Teh Stupid, It Runs Our Country

blogging, McCain-Palin, News Media, Republican Party

In “Making America Stupid,” Tom Friedman writes of the GOP’s “Drill Baby Drill” mantra:

Why would Republicans, the party of business, want to focus our country on breathing life into a 19th-century technology — fossil fuels — rather than giving birth to a 21st-century technology — renewable energy? As I have argued before, it reminds me of someone who, on the eve of the I.T. revolution — on the eve of PCs and the Internet — is pounding the table for America to make more I.B.M. typewriters and carbon paper. “Typewriters, baby, typewriters.”

He goes on to say that McCain is running on nothing but cultural wedge issues to hide the fact that he has no more clue what to do about the economy than George W. Bush did.

Steve Benen says Friedman’s new membership in the “enough” club is significant, because Friedman is a major conventional-wisdom shaper.

And if you want to read a defense of McCain that’s bleeping hilarious, go here. Begin with the sentence. “Let us look at what oil is. It replaced whaling in provided fuel for lamps. This saved the whale,” and keep reading. If this guy were a satirist he’d be brilliant. Unfortunately, he isn’t.

Kevin Drum asks why McCain is running such a sleazy campaign.

So why is McCain doing this? Obvious answer #1: he’s just running a standard Republican campaign. Nobody should really be surprised by this. Obvious answer #2: This is hardly the first time McCain has sold his soul. He’ll regret it later, of course, but this is just who he is, despite the layers of maverickiness he’s managed to cover himself in over the years.

Kevin also suggests McCain genuinely believes Obama would be a bad president, and thus McCain feels morally justified in doing whatever it takes to stop him. I can think of one other possibility, which is that McCain is too mentally impaired to make his own decisions, and Karl Rove or a clone therof is actually running the campaign behind the scenes.

I don’t know what went down on the Sunday bobblehead shows, but some parts of America’s news media seem to be doing some real journalism for a change. This is the kind of reporting they should have done when Bush was running in 2000, and didn’t.

New York Times:Once Elected, Palin Hired Friends and Lashed Foes

Washington Post:As Mayor of Wasilla, Palin Cut Own Duties, Left Trail of Bad Blood

MSNBC: “Palin’s ‘Bridge to Nowhere’ Line Returns

Boston Globe: “As governor and mayor, Palin hired friends for public posts

San Francisco Chronicle: “Campaign check: Lies and half-truths outed.” This article analyzes six campaign commercials and finds them deceptive. Five of the six are McCain’s ads. It also found three statements made by McCain and Palin in speeches or interviews that were, um, wrong. One other item it found deceptive was an anti-Palin email, but there’s no evidence it originated with the Obama campaign. So — 8 McCain deceptions, 1 Obama deception, 1 source unknown deception.

Now, on to serious issues — a number of rightie bloggers are complaining that a “lib” photographer deliberately made McCain look sinister for a photo used on the cover of The Atlantic. Except I’ve got the bleeping issue of the Atlanic right in front of me, and there’s nothing the least bit sinister about the photo. If anything, McCain looks slightly noble and wise, if way wrinkled, in the photo. Apparently the photographer had some fun with “outtakes” — not the photo actually used — and bragged about it on a personal blog. Some rightie bloggers have twisted this into a claim that The Atlantic used one of the “sinister” photos on the cover, which one look at the cover reveals is not true.

This is not a press bias issue; it’s a personal expression issue. Once again, we see that righties hate freedom of expression, and if they had their way they’d ban any speech with which they don’t agree. And they’d do it in the name of “liberty.”

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20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. biggerbox  •  Sep 14, 2008 @5:04 pm

    Sure she hired friends and abused power as mayor and governor; they said she had ‘executive experience’ didn’t they? What else did you think that meant, from a Republican?

    I’d go read that link about whale oil, but I’m afraid either my head would explode or I’d start crying. There is a whole lotta stupid in the world, and today I’m worried it’ll be enough to get McCain elected.

    Still, Friedman can be pretty influential among a certain segment, and the women on the View were pretty hard on McCain, and now that Tina Fey has joined the fight, we might still save the country and the planet.

  2. Sachem  •  Sep 14, 2008 @6:37 pm

    Andrew Sullivan posted “Palin and the Bloggers” which ends declaring “I’m now more determined than ever to reveal the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about this dangerous, vindictive Christianist cipher being foisted on the United States”.

  3. erinyes  •  Sep 14, 2008 @7:15 pm

    I had a conversation with a right wing friend today, while we differ on the political issues, we respect each other on a personal and professional level.I’m amazed at how many issues we agree on, but he is a die hard, insisting that Obama is a Muslim, he likes Palin,thinks the “liberals” will raise his taxes and ignore the military, thinks that we could “win” a war with Russia.
    I asked his opinions on several ideas that I feel would make things a bit better, simple things, but important none the less. If we could only do the following:
    A person would be taxed on no more than 40 hrs per week, and this would mean that the employer would not have to be responsible for payroll taxes beyond that 40 hrs.
    If a person needs to work beyond 40 hrs on a second job, no add’t income or payroll tax…. good for small business AND the individual.
    Interest on credit cards should be capped at 12%. the prime rate is very low, yet credit card debtors are being charged loan shark rates which will be the next wave of loan defaults
    That critter in Baghdad we call an “Embassy” is not an embassy, it’s a command center, and should be dissembled, likewise Gitmo.
    Bring our troops home from many foreign bases, we can’t afford to police the world, and we’re going bankrupt trying.
    Quit playing partisan politics, this meaning start listening to each other, don’t gang up on party members who want to work for good change ( i.e. Lincoln Chaffee).
    Quit using the term “Liberal” like it’s a cuss word. Liberals have a voice, and it’s necessary for debate in a true democracy.
    Once again, we actually agreed on those items.
    Where we differ is in regards to our “worldview”
    He is terrified of Muslims, and has some ideas about the Muslim world that are simply not true. He thinks that American blacks are ignorant, but blacks from the islands are different.He listens to right wing radio wonks like G. Gordon , Rush, Ollie, etc, and thinks they are spot on.He considers McCain to be too much of a liberal, favors Ron Paul, but will vote for either BoB Barr or McCain….. anything BUT Obama.
    I’m amazed that regardless of how many issues we agree on, he hates Obama, and I thinks it has more to do with race than anything else, the Muslim possibility is the “thumb on the scale” if you will.
    I told him that we are descending into a country with divides along a “tribal” mind set, and I’m afraid it’s true.The right claims both the flag and Christ, but their world view respects neither.

  4. erinyes  •  Sep 14, 2008 @8:29 pm

    http://www.commondreams.org/view/2008/09/14-3
    Kind of what I think……….

  5. joanr16  •  Sep 14, 2008 @8:41 pm

    I wish I could jump into the TARDIS, or the Slightly Forward Machine or what-have-you, and check the news a month from now. Then I’d come back and let everyone know if we really need to panic or not. Will the debates matter? Will “Troopergate” (or the economy, or the weather) present an October surprise? Will the MSM actually wake people up to the facts about Palin?

    One thing this sharp dip in the polls has done is mobilize the rank-and-file– those registering new voters; those donating for the first time; those working the phone banks; those going door-to-door. Obama workers from all parts of the country are sharing advice and tips, which generally amount to: “Don’t badmouth Palin,” and “It Really IS the Economy, Smarty.” (I always hated that nasty “Stupid” at the end.) These are based on the responses the workers in the field are hearing.

  6. Swami  •  Sep 14, 2008 @10:13 pm

    Palin amazes me with her repetitious lies. I just can’t understand how she reconciles her Christian witness with her lies. Jesus says, “a slave cannot serve two masters”, so how can she claim to be a servant to Christ while actively serving a lie?. I would have figured she’d drop the lies once they was exposed, but for whatever reason she persists in her lying. I just don’t get it. It’s not like her lies could be subject to individual interpretation and not perceived as such. Her lies are built on hard facts with no wiggle room for misinterpretation. It’s a frightening thing to see! Banking on ignorance?

    If Palin’s example of bold face lying is what Americans can expect from our leaders..Then we as a people are in for on hell of a ride in democracy.

  7. Swami  •  Sep 14, 2008 @11:11 pm

    The drill, baby, drill chant is just a variant expression of Bush’s high testosterone politics. It’s the old “We’re Amurkins”, the laws of nature don’t apply to us. By force of will we can overcome the laws of physics( actually we sneer at them) and accomplish whatever we speak into existence. What the hell is a limitation? Iraq is a victory because we claimed the victory, and facts on the ground can never alter our proclaimed reality. God it’s good to be masters of the universe where nothing can hinder our greatness. The divine right of Americans. Yeah, we have dominion because God gave us dominion over all mankind. It’s great to be an American ..favored of God!

  8. moonbat  •  Sep 15, 2008 @1:19 am

    It is encouraging that the MSM is starting to act like a real media regarding Palin. It’s encouraging that even they are reluctant to shill for her. I tend to think their corporate masters are doing the calculus and are realizing that a Harvard trained “community organizer” half black man is a lot better than some far right religious wacko total know-nothing.

    Was watching this video, and the slogan emerged for McCain/Palin: Unstable and Unfit.

    Let’s hope Joe Biden spends a lot of time in the debate talking about Sarah’s executive “experience”.

  9. moonbat  •  Sep 15, 2008 @1:32 am

    Swami (#6) – Palin is a deceitful, skilled manipulator, like George Bush. Everyone has various defense mechanisms they use to get through life, and lying and manipulating others are hers, and she’s very good at this. The purpose of any spiritual path is to cut through these defenses of the ego, causing you to surrender them before God or the great Unknown. This takes most people all their lives, if they even come around to realizing that this is the primary task.

    There are churches and branches within Christianity (and many other religions) that allow you to get so far in this undertaking and quit. In fact most formal Christian churches are like this – you sign on with Jesus and then you can kick back, for the rest of your life.

    Spiritual growth then – if it occurs – becomes a reactive endeavor – life throws you a curve ball, and you have to deal with it. You might then become humbled, and some of your defenses stripped bare, but this is entirely dependent on life working on you, instead of you deliberately working to drop the defenses.

    And so, I characterize Palin’s Christianity as inch-deep. She signed on with Jesus but has no intention whatsoever of giving up the BS persona that’s served her so very well. George Bush is the same way – there’s a book out that describes his conversations with Billy Graham and his conversion – but as we all know that only went so far.

  10. SteveG  •  Sep 15, 2008 @6:19 am

    I can think of one other possibility, which is that McCain is too mentally impaired to make his own decisions, and Karl Rove or a clone therof is actually running the campaign behind the scenes.

    I think there is yet another explanation. The 2000 south Carolina primary was his George Wallace moment. He was slimed out of something that he thinks ought to have been his and now he’s going to spare no slime to get it back.

  11. marilyn  •  Sep 15, 2008 @9:04 am

    joanr16-You correct about the reaction to the dip in the polls. My response as a 65 yr old retiree. I gave money to Obama and will give more, the fact that he raised $66M in August only proves to me that people are yearning for a change. I am also making calls for a phone bank, very interesting and rewarding for the most part. This is a 1st for me although I have been a political junkie most of my life. For me this is the most important election of my lifetime and I plan to do what I can to make it come out right.

  12. s  •  Sep 15, 2008 @9:30 am

    #8 I like Unstable & Unable

    This page is about the rally in Alaska and has some good slogans-

    http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/9/14/103042/902/965/597033

  13. Dave  •  Sep 15, 2008 @9:40 am

    Sam Stein has a post on HuffPo including video of Karl Rove on “Fixed News” saying: “McCain has gone in his ads one step too far, and sort of attributing to Obama things that are, you know, beyond the 100-percent-truth test…”

    Faint criticism for sure. But I can’t figure out the angle. I mean, if even Rove thinks McCain has gone too far, even a little too far, that’s historic. But there must be something else going on there; I just can’t see it.

  14. s  •  Sep 15, 2008 @11:34 am

    #13 Let’s think about angles….

    A more truthful rove?

    Stating the obvious since the media isn’t letting them slide on it anyway?

    Showing McCain/Palin just how fast he can get on tv and mess them up if they don’t walk in lock step with him?
    Wouldn’t you like to know when that interview was lined up and who lined it up?

  15. SamFromUtah  •  Sep 15, 2008 @12:25 pm

    Why would Republicans, the party of business, want to focus our country on breathing life into a 19th-century technology […]?

    Because it keeps the money concentrated among the Right People and annoys liberals. What other reason is there to do anything?

  16. Paul  •  Sep 15, 2008 @3:25 pm

    “The Drill, Baby, Drill” mantra has nothing to do with oil, and the people who are most loudly chanting it know it. They know that it will make little to zero impact on both the national energy picture or upon the profits of the corporations who own the chanters. It is, instead, about undermining the concept of environmental protection. Achieving that end is important – even vital, to them, because environmental protection is a thing that is practiced on behalf of the People, basically, because the People have demanded that it be done. It is thus, one of the few remaining arenas where the People still excercise some remnant of power….specifically, the power to establish and shape a government that is derives what authority it has solely and exclusively from the sovereign will of the People. Obviously, that type of thing has the power to frustrate the ongoing process of converting Our Nation into a corporatocracy run by self-designated “elites”. That is intolerable to them. By symbolically and actually desecrating protected or sensitive ecosystems, they are really saying, effectively, “In your face!! We, and nobody else, hold all power”.

  17. Ian  •  Sep 15, 2008 @6:10 pm

    #13 && #14 … a thought occurred to me, ‘twould be really, really sad if true…

    Perhaps the republicans really are TRYING to lose the election. Oh, not McCain himself, but the republican machine. They figure they let a dem president in to take the heat from everything crashing down, then pop back up in four years promising to fix everything that the dirty liberals broke.

    So, they’ve had Rove and crew advising him … and they keep telling him to do stupider and stupider stuff, thinking that surely THIS will kill the campaign, and the republican base just keeps lapping it up. In other words, it is now actually impossible to go too low, too stupid, or just plain too absurd for republicans.

    So, now they’re getting desperate … sending out Rove to give everybody the hint…

    No, not likely true, but scarily plausible, to me 🙂

    -me

  18. erinyes  •  Sep 15, 2008 @8:22 pm

    Ian,The “winner” of this race wins a big old turd sandwhich.

  19. Porlock Junior  •  Sep 16, 2008 @1:14 am

    Ian has a good idea, and it provides context for some serious schadenfreude as one prepares for sleep at the end of Black Monday. I mean, the Demo was supposed to get elected and then take the blame for the various forms of collapse.

    Surprise!

    There’s a problem here of the sort that arrives from the delusion of omnipotence. That old Capitalist Free Market, it must know something, but sometimes speaks waaay out of turn. Timing is everything in politics, or a long way ahead of other things, and the timing just hasn’t worked out for the poor Republicans.

  20. s  •  Sep 17, 2008 @3:32 pm

    #17 scarily plausible to me too