August 17, 2008

6 things I noticed when I rewatched the Saddleback Civil Forum.

1. It was called the Saddleback Civil Forum, and Rick Warren stressed the importance of the word civil, which for him, connotes politeness and respect. I'm sure I blinded myself to the word last night because, being a lawprof, when I see civil, I think: not criminal.

2. When Warren asked Obama to name the 3 individuals he'd consult most often, Obama began by excluding Warren, Warren then said "and your wife," reflecting an assumption that, of course, Obama wouldn't use the question to pay his respects to his wife, but Obama proceeded to name his wife.

3. After naming his wife and his grandmother, Obama went on to actual political advisors, and the first person he named was Sam Nunn — suggesting possibly that Sam Nunn could be his VP choice.

4. Obama garbled: "The reason that people believe there needs to be a constitutional amendment, some people believe, is because, uh, of the concern that, uh, uh, about same-sex marriage. I'm not somebody who's [sic] promotes same-sec [sic] marriage, but I do believe in civil unions. I do believe that we should not, um, that that for a gay partners [sic] to want to visit each other in the hospital, for the state to say, you know what, that's all right, I don't think in any way inhibits my core beliefs about what marriage are [sic]." I think all those little glitches, especially the glaring grammatical error "what marriage are," strongly suggest that he is hiding what he really thinks.

5. Asked about evil, McCain immediately and only talked about al Qaeda, but what came to mind for Obama? 3 things, in this order: Darfur, violence on the streets of our cities, and parents abusing their children.

6. By implication, Obama said that Clarence Thomas wasn't smart enough to sit on the Supreme Court. He says he wouldn't have nominated Thomas because he wasn't qualified and he also disagrees with his constitutional interpretation. Then he says he also wouldn't have appointed Scalia, but there's "no doubt about his brilliance... he's clearly smart." Add it up.

135 comments:

oldirishpig said...

"Add it up." Ummm, Thomas is a race traitor?

Trooper York said...

If Mort were awake he would say that saying Clarence Thomas wasn't smart and Scalia was brilliant would be racist....oh wait a minute...maybe not....never mind.

Simon said...

Re point 6, isn't he just reiterating the same tired Democratic line that Harry Reid trotted out a couple of years ago comparing Scalia and Thomas? Reid couldn't name any specific examples of cases backing up his point, and I'll bet Obama can't, either.

By all means, though, let's take Obama seriously. Presumably he disagrees with Scalia's conclusions as much as he disagrees with Thomas', so what exactly - what precisely leads him to say that Scalia is a smart cookie but that Thomas isn't? Let's hear it. Someone who is asking us to give him the appointment power shouldn't be allowed to get away with some broad-brush rote criticism, particularly when this is someone who starts with a heavy presumption against him having vote against Roberts.

Meade said...

"Add it up"

Can't. Too stupid.

Windbag said...

Obama's attacking Thomas's intellect is like Pee Wee Herman's attacking John Wayne's masculinity.

vbspurs said...

Is anyone else impressed by the format of this "forum"?

It reminded me a little of the movie "21" which showed how each contestant got a chance to answer, not knowing how the other responded.

It achieves a kind of tension, but also highlights the individual responses given by each man in a way I have never seen during Presidential races.

McCain is not a true Republican, and of course, Obama is a very left-wing US politician (which is still to the right of most left-wing world politicians).

And NOTHING showed the precise philosophical differences between both sides, than the responses given by each candidate.

For a Conservative, the equivocating, hesitant responses of the Liberal side were everything we dislike -- whereas I'm sure for a liberal person, the manichean positions of the Conservative candidate irritated them just as much.

I loved it. However, I think it was an one-off, and that's such a shame.

Cheers,
Victoria

chickenlittle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
michaele said...

I wonder if anyone in the major madia will ever be bold enough to actually show a word for word (including the abundance of the "umms" and Uhhs")of the responses of Obama's. I find his stammerings shocking in view of the all the blather about his great rhetorical gifts.

Methadras said...

4. Obama garbled: "The reason that people believe there needs to be a constitutional amendment, some people believe, is because, uh, of the concern that, uh, uh, about same-sex marriage. I'm not somebody who's [sic] promotes same-sec [sic] marriage, but I do believe in civil unions. I do believe that we should not, um, that that for a gay partners [sic] to want to visit each other in the hospital, for the state to say, you know what, that's all right, I don't think in any way inhibits my core beliefs about what marriage are [sic]." I think all those little glitches, especially the glaring grammatical error "what marriage are," strongly suggest that he is hiding what he really thinks.

And the unadulterated fool comes out in this statement alone. Mr. Barely really isn't a very bright person. He is totally unaware that homosexuals have the same rights in whatever states civil unions/domestic partnerships exist that heterosexual married couples have; hospital visitations, HIPPA disclosure, beneficiary rights, will and trust recognition, and the list goes on and on. When will moronic socialist/communist leftists like this fool learn that you can't keep forwarding these aberrant lies to try and satisfy a niche voting bloc for themselves. Mr. Barely, can't even verbally stumble his way into a cogent thought on the issue and this speaks volumes outside of his teleprompted, scripted musical fantasy show. Anyone how votes for this man as president is a sycophantic moron and that's the bottom line. How anyone can take this guy seriously is mystifying. And this is also directed at Little Miss Sullivan because I know you are as big a phony as your God, Mr. Barely.

Seven Machos said...

The Saddleback Civil Forum is not nearly as good as a gay bar name. Civil ruins everything.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Oh! to have been a fly on the wall at the Clinton's TV viewing of this event.

garage mahal said...

When will moronic socialist/communist leftists like this fool learn that you can't keep forwarding these aberrant lies to try and satisfy a niche voting bloc for themselves.

Civil!

Seven Machos said...

From Garage, the crown prince of civility.

(Actually, Garage, you made spirited arguments on behalf of Hillary Clinton that I found somewhat convincing. Still, kettle...)

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Methadras,
Help is just a phone call away. I think you've got a case of BDS! (The B is for Barry, of course.)

Funny thing is, if someone came on here and went on an incoherent rant about how John McCain is a near-dead warmongering economically illiterate panderer and adulterer without a clue and in the pockets of lobbyists and oil companies who's playing Rove politics just like Bush......that person would be shut down and attacked faster than you can say "Drill Now!"

Will anyone else call out Methadras...or is his shtick (the right-wing version of downtownlad's or doyle's or, gulp, mine) acceptable?

Host with the Most said...

The Obama camp spin is still being floated that maybe McCain was able to hear some of the questions and Obama's answers.

But when that was floated through Andrea Mitchell on Meet the Press, neither she nor David Grgory suggested that it should or could be checked out. They let the honor of John McCain and Rick Warren just hang out there like it was nothing.

Media for Obama.

UWS guy said...

The irony is, for all Warren did to make the forum civil it's almost as if the pundits have gone into overdrive to be as uncivil as possible in the aftermath.

So was it even worthwhile for Warren to host the forum in this manner?

Seven Machos said...

I'll call out Methadras, Zach.
Obama is plenty bright. He's just wrong. Althouse is probably right. That particularly craptastic answer he gave probably is a symptom of not saying what he truly believes.

I don't think Obama is socialist or a communist. I do think, however, that he has been to more than a few cocktail parties with communists and socialists of both the serious and goofy varieties. Part of this is because he is a bit of a fellow traveler, just as I am a bit of a fellow traveler when it comes to that nut Ayn Rand. Another part is geopolitical: if you are a leader in Hyde Park, you can't avoid these people.

I do find it interesting that Obama and Bush are viewed as opposites when it come to speaking. They both trip over their words plenty. I think it's the eyes.

You can vote for Obama for many reasons and not be sycophantic or dumb. Lots of people want high taxes. Lots of people want a weak military. They are just wrong. and they must be politically defeated every few years.

I do agree that Andrew Sullivan has turned into a shrill cunt. But that was years ago.

UWS guy said...

You're on a roll tonight seven machos.

UWS guy said...

in a good way.

Simon said...

Seven Machos said...
"I'll call out Methadras, Zach.
Obama is plenty bright. He's just wrong.
"

I have no particular view on whether he's bright, but I'll stipulate it for now. I do take issue, however, with the constant regurgitated claim that he's eloquent. He isn't. His speeches are vacuous teleprompted exercises in speaking without saying anything, and although he's more likable when he goes off-script, he quite obviously struggles to articulate what he wants to say. This is a man who, despite his law degree, never has and never could argue an appellate case. If you want to hear eloquent, go back and listen to those cases that John Roberts argued and you'll hear someone who's bright, who knows the material and is articulate and capable of thinking on his feet. No wonder Obama's jealousy demanded a vote against him.

UWS guy said...

I'm sorry simon, his speech when he won his first primary? or was it the 3rd (maybe his comeback primary??) It was stunning. I ....literally...had...a chill.....run up ...my leg...

I had no intention of voting for the man until that speech. I voted for bush 2x by the way...and I voted (for the first time) for his father against clinton.

I'd be unsuprised that the reason people vote for obama is the reason people vote for bush. They really are remarkably similar...

UWS guy said...

The German swimmer who won the gold medal last night is a hotty by the way, I don't know what that blogging heads is on about.

chickenlittle said...

windbag mentioned "attacking John Wayne's masculinity"

That's already been done.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"Is anyone else impressed by the format of this "forum"?"

YES! I really liked it. Instead of cross purpose sound bites, we actually got to hear what these guys think...more or less. I especially appreciated that they were asked the same questions in isolation and that it gives us a chance to compare.

Thoughtful questions and probing instead of the leading and superficial crappola that we have been forced to see so far.

Bring more of it on.

bill said...

Words to memorize
Words hypnotize
Words make my mouth exercise
Words all fail the magic prize

Host with the Most said...

when he goes off-script, he quite obviously struggles to articulate what he wants to say

Simon, I believe that you just confirmed that the emperor has no clothes.

The word "articulate" has surrounded Obama so much that most people believe it's part of his name.

But what does reading a speech have to do with articulate? If you can't say something in a clean, understandable way without a script - and when has Obama EVER done that?- then how can you be called articulate?

I truly believe that people are afraid to say otherwise for fear of being called racist.

McCain commercial suggestion: "As a public service, we would like to share with you Obama's views on the issues of today. This shouldn't take long, because as we are daily reminded, he's "so articulate". Then the first commercial should have his answer to #4 above. And then it should just cut off after 60 seconds.

5 of those and even media suck-ups will start to shy away from "articulate".

Barack Obama demonstrated again last night that he is historically the least qualified major party candidate for President of the United States.

Simon said...

UWS guy said...
"I'm sorry simon, his speech when he won his first primary? or was it the 3rd (maybe his comeback primary??) It was stunning. I ....literally...had...a chill.....run up ...my leg..."

Uh, okay Chris Matthews, thanks for that. Back to you in the studio, Chris...

UWS guy said...
"The German swimmer who won the gold medal last night is a hotty by the way...."

Britta Steffan? She's kinda cute, I guess.

Seven Machos said...

Rule of thumb: never associate the word articulate with a black person. It's bad policy and likely to get you in politically correct hot water, because it is too often demeaning, intentionally or unintentionally.

For that reason, Host, I don't think as many people have been calling Obama articulate as you think.

Joan said...

Meade: me, too.

Unless we're supposed to think that Obama is smart like Scalia is smart, because they both taught at the same law school? I'm not sure that my sums are coming out right on this one.

UWS guy said...

It was the speach they made the music video out of.

Seriously dude, that was an awesome speech. I stumbled upon it passing CSPAN and was transfixed.

chickenlittle said...

@bill

There's a word in that song that Palladian really likes.

Seven Machos said...

Obama has a tremendous sense of cadence in the way he delivers a canned speech and he obviously has a great deal of charisma. He also is able to say hokey stuff in such a way that a lot of people take him seriously.

All of that said, his ideas are almost all atrocious.

Host with the Most said...

Seven,

Point taken.
Substitute eloquent for articulate in my comment and it will read the same way.

Thanks.

Or maybe better yet, "Obama speak good".

Beth said...

Is anyone else impressed by the format of this "forum"?

I was, but now it appears McCain was not in fact in a "cone of silence" but on his way, in his motorcade. I don't like being sold a fake bill of goods. Maybe McCain, or someone in his entourage, listened to the broadcast on the way in, maybe not. We'll never know. The forum was structured so that we were to trust each candidate was answering off the cuff, and now we can't be assured of that.

Seven Machos said...

Host -- completely agreed.

David said...

Thomas?

Most liberals can't believe that a smart black man can be a conservative. Black + conservative = stupid. (Or Uncle Tom.)

As to this, Ann: "I think all those little glitches, especially the glaring grammatical error "what marriage are," strongly suggest that he is hiding what he really thinks."

You are likely right in your conclusion, but it could also be that he really doesn't know what he thinks. A lot of his um, ah, ahs seem to be those of a guy making it up on the fly. Probably not on this one, though.

Is it possible that the Democrats are again about to do what they did in 2004--nominate a candidate who will slowly crumble as the campaign wears on?

vbspurs said...

Host wrote:

The word "articulate" has surrounded Obama so much that most people believe it's part of his name.

The reason I continue to call Obama articulate is that in my particular case, I am largely negative about Obama -- and I feel I must find SOMETHING positive to say about the guy.

But also his speeches (which he works on as well as his speechwriters) and his two books have a graceful written elegance to them.

So he's not Churchill, JFK, or Reagan. He can't deliver an impromtpu response with verve like those guys could also churn out a helluva speech.

But I'm not so down on him as others about that, either.

(Yes, the "uh"s bother me, though)

Cheers,
Victoria

Seven Machos said...

Beth -- If it was somebody in his entourage, I'm guessing the little guy with the backwards baseball cap and all the bling.

What is he really doing for McCain anyway, other than hanging out and getting free beef brisket at speeches?

Simon said...

Beth said...
"[I]t appears McCain was not in fact in a 'cone of silence' but on his way, in his motorcade. ... Maybe McCain, or someone in his entourage, listened to the broadcast on the way in, maybe not. We'll never know."

Evidence or citation for this, please. It's the Obamabot talking point, but you aren't an Obamabot, and there should be some sort of evidence you can cite explaining why you believe this claim.

vbspurs said...

sort of evidence

Remember?

It's always something...

Host with the Most said...

Beth -

Do you believe - really believe - for even one minute that John McCain would not have given the exact same answers if it could be proved to you that he did't hear any of Obama's?

The battle has already been played out over and over - in an open forum, the deck is stacked in McCain's favor.

UWS guy said...

If Trooper York were sober he'd say that calling Obama "articulate" was racist.

Simon said...

UWS guy said...
"Seriously dude, that was an awesome speech."

Doubt it. I don't know which one you're talking about, but I've seen a lot of these speeches and he's just awful. Just really atrocious. And even if it was any good, so what? Ooh, Obama can read a teleprompter. I can't tell you how impressive a feat that is. I've got chills just thinking about a politician who can read. [eyeroll]

Simon said...

Shorter Simon: We've defined dumb a long long long long looooooooooooooong down in this country if Obama's being credited as eloquent.

Seven Machos said...

You know, losers never get accused of cheating. Keep that in mind, Beth.

Host with the Most said...

By the way, Bill Kristol's column in tomorrow's NYTimes is the second best recap anywhere of the debate.

Beth said...

It's in the NY Times; so let's see if they retract it tomorrow.

vbspurs said...

Further thoughts on that "Bush Bulge" during Kerry/Bush '04 debate (at the University of Miami, BTW):

Bush was popularly thought not to have done as well as Kerry, even with the supposed microphone wire the Democrats accused him of using.

Now it's that McCain wasn't in the Cone of Silence, and ooh, he probably cheated because there is NO POSSIBLE WAY he could've sounded better than Obama, except by cheating.

Bush got better, way better as the head-to-head debates went on.

But I tell you, if we get another forum format like this, McCain will still perform better than Obama.

It's not the answers. It's the sincerity and experience.

Host with the Most said...

Simon & Seven -
You are both on a roll tonight.

Beth - LOL. Good point.

Simon said...

Beth, that's the NYT, the house organ of the Democratic Party. Do you have a source with independent journalistic credibility?

(And with that, I must head for bed.)

Host with the Most said...

But I tell you, if we get another forum format like this, McCain will still perform better than Obama.

It's not the answers. It's the sincerity and experience.


And another winning point to vbspurs.

This just keeps getting better as the night goes on.

More civil forums!
More civil forums!
More civil forums!

Seven Machos said...

I remember in 2000 when Bush was up against Gore in a debate, the one where Gore kept making strange sounds while Bush was speaking. Over at National Review, all night they were, like, the sky is falling. Bush got smoked. We're dead.

Then, lo and behold, Gore tanked in the polls after that debate.

So many times, just like my mother always told me, it's not what you say, it's how you say it. The totality of your body language, your tone, your tics, your uhhhs, and everything else mean just as much to people as what you say.

It's just gravy that McCain won this round on substance in addition to all that stuff.

vbspurs said...

second best recap anywhere of the debate

Many thanks for the link. However, I didn't think Kristol's piece was that well-written, nor did he offer any acute insight.

(I am irritated when a formal op-ed NYT writer speaks in the first person)

This may be a tribute to what I read not only from Ann last night, but from you guys, the real-time commenters. I would nominate that as the best Althouse thread I've ever read.

Beth said...

VB, Warren's the one who came up with the cone of silence. He built his forum around it, and it's part of the overall premise. If it's true that McCain wasn't actually secluded therein, then the forum's suspect. Warren shouldn't have announced the setup if he didn't ensure it would be followed. McCain didn't make any startling new position announcements; there's no big issue on content. But either there's something to way the forum was designed, or there's not.

vbspurs said...

Host thanks! :)

I'll give Kristol this (however, it's something which all of us thought after last night): he did mention that Brokaw, Lehrer et. al. should step aside during one of the formal debates this Autumn.

Absolutely.

What a breath of fresh air it was not to have the journalistic elite act like they're the only ones who should be given the keys to the car.

Host with the Most said...

And after 5 rounds - that's 5 separate posts by Ann on the Showdown at Saddleback - and almost 750 comments, the decisive winner: John McCain

Good night, sleep tight, and pleasant dream to you . . .

Here's a wish and a prayer that every dream comes true,

And now 'til we meet again,

Adios, au revior, auf Weidersehen.....Good Night!

Seven Machos said...

I find it highly amusing that any time a Republican wins anything, there is a leftist on hand to make charges of cheating.

It's ludicrous, really. What did they do with the boy who cried wolf too many times? Did they slap him upside the head? Did he get eaten? I don't remember.

vbspurs said...

But either there's something to way the forum was designed, or there's not.

Beth, even if this is claim is proven, I would tell you that there will be many opportunities for McCain to go head-to-head with Obama. I contend McCain is better than Obama, extemporaneously, by a mile. It'll show again.

And again, t wasn't the answers.

If you've ever listened to McCain's stump speeches, you've heard the "Cindy said, 'meet your daughter'" anecdote, and many others besides.

No, it was that McCain really impressed with an old-fashioned sincerity whereas Obama's speech impediments made him sound hesitant and as if he were triple-thinking everything so as not to alienate any potential voter.

That's a Liberal thing, not a Cone of Silence thing.

It won't change because he is not naturally centrist. McCain has been a centrist all his life.

vbspurs said...

Schlaf gut, Host! :)

Beth said...

Okay, Victoria. You asked the question "Is anyone else impressed with this format of this 'forum' " and I answered. I'm not raining on your McCain love fest. I'm pointing to a problem with the forum. I don't like being misled.

Spread Eagle said...

Let's be honest here. Brutally honest. The reason white people get blown away by Obama is precisely because they see him as being impressively articulate for a black guy. "Articulate" meaning his entire presentation. The whole package. Think about it. What else does he have on his resume that explains it? There's nothing else there. Certainly no substance.

Seven Machos said...

Beth -- If McCain wasn't really in a sound-proof, supersonic orb, then that is a problem with the setup. What follows clearly from the charge, though, is that McCain somehow cheated.

Perhaps if you could make it clear that you don't think McCain cheated, and that Obama got his clock cleaned fair and square, you would have a stronger point.

Beth said...

If McCain wasn't really in a sound-proof, supersonic orb, then that is a problem with the setup. What follows clearly from the charge, though, is that McCain somehow cheated.

Seven, if you follow the rules, then people don't have reason to suspect you of cheating. It's a good way to live. If you want to break the rules and then cry foul when people wonder about your honesty, well, that's kind of sad.

I have no way of knowing that McCain did or didn't cheat. And that's the McCain campaign's fault, not mine. Perhaps if you had more to offer than "trust him," I'd take you seriously. We're talking about a politician, for goodness sake.

Seven Machos said...

1. McCain certainly did follow the rules. Beth, you are adding a requirement that doesn't exist. Jesus! There wasn't really a sound-proof, supersonic orb. That's just in your head.

2. I don't think the white people who like Obama like Obama because he is articulate. In his prime, Jesse Jackson could talk circles around this guy, without the benefit of a Harvard Law education. The white people who like Obama like him because of their pie-in-the-sky liberalism.

3. I think the reason people liked this debate was because it wasn't a journalist asking the questions and it wasn't Joe Blow Americans who ask ridiculously vacuous questions. I find it fascinating that journalists think they know so much. Memo to journalists: you took classes in editing in college and how to use the old reverse pyramid. You know nothing about anything of substance.

Kev said...

The Saddleback Civil Forum is not nearly as good as a gay bar name. Civil ruins everything.

Unless you called it the Saddleback Civil Union Forum, perhaps...

Seven Machos said...

I disagree. Gay or straight, do you really want to pick up your significant other in a bar?

Beth said...

If McCain wasn't really in a sound-proof, supersonic orb, then that is a problem with the setup. What follows clearly from the charge, though, is that McCain somehow cheated.

Jesus.

Yes, Seven, the "cone" is an image, taken from Get Smart. We know that.

But Warren used the image to describe an offstage room, to seclude the second candidate from hearing the questions posed to the first. It was the format, one meant to inspire trust in each candidate's being on the spot.

Trooper York said...

What do you mean if I am sober? I can't get the freakin wine bottle open with this stupid wine saver thingy. I am gonna go back to tequila if I can't get it to work soon. Jeeez.

Seven Machos said...

Beth -- I know you know that. The fact is that this charge would have come no matter what precisely because Obama came off so poorly and it has been made precisely to explain the poorness of Obama's performance.

Victoria is correct. McCain will pound Obama graciously yet unmercifully again. Better start thinking up lame excuses now.

Beth said...

And I'll add that I'd rather see face to face interviews and debates, because formats like this just look contrived when there's room for mishaps and doubt.

Seven Machos said...

Yes. Indeed. Let's put the journalists back in charge.

Joan said...

CNN weighs in on the cheating allegations.

Note Warren states here that both candidates were given the first two questions in advance. That makes Obama's answer to the first seem especially lame, IMO.

Beth said...

The fact is that this charge would have come no matter what precisely because Obama came off so poorly and it has been made precisely to explain the poorness of Obama's performance.

Well, too bad McCain wasn't in the studio, in the green room during the whole interview, to make it easy to ignore the charge.

Trooper York said...

I think they should do it like the Newlywed game and have Wink Martindale moderate. He's a hell of lot smarter than Jim Lerher that's for damn sure.

Beth said...

Let's put the journalists back in charge.

Warren could have done a face to face.

UWS guy said...

If my own father were running for president and he had left me and my disabled mother for a rich younger women...I wouldn't vote for him.

The irony of McCain being totalitarian on the "sanctity of marriage" vs. Obama is rich.

Trooper York said...

Or ALex Trebeck. Now there's a smart guy. But they would have to answer in the form of a question.

Who is Reverand Wright?

Who is the cunt?

It would be cool.

UWS guy said...

Even Bill Clinton was classy enough not to leave his wife.

Eliot Spitzer too...

McCain knew he needed money to be a senator, so did what he had to do. His answer of "his biggest failing" or whatever is silly, as if it were a fait accompli.

Trooper York said...

Or they could do a reality show. With
Flavor Flav, Brett Michael and Tia Tequila. Who ever makes out with two out of three of them wins.

Seven Machos said...

I add here that I am proud to say that McCain obviously read the comments in Althouse because he basically espoused my eminently sensible views on gay marriage when he said it should be left to the states but noted a problem with differing states having to honor arrangements they don't want. Sadly, he didn't lambast the twit jurists who have discovered a right to gay marriage in states where the vast majority of people oppose them.

Sloanasaurus said...

I have no way of knowing that McCain did or didn't cheat. And that's the McCain campaign's fault, not mine. Perhaps if you had more to offer than "trust him," I'd take you seriously. We're talking about a politician, for goodness sake.

The allegations of cheating by those in the media and even on this blog just proves that they all believe Obama got crushed in this debate Otherwise why would they make such allegations. Moreover he got crushed where he had a good night.

Obama should be nervous, especially about the debates this fall.

Seven Machos said...

I've never been a prisoner of war hanging from thumbs in the Hanoi Hilton. However, I think it is possible that I could come back from that experience and find it difficult to relate to the spouse I left.

People get divorced. That's sad and really sad when there are children involved. Ultimately, though, it's something to be celebrated because people have more freedom.

Beth said...

It would be cool.

I love it! But would either of them be able to work the buzzer?

Sloanasaurus said...

McCain knew he needed money to be a senator, so did what he had to do. His answer of "his biggest failing" or whatever is silly, as if it were a fait accompli.


Wow, you must be a happy person....

Seven Machos said...

Obama would definitely have the faster trigger finger with a buzzer. Then he'd spout a bunch of ungrammatical sentences puncuated by uhhhs.

I don't think either one of them would look very good making out with Flava Flav, or anybody else who wears a big clock around his neck.

Windbag said...

After reading the whining going on after Obama emerged the loser, Florida 2000 is going to look like a cake walk compared to the aftermath of a McCain win in 2008.

David said...

Cone of silence?

Remember, McCain is old, nearly stone deaf. His eyesight is so bad he can't read a teleprompter. He can barely get a fork to his mouth, he is so old.

He carries with him his own personal cone of silence.

But he still whupped Obama.

Sloanasaurus said...

If my own father were running for president and he had left me and my disabled mother for a rich younger women...I wouldn't vote for him.

Would you give up your job as CFO of the younger woman's giant beer company? Or maybe you would reach out to your biological father who abandoned you when he divorced your mother before she was injured.

Kev said...

I disagree. Gay or straight, do you really want to pick up your significant other in a bar?

Good point. I imagine that more people end up cheating on their significant other in a bar...

amba said...

McCain's wife had lost some of her height because of the accident and had gained weight. She was no longer beautiful. (How many of you guys would that be a deal breaker for? Huh?) She was forgiving of his departure (he agreed to pay her medical bills for life) and still supports him.

Christy said...

On This Week with ... E.J. Dionne noted that Obama's political advisors -- Lugar, Hagel, and Sam Nunn -- were all close to Biden. This suggested to Dionne that Biden is the VP choice.

amba said...

Funny, when I saw "civil forum" I thought the word "civil" was a way of emphasizing that although it was taking place in a church, it was not specifically religious. "Civil" is not antireligious like "secular," it's more neutral, and has the advantage of the double entendre.

amba said...

Christy, I heard that too about Biden as likely VP. The suggestion was that the name not mentioned, but so closely circled around, was the one to watch.

Seven Machos said...

Amba -- I agree. Since being gay or being divorced or having impure thoughts doesn't fit into the strawman figure of Republicans that media and other liberal elites have constructed for themselves, it clearly falls into Scarlett Letter/Elmer Gantry territory.

Host with the Most said...

Just got out of bed o get a class of milk.

Ahhh, milk.

Obama would definitely have the faster trigger finger with a buzzer.

Better yet: PRESIDENTIAL FAMILY FEUD!
Each candidate gets to pick his team, which will show us much about his leadership.

And, after the triple round, each candidate gets a shot at the $10,000 challenge.

Each candidate would be in asound proof booth.

And the host could kiss each player on the mouth (I miss Richard Dawson)

"SURVEY SAYS . . ."!

Revenant said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Seven Machos said...

McCain lied. Obama got thrashed.

Does that work as a clever lefty slogan?

Revenant said...

The irony of McCain being totalitarian on the "sanctity of marriage" vs. Obama is rich.

Either (a) you believe McCain wants the government to force every single person to marry somebody or (b) you don't know what the word "totalitarian" means but are determined to use it in a sentence anyway.

Your remark is doubly silly in light of the fact that Obama has the same position on gay marriage that McCain does. Or is it ok for people to be "totalitarian" about marriage so long as they've never divorced?

Revenant said...

Well, too bad McCain wasn't in the studio, in the green room during the whole interview, to make it easy to ignore the charge.

The fact that there is no evidence that it happened is sufficient reason for sensible people to ignore the charge. People uninterested in being sensible would just assume that McCain was lying about his whereabouts, just as they assume he's lying about obeying the rules.

UWS guy said...

People who get divorced need to keep their mouths shut as far as pontificating on what God thinks about the subject.

Fen said...

While ignoring that Andrea Mitchell and CNN have an interest in spiking a non-MSM debate.

Seven Machos said...

I don't think sanctity has to have a religious connotation. It can mean sacred, in the sense of an important obligation.

Ultimately, as I said eariler, divorce is a freedom and freedom is good. I don't think we should judge candidates on their personal failings. We all have them. I think we should judge them on what they are going to do about the economy, foreign policy, making law, and picking judges.

michael farris said...

"when I see civil, I think: not criminal"

Well hopefully it was that too.

vbspurs said...

I don't like being misled.

Beth, I am not being rude when I say that we all don't like being misled.

But when you wilfully look for reasons to excuse your candidate's bad performance, I daresay something inside you is tugging at you that HE and not the other guy was the one doing the real misleading.

For the record, Obama didn't do badly. It's just that he looked like a guy who applied for the CEO job after 2 years as the gopher boy.

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

Hey, did you guys check out the leftosphere blogs about this forum debate?

There is not one blog that I have read so far (Kos/FDL/MyDD) that can compare with the comments on this blog during that event.

The interesting thing about Althouse is that most people here can offer cogent points in full sentences, with a lack of cutesy terms like McShame or even Obambi.

Yes, there have been conspiratorial allegations here, but nothing compares to the onanistic "DIEBOLD" references I read, to already explain why Obama will lose in Novemeber.

'Cause you know, there's no way he would lose if the Repukes weren't cheating.

Meade said...

Beth said...
It's in the NY Times; so let's see if they retract it tomorrow.

Comment of the Year. My new favorite personal meme to take the place of "I didn't say it was true, I said 'it's widely known'"

fred said...

McCain: I regret my marriage mistake. Ie, I cheated like Edwards, adultery but I am all for family values.

Obama: supreme court--Thomas dumb. Obama perhaps right.McCain: oppses every justice that is not what he stands for this week.

fred said...

I forgot! at least one commentator on the Right thinks Obama wrong when he said Thomas had not enough experience. The remark meant to suggest that Obama also inexperienced. But to be a Supreme Court justice requirs legal skills; to be president requires, well, look at FDR, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Lincoln...they vary in experience and background, yet which of those would be qualified for Supreme Court?

I thought the forum totally dumb. Example: question on when life begins but not on a woman's right to decide about her own body. That is a loaded Pro-choice question and not a fair question at all.

The Exalted said...

as for mccain and the cone of silence, rick warren certainly seemed disturbed that mccain wasn't in the building during obama's portion. but w/e, you guys are right, mccain can't do any wrong, it must be obama's fault that warren was surprised and it must be obama's fault that mccain couldn't get to the church on time to spark this mini-controversy.

i know what your story would be if the situation was reversed. (obambi cheats! omg! malkin's head would explode)

lastly, only in a nuthouse could it be thought obama isn't intelligent, is a communist, and is a poor speaker. only in a nuthouse could it be argued that obama is a poor thinker because he didn't and allegedly "couldn't" have argued before an appellate court.

lot of nuts around here.

Simon said...
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EnigmatiCore said...

"Obama perhaps right."

He Tarzan, you Jane?

Simon said...

TheExalted:
Appellate litigators need to know their cases and surrounding law in great detail, need to be able to talk about it compellingly, and need to be able to think on their feet, answering questions coming at their position from any angle. Obama shows no indication of that kind of capacity. And the evidence of his being a poor speaker is everywhere - just watch his speeches. Or read his book (the more recent one, I mean, I haven't read his first one although one can't imagine it being much better). Fuzzy, amorphous writing and speaking is usually an indicator of fuzzy, amorphous thinking, something Obama routinely displays. The upshot is that he can read formulaic dreck from a teleprompter and get people falling over themselves to like him to like him for it. But when you look at the substance of those speeches, or when he goes off-prompter, the myth of eloquence falls apart.

Almost Ali said...

Deferring to his wife may work at home, but not out in the world. If Michelle Obama wants to get even with America, let her run for president, and let her put Anita Hill on the Supreme Court.

Mimi said...

Alright, let's get real here.

McCain and Obama both made an agreement with Warren to be in the building before the event began. This was (ostensibly) to head off any of the accusations that are now swirling around McCain. So the cheating that McCain did was not in listening to Obama's answers (I for one am quite willing to take him at his word that he didn't) but in the fact that he did not honor the agreement to get there before the event began. He now has to take the consequences of thinking that he was above the rules of the game (unless his driver was passed out drunk somewhere and just couldn't be bothered to get him from the hotel on time). I don't like the disrespect that this conveys. On the bright side, as a McCain supporter, I can see that the bad publicity and 'sour grapes' impression coming from the Obama people (as well as the innuendos of the MSM) will in the end benefit McCain, who will get extended publicity on his performance (you know what they say - 'write anything you want about me, as long as you spell my name right, and I'm over the fold')as well as coming out looking like the higher-minded of the two. Still, I'm pissed at his seemingly not honoring of the ground rules.

Comments?

.

George said...

Example: question on when life begins but not on a woman's right to decide about her own body. That is a loaded Pro-choice question and not a fair question at all.


Wow, this Civil Forum must have been really fair, because FOR ONCE, the question was framed as Pro Life (not Pro-choice) rather than the universal, mandatory MSM framing in Pro-choice terms. Sorry Fred. Rarely, very rarely when the MSM isn't in total control, the questions are framed the other way instead of the way you prefer.

That's called balance.

Beth said...

I daresay something inside you is tugging at you that HE and not the other guy was the one doing the real misleading.

Victoria, I don't mean to be rude when I say that is some cheap, and accordingly poor, psychoanalysis. How very New Age of you to take a factual critique -- McCain was not shielded from hearing the questions, as stated by the moderator, i.e., viewers were misled as to the format, or to its being followed -- and turn it into an analysis of "well, you're just projecting."

fred said...

I have no issue with being pro life but a question that asks when conception begins ought also (it deals with abortion) ask about a woman's rights. Besides: did McCain break his oath about a cone of silence. Seems he did!
http://www.jedreport.com/2008/08/spokesman-admit.html

Roux said...

Maybe they should be running for Mr Congeniality.....

"What's the perfect date?"

"April 25th, because it's not too hot or cold, maybe a light sweater...."

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Is anyone else impressed by the format of this "forum"?

I was. I think it was much better than the traditional face-to-face sound-bite debates. However, I think we can do much better.

What we need is a blog debate. A set of questions is sent to each canidate. They have to respond by a certain deadline, after which their responses are posted. Then they can each comment on the other's answers. Links to supporting facts would be encouraged. We could even let 3rd party canidates play, since there is no time limit. If you are not interested in the Green Party response, you don't have to read it.

What do we need to do to get this set up?

memomachine said...

Hmmm.

@ Mimi

"Alright, let's get real here."

Ok.

"McCain and Obama both made an agreement with Warren to be in the building before the event began."

Was that the agreement? Really? Being in the *building*?

Alrighty then. Let's do another 50 of these, one right after another. But with different questions and questioneers.

*shrug* Obama is the one that has been refusing to debate, not McCain. Obama is the one that tried to schedule one (1) debate on the Fourth of July, not McCain.

Personally I'm not a McCain supporter. He's made a career out of stabbing conservatives in the back and for that I refuse to vote for him. But complaints like this?

I find as amusing as they are inconsequential.

rastajenk said...

Why do gay rights advocates always mention hospital visitation rights, as if hospitals are some last bastion of evangelical conservative policy? Are there really hospitals that ask visitors if they are the gay lovers of the patient in question, and have the security forces needed to throw them out if they answer Yes? I just can't imagine it in this day and age. Yet it's always listed among the shoulder chips gay advocates have. It seems kind of old-fashioned.

holdfast said...

Short. Declarative. Sentences. McCain uses them. Obama does not. Case closed.

JBlog said...

"I have no way of knowing that McCain did or didn't cheat."

And I have no way of knowing whether you abuse small animals.

But barring any substantiated evidence, I'll assume that you don't.

Accusations require proof. Accusations without proof are slander.

holdfast said...

Given some of Obama's very shady "friends" (Ayers, Dohrn, Rezko...), I think that Beths's new "no evidence that it didn't happen means it probably did" rule could be very useful to Republicans. When Obambi met with Ayers, did they plot further terrorist bombings? Well, there's no proof that they didn't, so I'm just going to have Andrea Mitchel put it out there.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I have no issue with being pro life but a question that asks when conception begins ought also

However, that wasn't the question that was asked. When life or conception begins.

You hear what you want to hear and then go running off at the mouth with talking points. I suggest you re-read the transcript.

Jon said...

Beth:

I'm with you on the false advertising re: the setup, and that it was the McCain campaign's fault- they should have made sure they were there on time, as they certainly would have if this was one of the big three fall debates.

However, even if McCain had been in the "Cone" the entire time, that wouldn't have made him immune to charges of cheating. Theoretically, for example, he could have smuggled in an earpiece- it would be impossible to disprove that possibility, without having taken such extreme measures as conducting a full body search, and videotaping his every movement while he was in the "Cone". Since (I assume) neither of those things were done, even if the rules had been followed we would still have to basically rely on the honor system.

Dave said...

I suspect that Obama's difficulty in answering is due to "pre-censoring". That is, he has to go over, in his mind, what he really believes, then compare it to what he believes he must say, without telling actual lies, that won't offend his audience.

That would also explain why *some* of his speeches sound eloquent -- he's saying what he actually believes without the pre-censoring.

This leads me to believe that he thinks exposing his true beliefs would lead to defeat.

MPH said...

Come on -- he was awful to watch. Boring and tedious.

There is no way he is going to win a general election.

Host with the Most said...

Well, McCain supporters, we should all enjoy this small respite of joy in the "McCain won glow" while we can.

Because today, all the debates and all the Obama imagery will be controlled by the Main Strem media, where any McCain "attack" on Obama will be immediately questioned or countered by the media themselves. And where in any article on McCain, Obama's people will always get the last word.

Seneca the Younger said...

Mimi, I'm pretty certain that I read McCain would be arriving about a half-hour into the Obama time before the debate, several days before. I remember it particularly because I remember thinking "Oh, hell, some moonbat is going to use that to claim McCain cheated if he does well."

Mimi said...

@seneca

Hmmm.

Well, in any case, McCain is going to win. Not saying that based on my preference, but based on the comparison of the Saddleback performances, the candidates generally and the public pulse.

Definitely.

.

Ann Althouse said...

"Even Bill Clinton was classy enough not to leave his wife."

How was it "classy"? Arguably, it's better to face up to what has happened and accept the consequences. The difference may be that Hillary accepted the situation and McCain's first wife didn't. Also, it served Bill Clinton's political ambitions to stay with HC. Maintaining a political alliance with a woman that you intend to betray continually is hardly classy.

Methadras said...

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Methadras,
Help is just a phone call away. I think you've got a case of BDS! (The B is for Barry, of course.)


If I had it, I'd use it. It's not derangement against Mr. Barely. It's in the fact that I see him for what he is, an empty suit. I've said so all along and he proves it daily. The only derangement I see is in people who follow this trumped up puff ball for the lightweight that he is. Your sycophant is showing. You better get that cleared that up. I hear it's really messy.

Funny thing is, if someone came on here and went on an incoherent rant about how John McCain is a near-dead warmongering economically illiterate panderer and adulterer without a clue and in the pockets of lobbyists and oil companies who's playing Rove politics just like Bush......that person would be shut down and attacked faster than you can say "Drill Now!"

Funny thing is, in my case anyway, is that I've never rah-rah'ed John McCain on this blog or any other for that matter. I've solely concentrated my sights on Mr. Barely and his sycophants. I could really care less about John McCain. I'll vote for him, but only because I don't want to see Mr. Barely as president.

Will anyone else call out Methadras...or is his shtick (the right-wing version of downtownlad's or doyle's or, gulp, mine) acceptable?

Schtick? O Rly? Come on, man. Can't you do any better than that. If this schtick of mine is not to your liking then may I suggest you go read Little Miss Sullivans analysis of your hero, Mr. Barely. I'm sure he may offer you more in-depth nuance and histrionics than I could ever provide. Let me say this in a decidely gay way, "How dare you, you bitch!!!" There fell better now?

Methadras said...

Seven Machos said...

I'll call out Methadras, Zach.
Obama is plenty bright.


He may be smart, but he isn't very bright. He's demonstrating that fact daily.

He's just wrong. Althouse is probably right. That particularly craptastic answer he gave probably is a symptom of not saying what he truly believes.

Now why would a so-called 'bright' person not say what he truly believes? So is he lying not only to himself, but to those that he is trying to convince that he is the guy to be president? Will the real Mr. Barely please stand up and will you like any of them anyway?

Look, the fact of the matter is, is that Mr. Barely simply doesn't understand the playing field he is on. His lack of experience shows us this. His lightweight attempt at trying to be all things to all people is showing through and yet people will still give him a pass because he's for hope and change. Whatever that means.

He doesn't know the topics. He doesn't understand the nature of the problems that require solutions. He stumbles in reaching for any answer when not teleprompted or properly scripted. He's a fabrication of the media.

Mr. Barely has (alleged) infidelity to thank for his current position that he finds himself in now. His rise to the top is proof of this when as a state senator he went up against the incumbent Senator and due to the allegations of infidelity, the senator stepped down and the RNC threw Alan Keyes in his direction. One of the most botched things I've ever seen in my life. Mr. Barely, sailed through to a win in the senate and upon finding how frustrating it was to get anything done, decided running for president was better. 150 days later, he's on a name branding campaign for the white house. Skip to two years later and here we are discussing his leap into the national spotlight. More like strobelight.

I don't think Obama is socialist or a communist.

Really? Then what is he? What is his ideological bent then?

I do think, however, that he has been to more than a few cocktail parties with communists and socialists of both the serious and goofy varieties.

Were Sol Alinski or Frank Marshall Davis sipping on vodka with him too. Giving him little bits of advice on how to Bolshvik/Marxist his way to prosperity?

Part of this is because he is a bit of a fellow traveler, just as I am a bit of a fellow traveler when it comes to that nut Ayn Rand. Another part is geopolitical: if you are a leader in Hyde Park, you can't avoid these people.

Which is it again? Socialist, communist, nanny-statist, wealth-redistributionist? Fellow traveler too while you sympathize with Randish sentiments as a moral/ethical equivalence to Mr. Barely's attempt at not seeming to be a leftist while he actually is? Surely you can do better than that. Golf clap for the attempt, resounding thumbs down for the result.

MostlyCarbon said...

", when I see civil, I think: not criminal."

Or from another perspective: Military Engineers build weapons; civil engineers build targets