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Flotsam and Jetsam

Mark Steyn waxes: “But, if the combination of gazillions of dollars in illegal foreign donations, Acorn’s Dig-Up-The-Vote operation, a doting media that would embarrass Kim Jong-Il and the Republican nominee’s inability even to speak up on issues where he was right all along (like Fannie Mae), if all that is now unstoppable, I will be proud to have lost with Sarah Palin, who (unlike Brooks and Buckley) runs a state bigger than most European Union nations, has fought an honorable campaign, and has been responsible for such energy and enthusiasm as the ticket can muster.” I can see the bumper stickers now: ” Don’t blame me–I voted for Palin.”

The Ayers story slowly gains traction — if Barack Obama ever gave a complete account nof their relationship and stuck with it the story might fade but the shiftiness only fuels speculation.

GOP angst about the McCain team is bubbling over: make character an issue or don’t, come up with a comprehensive economic plan or don’t. It’s the indecision and half-heartedness that are so frustrating. Few would quibble with Bill Kristol’s assessment that “it’s really become a pathetic campaign in the sense that there’s no strategy.” (It’s tempting to go one step further and “fire the campaign.”)

Scott Johnson argues that we should take Barack Obama’s dovish national security pronouncements seriously — and that McCain should highlight them.

Ben Smith fairly explains that the nastiness isn’t only on one side. And why isn’t it that the most vile slurs against Palin don’t generate a raft of “hatred against women” stories?

In case you didn’t think his on-screen behavior was objectionable enough, now Chris Matthews is using his MSNBC beat to test run his Senate campaign while in Pennsylvannia. Enough already.

One way of looking at it: “It seems odd that the people of Minnesota would infer from an economic crisis that they should send a baggy pants comedian to the Senate, but I suppose a panic consists, in part, of irrational behavior on a large scale.”

McCain finally finds the “divided government” argument. It’s a compelling one for Independents who don’t trust either party and have seen Nancy Pelosi in action.

Sarah Palin has a wig named after her — at Sheitel.com, no less.

As the race card pops up in campaign coverage once more, it might be worth mulling whether “there is something incongruous in examining the racism in a group that plans on voting more than 40 percent for a candidate of a different color, while ignoring a bloc expected to vote within its color lines almost exclusively.” It is hard to comprehend why allegations concerning Obamas ties to a white domestic terrorist couple or the corrupt, fraud-soaked ACORN have anything to do with race — unless of course the standard is that any criticism of Obama amounts to racism.

I’m not alone in surmising that McCain’s campaign isn’t about anything because he has no core governing philosophy: “He’s been running for president, more on than off, for almost a decade, but his determination hasn’t had much to do with a highly defined ideology, program or set of policies. What underlies his ambition are values: service, patriotism, duty, honor.” That’s all well and good, except if the country needs a defined ideology, program or set of policies to guide us through an economic trauma.

What the heck is McCain still doing in Iowa? If he wanted to campaign in a state with a double-digit deficit, he could have stayed in Michigan and avoided some awful press.


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