He actually comes near to making a valid point before going disastrously astray:
Some attack [John McCain] for “frenetic improvisation,” while others urge him to frenetically improvise. His campaign is in a “defensive crouch” while also being “obnoxious” in its “phony populism.” McCain’s running mate is a “fatal cancer” who should “read more books.” . . .
If only the candidate would fire his entire campaign staff and travel the country in a used Yugo, speaking in the parking lots of 7-Elevens, the gap would be closed.
Here, Gerson is making a valid criticism of the widespread misconception that all political defeats are the result of flawed campaign strategy and tactical blunders. This misconception is favored, for obvious reasons, by campaign strategists and wannabe strategists.
From there, however, Gerson proceeds to promote an equally erroneous misconception: That the economic crisis, in and of itself, doomed the McCain campaign. It was not the crisis itself, but McCain’s response to it, that was fatal. McCain first denied that there was a crisis, then reinforced the liberal message of Wall Street “greed,” next blamed the Republican chairman of the SEC, made himself the leading proponent of a big-government approach to the crisis and most recently advocated the effective nationalization of mortgage banking.
Republicans don’t win elections that way; never have and never will. Maybe if the GOP had nominated a tall, handsome millionaire, things would be different, but that alternative was rejected.
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