The Used Car Salesmen

It shouldn't surprise anyone when Meet The Press assembles a panel of four spin doctors* that they will furiously try to out spin one another, though in at least one instance there was a qualitative difference. Three were selling old models, John McCain and the DLC , while Bob Shrum was more or less left on his own to paint rosy pictures of that New Kid on the Block, Barack Obama.

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Former republican presidential aspirant Mike Huckabee and political consultant Mike Murphy (hired gun in the past for both John McCain and Mitt Romney, among others) were bemoaning the fact the republican brand was damaged, while trying to sell the idea that John Sydney McCain was just the tonic for a beleaguered party. Huckabee's spin was the usual tired and worn "Maverick" nonsense, McCain as the non-traditional traditional republican. Or something like that. Murphy's hyperbole would extend further, calling McCain a "Change Agent," a centrist who would bridge the partisan gridlock in Washington. (Murphy said all that with a straight face, too.)

Harold DLC Ford, Jr came in, chomping at the bit, when the conversation moved to the three recent congressional losses by republicans in heavily red districts, seats in Illinois, Louisiana, and Mississippi. In each of the races Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were used by the RNC in tv advertising as the scary 'libruls' to dissuade the republican districts from voting for the democrat. This strategy was a dismal failure. But to Harold the real lesson to be gleaned from all this was that moderate democrats were on the ascendant, and that presumably the democratic party should not stray too far to the left lest it implode. The party brand might be a problem but as long as the candidate running was not 'threatening' everything would be fine.

Each selling an idea without any real facts to back up their assertions. One could ask, for instance, how Sen. Barack Obama became the most liberal in the U.S. Senate with a collective rating (80%) from liberal interest groups similar to that of Joe Lieberman (78%), while John McCain's rating (9%) by the same groups is down near the bottom of the barrel of true lunkheads like Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Jim DeMint (R-SC), all at 8%.

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Beware of salesmen selling you a bad bill of goods is an old and in this case, apt piece of advice.

*Informal a person who provides a favourable slant to a news item or policy on behalf of a political personality or party [from the spin given to a ball in sport to make it go in the desired direction]--Collins Essential English Dictionary


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