So much to discuss…

I watched late night, PBS “The News Hour with Jim Lehrer.”  For a change, Mark Shields debating David Brooks came out quite forcefully against what he called McCain’s dishonesty.  Yeah, because of his ads.  Of course, David Brooks tried to be highly dismissive of it, but did still agree that McCain’s ads were by far the most misleading.  Of course Brooks missed the point.  If a candidate hinges the whole premise of his campaign on the idea of “straight talk,” of telling voters what they need to hear, then misleading ads can’t do you a whole lot of good.  What you would call one of McCain’s many flip flops.

Continuing on from there, Shields missed the next big one, when he called Obama’s ad, that had McCain still unable to use a compurter, unable to send an e-mail…  Dumb.  Oh?  Not only would I call it funny as hell, but to anyone also paying attention…  Here we have a fellow who can’t use a computer, but he does put a woman on his ticket.  Flip flop.  He doesn’t do modernization of thinking, until he does.  But then again, even though his surrogates send out ugly e-mails on the behalf of McCain’s campaign, McCain himself puts out pathetic little attack ads in which he presumes that his running mate can’t fend for  herself with the evil political wolves at her door and must have “heroic McCain” riding to her rescue.  Very dated, like his inability to use a computer.  Hardly dumb if you connect the dots.  And let us put it bluntly, the many women who enter the political fray know already how tough the situation can get.  That the majority of their male opponents and male voters won’t refrain from attacking them just because they are women.  Certainly not to date as no doubt House Speaker Nancy Pelosi can surely testify.  So if McCain wants to get with modern times and grant some respect to his running mate, he has to enable her to sink or swim on her own. Flip flop.  The computer analogy compared to the McCain campaign was very well thought out.  Mark Shields, dumb.

Turning now to “The Pacific Northwest Inlander,” two editorials about the upcoming election.  Ted S. McGregor Jr. who groused about the Rovian trained team working for John McCain.  All they had to do was wave red meat—like flag pins and comparing Obama to Paris Hilton—and the news media behaves like Pavlovian dogs.  Which got me to thinking; is all that Sheilds and Brooks really being asked to do is analyze the latest campaign ads?  In none of McCain’s tantrum throwing ads does he suggest that he recognizes the dire straits of housing, mortgages, credit and lending that even William Greider of “The Nation” recognizes has put this nation in dire financial straits.  That given the financial free for all of the last, especially 8 years, this nation is in debt to people who aren’t necessarily our friends.  That is one issue this conservative can agree with the (old) left The Nation about.  Instead of McCain running an ad that suggests he knows how much the economy has tanked and why Obama can’t possibly take care of it all in his first four years, McCain turns his running mate into a whip to beat Obama across the head.  As McGregor wrote, “Making a big election about small things — for the third time.”  Just as his surrogates on CNN’s “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer” use such minutea as “She’s a mom,” as though that were the singular qualification to be veep.  In which case, moms across the country can line up to take Palin’s place if she were to prove to be too much of a political embarrassment.

Speaking of embarrassing.  Yes, I work, no I had no actual occasion to see Charles Gibson’s interview with Governor Palin.  But, Wolf Blitzer showing clips of the interview, gave anyone with a brain a full frontal view of the inept pol.  Only in Alaska, given the sparse population, could you get a success rate out of Murphy’s law.  Palin is popular, because of the earmarks she got for the state.  What if she hadn’t?  She is popular, because she knows what to do on the behalf of certain special interests.  But how about the long term health of the state she governed?  From what I could tell of the sound bites, Palin came off as sounding that she had rehearsed McCain’s talking points, but.  Now what if I had been such a running mate?  Let me give an example:  Russia was mentioned, we all know from the news that Russia sought some pretext for invading Georgia.  Presumably, it was to protect the friendly to the Russian gvt, South Ossetia, etc.  But ultimately, because of the invasion, Russia got control of the oil pipeline.  Like GW, for Putin as well, it was all about the oil.  My answer to Gibson would be:  Georgia has a gvt that is friendly to the west, to the U.S.  Even if they are not NATO members we should still take a stand on their behalf.  Perhaps that would have given the Mark Shields of this world a heart attack, but I would have continued.  Not only must we take a stand on the behalf of Georgia, but also work with European leaders to come up with energy alternatives so that Russia can not use oil as a tool of blackmail.  Not simply “sanctions” but to cut off the sort of wealth that Russia has accumulated to now build up a military force that now war games in the Carribbean.  I would have further argued, that given the nature of Russia engaging in “military exercises” too close to American shores, we can also activate ships and planes to engage in military exercises of their own.  From what I could tell of Palin’s answer, she sounded too close to Obama as to how to address the problem of Putin’s Russia.  From McCain’s original “bring it on” position when Russia first invaded,  to the talking points that Palin rehearsed before meeting with Gibson, flip flop.  Yeah, Greider mentioned that we were in hock to Russia.  So?  Are we defending mammon or are we defending the nation?  Can’t have it both ways.


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