Thursday, February 7, 2008

The Republican game plan

On his radio broadcast today, Rush Limbaugh called for his listeners to donate to Hillary Clinton's primary campaign. They are desperate to have Clinton defeat Barack Obama and run against John McCain, because millions of voters will turn out just to vote against her.
From The Raw Story (2/07/08)

Limbaugh wants to raise cash for Clinton after Romney withdrawal

Says anti-Hillary fervor all that will unite GOP

Conservative talker Rush Limbaugh had an unorthodox solution to Mitt Romney's departure from the Republican race; he's thinking about raising money for Hillary Clinton.

Don't be mistaken: There's been no sudden change of heart on Limbaugh's part toward the woman who's been among his favorite targets for scorn over the last 15 years. Limbaugh is operating under the assumption that the Republican party -- now represented by presumptive nominee John McCain -- would have a better chance of retaining the White House if anti-Hillary fervor drives GOP voters to the polls in November.

"The reason I'm raising money for Hillary is because, apparently, my party, the Republican party, is relying on fear and loathing of Hillary to unite the party," Limbaugh said.

Limbaugh, who has been harshly critical of McCain throughout the primary, still sees maintaining GOP control as his primary goal. His endorsement, then, does not fall in the same column as fellow conservative Ann Coulter's recent insistence that she would vote for Hillary over McCain because she is the more conservative candidate.

Speaking on his daily radio show Thursday, just after Romney announced the end of his campaign, Limbaugh said he was "dead serious about considering" soliciting Clinton donations from his listeners. He worried that she was in danger of losing the nomination to Barack Obama, who doesn't inspire the same fervent rage among GOP voters. The Clinton campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

"Here's the slogan" for the fundraiser, he said: "Keep her in it, so we can win it."

Limbaugh's plea came on the heels of an announcement by Clinton that she had loaned her campaign $5 million to keep it afloat after having spent so heavily to defeat Obama in this weeks primaries. After all of that she emerged virtually deadlocked in the race for delegates, and Obama looks to have a good chance at the nomination.

Were that to happen, it would seriously hurt GOP prospects because not nearly as many people hate Obama as hate Clinton. She has more negatives, in the eyes of conservatives, than Adolph Hitler, and the mere mention of her name evokes a visceral reaction beyond all reason. Most of this stems from the unrelenting years-long smear campaign directed at her and her husband that started with his election and continues to this day. The Republicans are banking on that intense hatred alone to pull enough voters to the polls to swing the election to them. They know full well that wide majorities of the electorate are disgusted with every aspect of Republican rule, and a Clinton candidacy can only help them.

But promoting Clinton is only part of a two-pronged strategy. By attacking John McCain as being too liberal, they hope to blur the differences between the two presumptive candidates and mitigate the backlash of anger the voters hold for the Republicans. They expect to be able to sow enough confusion that Republicans who would vote for a Democrat this election cycle will not see a clear choice, and either sit out the election or vote for McCain because he's not a "true Republican". This would compound the effect of the "Clinton hater" vote.

Add the fact that many short-sighted liberals may not vote for Clinton on principle, because of her voting record and support for the Iraq war/occupation, and you see that that the Republican game plan could work.

A Clinton candidacy would also drag down the rest of the Democratic ticket, and make it much more difficult for the Democrats to expand, or even keep, their Congressional majorities. And even a close vote in any of these races might make it possible for the Republicans to switch a loss into a win through electronic voting machine fraud.

As if this isn't enough, there's even more-- every talking head and every journalist throughout the entire right wing controlled media will be working overtime to make this strategy work, and thanks to some huge legal loopholes, the Republicans have a war chest of over $250 million to run attack ads. Despite the edge the Democrats have this year in traditional fundraising, they can't come close to the "loophole funds" raised by the GOP.

The implication is ominous--The GOP can smear Clinton so often and so thoroughly that any effort to paint McCain as the war-lover that he is will be overwhelmed.

Keep in mind that this potential disaster would be moot if Barack Obama were to win the nomination. Work for it.

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