constructive method of attack.

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But Henry, the GOP is McCain. He's the head of the ticket and the head of the party. He's the guy that told the sitting president to video tape his campagne speach and he's the guy who told the sitting VP, he didn't need to talk at all during the convention.

The GOP is a party of people and those people are the same people today as they were in 2000, 2004 and 2006.

The same folks who were wearing bandaids with purple hearts drawn on them to mock Kerry and who are now telling us to honor McCain's service.

No groups of people are a monolithic set, and you know that.

There are plenty of people that self-identify as Republican that never mocked Kerry for his service.

To pretend that all Republicans (or in most cases all of any group) are responsible for the actions of some of the group is a disservice to yourself and to our society.

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I preffer looking for accountability, over "frothing at the mouth"... thank you.

Actually, after your last post, frothing at the mouth sounds about right.

I swear, I so rarely start threads around here, especially political ones, because people see things through their own prisms and just go nuts. This is literally the second article about this campaign I've ever bothered to link, and both times someone on the left has to go ape-**** about how slanted it supposedly is.

I'm not the enemy here. The GOP has screwed the pooch over the past decade. I get it. I with you.

Can you put that aside for, like, ten seconds and actually READ the article? Believe it or not there is more to a candidate than the letter following his name.

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No groups of people are a monolithic set, and you know that.

Yes I do. I didn't mean they were literally the same. I mean they were a subset of the original Bush supporters... A worst of the worst. The vampires and defilers of small children who only walk in daylight every four years during an election year cycle.

I jest... mostly.

To pretend that all Republicans (or in most cases all of any group) are responsible for the actions of some of the group is a disservice to yourself and to our society.

I don't need to pretend that all Republicans today are responsible for the Republicans parties policies of yesteryear. It's enough to know most of them are. I think it's much more fanceyful to suggest most of them aren't.

Accountabililty is my montra, and it's not a disservice to our society to impose it when it's justified. And from current polling numbers and the series of catastrophies we find ourselves in, the majority of Americans today at least agree with me...

Whooo hooo, I'm a centrist again..

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You omitted the economic crisis from your post, and I think that is a major oversight.

Even you thought that McCain would win a month ago. He had successfully shaken the the Republican brand. Picking Palin simultaneously rallied the Republican base and unified his ticket under a "Maverick" brand. If nothing changed, I was pretty sure that McCain was going to win.

The only thing that changed was the economy. Imagine how well this Ayers-Wright strategy would be working right now if there were no serious economic cloud hanging over the country? The polls would have been razor-close, and the attack ads would be turning the tide in Ohio and Florida and Virginia for McCain.

McCain had a great gameplan. The circumstances changed, and McCain did not adjust well. Part of that is just bad luck, but I don't think it can really be blamed on the Republican Party. Without the economic crisis, McCain would have won this election. With the crisis, things tip dramatically in Obama's favor, but I still don't believe that there was nothing McCain could do. He tried to do something with the bailout bill but he failed, exacerbating the damage. If that whole suspending the campaign thing never happened, I think McCain would be closer right now. That's a clear mistake, and it's something that could have been changed. Could he still win? I don't know, and maybe it will require some major mistake by Obama, but McCain certainly wasn't doomed from the start. Both you and I thought he would win before the mortgage market crashed.

You are correct. I absolutely did think McCain would win. I thought so for the exact same reasons that I listed in my post above - because he was the one GOP candidate who could run as a candidate AGAINST the past decade of GOP rule.

A month ago, it looked like he was pulling it off, which would have been a miracle and maybe the best political campaign of modern times. In my view, he did not deserve to win, but I was quite nervous that he was going to be successful.

However, I am not absolutely certain that the economic crash alone is to blame for the recent changes. They say that voting patterns sway wildly at convention times, and then start to break one way or the other in the month before the election. Maybe we would have seen the same late break against McCain that we are seeing now.

I guess we will never know for sure.

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Can you put that aside for, like, ten seconds and actually READ the article? Believe it or not there is more to a candidate than the letter following his name.

Henry, I did read the article. Read the entire thing. I didn't care for it for the reasons I've already given.

Please don't take offense at my rambunctious rantings. I'm mostly just trying to entertain myself between the haze of periodic pharmaceutical injections. You shouldn't attribute them to any type of conspiratorial ambitions or malevolent aspirations.

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