Tonight during the evening news the Republican National Committee ran an attack ad (multiple times) that featured menacing black-and-white images of Harry Reid, Charles Schumer, Patrick Leahy and other leading Democrats with the captions: "Ready to Tax" and "Ready to Spend." I was hoping the DNC or the Obama Campaign would answer this propaganda with an ad of its own, but I have yet to see one. Right-wing talk radio and Glen Beck (the "King of the Cretins") have been hammering the idea that if Barack Obama were to be elected president the Democrats would control the government and it would lead to higher taxes. Steve Moore, formerly of the Club for Growth, whose vision for America Charles Dickens described long ago, was mercilessly flogging this idea on the Glen Beck show just yesterday. Moore said that if Obama were elected the stock market would tank and there'd be capital flight.
This argument, unfortunately, might have legs because many "independent," "centrist," and "low information" voters believe: 1). Government can't do anything to help you with your health care, housing, or energy bills and anyone who thinks it can is naive; and 2). The only thing Government can do is raise your taxes. These false notions have been beaten into the brains of voters for the last 28 years. The McCain-Palin campaign is lying and misrepresenting Obama's economic plan, but their target audience pays little attention to things like truth, reason, or rationality; they vote their feelings or their "guts." By running with this Big Lie the McCain-Palin camp is hitting below the belt. But what would you expect from Karl Rove acolytes?
I was astounded to learn that more television viewers watched John McCain's acceptance speech than Barack Obama's. I hope this doesn't mean that Sarah Palin is going to succeed in energizing the right-wing Christian evangelicals and other flat-Earthers to get out and vote in 2008. She might be able to do for the election of 2008 what gay marriage did for the election of 2004.
The Sarah Palin phenomenon tends to neutralize the inroads (if any) Obama might have made with white evangelicals. The religious Right has already denounced Obama's Saddleback colloquy with Rick Warren as being not "pro-life" enough. The only thing these people seem to need to know is that Palin knowingly chose to give birth to a "special needs" baby. They will ignore the fact that as Governor of Alaska, Palin cut the budget for assistance to families with "special needs" children from about $8 million to $3 million. The DNC or a sympathetic 527 should immediately begin running television and radio ads pointing out Palin's hypocrisy on this issue. Palin needs to be hit hard and hit now. Hesitating to slam her with some well-produced attack ads would be like John Kerry failing to respond to the Swift Boaters.
Sarah Palin is this election's Grand Swift Boater -- the sooner the Obama camp recognizes this the better.
Joe Biden cannot allow the corporate media to kowtow him into going soft on Palin just because she has a pair of overactive ovaries. She is a liar and a fraud and a religious extremist, and the sooner the bark is stripped off her the better. Hillary Clinton, if she is forceful and diligent on the campaign trail, can be very effective in countering the Palin pander. Hillary might have to be just as bitterly sarcastic and caustic as Palin to counter her. I don't think she should hold back.
But I cannot help but think about how Phyllis Schlafly (an ally of Palin's) and women like her -- to almost everyone's surprise -- killed the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) in the late 1970s. It would be foolish to underestimate the political power of anti-feminist women in this country. They're angry, vocal, motivated, armed with a Carrie Nation fanaticism, and they have a hell of a lot of money.