Power and Politics - I am Not the Yellow Peril

The life and times of an Asian American activist who tells all the truth (and dishes news and analysis) but with a leftwards slant.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Prescribed Burn

Jean Rohe, I congratulate you.

What you did was a good deed, calling out McCain at his commencement speech during your graduation at the New School. It's great that you spoke your mind but I feel like you're just adding fuel to McCain's fire.

Now let me say why I believe you played right into McCain's able hands and boosted his chances of winning the 08 primary.

There's an idea in forest planning and development called "prescribed burn." Basically, it says that because forests have had natural fires for many years, it clears out deadwood and allows new flora to grow and thrive, a healthy life cycle. So if humans want to grow healthier forests, we should mimic nature by holding small fires. The problem is when these fires spread beyond our control. It's a counterintuitive idea to be sure, much like the idea of McCain giving a Republican campaign speech at the highly liberal New School in New York City.

Okay, it wasn't a Republican campaign speech, rather it was a graduation speech. But he gave the same speech at Jerry Falwell's (Christian evangelist and wingnut conservative) Liberty University the week before.
The appearance came as McCain - trying to establish an early dominance in the 2008 Republican presidential nomination battle - has sought to ease tensions with Republican conservatives who have long been suspicious of McCain's commitment to conservative ideals, a perception stirred by his history with Falwell.
Wonder why a large majority of the student protesters were allowed in? It was because McCain was counting on a vocal opposition at the New School (that liberal bastion!) in New York City (a place synonmous with San Francisco in debauchery in some people's minds.) This is the reddest of red meat for the Christian rightwing base that McCain is courting and needs to court to win the Republican nomination (hence the Falwell asskissing.)

You can see this tactic with the GOP hosting their convention in New York City. Knowing that it's enemy territory, you go in as brash and bold as can be, and then you basically invite them to taunt you, to throw rocks and stones at you, to namecall. You then pull your conservative credentials out of the flames, now red-hot and burnish them, holding them up for all to see.

Maybe your hand and part of your arm gets singed, but you've basically got the street (or rather, rural and country) cred, cos you've been dissed by New Yorkers, those multiculti, Starbuckes latte-lovin' limousine liberals.

Goddamn, McCain's got some sharp organizers working for him. Whomever thought this one up deserves a raise - he's killing several birds with one stone (including stoning the Guiliani bird in his own backyard.) This makes McCain increasingly tough to beat.

bmaples at dailykos quotes Markos Mousalitas on the very reason why - when Dems say that the Republicans are corrupt or that Bush is incompetent, the GOP will just run a different candidate and claim that he's reformed, or vastly different, and it's okay to vote for THIS Republican. The Republicans will frame him as being more "independent-minded" than Bush, we'll run Hillary, and then we will have lost another presidential election. And that's what burns.


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