Well, Rich Lowery’s piece, Obama’s Rules, is being commented on all over the net today, so I thought I’d weigh in. First, here are the rules as spelled out by Rich:
He can’t be called a “liberal” (“the same names and labels they pin on everyone,” as Obama puts it); his toughness on the war on terror can’t be questioned (“attempts to play on our fears”); his extreme positions on social issues can’t be exposed (“the same efforts to distract us from the issues that affect our lives” and “turn us against each other”); and his Chicago background too is off-limits (“pouncing on every gaffe and association and fake controversy”). Besides that, it should be a freewheeling and spirited campaign.
Democrats always want cultural issues not to matter because they are on the least-popular side of many of them, and want patriotic symbols like the Pledge of Allegiance and flag pins to be irrelevant when they can’t manage to nominate presidential candidates who wholeheartedly embrace them (which shouldn’t be that difficult). As for “fear” and “division,” they are vaporous pejoratives that can be applied to any warning of negative consequences of a given policy or any political position that doesn’t command 100 percent assent. In his North Carolina speech, Obama said the Iraq war “has not made us safer,” and that McCain’s ideas are “out of touch” with “American values.” How fearfully divisive.
And I will unhelpfully laugh at his gaffes, too.
Sadly, I can see McCain obediently and enthusiastically following Obama’s rules, but is it too much to hope that the RNC demur?