Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
October 15, 2008
POLITICS: Today's Word Is "Erratic"

This Message Brought To You By The Letter "O"

It's not a secret or a surprise that people on both sides of the political aisle try to drive stories and common themes, but one of the things that's especially amusing about the Left is the willingness of Democratic talking heads and lefty bloggers to mindlessly parrot verbatim the talking points handed down by their campaign, in the hopes of driving particular words into the news coverage. And it appears that the word of the moment being slapped on McCain is "erratic" - in contrast to the serene (sorry, "steady") inactivity of Barack Obama.

Today the Obama campaign accidentally sent reporters the talking points it intends to press for tonight's debate:

"* This is John McCain's last chance to turn this race around and somehow convince the American people that his erratic response to this economic crisis doesn't disqualify him from being President.

"* Just this weekend the weekend, John McCain vowed to 'whip Obama's you-know-what' at the debate, and he's indicated that he'll be bringing up Bill Ayers to try to distract voters.

"* So we know that Senator McCain will come ready to attack Barack Obama and bring his dishonorable campaign tactics to the debate stage.

"Obama continues to lead on the economic crisis with a rescue plan for Main Street.

"Over the course of the campaign, Barack Obama has laid out a set of policies that will grow our middle class and strengthen our economy.

"But he knows we face an immediate economic emergency that requires urgent action – on top of the plans he's already laid out – to help workers and families and communities struggling right now.

"That's why Barack Obama is introducing a comprehensive four-part Rescue Plan for the Middle Class – to immediately to stabilize our financial system, provide relief to families and communities, and help struggling homeowners.

"This is a plan that can and should be implemented immediately.

"Obama has shown steady leadership during this crisis and offered concrete solutions to move the country forward – and his Rescue Plan for the Middle Class builds on the plans to strengthen the economy and rebuild the middle class that he's laid out over the course of this campaign.

"Already in this campaign, he's unveiled plans to give 95 percent of workers and their families a tax cut, eliminate income taxes for seniors making under $50,000, bring down the cost of health care for families and businesses; and create millions of new jobs by investing in the renewable energy sources.

"John McCain has been erratic and unsteady since this crisis began – staggering from position to position and trying to change the subject away from the economy by launching false character attacks."

H/T Moe

Now, let's look at some samples from the lefty blogs collected by yesterday's Blogometer under the headline "MCCAIN: Reinforcing The "Erratic" Meme?"

Other liberal bloggers are portraying the McCain camp as "erratic":

The Washington Monthly's Steve Benen: "It's almost as if they're trying to look erratic, unable to deal with the pressure of a crisis."

MyDD's Todd Beeton: "So, call me crazy but if the number one criticism about you is that you act erratically and it's sticking because, well, you're undeniably acting erratically, wouldn't it be wise to stop? To start acting with purpose, with some modicum of discipline? Wouldn't that just be Politics 101?"

AMERICAblog's Joe Sudbay: "Let's just put this in perspective: The McCain campaign knows its being closely watched. Their repeated stunts, combined with the ugly negative attacks, have caused the McCain to drop precipitously in national and state polls. Yet, against this scrutiny, McCain and his campaign honchos only reinforce the idea that erratic behavior reigns. It's quite stunning. No wonder so many Republicans are fleeing from the McCain campaign."

Then we get John Podesta on what McCain needs to do tonight:

McCain needs to change the dynamic of this race, but his erratic responses to the economic crisis aren't the way to do it.

Want more? Have fun wading through the 6,896 posts over the last month tagging McCain "erratic."

Posted by Baseball Crank at 4:35 PM | Politics 2008 | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

This used to be referred to as "The Hive." Lefties for decades have successfully engaged in a sort of communication mob behavior, picking up quickly on the Obamanish talking points.

You have to give them credit for their ability, automatically utilizing effective propaganda techniques even without training or direct coaching. Think of how hard Joseph Goebbels had to work to develop his own version.

McCain's tendency to run off in all directions before settling has helped pin the erratic label on him, even as Obama's tendency to freeze prior to voting "present" has assisted him in appearing steady. He has also found it useful to be a follower (witness his shadowing McCain on the famous trip to Washington re the bailout) then subsequently claiming to have shown leadership. If we were to examine expressed policies and philosophies, however, I suggest that the greatest degree of alteration would be shown by Obama, who has managed to satisfy (at least temporarily) socialists, black nationalists, anti-war activists, certain hawkish elements, and economic moderates.

He's an empty vessel into which many have poured their wishes and dreams, ignoring those of his statements or votes which run contrary to their hopes.

Posted by: Dai Alanye at October 15, 2008 5:40 PM

There's actually a linguistic theory behind it, if you listen to them drone on about "frames"...plus, I'm pretty sure that Podesta, Benen and AmericaBlog are all actually on Obama's payroll.

Same thing happened on Georgia and on Obama's trip to Iraq...I'll grant that it's been poor politics on the financial crisis but one of the things I actually like about McCain, and which worked well for him politically for most of the summer, is that his fighter pilot training teaches him to be decisive and focus on throwing the other guy off balance, getting inside his head by surprising him. Granted, that works better in a political campaign or a foreign crisis where you have an adversary than a market meltdown. And from Obama's perspective, it's easier to project calm when the market dropping is precisely what you want to happen.

Posted by: Crank at October 15, 2008 5:50 PM

Reminds me of the 2000 Election when if you had drunk a shot each time you heard a Democrat say “Gravitas”, you’d have checked into detox an hour later.

Posted by: Maryland Conservatarian at October 15, 2008 5:59 PM

I'm pretty sure that Podesta, Benen and AmericaBlog are all actually on Obama's payroll.

I am pretty sure that you like to make crap up.

Posted by: dave at October 15, 2008 6:17 PM

It's speculation; if I had proof I'd put it in the body of the post. I've mostly just heard rumors pointing to those blogs in particular, and the fact that they seem especially...consistent in tracking the language of Obama's words of the week would seem to support that.

Posted by: Crank at October 15, 2008 6:28 PM

The pack-mentality is notable among many on the left. Stands to reason, since they prefer to have the gov't take care of them & need unionesque activities to get it done.

But, they're the smart ones. Just ask 'em.

Posted by: RW at October 15, 2008 8:02 PM

Crank, he IS erratic. And nasty, contemptuous, unreflective, irresponsible, and unquestionably lacking in temperament to be President.

Posted by: Magrooder at October 15, 2008 11:31 PM

I find the "dishonorable" comment odd, but I don't track each campaign's actions that closely. Is there something specific to which they're referring? Or now just trying to generally attach dishonorable as an adjective to McCain?

Posted by: DKH at October 16, 2008 1:39 AM

This just shows how liberal Obama has been during his Senate time. He does not rock the boat, he stays steady. And with so many issues coming at him, what will he and the elitist illuminati do then, stay steady?

Posted by: Expressions at October 29, 2008 6:53 PM
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