Tuesday, September 23, 2008

How Democrats Lose Elections (Pt 2)

For once, I agree with Andrew Sullivan entirely. I don't know what the Democrats are playing at, but I want to know where all the nefarious Democrats went -you know, the ones that used to rig elections and would fight dirty. Where did those people go?! I want them back, and I want them back right now. I want someone to stand up and say exactly what Sullivan said:
We are now rigging the debate formats to compensate for a know-nothing, mendacious Manchurian candidate drilled in meaningly talking points? And the Obama team agreed to this?
He gets extra points for the alliteration. Because this (via the New York Times):
McCain advisers said they had been concerned that a loose format could leave Ms. Palin, a relatively inexperienced debater, at a disadvantage and largely on the defensive
could only be a good thing for Democrats! Maybe I'm doing it wrong; but when I fight, I tend to want my opponent to be on the defensive as much as humanly possible. I don't want to go to any length to compensate for my opponent's weaknesses! If Palin is that inexperienced of a debater that she needed the format changed, then there is no way she should be on the national ticket. It is that simple. And by capitulating and creating a format that may work better for her, the Dems have completely ignored the fact that this is where they could have hit Republicans so that it hurt.

Unless they know something that I don't; like some crazy winning strategy that makes it so even if Palin wins in these specially crafted debates, she loses. But given the state of the Democratic party since friggin' Carter, and given the state of the American public and how many of them will probably recognize a change in format (or if they are aware, how many will know it was for Palin's benefit), I'm going to say that may backfire. Horribly.

Once again, an election is the Democrats' to lose. Go get 'em, boys.


John said...

so, are they adding a swimsuit competition to the usual debate format? Because I think that's the only way Palin could possibly stand a fighting chance. That, or they allow her to do what she's done in other interviews and give pre-prepared stock responses based on the usage of key words in the questions instead of actually constructing a coherent and appropriate answer.

petpluto said...

I think they're going with the second option, actually. I mean, a swim suit competition would definitely bring in added viewers, but I don't think the democrats would go for it!

mikhailbakunin said...

Yes, this is ridiculous. But the reason they've agreed to all of this is because they're afraid Palin will play the gender card and insist that Biden was "bullying" her throughout the debate.

Don't believe that will work? Remember what your buddy Hillary Clinton did when Rick Lazio tried to get her to sign a pledge against soft money contributions? Lazio's polling numbers among women dipped dramatically after that, and he lost the race.

petpluto said...

I have to say, I think there is some difference in changing a style of debate that has been the norm and asking your opponent after a debate to "voluntarily" sign a pledge s/he would not have to.

By the way, I have to say your point would have been better made if you didn't talk about the soft money contribution pledge and instead focused on the impression voters (especially women voters) got that Lazio was beating her up worse in the debates than he would have if she were a man (for that, you're lucky that I fastidiously read what you link!). And I concede that is indeed a risk they run.

I was nervous about the Biden-Palin debates, because even though Biden is one of the best members of Congress on women's issues, he sometimes does develop a "foot-in-mouth" disease. Like when he called Obama "clean". But I don't think the gender card -a card they are rapidly wearing out over the strangest and most benign and decidedly not sexist comments- is an automatic win as long as Biden didn't go off the rails.

mikhailbakunin said...

Meghan McArdle linked to this gem yesterday. I'm starting to that that Biden is incapable of keeping his foot out of his mouth.

But, even if he doesn't make any major gaffes, the impression that he's not giving Palin sufficient "deference" could push more women toward McCain. I HOPE that won't happen.

A bunch of polling institutes have suggested that Palin's mere presence on the ticket has caused major shifts among white women (though Gallup contradicts this claim).

Anyway, we'll see what happens . . .

mikhailbakunin said...

*starting to think : )

petpluto said...

"Meghan McArdle linked to this gem yesterday."

Yikes. For all that I like about Joe Biden (and there is a lot), I do tend to cringe instinctively when he opens his mouth. Which is sad, because sometimes he is brilliant.

"even if he doesn't make any major gaffes, the impression that he's not giving Palin sufficient "deference" could push more women toward McCain. I HOPE that won't happen."

Interestingly enough, I think the biggest thing stopping this from happening is the press; the press was complacent when Hillary Clinton was getting hit with overt sexism, and that was bad. But they seem to be getting more and more infuriated with the McCain campaign for shutting Palin away from view and doing stupid shit like trying to block reporters from Palin's visits with heads of state. In an ironic way, the McCain campaign's own handling of Sarah Palin and the press's disgust with it is the Democrats' best friend right now.

MediaMaven said...

As they say, the thing the media loves to talk about the most is other media--they make or break it for you, and since the McCain campaign isn't giving them what they want (Palin available for interviews and the like), they're retaliating. It's a bad strategy move, because it's seen as overly protecting Palin from the big bad media, that she's not "experienced" enough to handle answering some questions, and anyone in public office should be used to this. Always, ALWAYS, make friends with the media.