Mickey Kaus posits: “The current lib blog-MSM-campaign tack–getting outraged by McCain’s “lies”–is a total loser strategy.” (Yes, the three hyphenated allies are joined at the hip but you already knew that.) I think he’s right that it makes them all look weak, whiny and in cahoots with one another.
But there is a good reason to do it. They are preparing their excuses for defeat. No matter how foolhardy the Democratic primary voters in selecting a high risk candidate, no matter how bizarre the policy choices of that candidate, no matter how outlandishly wrong the conventional press wisdom and no matter how inept the campaign operation there is a cure-all excuse: McCain lied, our hopes died.
I am not saying Barack Obama is going to lose; I am saying the Obama Gang of Three (i.e. the mind-melded bloggers/MSM/campaign operation) now thinks that is a distinct possibility. So how to explain how they all messed up? When in doubt, revive the Lee Atwater/Karl Rove/Gore v. Bush/Swiftboat rationale which is “It is never our fault.”
The problem, of course, is that doesn’t work if the aim is to win elections. In fact the opposite occurs: the cures (e.g. violent partisan counterpunches, media whining) usually turn off key Independent voters. But if the aim is to save face with your peer groups (e.g. fellow journalists, campaign donors, political operatives) who want to know what the heck went wrong, it works as well as anything.