The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza outlines John McCain’s latest kinda-sorta-maybe change in tactics (we can’t say “strategy” because at this point it’s unclear whether McCain ever had one.) Obama partisans are most likely very happy with the McCain campaign’s performance so far, but they might want to be careful what they wish for.
The media narrative that McCain has run a messy, unfocused, piecemeal campaign may be true, but it may also come back to haunt the same progressive activists who have been working to push it. There’s no doubt that if Obama wins on November 4, the right wing attacks will come twice as hard on November 5. Now, even if Obama gets the blowout win that some analysts are projecting, the right will be able to point to McCain’s ineptitude as evidence that Obama didn’t really win – he just stood there while McCain lost! A stronger (and more socially conservative) candidate, they’ll argue, could have defeated Obama, so even an overwhelming win in the Electoral College doesn’t constitute a mandate.
The facts may paint a very different story, especially given the potential for big progressive gains in Congress, but facts alone have never stopped the right before.
Make no mistake; an Obama victory won’t spell the end of the fringe-conservative movement. Progressives need to be ready to fight hard on day one to create a media narrative favorable to actually enacting real progressive policy.