Going down with the Titanic?

Chris Matthews frames the decision between Obama and McCain as whether to stay in the big doomed ship or jump into a lifeboat.

Published June 11, 2008 11:55AM (EDT)

I know a lot of Democrats are worried that, with Hillary Clinton out of the race, her media critics will fall out of love with Barack Obama and remember that their hearts belong to John McCain. There's plenty of time for that, but I've seen no evidence yet. Today on "Hardball" Chris Matthews set up the November contest as a decision between whether to stay on the Titanic with McCain or get into a lifeboat with Obama. Is that really a choice? The loyal Pat Buchanan said he'd go down with the ship, but I don't see a lot of other people joining him.

McCain's moves on the economy are likely to make the choice easier. It was remarkable that on a day when he's trying to declare his independence from the Bush administration, he borrowed heavily from a White House fact sheet to denounce Obama as backing "the single largest tax increase since the Second World War." FactCheck.org has the details: Not only did McCain borrow a Bush talking point, but it's a false talking point, since the alleged increase would only be the fifth largest since 1943. More important, since McCain is referring to Obama's opposition to making the Bush tax cuts permanent (they're scheduled to expire in 2010), it's inaccurate to call it a tax increase.

Matthews did point out that a lot of people chose to go down with the Titanic rather than jump into lifeboats, as though that was a possibility that could buoy McCain in November. I noted that the problem was really that the doomed ship didn't have enough lifeboats -- a point he granted me, remarkably. Obama has room for everyone who wants to row in a different direction, and McCain is making their choice easier by the day.

By Joan Walsh

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2008 Elections