“Game Change”: Historical Revisionism At Its Finest


Last week, HBO, the home of the great intellectual Bill Maher, released its much-anticipated film about the 2008 presidential election, centered mainly on John McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate. It became clear during the course of the film that HBO’s main mission was to smear Governor Palin, brand her a stupid woman with no business on a national ticket, and blame her for McCain’s loss to Barack Obama.

It is true, McCain did need a game-changing pick for VP. He did not excite the base and without the strong rightwing of the Republican Party, his goose was more than cooked. He desperately wanted Senator Joe Liebermann, Al Gore’s running mate in 2000, which he saw as a national unity ticket of sorts, not a terrible idea in the abstract, but it would have been a political train wreck with a conservative wing deeply suspicious of him. So he went with Palin.

HBO attempted, and largely succeeded, in making Palin look like an ignoramus, something the Left enjoys doing to anyone on the Right. We are all dumb, they say, while Progressives are the smart ones, never mind the fact that they have nearly bankrupted the country. Julianne Moore does a fine job in portraying Palin as clueless, totally devoid of any intellectual firepower, a religious zealot, and a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Such an “irrational” VP nominee only hurt the ticket and Steve Schmidt, McCain’s chief strategist, played by Woody Harrelson, even apologizes to the presidential loser, depicted by Ed Harris, for suggesting her.

But let us be fair and honest (something HBO is not): Sarah Palin did not lose the 2008 presidential election; John McCain lost the 2008 presidential election, simply by being John McCain.

McCain was behind in the polls before his selection of Governor Palin, but with the aggressive pick and the nice convention bounce, he led in some polls by as much as 8 to 10 points. She energized the base like no one else could.

In late September, the opportunity to hold the lead and win fell right into the campaign’s lap, but the geniuses running McCain’s operation, as well as the nominee himself, were apparently too dumb, or shocked, to realize it. The Panic of 2008 scared Republicans nearly out of their wits. Many erroneously believed that the financial crisis would cost them control of the White House, as the nation would blame Bush and, by association, all Republicans. So they panicked and jumped on the administration’s socialistic solution to calm markets.

But they had it backwards. Coming out against the bailout would have won them the presidency.

Opposing the bailout bill would have done a number of positive things.

First, it would have endeared McCain to much of the American public, who, by more than four to one, rejected the bailout plan, a scheme rightly seen as a rich, fat cat protection act.

Second, such a move would have backed Obama and the Democrats into a corner and put them on the defensive. Liberals could not have opposed the bank bailout, nor could Obama, who had to follow the lead of Pelosi and Reid. Had McCain come out swinging against the bill and blasted it with a strong populist message, he would have surged in the polls, and left Obama in the position of trying to defend a bill that 80 percent of the people vehemently opposed.

Third, it would have given McCain authentic separation from Bush, who was a major drag on the ticket, with unpopular wars and the fiscal mismanagement of the government that had cost the party control of Congress in 2006.

Instead, McCain remained McCain and fumbled the ball on what should have been a game-winning drive. With both major candidates supporting the same plan, and McCain looking weak by offering to suspend his campaign and travel back to DC to work on the problem, many independents shifted to Obama, while some conservatives simply stayed home. With no clear-cut differences in the two nominees, why bother? I seriously considered sitting it out myself, but in the end cast my vote against Obama and for Sarah Palin.

HBO’s “Game Change” is chock full of errors and smears. There is even a scene during a McCain rally when someone from the crowd yells “Kill him,” as Obama’s name is mentioned. This is yet another lie that liberals continue to run with, and one that has been completely eviscerated. Not only has no evidence ever surfaced (which never gets in the way of a good leftwing smear), but the Secret Service even investigated the incident thoroughly and determined that no such invective was ever hurled. But that did not stop HBO from propagating a bald-faced lie.

Yet HBO succeeded in continuing the Left’s assault on Sarah Palin, with whom they have a manic obsession. Nearly four years after the election, liberals cannot get enough of Palin, and even Obama is using the former Alaska governor in re-election campaign ads.

Sarah Palin is, without question, the most slandered, battered woman in American political history. Liberals should be ashamed of themselves. Their hypocrisy is appalling. But if they think they are going to shutdown the “momma grizzly” they are sadly mistaken.

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