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April 27, 2011

Apologies To Rush

Readers tell me I read the Rush situation wrong-- that he isn't boosting Trump, not really, and that yesterday he was sharply critical of Trump.

They say he's just attempting to establish that which I think is 93% true -- this kid gloves treatment that has generally been granted to Obama is due for retirement. Obama can and should be hit and hit hard; just like any old routine Chicago machine operator. Which is all he is.

The 7% false stuff is about my doubts about highly-personal stuff working. As I've said before, while it's true that "negative ads work," people also like to believe they're above that, and only respond to "substance." Given a negative ad, then, they to tend to internalize it and hold it against the target, but they also hold it against the person making the attack.

Now, if it's plainly "substantive" in nature, most of that is avoided. (But oddly not all -- the squoosh-middle muddleheads are conflict averse and like policy matters being worked out quietly without their notice or input, too.)

I don't know what exactly Rush has in mind, but harsh attacks will work and are called for, so long as they're on subject matters the public is almost ready to believe, even without the attack. You can't lead public opinion by too much. If the public is almost willing to believe Obama is feckless, indecisive, and weak, then definitely hit the crap out of that.

If they're not willing to believe he's got a hidden anti-American agenda, and wishes, literally, to destroy the country through socialist rot, then by all means don't push that meme. It won't have the effect you want, and will in fact cost you more in lost goodwill and credibility.

This is why Drew and others are telling me my "Release the Transcripts" campaign is a bad idea, I'm guessing. He thinks they are not willing to believe Obama is less than very smart, and further, I'd also guess, that the middle has that Trained Aversion to thinking about anything that might implicate, even indirectly, race and Affirmative Action. Start going down that road and the Trained Aversion kicks in, and they say, "Oh, I don't want to hear about all that."

I can't rule that out. This one is on the edge. I think I'd advise most politicians to stay the hell away from this and let surrogates and pundits lead the charge on this, except few pundits have the cajones to do so.

If I were a Trump political advisor, I'd advise him to stay away from the transcripts stuff. Not because I think he's wrong. No, I think he's probably right. But politically, it will probably backfire against him, and he never will get those transcripts.

If what is suspected is true, Obama will never release those less-than-stellar transcripts. And his buddies at the ultraliberal Ivy universities will guard that secret with their very lives.

But I'm not a Trump advisor and I really do want to see this issue dug into so I'm happy that Trump is pushing it. Maybe some other people, some other pundits who appear on national TV, will get over their stupid reflexive internalized racism and just ask of Obama what they'd ask of any other candidate, especially one sold as a "genius."

I think this inquiry will both hurt Trump and hurt Obama. I am not particularly upset by either prong of that.

But yeah, generally, I'd tell actual candidates to stay off the transcript stuff (well, don't undermine those pushing it, but don't bite too hard on it yourself), but I'd also tell the whole GOP to push the issue.

If you're not running in a competitive election, or you're just a party functionary, why not start asking these questions?

It's not racist to ask if someone claimed to be a genius actually managed a B average.

Why does Obama need so much cover on this issue?

Or, as Captain Kirk asked, "Why does God need a starship?"

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posted by Ace at 07:43 PM

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