Anyone who had read a Greek tragedy could have predicted what is now happening in this close race. For almost 3 months, the Obama campaign has been running victory laps, fueled by ever more hubris that led to really silly and unnecessary things like the Berlin extravaganza (how many vote in Germany?), and the faux Greek temple and outdoor rock concert, as well as an absolutely shamelessly biased media that did all but coronate Obama. (In Obama’s defense, he cannot control the petty foolishness that despised Hollywood celebrities offer daily, that only ends up in raging Drudge headlines that even more so turn off moderate voters.)
Meanwhile amid the high-fives no one seemed to notice an existential problem in that Obama’s actual positions–more taxes, more government, indecision on key foreign policy issues, cultural liberalism, big-city scratch-back machine politics–were not all that different from, or indeed more out-of-touch than, past liberal platforms that for a quarter-century had doomed all northern liberal presidential candidates who did not have a southern accent and a southern governorship to fall back on as moderate/conservative cover.
All it took, then–the more messianic Obama got with this stop-the-seas-from-rising and planet-from-heating nonsense, the more enthused the in-house media became–was a small needle to deflate the balloon, which would then loudly zoom all over the place as it lost air.
That jab partly came with Alaskan Governor, mom of five Sarah Palin, partly with the growing unease of the inexperienced and suddenly rather professorial and boring Obama in interviews, partly with his rather brazen (but politically necessary) back-peddling on campaign finance reform, FISA, NAFTA, abortion, capital punishment, guns, Iran, the surge, drilling, etc.
So hubris finally evoked nemesis.
What we are seeing now, unfortunately for Obama if it doesn’t cease, is a weird sort of puerile panic and hysteria on the part of Democrats. They are losing it with wild and rather vicious talk about Palin’s various supposed misdemeanors, Obama’s campaign itself that is suddenly shrilly whining and screaming about lies and liars, when Obama himself is not gaffing like Biden with silly lipstick riffs and arrogant dismissals of small town mayorships (and after his Pennsylvania clingers speech no less!)–all while liberal bloggers, the MSM columnists, the talking heads on CNN, MSNBC, etc are losing their sanity seeing Karl Roves everywhere stealing their hope and change dreams.
Watching some of this hysterical outpouring of anger is surreal, as grown-ups sound like children whose mothers did not buy them a snack or failed to take them to the zoo as promised.
Unless Obama’s team can get a handle on this self-induced and paranoid madness, they risk turning a small, natural, and probably temporary 2-3 point bump—quite normal in such a tight see-saw race—into a permanent and insurmountable 5-6 point McCain lead, as the quiet swing voters shrug and say to themselves, “Hmmm, liked that Obama, but if he and his supporters panic and go wild and vicious like this, what in the world would they do when elected?”
Hate to be a broken record, but old pro Hil as VP at this fire would have had an extinguisher in hand (Bill manning the hose), not a Biden match and more Axelrod fuel.