Having watched John Kerry throw away the 2004 election with a timid and themeless pudding of a campaign while the Rovians assassinated his character, it's hard not to see disturbing signs of a repeat of that disaster in the Obama campaign.
The Obama theme all along has been change, but now McCain and his absurd running mate have clambered aboard that bandwagon, so Obama's message has to be refined, ideally in such a way that it can be boiled down to another equally simple catch phrase.
He already has the phrase. He used it in Denver and it was the most electrifying moment of his speech.
"ENOUGH!" It's an umbrella for everything. It taps into the free-floating rage that permeates the electorate, and it brings us back to the issues that the McCain campaign is so eager to avoid. It gives Obama (and Biden, and all of their surrogates) a showcase for expressing anger and outrage at appropriate targets without going anywhere near the gutter. It takes the focus off of personalities and back onto where the country's been and where it's going.
ENOUGH tax breaks to the wealthiest one percent while you're told that you're whining when you can't afford to pay four dollars a gallon for gasoline.
ENOUGH stalling on health care, a subject that neither John McCain or Sarah Palin even mentioned at their convention.
ENOUGH making us less safe by fighting the wrong war in the wrong place, while bin Laden remains at large.
ENOUGH putting our soldiers in harm's way because our leaders can't admit their mistakes.
ENOUGH secret meetings with energy companies that lead to record profits for them and skyrocketing energy prices for you.
ENOUGH denial of global warming.
ENOUGH sending your jobs overseas.
ENOUGH mortgaging our children's future.
ENOUGH hiring unqualified people who are unable to deal with a disaster when it comes.
ENOUGH with leaders who think they're above the law. ENOUGH trashing of the Constitution.
ENOUGH treating the core principles of this country like they mean nothing.
ENOUGH exploitation of fear. ENOUGH attacking your patriotism if you dare to question one of their policies. ENOUGH breeding hatred by dividing this country into red states and blue states instead of bringing us all together as the United States.
ENOUGH spin, enough lies, enough corruption.
ENOUGH distractions about idiocies like that big 'lipstick on a pig' controversy.
ENOUGH ignorance, enough arrogance, enough incompetence.
The American people have had ENOUGH of all of it.
Enough people are furious enough about what has happened to this country over the past eight years to elect Barack Obama in a landslide, but they want a candidate who shares their outrage. "ENOUGH!" is a mantra for the moment, a rallying cry directly descended from Network's "I'm mad as hell and I'm not gonna take it anymore." It invites audience participation at every campaign stop. There's something cathartic about screaming it in unison: "ENOUGH!!!!!!!"
So, to sum up, ENOUGH Democratic wimpery. ENOUGH fear of spilling Republican blood. ENOUGH with the unremovable gloves.
"ENOUGH!" is enough.
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