The Possibilities of Push-Off Politics: 1) David Frum argues Republican Congressional candidates should treat the presidential election as "already lost" and campaign "on a message to balance the crazy left-wing things a President Obama is sure to try." 2) Jennifer Rubin argues the Republican presidential candidate should treat the Congress as already lost and campaign on a message to moderate the things a lopsidedly Democratic legislature is sure to try.
It's hard to see how both these strategies could plausibly be successful, assuming polls on the week before election day offer an accurate picture of whether the GOP has a chance to control either branch of government. At the moment, Rubin's strategy looks closer to reality--McCain has a shot at the presidency, so writing him off doesn't resonate. But even the Republicans in Congress think the Republicans in Congress are doomed.
Would Rubin's proposed McCain strategy of running against the looming Congressional Democratic majority make it impossible for him to "triangulate" by dissing Congressional Republicans? Not really--presumably he could do both, contrasting himself with the conservative GOP caucus and with the Pelosi Democrats.
What about "reverse triangulation" (noitalugnairt!)--the possibility that a party's Congressional delegation could get closer to the center than its presidential candidate? That seems impossible for the Republicans. It's not impossible for the Democrats. If Obama fails to pivot to the center (as Frum, at least, predicts) Rahm Emmanuel's House candidates could easily position themselves as moderate checks on a very liberal prospective President, no? ... 1:15 A.M.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Strange piece on the huge, attractively Apollonian Ford Flex in Automobile, in which the editors get driven around but don't say much about the actual car. ("Sadly, the dog ate our notes.") Is that because the Flex, er, sucked? Maybe Ford's PR department restricted what the editors could say and do, envisioning a benign pre-rollout teaser. But if the car's any good, that approach backfired by raising doubts. ... P.S.: When is the last time a Ford interior was criticized for being "luxuriously upscale"? Ford should have that problem. ... 12:26 P.M.
Note that, Dick Morris, in his cynical advice to McCain, advocates that he appeal to Dems and independents by moving to the center--but not on McCain's signature issue of "comprehensive immigration reform" (which Morris has supported). Indeed, Morris thinks McCain should:
Attack Obama for favoring federally subsidized health insurance for illegal immigrants.