Commentary Magazine


Flotsam and Jetsam

The evidence builds that the McCain camp badly botched Sarah Palin’s rollout. That said, the savage media treatment helped create the conservative backlash which will, the McCain team hopes, boost the base’s turnout. Lesson for future VP’s: don’t let the campaign staffer know-it-all’s control your fate.

If you were an undecided voter, would it make you more inclined to vote for Barack Obama if you were told you were hung up on race? On the other hand, I find it hard to believe anyone pays much attention to Joe Biden.

Well, if you ever need someone to send a poison-pen letter, John Dowd is the fellow. His nastygram to the Gray Lady about its pathetic story on Cindy McCain (don’t take my word — ask Salon’s Glenn Greenwald) really is a thing to behold. (h/t Mark Hemmingway)

To conclude this of Barack Obama–”his instincts are conservative—he is a churchgoing, Christian family man”–you’d have to ignore the church he was going to, his entire voting history, a slew of professional and personal relationships and over a year of rhetoric from his primary campaign. That suggests either denial or deep cynicism about the life Obama has lived.

Does McCain have some of the worst spokespeople ever?

About Joe the Plumber: “When we saw a middle-class guy, a common tradesman, who can articulate conservative values and principles off-the-cuff, without being intimidated by the awe-inspiring presence of the world’s most powerful man, we smelled a rat,” the [Obama campaign] source said. “Not to mention the fact that he’s living in one of those middle states where there’s no chance of him meeting the kind of intellectuals who could train him to speak intelligibly.” Ok, that’s from ScrappleFace. But it’s a sadly accurate take from inside the NY-DC corridor.

Not exactly “I am Spartacus! ” But it’s a trend. The MSM plays dumb — they are playing, right?

Instead of more dreary media conference calls with Douglas Holtz-Eakin, maybe the McCain camp should put on Stephen Moore and Joe the Plumber.

Sam Schulman names some names among eastern conservative pundits and concludes: “All share a dreadful secret–their writing is driven by an anxiety to be tastemakers to the gentry, not merely thinkers and entertainers. There is nothing more anxious-making than striving to create taste for the classes, not masses, or even to keep up with it. (The struggle to do so is etched in the lines of Tina Brown’s face.) But what the classes think is a matter to which the GOP standard-bearers are sadly but nobly indifferent.”

I have a different take: like Edna St. Vincent Millay (“I love humanity but hate people”), there is a class of pundits who love conservatism but hate conservatives.

And no, I don’t think the issue for Sarah Palin and others is just finding a better pundit to listen to. If you’re an elected conservative with high approval ratings, you already know more than just about any pundit–at least when it comes to winning elections and governance. If you want to know about successful conservatism go ask Tim Pawlenty, Bobby Jindal, or even Rudy Giuliani, not the “house conservative” at an MSM newspaper.

Jeffrey Goldberg tells you about everything you ever imagined was wrong with airport security. Unless there’s an ocean, the answer seems to be: just drive.

Nebraska has better judgment than Obama. But you already knew that.

When you see a headline reading “Polls in 8 countries show wide Obama support,” do you wonder if ACORN has overseas offices?