One of the things Democrats have in their favor this time around is a candidate in Barack Obama who is running his campaign his way. In 1988, the Democrats chose a good, solid, smart, tough experienced politician who ran a dismal campaign that allowed the Republicans to make non-issues in to issues. This year, the Democrats have chosen a candidate who is solid, smart, tough, and refuses to allow the Republicans to get the better of him or his campaign. He dismisses their claims with derision, but not the Adlai Stevenson kind of derision, in which he tries to make himself look smart. It is a derision that points out McCain thinks American voters are ninnies and fools. It is a derisory on the simple point that McCain thinks he can lie with impunity. Obama calls the claims of the McCain/Palin campaign lies, without hesitation or apology. He refuses to allow McCain to run the kind of campaign he wants to, and Republicans have been running, for decades.
The latest McCain ad, which highlights Obama's support of a measure in the Illinois legislature regarding sex education, is a deft piece of dog-whistle politics for the right. It is also, to be far more blunt that the Obama/Biden campaign can be, a crock of shit.
It is shameful and downright perverse for the McCain campaign to use a bill that was written to protect young children from sexual predators as a recycled and discredited political attack against a father of two young girls - a position that his friend Mitt Romney also holds. Last week, John McCain told Time magazine he couldn't define what honor was. Now we know why.
One of the promising things about these kinds of responses, for me at least, is they may just push McCain's infamous temper to the breaking point. That would be popcorn-worthy, to say the least.
This is why I don't worry all that much. Obama's responses aren't just defenses; they are counter-offensives.
As long as McCain keeps putting out garbage like this - and Republicans can't help themselves - Obama actually keeps the initiative in his favor, because the blows just don't land.
Long live rope-a-dope.