Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Very Good Strategy for Countering Sarah Palin

A Very Good Strategy for Countering Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin: A Trojan Moose Concealing Four More Years of George Bush

by Arianna Huffington - September 8, 2008

Did Sarah Palin wrongfully push to have her ex-brother-

in law fired? Was she really against the "Bridge to

Nowhere?" Did she really sell Alaska 's plane on eBay,

or just list it on eBay? Did she actually have any

substantial duties commanding the Alaska National Guard?

The correct answer to all these questions is: who

cares? Which isn't to say these aren't valid questions,

or that Palin and the McCain camp aren't playing it

fast, loose, and coy with each of them. The point is

that Palin, and the circus she's brought to town, are

simply a bountiful collection of small lies

deliberately designed to distract the country from one

big truth: the havoc that George Bush and the

Republican Party have wrought, and that John McCain is

committed to continuing.

Every second of this campaign not spent talking about

the Republican Party's record, and John McCain's role

in that record, is a victory for John McCain.

Her critics like to say that Palin hasn't accomplished

anything. I disagree: in the space of ten days she's

succeeded in distracting the entire country from the

horrific Bush record -- and McCain's complicity in it.

My friends, that's accomplishment we can believe in.

Just look at the problem John McCain faced. George Bush

has a disastrous record, and the country knows it. John

McCain -- the current one, not the one who vanished

eight years ago -- has no major disagreements with

George Bush (and I'm sorry, wanting to fire Donald

Rumsfeld a bit sooner doesn't qualify) and wants to

continue his incredibly unpopular policies for another

four years. The solution? Enter Sarah Palin, a Trojan

Moose carrying four more years of disaster.

And the plan has worked beautifully. Just look at

what's being discussed just 57 days before the

election. Is it the highest unemployment rate in five

years? The bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? The

suicide bombing yesterday in Iraq that killed six

people and wounded 54 -- in the same market where last

month a bomb killed 28 people and wounded 72? That the

political reconciliation that was supposedly the point

of "the surge" is nowhere near happening? That Iraq 's

Shiite government is now rounding up the American-

backed Sunni leaders of the Awakening? That the reason

8,000 soldiers may be leaving Iraq soon is so more can

be deployed to Afghanistan where the Taliban is

steadily retaking the country?

No. We're talking about whether Sarah Palin was or was

not a good mayor, whether she was or was not a good

mother, whether her skirts are too short and her

zingers too sarcastic.

Contrary to what we're hearing 24/7 in the media, the

next few weeks are not a test of Sarah Palin. The next

few weeks are a test of Barack Obama.

He needs to dramatically redirect this election back to

a discussion over the issues that really matter -- the

issues that will impact the future of this country. A

presidential campaign is a battle and this is the time

for Obama to show some commander-in-chief skills. I'm

not talking about calling Palin out for lying about his

record and demeaning community organizing. I'm talking

about grabbing the political debate by the throat. The

country is already angry about what's happened over the

last seven-plus years -- he shouldn't be afraid to give

voice to that anger. Obama has spent years adopting a

non-threatening persona; but he can't let his fear that

appearing like an "angry Black man" (a stereotype not-

too-subtly fueled by Fox News) will turn off swing

voters keep him from channeling the disgust and outrage

felt by so many voters --swing and otherwise.

McCain's team, in an effort to distract, is going to

keep doing what they're doing -- diverting voters and

the media with a tantalizing combination of personal

trivia and small lies. It doesn't matter if they're

caught in them -- in fact, all the better. Because they

know there is no way in hell they can win if this

election is about the big truth of the Bush years.

McCain's real running mate is George Bush and the

failed policies of the Republican Party. Even if they

are dressed up in a skirt, lipstick, and Tina Fey glasses.

[Arianna Huffington is the co-founder and editor-in-

chief of The Huffington Post, a nationally syndicated

columnist, and author of twelve books. She is also co-

host of "Left, Right & Center," public radio's popular

political roundtable program.

In May 2005, she launched The Huffington Post, a news

and blog site that has quickly become one of the most

widely-read, linked to, and frequently-cited media

brands on the Internet.

In 2006, she was named to the Time 100, Time Magazine's

list of the world's 100 most influential people.

Originally from Greece , she moved to England when she

was 16 and graduated from Cambridge University with an

M.A. in economics. At 21, she became president of the

famed debating society, the Cambridge Union .]

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