Calling out Steve Schmidt and the far-right base

I’m starting to believe that the reason John McCain is losing this race is not because of John McCain but rather because of the filthy and ugly elements of the Republican party and its practitioners. Two elements at play here. One, the far-right base that is so willing to believe that Obama is an Arab terrorist, that Palin is righteousness incarnate, and so on. And two, the strategists who would capitalize on this sentiment. That’s you, Steve Schmidt, you failed Karl Rove protégé.

Rove was at least right when he figured that bringing out the base was enough to win the election in 2000. (He won that gamble very slightly, but he did indeed win.) But 2000 was a different time. There weren’t the meta-threats that we face right now. The country was evenly decided between don’t-give-a-shit and don’t-give-a-shit. It didn’t really matter to most folks.

Rove was a good political scientist, and he knew how to win an election. Steve Schmidt, you are a fraud. You have bounced back and forth from strategy to strategy, and all you have accomplished is to make this campaign season a train wreck that is hard to watch.

You have succeeded in making a mockery of your own candidate. I was moved today when I saw John McCain step up and face the boos from his own crowd, tell his own town-hall questioners that no, Barack Obama is not an Arab. No, you should not be afraid of him. No, you should not shout “off with his head.”

John McCain is a better man than the campaign Steve Schmidt has run. He’s a fuckin’ American hero, who is being dangled by Steve Schmidt as a lifeless puppet. It is an abominable disgrace.

I felt for McCain today. I admired him when he admonished his own crowd. I’m aware of the defeat he suffered in 2000 in South Carolina when the Rove camp suggested he had fathered a black child out of wedlock. John McCain is better than that. But his handlers aren’t.

That’s the thing that has bugged me the most about this whole campaign. McCain has come across to the public as a petty, vindictive, mud-slinging candidate who has no respect for the political process. He showed me today that he is not that—which is exactly what he has shown the public throughout his career.

This is the first time I have watched a candidate and watched a campaign and seen such a disconnect between them. I really do feel sorry for McCain. When he loses—and he will certainly lose—it will be down to his miserable handling and not down to his worth as an American servant.

Fuck you, Steve Schmidt. And fuck the far-right-wingers who feed at your trough.

By all reports, Barack Obama (a relative neophyte, as we are reminded time and time again) rules his campaign with an iron fist. How does a longtime political operator like Senator John McCain end up being “dangled like a lifeless puppet”?

I don’t know about this Schmidt dude, but whoever is behind this campaign should be ashamed of themselves. I am an independent because the Democrats are too conservative for me and the Greens are too loony, but I have admired McCain for years as a decent and honorable person, from seeing him interviewed on TV. He’s always struck me as a good person and when it became clear he would be the Republican candidate, I was glad that they would be nominating someone I could at least respect. I never really considered voting for him, but I didn’t think he’d wreck the country (worse than it’s already been wrecked, that is).

But man, has this campaign been a disappointment. It’s really a disgrace, and McCain lost my respect when he bowed to the party wishes and chose Palin as his running mate. I really expected better from him.

And maybe Schmidt is running the campaign, and he’s probably a slimebag, but I don’t blame anyone but John McCain.

McCain (as did McGovern, for example) allowed the “nationals” to take over his campaign, and Obama did not. (Something I was very worried about, to be honest. Those people move in and shove aside the folks who got you where you are.)

I think Obama has 30 IQ points on him.

I don’t understand why so many people think John McCain does not call the shots in his own campaign. Bottom line is Schmidt does what McCain tells him to do. I know it’s hard to learn that your hero really does have feet of clay but there comes a time when you have to face facts, McCain is a slimy man who has run a slimy campaign.

Gimme a break. McCain does what Schmidt tells him to do. Else, what job would Schmidt have?


Do you suggest that an honorable man would let a dishonorable underling tell him what to do?

I don’t know if his underling is dishonorable, but this would certainly seem to be the case.

It’s very, very sad.

I think the moment McCain selected Palin was the moment McCain showed to the extreme right that he could sacrifice control of his campaign to appease them and get their support. Unfortunately McCain finally noticed the real price of that appeasement.

IMHO what we are seeing is the result of McCain having second thoughts on the effectiveness of Schmidt. Unfortunately it is too late to get rid of Schmidt so McCain is now a prisoner of a campaign of his own design. In this case I do not think one has to make a choice between McCain being slimy (when he choose Schmidt) and McCain following orders from an even more slimy guy (Schmidt again), both choices could be true in this case.

He wants to be President so bad he is willing to countenance things which deeply offend his sense of honor and integrity. This isn’t an excuse, perhaps it is a sorrowful insight into human nature.

What it most emphatically is *not *is any sort of recommendation.

I am pleased, Mr. McCain, that you appear determined to better yourself. Go, and sin no more. But go.