8 Feb 2008
Best Possible Scenario for the GOP
I have had no real preference among the Democratic candidates thus far, readers, and have said repeatedly that I don’t think it matters too much who gets the Democratic nomination. (I’ll happily support the Democratic candidate, no matter who it is.) I’ve said before that I think “electability” arguments are a waste of time; any Democratic candidate is going to get blasted by the right-wing smear machine. Hillary’s a Secret Commie with all the baggage of the Bill Clinton era; Barack Obama’s a Secret Muslim with Ties to Shady Characters, etc, etc. It’ll be ugly no matter what.
Having said that, I will confess that the prospect of a Clinton-McCain contest makes me distinctly uneasy. Why? It’s simple. The political press corps has been completely in love with Saint John Straight-Talk McCain since the halcyon days they spent on McCain’s bus during Campaign 2000. To this day, mainstream journalists mouth McCain’s campaign slogans for him. They love the man.
At the same time, the political press corps simply loathes Hillary Clinton. Candidate Clinton is going to have to deal with attacks on two fronts — the anti-Clinton right wing will go into overdrive with smears and swift-boatings, to be sure, but they’ll be aided and abetted by a Clinton-hating mainstream news media.
For this reason, I think a Clinton-McCain matchup might be the best possible scenario for the GOP come November. One can already see the narrative: the Straight-Talking Maverick versus the Shrill Focus-Group-Driven Power-Hungry Shrew. Republicans will not have to lift a finger to make this happen: the press corps will write this story all by themselves, for reasons of their own. Will liberals and Democrats fight back this time?
I’d say I don’t much care for those odds. If I were a Republican or a wingnut, I’d be crossing my fingers for Hillary Clinton, readers.