Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the wonderful world of Whoville politics.Dr. Seuss once wrote, From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere. In fact, another familiar Dr. Seuss quote, I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells, could emerge as the most accurate description of the McCain campaign during the most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression. Heck, it could be their slogan.
Step right up and see Sarah Palin avoid actual press conferences for her third straight week. Palin achieved what was once thought impossible, dodging the press in the midst of not only a presidential election but during two weeks of a financial crisis.
Palin met world leaders at the U.N. this week. In Whoville politics, these meetings do not require pesky questions from the press. Instead, the McCain campaign allowed the press the opportunity to take pictures of the photogenic governor sitting down with Iraqi President Talibani and Pakistani president, Asif Ali Zardari, who called Palin gorgeous.
No questions, only photos. That is the way of Whoville. In Whoville politics, the most conservative administration in American history can redefine conservatism as socialism, effectively socializing risks and privatizing profits. In Whoville, $700 billion dollars in taxpayer money is yet another building block in the ownership society. In Whoville politics, you can suspend your presidential campaign and fly back to Washington to work on the details of the bailout plan. You can ignore the protestation of lawmakers imploring you not to politicize the process.
Here, you can choose a running mate that you have only met once and have not truly vetted. Here, you pick a woman who claims that her proximity to Russia gives her insight into the inner workings of Russian policy and foreign policy writ large. You can repeat this claim because you limit your press conferences to zero. In Whoville politics, television shows like The View pose tougher questions to McCain than ABCs Charlie Gibson because these women dared to ask the dreaded follow-up question. In Whoville politics, you can dismiss noted conservative intellects such as David Brooks and George Will when they write damning critiques of your campaign.
Earlier this week, Will lamented, Conservatives who insist that electing McCain is crucial usually start, and increasingly end, by saying he would make excellent judicial selections. But the more one sees of his impulsive, intensely personal reactions to people and events, the less confidence one has that he would select judges by calm reflection and clear principles, having neither patience nor aptitude for either.Will could not anticipate this weeks Seussian crescendo.
The Maverick suspended his presidential campaign. He sought to postpone the first presidential debate and the subsequent vice-presidential debate. Then, he appeared on the evening broadcasts of all three networks the following day.Political theater is nothing new. Arguably, good politics is good theater. This week, however, the McCain Campaign ventured into the realm of the absurd, hoping to divert attention from that Fox News poll that showed Obama with a national six-point lead and that Washington Post poll that showed Obama ahead by nine points.
Enjoy your stay.