Dowd’s In The Tank

One of the more interesting and entertaining things that I’ve observed over the past few weeks has been the mass exodus of conservative columnists and other notables away from the McCain ticket in general and Sarah Palin as running mate specifically.

At first, there was general excitement all around.  Sure, there were a few wet blanket dissenters, but one of McCain’s biggest early problems has always been his inability to charge up the base, which Sarah Palin undoubtedly could do.

But once she started granting interviews, it was all downhill from there.

The most recent dissenter in the ranks would be Matt Dowd, one of George W. Bush’s political strategists during his reelection bid.  He doesn’t just distance himself from the controversial vice presidential pick, he eviscerates her and McCain:

“They didn’t let John McCain pick the person he wanted to pick as VP,” Dowd declared during the Time Warner Summit panel. “When Sarah Palin got picked instead of Joe Lieberman, which I fundamentally believed would have given John McCain the best opportunity in this race… as soon as he picked Palin, that whole ready versus not ready argument was not credible.”

Saying that Palin was a “net negative” on the ticket, he went on: “[McCain] knows, in his gut, that he put somebody unqualified on the ballot. He knows that in his gut, and when this race is over that is something he will have to live with… He put somebody unqualified on that ballot and he put the country at risk, he knows that.”

Of course, Dowd’s merely saying something that many of us have already known for a while; McCain is not about country first, no matter what the signs say.  He’s about McCain first, plain and simple.

But I also want to remark upon something else.  Over a month ago, MSNBC caught Peggy Noonan on a hot mic and she described the selection of Sarah Palin as “political bullshit.”  Back then, in the beginning of September, this was probably the only place you could find prominent conservative criticism against Palin.  Unintentionally live mics aside, most of the troopers knew their role.  Whether they thought Palin was a good choice or not, they kept their opinions to themselves.

It’s now mid October, and that is far from the case any more.  We’ve seen countless conservative pundits trash the Alaskan governor, and more generally, we’ve seen more conservative pundits criticize, repudiate, and distance themselves from the McCain campaign.  Meanwhile, everyone on the Obama side still exhibits the kind of discipline that is remarkable at this age of the internets.

Simply put, this is because everyone knows that McCain is going down.  What’s worse, he’s going down dishonorably.  No matter who became the Republican nominee, that person would have had a rough go of it this year, but McCain’s failing brilliantly, and there’s simply no incentive to make nice with him anymore.

I just find it fascinating, that’s all.

3 Responses to “Dowd’s In The Tank”

  1. Rob in Michigan says:

    Every time I read another conservative wailing that McCain’s campaign has been craptacular, I smile.

    Every time I hear from his ‘spokespeople’, I roll my eyes: “I have loathed Karl Rove, and you sirs, are no Karl Rove.” (I’m thinking they were the Rovian acolytes that tried to get by on the Cliff Notes version of his ideas.)

    But, every time I hear John McCain struggle to sound like he has a comprehensive plan to help America out of its troubles, I just feel very, very sad. And, really angry: “I have respected John McCain, and you sir, are not the John McCain I thought I knew.”

  2. Ace Armstrong says:

    Sarahcuda Sixpack says,”The puck stops here.”

  3. More like, “Have you no decency? At long last, Senator McCain, have you no decency?”

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