The Textbook Washington Game

The best way to respond and react to “the textbook Washington game”? Mirth and humor, of course:


It’s no surprise that George Stephanopoulos has gotten defensive about his and Charlie Gibson’s “moderator” performance; it’s all he knows. Gotcha games aren’t just part of the game, they practically define it. This has never been more true then in recent years. Whether it’s from jaded experience or because they’ve never known anything else some politicians and media personalities simply can’t see past the gossip. They, it seems, can’t focus on the issues, it’s an alien concept to them.

Unfortunately for the jaded politico’s and their media brethren the game can only go on for so long. Combine an increasingly politically literate audience, a charismatic candidate, and vocal secondary opinion sources like blogs and you end up with the makings of a paridgram shift on the game.

The public doesn’t play the way pundits seem to think we should. The gossip and knife-stabbing simply isn’t working like it used to anymore. Politicians that fail to respond to that change and treat the voters like intelligent agents rather than sound-bite rubes might just find their base of support has turned sour:

Pennsylvanians, remember, have rarely if ever been the center of the political universe like this before — they’re not used to being New Hampshire on steroids — and the negativity must be absolutely overwhelming at this point. I imagine a lot of voters are getting awfully tired of it all.

If I’m right, tonight’s debate, while superficially helpful to Hillary (Sullivan calls it Obama’s “worst performance yet on national television,” and I don’t disagree), may actually have damaged her — precisely because it seemed, in some ways, almost like an extension of the last week of her campaign. It wasn’t really a “debate” so much as an endless series of “gotcha” moments, an ongoing riff on “electability” and side-issues and distractions. The lefty blogosphere is in an uproar; Ed Rendell is mad as hell; commenters on ABC’s site are livid. But what will Pennsylvania’s voters think? And if they were turned off the debate, will that turn them on to Obama’s message, and turn them off to Clinton’s transparent Rovianism? I think it just might.

I guess we’ll find out how much the game’s changed once this is all over, but if you ask me we’re entering a whole new era.

4 Responses to “The Textbook Washington Game”

  1. tjproudamerican says:

    That is an amazing Video. The Democratic Party has in Obama, a Bill Clinton who is not a phony, sex-obsessed liar.

    The Clinton’s have been around for 16 + years, they have made themselves multi-millionaires and the Democratic Party a joke.

    The Clinton’s have wealth and power and a host of seedy, wealthy powerful friends. Go Bill Clinton, and take your damned wife with you.

    Let America rise from its Blue Dress status under The Clinton’s and let Obama lead us into the real future. Nit the pretend Bridge to The Clinton’s Personal Wealth, but the Future where we are a strong nation under a strong Democratic Party.

    Thank you for the video.

  2. Diggs says:

    I’ve always wanted a president that complains about Americans asking him (or her) questions. How DARE they! As the saying goes,”when the going gets tough, the whiners start whining” or something like that.

  3. DM Metzger says:

    You linked in from Crittenden’s blog didn’t you Diggs?

  4. Vail Beach says:

    Here’s what Obama doesn’t get: Yes, the American people are hungry for answers to America’s problems. But Obama’s “answers” aren’t going to lead the country. If elected, Obama is. The man, himself. So the ABC questions were, in fact, entirely appropriate, and if anyone drew the conclusion from the debate that Obama isn’t up to the job, it’s entirely fair.

    John McCain had to answer some tough questions — from his captors in a POW camp. How do you think most voters will assess the candidates’ relative strengths in the face of difficult situations. Obama should have owned the moment on ABC, if he was all he’s cracked up to be.

    Republicans probably rue the day they elected George W. Bush to the presidency, not because he disagrees with them, but because he wasn’t up to the job, and thus discredited not just himself, but the movement he was supposed to represent. I used to be very excited about Obama, but now I think he’s a disaster on stilts for the Democratic party, who has created an almost impossible dilemma for the party this summer. Oy.


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