During his days doing stand-up in the 1960s, Bill Cosby recorded a track for one of his comedy albums about the American Revolution. As only Cosby could tell it, he spun a hilarious version of "the rules" for how the war for American independence was to be fought. The British, Cosby said, had to wear red and march in slow, straight lines, making them targets for the colonists, who were allowed to wear drab clothing that blended into the landscape and who could hide behind hills, trees and rocks as they took aim. It is a bit like this year's presidential race, with Republicans playing by the British rules and Democrats in the role of the colonists.
Like the hapless British soldiers in their bright red uniforms, today's Republican candidates for office are marching toward their doom with "shoot me" written all over them. Consider the following rules for the two parties and see if they don't sound like what is happening this year:
The Rules for Democrats
Democrats (and liberals in general) are allowed to say, write and publish anything they want, regardless of how offensive it is or how much it degrades our political discourse. They can lie, cheat, steal, plagiarize and berate conservatives whenever they like. This is allowed because, of course, liberalism is correct and conservatives are not just wrong, they are evil.
Barack Obama is allowed to take both sides of any issue. As a new type of candidate for president of the United States, he is allowed to talk movingly about "change" and "hope" while offering no specifics of any kind. He can send his wife, Michelle, out onto the campaign trail to spew foul, negative diatribes against America. He can disavow friends, family members, pastors, mentors and other supporters should any of them become an embarrassment to his campaign. And he can use his family as cute campaign props on national television whenever he likes.
Obama is allowed to make outrageous claims about the racist tendencies and tactics of his opponent and his opponent's surrogates. Because he is half black, he does not have to justify these comments in any way.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, all members of the U.S. press corps are required to serve as surrogate press secretaries for the Obama campaign. This will necessitate that when the candidate travels within or out of the country, the media - including the "big three" television anchors - are required to accompany him, reporting positively on his every utterance.
The Rules for Republicans
Presumptive Republican nominee John McCain, his wife, Cindy, the Republican National Committee, any and all of the fifty state Republican Party organizations and all other McCain surrogates are strictly forbidden to mention Obama, his wife, his blasphemous, anti-American former pastor, his radical supporters, his Muslim father, his Muslim step-father, his education in a Muslim school or his middle name on the campaign trail.
Conservative talk radio hosts will be threatened by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, with a return to the days of the "Fairness Doctrine" whenever they mention Barack Obama, his wife, his blasphemous, anti-American former pastor, his radical supporters, his Muslim father, his Muslim step-father, his education in a Muslim school or his middle name.
Any criticism - in fact any negative mention - of Obama, his wife, his blasphemous, anti-American former pastor, his radical supporters, his Muslim father, his Muslim step-father, his education in a Muslim school or his middle name will be considered racist.
Members of the mainstream media are forbidden to cover stories that are negative to Barack Obama or which present him as inexperienced, unprepared or out-of-the-mainstream of American political thought. Any negative coverage of Obama's health care plan, plan for withdrawal from Iraq or any other position taken by the Democrat presidential candidate is strictly prohibited.
And finally, presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain is expected to help monitor and enforce these rules as he has always done in the past.