Thursday, February 28, 2008
show you how to hustle:
Listen to The Boss:
Now, a good deal has been made out of John McCain's repudiation of talk radio yakmeister Bill Cunningham, who led off for McCain at one of his rallies with the full run of Obama sludge. But don't be distracted or fooled. This is more like an example of what the digital commerce folks refer to as 'channel conflict'. You've got your multiple distribution channels. You've got the way McCain's selling the product. Broadcast. Broad and thematic about McCain. But you've got a number of other product channels to sell through, most of them a lot grittier, but no less essential for ultimate success.

Both can work simultaneously. In fact, in the kind of campaign McCain's running, they're both essential for success (see the 2000 Republican presidential primary in South Carolina). The key is just that the channels don't cross. Because that's when the trouble starts and they can begin to undermine or even short-circuit each other. And that's what threatened to happened here.

Don't insult your intelligence or mine by pretending that John McCain's plan for this race doesn't rely on hundreds of Cunninghams -- large and small -- across the country, and the RNC and all the GOP third party groups, to be peddling this stuff nonstop for the next eight months because it's the only way John McCain have a real shot at contesting this race.
The only thing I'd add is that "plan" here should be understood loosely. McCain, for reasons of necessity, doesn't need to know anything about the anti-Obama guerrillas here. In fact, he can repudiate them without, as Josh explains, cognitive dissonance. But the high road and the low road both lead to the same place.

Or to translate Josh's analogy into terms this blog can process: McCain is Tariq Hashemi, the Cunninghams are the Islamic Army of Iraq or the 1920 Revolution Brigades and Obama is the Shiite government. Hashemi has some ties to the Sunni insurgency but prefers politics to bullets and issues the occasional denunciation of the insurgents. Given his druthers, he'd prefer his more genteel version of Sunni politics triumphs over the rabble. But both want the Shiite order overturned. And the greater the siege of the Shiite government, the better. You can forgive the Shiite government for thinking there's more collusion between Hashemi and the insurgency than there probably is. After all, the government is seeing the confluence of interests here.

Oh yeah, and the elements calling Obama's advisers anti-semites, with or without using the word? They're al-Qaeda in Iraq. And deserve the same fate.
--Spencer Ackerman
I've been thinking Sinn Fein/IRA, myself.
Blogger dbt | 7:33 AM