The recriminations phase begins

By Amanda Marcotte
Saturday, October 25, 2008 23:45 EDT
google plus icon
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Email this page

McCain campaign aides are running around declaring that the problem with Sarah Palin is that she’s a classic female stereotype—the diva, (via) the woman who refuses to accept her leash and destroys everyone in her path because of it. As tempting as it is to believe that Sarah Palin’s big mouth is evidence that she’s disobedient, though, I’m thinking the real source of this story is that said aides are putting their applications for their next jobs together and want to make sure that they aren’t held responsible for the enormous error that was adding a barn-storming paranoid racist Bircher to the ticket. It may be true that she’s stupidly willful and unwilling to let people who understand politics better tell her what to do, or it may not be true. Either way, the reason that these aides are leaking these blame-shifting stories is to protect their own reputation.

That the McCain campaign is deeply in the recriminations stage is making me feel a highly undesirable emotion: hope. Obama’s way ahead in the polls. The McCain campaign’s behavior shows that their internal polls show them losing, too. I’m wary of feeling hope, because Republicans may not have a ground game in the traditional sense, but they do have a ground game in the voter suppression sense. Using the “create your own scenario” function at Yahoo and assume massive malfeasance, I’m seeing that McCain could easily “win” this, albeit through open fraud. There’s a ton that could go wrong between now and then. If we lose with Obama so far up in the polls, it could cause chaos, but rest assured that the handful of mishandled polls that show the race as somewhat close will be treated like they were the proper measure, and the country will give up hope, because it’s just going to seem too good to be true that someone like Barack Obama could win.

I hope that this doesn’t happen. But I’m not going to let myself believe that Republicans will go down without pulling every trick, no matter how unethical or illegal, to steal this election.

If Republicans are unable to turn their loss into a fake win, then yes, it’s going to be hilarious watching the recriminations stage. Kevin Drum’s read on this is the right one, I think:

And you know the part I’m really looking forward to? Sarah Palin’s role in all this. I expect her to rip McCain absolutely to shreds. On background, of course, but it will be no less vicious for that. Her future, such as it is, lies with the wingnut rump of the party, and she knows what her audience wants: John McCain’s blood. And lots of it. They never liked him in the first place, and I expect them to be howling for his head on a platter starting at about 8:01 pm EST on November 4th.

The leaks from the campaign show that McCain’s people will give as good as they get. The finger-pointing—if they should see their actual loss matched by a unstealable election—is going to be out of control. Can it be possible that Obama’s run will win not one, but two, of the wishlist items that have been bandied about in the netroots for years: that the DLC faction of the Democrat party and the coalition between old school Republicans and crazy wingnuts will both crumble from internal squabbling? It seems too much like a dream to be true. In fact, it’s impossible. If Obama wins, the various stripes of wingnuts will band together after the recriminations phase in their hatred of President Obama. But even getting, just for a moment after the election, the dream, seems like it’s too good to be true. It’s like the discovery of a truly calorie-free cheesecake that tastes just like the real thing.

Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte is a freelance journalist born and bred in Texas, but now living in the writer reserve of Brooklyn. She focuses on feminism, national politics, and pop culture, with the order shifting depending on her mood and the state of the nation.
By commenting, you agree to our terms of service
and to abide by our commenting policy.