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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

David Brooks says, "Be weird"

My friend Suzanne sent me this David Brooks column from today's NY Times, but my response is - sounds good, but I don't buy it. What voters are responding to, as always, is the cult of personality. McCain had it most, then Obama, now Palin. I heard someone on the news last night saying that people like Palin because she's "authentic." Obviously, no one is responding to promises to work across the aisle, either because they don't believe it (they shouldn't) or because they don't give a damn (that's what I would bet). They still just vote for the most likable person, period. The question about Palin is will the infatuation with her last long enough to really help McCain - as Chuck Todd of MSNBC said: "Palin is a bubble, like a stock bubble or housing bubble. Question is whether she pops before election day or not."

As an aside, I don't even think that Brooks believes what he wrote. The culture and class war tactic that the Repugs are using is working out just great for them - why would McCain start talking about bipartisanship now? And of course Brooks wants Obama to attack anyone criticizing or (heaven forbid!) mocking Palin - that's such a winning strategy . . . if you hate the people who are attacking Palin. He's so transparent.

Here's part of what Brooks said:

If I were advising the candidates, I’d tell them to double down on weirdness. Obama needs to occasionally criticize his own side. If he can’t take on his own party hacks, he’ll never reclaim the mantle of systemic change. Specifically, he needs to attack the snobs who are savaging SarahPalin’s faith and family. Many liberals claim to love working-classfamilies, but the moment they glimpse a hunter with an uneven collegerecord, they hop on chairs and call for disinfectant. Obama needs to attack Bill Maher for calling her a stewardess and the rest of the coastal condescenders. If I were McCain, I’d make the divided government argument explicit.

The Republicans are intellectually unfit to govern right now, but balancing with Democrats, they might be able to do some good. I’d have McCain tell the country that he looks forward to working with Congressional Democrats, that he is confident they can achieve great things together.



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