Sunday, August 31, 2008

When ratfucks go bad

At this early stage in the game, it appears that the Maverick's gambit to select Sarah Palin as his running mate in order to woo disaffected Hillary voters isn't working out as planned. It's partially due to her Boss Hogg-esque levels of incompetence, but I think when it's all said and done, historians will point to the GOP being bitten in the ass by their own Rovian ratfucking operation.

It was clear way back in June that it would've been politically impossible for Obama to select Hillary as his running mate, mainly because it would have been construed as political weakness on his part. As the summer wore on, the media latched on to those who demanded that if Obama picked a female veep, anyone but Hillary would've been an insult to her supporters and a cravenly political move (which, in retrospect, I think the latter is true). I don't discount a fair number of Clinton supporters feeling this way in reaction to the perceived and actual sexism of the primary season, but I think it was Republican operatives who were most responsible in keeping that narrative alive in the hopes of sowing Democratic disunity.

However, in choosing Palin, the McCain campaign is running into the very buzzsaw that Obama would have run into had he selected Governor Sebelius of Kansas (or any other woman): they created an environment where any woman selected (especially one who hadn't earned her stripes like Hillary had) would be seen as a cynical ploy to attract Hillary's female supporters. Had the Republicans not spent all summer pushing the "no woman but Hillary" narrative, the Palin gamble might have had an outside chance of working. In this environment, however, I think a lot of people are seeing it for the blatantly political charade that it is.

Reap what you sow, motherfuckers.

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