Saint John McCain
"Unfortunately, Digby is right every step of the way in this unfortunate post. Like Digby, we’re “against delving into people's private lives” too; we think it’s a childish and ludicrous way to select an American president. But Digby asks the seminal question of the past fifteen years: Will the Clinton Rules apply to Hillary Clinton in 2008—and to no one else? We’d guess that the answer is fairly clear—and liberals, centrists, progressives, Dems simply can’t accept this again.
In this post, Digby refers to sexual snooping when she discusses the “Clinton Rules.” But make no mistake. The “Clinton Rules” were reinvented for Gore in Campaign 2000, and applied to him in a remarkable way—while liberals and Democrats stared into air, unwilling to challenge the process. Unable to criticize Gore’s private life, the press corps invented a string of tales about Gore’s “problem with the truth,” and they repeated their tales for two solid years. Meekly, Democrats accepted that new set of “rules.” As a result, George Bush found his way to the White House—and Cheney found his way to Iraq.
What explains these “Clinton Rules”—rules which have proven to be strangely malleable? So far, major journalists have barely been asked. But Democrats, liberals, centrists and progressive can no longer stare into space while the “press corps” invents and reinvents its strange rules. We’ll only challenge Digby’s analysis in one way; in large part, the “rules” for Campaign 08 have already been written, and they involve a magnificent saint—a sun-godly solon named Saint John McCain. From March 1999 through November 2000, the public was told that Gore was a demon. This time around, the script will be flipped; American voters will be told that the Republican candidate is a great saint. Digby says this about McCain: “If he can get past James Dobson he's going to be tough to beat, I think.” We think that vastly understates the situation. The “McCain Rules” have long since been set into stone. And yes, the chances are good that these well-scripted rules will make him impossible to beat. (If McCain can get past Dobson—and yes, we’ll guess that he can.)"