Sunday, August 31, 2008


I'm always at a bit of a loss to know how to react when a candidate I'm supporting does exactly what I think he should do. On the one hand, hey! Great! I think it's a good idea!

On the other hand, after all, it's me! I'm an idiot! What does it say if Obama's strategists have the same ideas I do?

In any case, I love this ad from the Obama camp, sort of reacting-by-way-of-not-reacting to the Palin pick.

I think if I had to sum up the proper approach to Palin for the Obama campaign (and particularly for Biden) it would be summed up in these few words:

Pretend She Isn't There

This ad does a good job with that. In the end, Palin's main upside for McCain is that she makes a somewhat tricky attack target. If McCain were winning the race, and the Dems were hungry for weak points to attack, that would be a problem. But that's not the situation we're in. In strategic thinking, one of the most fundamental axioms that people violate again and again (often to their great detriment) is "When the plan is working, stick to the plan." That applies here.

The thing to keep in mind, from a strategic point of view, is that aside from all the specific problems with Palin the VP candidate, this is a fundamentally weak pick. It's not, as some have analogized, a hail mary pass. John McCain is not down five with ten seconds left. It's more like a well-known type of mistake in poker where, early in a big, long tournament, a beginner will get dealt a strong hand and crazily push all his chips into the middle. The downside of getting called down by an even stronger hand is big, but that's not the real problem (risk is part of poker, after all) - the real problem is, even if the move works, you're really not in THAT great of shape.

McCain is gambling at the wrong time, in the wrong way, on the wrong cards. The best move for the Obama camp is to just... let him.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Chickenshit Republicans

ThinkProgress links to a Washington Post report alleging via anonymous sources that US Congressman Walter Jones (R-NC) is a big fan of Vincent Bugliosi's arguments that George W. Bush should be prosecuted for murder.

The reason that this is coming via anonymous sources is that Jones wants to "lay low" until after the 2008 elections. This is just a great example of the cowardice and fecklessness of the Republican Party. If it is indeed true that Walter Jones believes that the President of the United States of America should be tried for treason but that this idea should not be promoted during election season because it might have an impact on the vote... What exactly is it that Walter Jones believes elections are for?

In fact I think we can draw a further and in a way more disgusting conclusion here. Jones probably doesn't even view calling for the prosecution of a sitting president as a particularly grave matter. Basically, he used to like Bush, but now he thinks Bush sucks, so... Prosecute!!! There is never a sense with Republicans that they recognize that certain decisions are serious and should only be arrived at after careful reflection, and even then with great reluctance and with a heavy heart.

George W. Bush SHOULD be impeached, for any number of crimes. But beware of flighty, opportunistic lightweights like Walter Jones - just because Jones calls for Bush's impeachment doesn't mean he's not still a complete ass. He is.