Obama, in what WaPo's Dan Balz calls an example of a "toughened" "barbed exchange" in "a clash of seismic proportions":
[OBAMA] That's how political campaigns have been run in recent years. But I believe the American people are better than that. I believe that this defining moment demands something more of us.... If we think that we can use the same partisan playbook where we just challenge our opponent's patriotism* to win an election, then the American people will lose. The times are too serious for this kind of politics. The calamity left behind by the last eight years is too great."
OK, accept that Obama actually believes what he says, and indeed wants to move beyond "partisan divisions." Certainly, his platform's preamble says just that, and a Republican just became the major donor to the Denver Committee
by writing a million dollar check, and I don't know a more accurate metric of post-partisanship than that.
So, it's all good. Obama's right where he wants to be. And where is that?
Where Republicans can't be held accountable for failure.
I mean, where did "the calamity of the last eight years" come from, anyhow? Did a bad fairy leave calamity under a cabbage leaf? Did calamity come from the personal failings of George Bush? Or -- work with me here, O man -- is it just barely possible that the calamity came from the Repubican Party's control over all three branches of government?
And where Democrats can't claim success!
Again, why where things different nine years ago? Let me see... Hmm... What could account for that... Just give me a minute... Could the difference be that Bill Clinton, personally, was a better President than George Bush? Or could it be -- I'm just asking you to consider the possibility here -- that Democrats are actually better at governing than Republicans, because they want the government to work?
At some point, somebody's going to figure out that the reason Obama's message sounds incoherent is that it is incoherent. Again, if there are no significant differences between parties, then why not vote for a Republican?
What kind of a winning strategy says it's really OK to vote for the other guy?
That's the problem.
NOTE As opposed to smearing them your opponents as racists, or saying they want to assassinate you, of course.
UPDATE Even better is "how campaigns have been run in recent years." How fucking flaccid. I mean, Rove swiftboats Kerry, and Kerry... Kerry... Did just about nothing. Again, Obama refuses to hold Republicans accountable, and can't bring himself to say good things about Democrats.
UPDATE Given that we're all post-partisan now, and therefore it makes no difference whether you vote for the D or the R, a lot of women are voting for the R. Combine Obama's post-partisan logic with Obama's grossly misogynist campaign, and who can blame them? No doubt all the new registrations will make up for the women who've been voting Democratic for years, but feel their party left them. What could go wrong?