Sunday, August 03, 2008

Of issues and arugula

From Andrew Sullivan, that notorious former conservative:

Here you have the current message of the McCain campaign from no less an authority than Rick Davis:

"Only celebrities like Barack Obama go to the gym three times a day, demand ‘MET-RX chocolate roasted-peanut protein bars and bottles of a hard-to-find organic brew—Black Forest Berry Honest Tea’ and worry about the price of arugula."

They really played the arugula card? For all McCain's personal qualities, we're learning that the machine behind the GOP simply re-makes the campaign in its own Coulterite image. Instead of actually fighting on the core questions - how do we get out of Iraq with the least damage? how do we get past carbon-based energy? how do we tackle al Qaeda's new base in Pakistan and within the nuclear-armed Pakistani government? how will we reduce the massive debt bequeathed us by the Bush-Rove GOP? how do we restore the Geneva Conventions? - we are debating people's cultural insecurities and food choices.

The slow collapse of conservatism as a coherent governing philosophy is not unrelated to this. If you never want to fight campaigns on policy, why bother crafting any?

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