27 September 2008
Cindy McCain, drugs & cover ups
Well, it only took them a month, but the Democrats have finally come up with an attack line that can be used against John McCain: or at least Mark Ames of Exiled Online has come up with one for them. It involves Cindy McCain, and her bright, shining eyes. The reason why she has them, says Mark Ames, is that she is smashed out of her skull on heroin-type drugs. For years she was either stealing them from the third world charity that she set up and ran, or getting a tame doctor within the organisation to give her prescriptions, often in other people's names, to make everything legal. However, when this cosy arrangement began to collapse the people who had helped her were thrown to the wolves, the doctor was struck off the medical register, and the story was spun by McCain's political machine that Cindy was a heroine who battled ferociously to overcome her addiction.
Do you remember when your friendly old Exile laid down the three golden rules for a political smear? Well, they apply to attacks that may be true as well. The tale has to be plausible, simple to understand and interesting, and all those rules certainly apply to this story.
The story is plausible because the lady does have freaky eyes - and as Ames points out, having done his homework - eyes like that are a sign of a happy-camper indeed. The tale is certainly easy to grasp, but unlike many of the other Democrat attacks, it is also interesting on many levels.
The point about this narrative isn't that Cindy McCain is a stoned out of her pretty little skull junkie - that's the least of it. The point is the cover-up and the spinning of the tale to make her look all cuddly. That narrative cuts directly into the McCain theme which is that he is an outsider, a maverick, a man who will take on the political establishment. The point is that only a fully paid up member of the establishment could have arranged to keep Cindy out of the slammer - and that is what McCain did.
What the Democrats need to do is use this narrative to influence undecided voters in the marginal states. Those wavering voters are turned off by Barack Obama's elitist style, so the aim must be to show that McCain is cut from the same cloth. Maybe they won't vote for Obama, but if they can be persuaded not to vote at all that could mean that the Democrats might win states like Virginia, especially given the way that the Democrat base is all fired up for this election.
Just to repeat the old addage: it's not the crime, it's the cover up that matters. Cindy's drug taking is only important because of the way in which John McCain helped cover it up. The narrative is about him and his membership of the old establishment that heartland America loathes.