John McCain’s base used to be the media. Now it’s these guys:
David Weigel at Reason responds:
This is the blowback when McCain/Palin go hard negative. They rev up the base, but what on-the-fence voter wants to associate with people like this?
The problem isn’t that McCain is going hard negative, the problem is the way he’s doing it. With all this Ayers nonsense, McCain isn’t merely accusing Barack Obama of being an outsider, he’s accusing him of being on the other side. In this day and age of “You’re either with us or you’re with the terrorists,” McCain is essentially saying that Obama is a traitor. Kathleen Parker gets it:
[T]his is a dangerous game. The McCain campaign knows that Obama isn’t a Muslim or a terrorist, but they’re willing to help a certain kind of voter think he is.
Rather than do the work of crafting a coherent message on the economy– the only issue that will matter in this election– McCain’s strategy is to yell “fire!” in a crowded theater and see what happens. Why not really go for it and just start handing out pitchforks and torches at the campaign rallies?
If it wasn’t for the fact that all this focus on Ayers is increasing the threat level on Barack Obama and American society in general, I’d be all for it. It’s doing absolutely nothing in the polls. If McCain keeps this up through the election, I predict he’ll get a solid 15% of the electorate worked up into a rabid frenzy, he’ll get 20% that will vote Republican by default (one-issue voters and die-hards), and he’ll lose the election in a landslide.
Independents and common sense conservatives want nothing to do with this: