Monday, February 18, 2008

Dead Beat Dad Borrows Kid's College Fund to bet "sure thing" long-shot.

In "Betting the Spread" Mark Schmitt takes a stab at explaining just how deeply McCain has screwed the American Taxpayer and his status as an ethical human being in order to finance his campaign. Essentially, he has bet the use of public monies he has not officially accepted so that he can leverage private loans to run his campaign. If he loses, he promises to stay in the race long enough to take public money to pay off his debt to his private lenders. If he wins he bets that he will receive enough private money to pay off his lenders and, ultimately, refuse the public money so that he can receive more money as a corporate shill. So he's used the public financing system as collateral in a private loan scheme--or, more accurately, he has robbed the pennies of jane and john taxpayer so that if he looks like a good bet the Olins and Pews and Scaife's can pour money into a sure thing.

The problem for people who don't love a "straight shooting" maverick is that the whole thing is just too complicated and runs too far counter the McCain legend to make a dent in the myth, let alone the campaign on the man. This is the place that the long term work of bloggers on coming up with new ways to understand the GOP would come in handy. I'm thinking of all the work done on notions of "credit card conservatives" and "dead beat dads" that populated blog discussions during the last election cycle. Unfortunately for the left there simply is no orchestrated "iron triangle" to put these ideas into play. Even as we see all around us evidence of just how this teetering pile of loans and self dealing ultimately results in economic and moral bankruptcy.

My first pass at a way to use this against McCain is to hammer away at a "Campaign Finance Reformer" whose own campaign finances are so leveraged they are impossible for the average american to understand or would be illegal if the average american tried them. But I don't really think it can be done unless the dems can figure out a short form strategy and blast fax and blast cocktail party circuit the story in such a way that lazy media pundits run with it. There's no sex in the story, and to the extent that it mirrors the grim story of overextension and bankruptcy that is bedevilling the economy as a whole no one wants to hear about it.