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Dimwitted political strategy

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I'm in complete agreement with GG here. href="http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/02/10/mcauliffe/index.html">This has
got to be the most idiotic, dimwitted political strategy I've seen for
at least, oh heck, in at least the past week:

MATTHEWS:
"Let me ask you again
about what you're
facing now, John McCain -- he's even joked about bombing Iran. I know
it was a joke -- let's not overplay it -- but he's certainly a very
strong hawk. Is he too hawkish for the American people as our
next president?"

MCAULIFFE:
"Well, listen it's going to
be quite a debate as we head into the fall. I think Sen.
McCain's biggest problems are going to be dealing with the issues on
the economy.
"That is not considered his strong suit. It is considered the strong
suit for Hillary, as you know -- on the housing crisis, she's been the
first one to get out in front on that, called for moratorium on home
foreclosures, called for a freeze on interest rates for the next five
years, she's been dealing with the credit crisis. So I think as it
relates to Sen. McCain, he knows that he can't really deal with these
economic issues -- he's been all over the map -- supporting the Bush
tax cuts, against the Bush tax cuts. Hillary has been very consistent
out there on these economic issues.
"So he's going to try, I
think, Chris, to continue to show
that he's
the most hawkish, he will be the toughest on national security --
that's going to be their fall campaign. As you know, they did it to us
in 2004 with the Swift Boating of Sen. Kerry. They're going to do that
same type of campaign again this time. They're not going to Swift Boat
Hillary Clinton. They have no ability to do that. We're going to run a
strong campaign because we know we're out there fighting for millions
of Americans who want health care, want their homes to be preserved,
and want to keep us safe." [emphases in original] 
This is not smart strategy.  Trying to change the
subject when
talk turns to one's opponents main political appeal is just kinda dumb.
 I'm not sure what people are supposed to assume, but
what they're going to assume is obvious, that
Democrats are conceding that McCain has a better, more intelligent
strategy than the Democrats do.  Karl
Rove
has demonstrated that he knows better than that:
"Very early on, Karl Rove did
something that many other political
operatives don't do, and it's really an element of why he's a unique
figure in American political life: He understands that while other
people look for the weakness in an opponent and exploit that, Rove has
long looked at the strength of an opponent. In the case of Ann Richards
running for governor, it was that she was tolerant and appealed to many
constituents, so you attack her as an advocate for the homosexuals'
agenda. In the case of John McCain, it was that he was a POW in
Vietnam, and so you raise questions about his service in Vietnam
through surrogate groups.
"In 2004, the number one
thing that John Kerry offered was his heroic
service in Vietnam, and so what Rove did was attack the strength of
Kerry, not his weakness. What you had to do was confront Kerry's
strength in Vietnam by raising doubts about whether or not he was a
hero and whether or not his service was really all that noble. And you
do that in part with a surrogate group, raising questions about whether
his medals were truly warranted, and beyond that, pressing the case of
John Kerry, who came back from the war as an opponent of the war."
To try and sidestep or finesse McCain's insane warmongering
(Q: "President Bush has talked about our staying in Iraq for 50 years
-- " (cut off by McCain) McCain:
"Make it a hundred.") is an utter loser of a strategy that will do
nothing but continue the pathetic losing streak
established
by the DLC (The DLC
was caught flatfooted and "whacked upside the head" by Newt
Gingrich's

Republican Revolution of 1994 and spent the next decade trying ever
more futile and useless strategies until they were simply pushed aside
by the netroots).
 Yes, there are serious questions about the 2004 vote,
especially in Ohio,
but the primary problem was that incompetent
strategy on Kerry's part
allowed Bush to get within lunging
distance where cheating
could then make the difference.  Terry McAuliffe is a figure
of
the past and someone who needs to remain there. He obviously hasn't
adapted to the Republican Party of Karl Rove and the new way of doing
things.  
The thing the Democratic Party has to remember is that when
Republicans talk about a fear-based strategy, a strategy of saying
"Ooh! Osama bin Laden's gonna gitcha! If we don't continue to wage war
without end in the Mideast and continue dumping lives and money down
into that endless hole, bin Laden will establish a caliphate and take
over THE WORLD!!1@!!"  
Remember!!! They already tried this for the 2006 midterm
elections! It didn't work then. It won't work in the future, but it
will only remain futile if the Democrats respond forthrightly and
answer their arguments directly.  I had a conversation with
conservatives in the comments section of a newspaper article recently.
He commented on how terrible things were under the evil dictator Saddam
Hussein. I replied "Yes, he was an evil dictator, but..." and proceeded
to detail how bad things became after the US invasion.  The
other guy continued the argument, but we moved onto different aspects.