Now I'm beginning to get it. Of course everyone knows about Karl Rove's slash and burn style of politics. Obama and the Democratic party expected it and thought they were prepared to fight it with rapid response. Its not working all that well, it turns out.
I may have hit on the reason. Obama just hasn't realized how devious Karl Rove really is. Rove knows that some of his smears won't stick, but that doesn't matter because Rive's real strategy is working like a charm. Subtly he is playing on emotions and not facts. Innuendos about Obama's middle name, Hussein, are sly messages that Obama is really a Muslim disguised as a Christian.
A comment made by Rep. Davis, (Republican, Kentucky) referred to Obama as that 'boy' and Rep. Westmoreland, (Republican, Georgia), referred to Michelle and Obama as "elitist class individuals that thinks that they're uppity." They can apologize to high heaven later, but the message has been delivered --- "You just can't trust Obama because he's so - well - different. He's not one of us - be warned."
But Karl Rove is clever and more subtle. He has his minions using the term 'elitist' endlessly and any Southerner knows thats code for 'uppity". The other term the Republicans use is 'The One' and we all know that means uppity.
Even a compliment about Obama's intelligence is disguised as a slur. Who does that elitist (uppity) guy think he is? And it speaks to the fears of many voters. The message is so subtle (or not) that it's like slippery Jello - it is impossible to counter.
Palin is as different from , say a Kansas housewife, as she is from me. But her image is, "She's one of us. She's tough, she won't take our guns away, and she will keep America strong. She's just an ordinary hockey mom like us." Of course that's utter nonsense, but emotions are 50% of what many voters base their choice on. And the religious right are delirious at her choice. She is anti gun control, anti choice, anti gays, and anti science. All issues important to them. Do you want creationism taught in your school? Elect McCain. Do you want anti-abortion judges who will overturn Roe vs Wade? Elect McCain. Do you want ideology over science? Elect McCain.
The Republicans don't have one single accomplishment they can point to so the strategy is to appeal to the emotions with smoke and mirrors. Factually, McCain and Palin are probably two of the worst choices anyone could make to run this country. McCain's judgement is so flawed that he has to run against himself. He has changed positions oftener than I have changed my linens. The few good things he did as a Senator are now the very things he is against. If it weren't so serious it would be laughable. He either can't remember vital and extremely important issues or he is lacking in knowledge. Palin is a loose cannon with absolutely no experience in foreign policy or issues vital to being President. She is a good showman and that's why she is being used. She fires up the base and appeals to them emotionally.
We can point out that Obama's experience as a community organizer helped 90,000 people as opposed to Palin's job as Mayor for under 7,000 residents. ( It must really take chutzpa to say she has more experience.) Facts don't matter in slash and burn politics. In fact they are a massive detriment to this crowd. They stand up and proudly say (with emphasis and a rah rah delivery) that she has more experience. Ridiculous as it is, those who vote with visceral feelings instead of their heads will believe it.
The Rove minions are told to keep the message short so that it will fit on a bumper sticker and then 'stick it to the Democrats'.
The Republican strategy is to appeal to veiled racism, the dislike of the wealthy elites (Never mind that Cindy and John McCain could buy the Obama's ten time over) and fear of the unknown. Then add the story of John McCain's prisoner of war status and repeat those messages over and over. Drill, drill, drill it into the skulls of the gullible. Make people afraid of Obama and obscure the facts with lies. Naturally the Fox bubble heads and Rush will help enormously.
I hate to tell you, folks, but it works. Now will someone explain how you fight a slippery emotional appeal with fire? I'm afraid the obvious way is to get down in the gutter with the opposition and Obama is trying very hard to avoid that. He truly wants to unite this country and not play into the Republican divisive culture wars.