Whoever wins the Democratic nomination, it seems clear that that victory won't be celebrated any time soon. The writing could be on the wall on March 5th. But even if that's the case, the race seems unlikely to be settled for some time after that. And there's of course the possibility, though I think it's not likely, that the fight could go all the way to the convention.In the absence of any official DNC effort, the answer to "who takes on John McCain?" has to be us. This is what the blogosphere is for, folks. If we're a laboratory for memes, the memes we really need to be testing are the ones that could keep McCain out of the White House.
And during that time, who takes on John McCain? McCain is already making a number of position changes that are getting little or no media attention. He's caught up in some very questionable campaign finance gambits. And he's launching daily and fairly harsh attacks on Barack Obama, as he's wise to do as long as the Democrats are distracted by their own primary fight.
Someone at the DNC, or other party organization should be putting together a campaign apparatus in waiting that will take on the Republican nominee until a clear Democratic winner can take over. But at the moment I'm not seeing any sign of it.
So far, we--well, a lot of us--have been falling down on the job.
Many of the bigger, more politically obsessive blogs and blog communities have been focused almost exclusively on the primaries. TalkLeft is the worst I've seen--13 of the 15 most recent posts were about the primaries, as of my last visit--but a lot of others are not much better. All over the lefty blogosphere, people seem to be more concerned about the minor difference between Obama and Clinton than about the vast catastrophe it'll be if we let McCain win. As Susie Madrak says: "If you put 100 Republicans who only agree on one thing in a room, they’ll come out of that room working together to win and focused on that one thing. If you put 100 Democrats in a room who agree on 99 things and not on one, they'll come out of that room fighting about the one thing they disagree on."
Not that there aren't people doing good work on the McCain front. As I've noted, Matt Stoller has done great work on McCain's flip-flopping; Paul Kiel and Mark Schmitt are all over McCain's sleazy campaign financing scheme; and of course we've done some posts here (Aimai here, myself here and here, plus assorted other pieces going back a ways). It's just that there isn't enough of it. We need to hammer the shit out of John Motherfucking McCain, and we need to do it now.
The primaries? They don't matter. One candidate may be a little better than the other from some perspective, but the differences aren't huge. One might do better than the other in the general, but CDS doesn't make Clinton 'unelectable' and losing California in the primary doesn't mean Obama won't win it in the fall. It's just not that big a deal.
What does matter is keeping Captain McQueeg1 from taking us all for a ride on the Straitjacket Express2. How about we focus on that for the next 8 months or so?
Update: Spackerman's blistering attack on McCain's foreign policy is another good one. More like this, please.
Other Update: Melissa, who has been doing great work tracking McCain all along, has a helpful round-up of every McCain post...plus an hilarious video.
1Thank you, maxbaer(not the original).
2Thank you, Generik.