If it looks like X and smells like X, it probably is X

October 15, 2008

The lead article at the NYT explains their latest poll – you remember, the one with the staggering 14 point lead.  The premise is that McCain’s negative attacks have hurt him, not Obama. This puzzles one group of people, viz. movement conservatives.  Take for instance Byron York, who complains that this campaign is less negative than the last.  Now Byron is a fine man with great name and a better haircut, but he’s missing the point.

In 2004, the Bush line against Kerry was, in essence: “He’s a big pussy and he can’t make up his mind.” Then we Americans turned on the TV and watched Kerry perform and indeed he kind of was a big pussy who couldn’t make up his mind.  Now, in 2008, the McCain line is: “Obama is a terrorist. Maybe a black panther, if you know what I’m getting at.”  Then we turn on the TV and watch him perform and he just doesn’t look like that at all; he seems reasonable and stable, even cautious.  What we see doesn’t match the attacks.

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