Thursday, October 09, 2008

I'm tickled to see Obama polling well and doing well in the debates as we go down to the wire here. At the same time, I am troubled by the behavior of the mainstream press. Most liberals and progressives are not complaining about this now, for the obvious reason that it is McCain rather than Obama that is on the receiving end of the behavior. But the behavior still troubles me. I saw only the last few minutes of the debate - I didn't see the 'That one' comment. I did see the feed after the broadcast ended. I was impressed by the way Obama stayed much longer and shook everyone's hand, and I noticed that McCain ducked out.

But honestly, I don't think he was disrespectful to Obama. Less eloquent, sure. Less at ease, sure. Caught between defending discredited ideas and appearing flip-floppy and non-conservative, he really had nowhere to go in this debate.

He's being exposed as what he is - a somewhat personable, weak minded guy that only turns populist when caught with his hand in the cookie jar, tossing cookies to the rich and powerful. I think his lack of leadership qualities is being exposed by events.

And that's enough to me. I don't need to pile on the guy and get all up in arms about his handshake, or call him a racist because he said 'That one'. Maybe he ducked out after the debate because his 72 year old tortured, broken body hurt. Whatever. He's a crappy old Senator with a decent sense of humor that fooled some people for a while into thinking he was a bold, honorable leader. I don't much want him as my President and other people realize that too.

I don't need all these pundits to help. I don't want them telling me what to think. And I don't want them telling anyone else how to think either, even if it's the way I think. All these losers that were attracted like flies to the shit of the Clinton witch hunt and the shit of the McCain 'honor' and the shit of Gore's supposed 'truth' problem are starting to realize that the balance of power is shifting and they're turning like a big hive in the other direction. But the behavior still sucks, and I'm still going to call them on it even if they're helping my guy now.

Bob Somersby over at the has got some good stuff today:

Boo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo! Within a few weeks of financial disaster, Broder is crying because the candidates won’t say exactly how they’ll respond. But uh-oh! Staring disaster in the face, Broder has started looking for intelligent policy leadership. Our reaction? Maybe he should have thought about that when he was ridiculing Big Dems in the past—Gore’s 2000 convention speech, for example. That speech included so many “swell ideas” that “I almost nodded off,” Broder mockingly wrote, two weeks after praising Bush’s brilliant convention effort. (“[A]n acceptance speech of exceptional eloquence.”)

Maybe Broder should have thought about the need for intelligent leadership when he mocked Hillary Clinton for boring him with that endless speech about energy (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 5/25/06). But this was the culture of the time—and big dopes like Broder enjoyed it.

Good grief. Today, The Dean of All Pundits cries and complains about the two candidates’ “flight from reality.” Look who’s talking, we incomparably thought, recalling the way this big buffoon engaged in the ritual trashing of very smart Dems over the past many years.

Broder was hardly alone in that conduct. In fact, the press elite got drunk on the joys of Clinton/Gore-trashing, as they responded to the growth of Republican rule in the District. And of course, the sanctification of mediocrities like Bush and McCain was part of their new raucous culture. Was Broder really alone in this conduct? Yesterday, the analysts almost blew lunch right into the bushes, reacting to
this sorry display from Jim Fallows. Because these loser-men stick together, Fallows linked to Andrew Sullivan, and to some Latter Day insight from the sage of TPM. Like many others, Fallows starts by adopting the basic idea that the great Saint McCain has now changed:

FALLOWS (10/8/08): Andrew Sullivan and others have already mentioned this clip by TPMtv, but here is why I think it is important: It does a lot to explain why many people who felt they "knew" John McCain in his earlier DC life have been slow to face and accept what he has become.
The video alternates clips of the "good" McCain, talking about respect and commitment to high-road politics, with ads and other evidence of the way he is running his campaign.

For another time, discussion of whether the "good" McCain was ever an authentic product. I'll just say, many people including me found it appealing at the time. What is undeniable is the contrast between the way he then seemed and the way he now acts. This is obviously an anti-McCain clip, but I think it's instructive even for his supporters. And, in real time before tonight's debate, it shows the range of personas he might choose to project.

What a fool. We’ll now explain why a wimp like Fallows found “the good McCain” so “appealing at the time.” He found this silly invention appealing because he, like almost everyone else in his cohort, had bought into Washington’s spreading culture of Clinton/Gore/Democrat-hatred. In the summer of 2000, this led Fallows to publish that slanderous Atlantic cover story about demon Gore—the cover story which set the framework for the way the press corps attacked Gore’s performance in that crucial first debate with George Bush.

Go Bob, Go.


Blogger Andy said...

I like watching the debates, but I absolutely hate the commentary for all of the same reasons. Why would I need people telling me what to think? The thing I hate even more than the pundits are the "undecideds" that they get together to watch the debate and then ask their reactions. Of course some say these people actually just want to be on TV, but if they truly are undecided at this point then they may be stupider than the people who are still voting republican, and I don't need to hear what they have to say.

(I'm not sure about that stupider than people still voting republican remark - but you get my point).

9:17 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home