early and often

McCain Warns of Unchecked Liberal Power — But What Does Everyone Else Think?

The leaves they are a-changin’.

With little more than one week left until America finally decides this thing, the McCain campaign remains down in the polls, on the defense in red states, and in need of a message persuasive enough to turn the tides. And increasingly, at least one of those themes being trotted out is that Democratic control of the White House, the House of Representatives, and possibly even a 60-seat super-majority in the Senate could mean horrible things for your family. Or, as McCain put it more succinctly Sunday night, “Grab a hold of your wallets!” As John Heilemann examines this week in more nuanced terms, Democratic dominance of Washington could indeed provide Obama with the opportunity to start a new “revolution” of sorts. But how much will Democrats really be able to throw their weight around, and how effective is this argument for McCain?

• Carl Hulse and David Herszenhorn write that even with 60 Democratic Senate seats there would be “no assurance that their initiatives would sail through Congress. And all of the issues on their agenda may be overshadowed by the need for urgent action on the deepening financial crisis.” [NYT]

• Jake Tapper thinks using the fear of one-party dominance “makes sense,” as polls have shown that a majority of independents are opposed to such a situation. Newt Gingrich is even helping to push the new message with a handy little acronym: RePO, for Reid, Pelosi, and Obama. And one indeed wonders whether Obama would “take on Pelosi and Reid and reach out to House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, if he doesn’t have to.” But it’s unclear “whether or not the RePO issue has any real resonance with voters.” [Political Punch/ABC News]

• Ben Smith notes that in an interview with a Colorado TV station yesterday, “Obama said he plans to work with Republicans,” and he didn’t anticipate any “sudden lurches to the left.” [Politico]

• Michael Goodwin says a Democratic super-majority in the Senate will result in a “ton of liberal initiatives, from tax and spending hikes to expanded union power and tighter trade rules.” They could also turn “vengeful” and “hunt for scalps” of former Bush administration officials in investigations into the war in Iraq and the financial meltdown. [NYDN]

• The editors of the National Review contend that Obama’s first 100 days would include “hoisting the white flag in Iraq,” “raising taxes to pay for new spending,” and “assaulting the culture of life.” [National Review]

• David Frum believes the Republicans should turn their focus from helping McCain to saving their vulnerable senators. A strong Republican caucus will serve as a “bulwark for a nonpolitical finance system and a national culture of open debate,” both of which are in danger if Democrats have free rein. [WP]

• Rupert Cornwell calls talk of Democratic dominance “the last, the most overblown but perhaps the most potent argument John McCain has left.” While American “reluctance to hand unchecked power to one party” is “understandable,” McCain’s problem is that “in this moment of real crisis, strong unified government may be what Americans want.” [Independent]

Related: The Next New Deal [NYM]

For a complete and regularly updated guide to presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain — from First Love to Most Embarrassing Gaffe — read the 2008 Electopedia.

McCain Warns of Unchecked Liberal Power — But What Does Everyone Else Think?