Every Republican Endorsing Obama
The past week has been so insane and frantic -- thanks,Ashley Todd! -- that we never got around to mentioning the daily endorsements of "That One" by myriad Republican politicians and power-brokers. So let's run down the list, and maybe even figure out what it all means, at this late stage in the game.
- Colin Powell: Jesus, was that already a week ago? So what was the "Powell Effect," if any? Pretty good, considering most endorsements don't matter much. Gallup says 12% of voters are "more likely" to vote for Obama. And 80% of voters had actually heard about the endorsement, which is pretty good for you dummies.
- Ken Adelman: Neo-con insider, hired by Rumsfeld in the Nixon Administration and was a top guy both times Rumsfeld was defense secretary -- under Ford and Bush Junior. "He introduced Cheney to Paul Wolfowitz at a Washington brunch the day Reagan was sworn in," the New Yorker writes. Well, maybe he's just trying to get some good karma before he dies. No impact with voters; nobody really knows him outside of Washington. But it gives more elderly Republican elitists the freedom to also break with McCain, because McCain is "impetuous, inconsistent, and imprudent; ending up just plain weird," according to Adelman.
- William Weld: A U.S. attorney and Justice Dept. official hired by Giuliani during the Reagan administration, Weld was the Republican governor of Massachusetts from 1991-1997. God, it's really the same dozen people who've been fucking up this country for half a century. So, Weld's also trying to avoid the Fires of Hell, and has heartily endorsed the black communist Barack Obama.
- Arne Carlson: Former governor of Minnesota, lifelong Republican, this "maverick" said batshit goon Michele Bachmann's freakout on Hardball helped make his decision to endorse Obama. Will matter to moderate Republicans and independents in MN, and could hurt Bachmann's bloodied campaign, too.
- Scott McClellan: The former Bush spokesman is already a Demon-Queer to the wingnuts because of his mildly critical book about his White House years, so his Obama endorsement will not sway those people. But he's well known because he was on the teevee all the time, promoting Bush and the GOP, so this could help in the mysteriously "undecided" category. Or those people might vote for Jennifer Aniston, who knows?
- C.C. Goldwater: The granddaughter of conservative saint Barry Goldwater says she will say yes to Kenyan Socialism, too -- along with "my siblings and a few cousins." The libertarian side of the GOP peeled away long before Obama got the Democratic nomination, but this might still matter in places where the Goldwater name is still powerful. Places like Arizona, where "favorite son" John McCain was famously hated by Barry Goldwater.
- Charles Fried: The solicitor general in Reagan's second term and one of those few "conservative intellectuals" left on the planet, Fried was actually part of the McCain campaign until last week. After he endorsed Obama, Fried "asked that his name be removed from the several [McCain] campaign-related committees on which he serves."
The real impact of these nearly daily defections from the GOP to Obama may just be in their relentlessness, the way each morning's news has yet another prominent conservative renouncing John McCain and endorsing the Democrat. There is no modern precedent for this kind of painful, public dumping on the Republican candidate by Republican stalwarts -- the last time it happened was 1964, when moderate Republicans washed their hands of Barry Goldwater for being an "extremist" and a scary loon who would get us all nuked. He wouldn't become a saint until Reagan was elected in 1980.
And it was Ronald Reagan who, while running for governor of California just two years after LBJ slaughtered Goldwater 61%-38%, created the "11th Commandment," to keep Republicans from eating their own:
"Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican."
That's dead now, too.