Diary

Calling All Swift Boats!

Polls, polls, polls. McCain is up one week. Obama is inevitable the next. You never can tell.

The polls currently say that Obama is winning. This could change in a heartbeart. Obama is playing very cautious, not really saying anything except change, change, change because he knows his support is fragile, with high negatives on his fitness to be president. He is hiding his many questionable associations from 1970s Weather Underground terrorist William Ayers to Franklin Raines of Fannie Mae, hoping to run out the clock.

But look back at the 2004 election, and the polls were showing Kerry winning. This is because the media run the polls, and the media can get the polls to say whatever they want. And this year, they are more radicalized than ever after seeing Gore and Kerry go down. They are taking no chances. They are slanting every word, every sentence, every interview and every poll.

Obama should be 20 points ahead in this ‘Democrat year’, but his narrow leads in some swing states show what a weak candidate he is, as the media portray him as unconquerable. Yet Obama well understands that he barely squeaked by Hillary, even with full-on media backing. Now Billary are offering Obama the most tepid support, even praising McCain/Palin at several opportunities.

With friends like Billary…

McCain can win if he gets smart and drops all his good-guy tendencies. McCain has to start hitting Obama hard. It should start in the debate Tuesday, October 7, one month out from the election, which is plenty of time.

Palin was restrained in her debate and it showed. You know she wanted to go after Obama hard but she did not. And she did well, which is all that McCain could have wanted. She no longer has that media-generated sword of incompetence hanging over her head, and can be very useful on the stump.

So now it is up to McCain. He must never be afraid of the media attacking him for taking some “negative” shots, because “negative” to the media means “telling the truth” when that truth is about Democrats. Obama is so vulnerable on so many issues that McCain must use all tools at his disposal.

In August 2004 a seemingly insignificant battleground-state political advertisement by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth turned into a national sensation. In it, people who knew or served with John Kerry during his 4-month tour in Vietnam said he was not fit to be president. The ad, which had several versions, ultimately featured 1971 testimony by Kerry testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about atrocities committed by American soldiers in Vietnam. In that testimony, however, Kerry said he did not know of the atrocities personally, but had only heard about them.

McCain had said of the original Swift Boat ad, which did not have the 1971 testimony: “I condemn the ad. It is dishonest and dishonorable. I think it is very, very wrong.”

The ad was creating a national stir at the same time that Dan Rather and CBS were putting out falsified documents that showed that Bush had lied about his National Guard service. Ultimately, the Swift Boat ads put a stall on Kerry’s momentum, and, along with the National Guard fiasco, led to a Bush victory, and to the end of Rather’s career.

The media were livid about the whole series of events, so they invented the term ‘swift-boating’ which is intended to question anyone who attacks a Democrat. Meanwhile, the media have been ‘swift boating’ Republicans every day since the end of World War II.

Perhaps ‘rathering’ could be the GOP term for the same thing.

Now McCain has somewhat boxed himself into a corner. He spoke out against the Swift Boat ad and co-sponsored the McCain/Feingold campaign legislation that has squelched free speech and produced exactly the kind of independent 527 swift-boat groups that sank Kerry.

McCain apparently has decided that relentless attacks by far-left bloggers and the Ancient Media on himself and Sarah Palin are just average political discourse, and that he somehow should refrain from counter-punching. This is the road to defeat.

First, Sarah Palin should tell NBC – the only network on which she has not done a sit-down interview – that she will do an interview with Tom Brokaw when Obama goes on Fox News head-to-head with Obama critic Sean Hannity. That would level the playing field and would create a stir that would redound to Palin/McCain’s benefit.

Second, Palin, in her brief national career, has been infinitely less secretive about her past than Obama who is seeking to hide his past. And the media are playing along. McCain/Palin should go full-frontal with that fact, which they apparently are now doing.

Even in the Palin/Biden debate, the media were able to slip in a pro-Obama moderator in Gwen Ifill, who ended up giving “the last word” in each segment to Democrat Biden three times as often as she gave “the last word” to Palin. Yet even with every stop pulled out in that debate, Palin radiated knowledge, confidence and warmth and gained credibility because she was allowed to speak directly to the people. Meanwhile McCain declined to speak out forcefully against Ifill.

McCain needs to take the gloves off now. He needs to let Palin go after Obama on his Kerry-like statements about Americans air-raiding villages in Afghanistan and Obama’s refusal to support the ‘surge’ in Iraq even after it had worked.

Punch, punch, punch. These will affect the vote slowly but surely in battleground states where McCain needs just a few points here and there.

Since McCain was much stronger in his knowledge and in his language in the first presidential debate on foreign-policy but still was diminished because of Obama’s better style, he must change his own style, be more passionate, and hit hard in the next two domestic-policy debates by taking the following three steps:

*He must declare outright that Obama’s campaign has close ties to Fannie Mae; that Democrats have looted Fannie; and that easy credit availability forced by Democrat government mandates on banks is at the heart of the current crisis.

*He must point out that a plan like Obama’s to raise taxes on businesses and corporations was one of the key factors that set off the depression of the 1930s.

*And when the subject of education comes up, McCain must let go with both barrels. First he must explain that Obama served a full 4 years as director of 1970s terrorist William Ayers’ Chicago Annenberg Challenge foundation, and that Ayers was not just some guy who lived in his neighborhood as Obama has been saying publicly. And McCain must point out that CAC is an organization dedicated to the further radicalization and undermining of school standards by promoting not education but leftist black-liberation dogma.

Already, after just one day of Palin going public with comments on Ayers, the Obama campaign and its media allies are in full-throat reaction. This shows that Obama knows darned well that the Ayers issue is significant. Thus the McCain campaign should keep up a steady but low-key drumbeat on Ayers, drip, drip, drip.

The last two debates are going to be scrutinized primarily by undecided voters who can shift on a dime over any issue. If they have not made up their minds yet, they can be convinced. McCain should play hard to those voters, while independent 527 group should put out swift-boat type ads to strike Obama where it hurts – in the truth department.

These ads must highlight Obama’s close links to Ayers, enough to provoke an Obama response. Perhaps the ads could suggest that someone from the far left like Ayers might be put into a high national educational post in an Obama administration, further gutting American schools and turning them into tools of the political left. This easily could happen.

Perhaps the ads could even suggest that Obama might put a radical like Ayers into a sensitive military intelligence position in an Obama administration, which also easily could happen.

After all, Bill Clinton had to pardon his own CIA director John Deutch over mishandling classified information after years of suspicion that far-left Clinton intel officials were looking the other way while China stole volumes of sensitive military information. Meanwhile Clinton’s own national security adviser Sandy Berger went into the National Archives in October 2003 and stole classified documents that reflected badly on Clinton, probably at the behest of Clinton, although it never has been proved. This is the same Berger who was criticized in 1999 for failing to promptly inform Clinton that China had stolen sensitive nuclear-warhead design material from the US.

These swift-boat types of ads will bring the type of free media coverage that made the original swift-boat ads a national conversation piece.McCain showed a certain spinelessness when he voted for the pork-laden $700 billion bailout bill, so lost a lot of credibility on financial issues. If he continues to pander and play it safe, Obama will wake up victorious on November 5. It is time for hardball.

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