The McCain/Palin post-convention bounce is over, and the polls have now returned to essentially even. For McCain to be "even" with the historic campaign of Barack Obama with less than 60 days to go before election day is in itself a victory of sorts. The Obama phenomena was expected to have an easy walk to the White House, and that easy walk has not materialized yet. Staying even with Obama is a major accomplishment.
Going forward, however, the McCain/Palin campaign has a significant uphill battle. John McCain has paid a dear price for his current position in the polls, and what he's lost is going to hurt him come election day.
The Straight Talk Express is totally off the tracks.
Abandoning the "experience counts" mantra and selecting a "heartbeat away" VP running mate who's breadth of foreign policy experience is summed up by "I can see Russia from my house" was a major disconnect. Does experience matter or not? Apparently not -- and if that's the case, John McCain, you've been lying to use for several months now.
Clearly John McCain and Sarah Palin are demonstrating a willingness to throw the truth right out the window and just go forward lying to the public instead. The lie about Palin shooting down the "Bridge to Nowhere" is only the most glaring example.
This disconnect with reality plays right into the McCain base. As the last 8 years have demonstrated, declaring "Mission Accomplished" and waving the American flag proudly seems to be enough for some folks to believe it's really true.
Those in the Republican base still are, and probably always will be, true believers eager to embrace and believe and follow anyone who proclaims themselves pro-life. That one qualification seems to be enough to secure the hearts of a large portion of the Republican base. It's the one way point that many will follow blindly, no matter what price the nation pays in other regards.
But for those Republicans who see the bigger picture, the picture isn't bright. President Bush repeatedly told the American public that the fundamentals of the economy are sound -- a reassurance some Americans prefer to the truth -- but as the economic news worsens it's becoming increasingly obvious to mainstream America that by echoing Bush's lullabies, John McCain either isn't aware of the current economic crisis, or is just plain lying.
He's painted himself into a Bush-sized corner, which will hurt him with independents who were disillusioned with Bush's historic disconnect with the realities in Iraq -- the same disconnect that has now been emulated by McCain not only with regards to Iraq, but with important domestic issues such as the economy as well.
By adopting the "tell them what they want to hear" doctrine of the Bush administration, the McCain campaign has made a major mistake that in the long run will cost them dearly. McCain should have denounced Bush instead of emulating him, but apparently the shifting sands under the base were just too unstable. Echoing Bush draws McCain in to the Washington establishment even further, and identifies McCain as "old guard" at a time when he's desperately trying to paddle in the opposite direction. It's a major mistake.
Future "high-priced low road" posts will touch on topics such as the choice of Palin as VP, McCain's attempted manipulation of the media, and Cindy McCain's role in the election. While even in the polls, only major wins in the debates will secure a Republican win in November. The cards are stacked against the GOP, and in future posts I'll detail that concept further.
Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!