David Broder, the arbiter of the smarty pants D.C. conventional wisdom (CW), has absolved John McCain of all responsibility for his ties to Bush, his flip-flopping, his campaign finance law breaking, his previousunethical behavior, the smarmy lobbyists who run his campaign, and all of the right-wing positions McCain has taken that are outside of the mainstream:
McCain benefits from a long-established reputation as a man who says what he believes. His shifts in position that have occurred in this campaign seem not to have damaged that aura.
Broder thinks the McCain town hall gimmick and Obama’s decision not to accept public financing are the key issues for 2008. (And, like most of the political media, Broder ignores McCain’s own campaign finance illegality even though it was first reported in Broder’s own paper.) Can’t let facts get in the way. Actually, it seems like Obama hasn’t paid due deference to Broder or maybe Broder spent too much time on the McCain bus.
So, Broder has issued his edict. The “insiders” who “define” the conventional wisdom don’t really know Obama — and that’s bad, they say. McCain’s many foibles and the issues don’t matter, just the egos of the punditry. On cue, Chris Cillizza, who is such a CW wannabe, swoons. If Broder says it, Cillizza is going to believe it and write about it and repeat it.
This is what we’re up against this year: Broder and his trusty sidekick, Cillizza, have spoken. Fortunately, the CW is usually just flat out wrong — as we’ve seen over and over and over.