August 7, 2008

Andrew Sullivan's contest: Make videos about McCain's old age.

Here's the challenge:
It seems to me a legitimate and not too rude a subject to bring up in the campaign.S here's an opening challege: craft an ad that legitimately and fairly raises the issue of whether he is too old to lead; and one less high-minded one that strings clips of gaffes, stumbles, mental blocks in public, and mistakes to make the guy seem like Abraham Simpson on a bad day. put "YouTube ad contest" in the contents line.
Hey, is it legitimate and fair to point to the typos as evidence of Sullivan's competence?

You know, I'm concerned about McCain's age, but I'm also concerned about ageism, and it's a terrible and offensive idea to promote prejudice against the old by connecting the candidate to stereotypes about the old.

Imagine if a blogger who supported McCain as much as Sullivan supports Obama invited readers to edit together video clips that would make Obama look like a racist stereotype of a black person.

And remember: Old people are a huge demographic group, known for — among other things — voting.

There is a very appropriate way to judge whether an individual old person or black person or female person or gay person or disabled person is competent to serve as President: Look at the individual.

96 comments:

Zekarias said...

Ann,

You made a good point. A candidate should be judged by merit and not by color of skin or age albeit there are times when age is relevant just like a severe disability would be. So, Sullivan's idea is out of order. Of course, he is a die hard supporter of Obama as many of Obama's supporters who would prefer to die than hear anything negative about Obama.

Randy said...

John McCain's age and health history are legitimate concerns. Does anyone seriously believe that McCain would run for a second term if elected?

Original Mike said...

I am concerned about both of their ages. Seriously.

Randy asked: Does anyone seriously believe that McCain would run for a second term if elected?

And that matters why?

campy said...

Does anyone seriously believe that McCain would run for a second term if elected?

Why not? I can hear the chanting crowds already: "Eight to ten more years! Eight to ten more years!"

Randy said...

Research Theordore Roosevelt's second term, Original Mike.

Trooper York said...

You mean Woodrow Wilson Randy.

Trooper York said...

If you want to know what Obama's second term will be like, research Flip Wilson's second season.

That's when he started wearing a dress and going to the Church of What's Happening Now.

Just sayn'

Original Mike said...

I think it's destructive that Presidents immediately start running for relection. I think it's desirable that a politician be free to focus on what the country needs rather than their own political career. I actually think that's one in the plus column for McCain.

Randy said...

Mike: I agree it would be nice, but that's not the way they play politics in the capital. McCain is not well-loved within his party. How is he going to maintain control over his congressional party?

Maguro said...

How is he going to maintain control over his congressional party?

Who says he needs to? The Republicans will be in a distinct minority in both houses of Congress may not even be able to filibuster very effectively if they only have 42 or 43 Senate seats.

I actually think McCain will be able to work with the Dems to pass more legislation than Obama would. He can more easily peel away Republican defectors for things like immigration reform while the R congressional delegation would probably be more united under a D president.

I'm not saying it's a good thing, but McCain would probably be able to get more stuff passed than Obama.

P. Rich said...

AA said: Look at the individual.

Yes.

Maturity

McCain 1

Obama 0

Bissage said...

(1) Speaking of Grampa Simpson, in the episode called “The Front”, Lisa and Bart write Itchy and Scratchy scripts and they submit them as if they were written by Grampa Simpson, who is clueless. Eventually, they explain what’s been going on.

LISA: Then we put your name on the script and sent it in.

BART: Didn’t you wonder why you were getting checks for doing absolutely nothing?

GRAMPA: I figured because the Democrats were in power again.

(2) Here come de Judge. Here come de Judge. You better get ready 'cause he come de Judge.

Trooper York said...

Are you trying to say that is how Obama is going to announce his Supreme Court picks?

Man, if Mort was awake he would call you a racist.

Anonymous Blogger said...

The benchmark of maturity is judgment. Perhaps Obama is more mature. His judgment is superior.

AllenS said...

Obama's first term: "Change."
Obama's second term: "I be change."

McCain's first term: "Maturity."
McCain's second term: "Can you speak a little louder."

Palladian said...

"His judgment is superior."

What judgment?

Middle Class Guy said...

"There is a very appropriate way to judge whether an individual old person or black person or female person or gay person or disabled person is competent to serve as President: Look at the individual."


Unfortunately, in our hate filled, ideologic political system it is not the individual who counts, it is how much of the Kool Aid they drank.

BTW, I thought that the so called Liberals were against age discrimination, or discrimination of any type for that matter.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Man, if Mort was awake he would call you a racist.

I was awake. But I was at the courthouse watching appellate oral arguments.

I don't think individualized assessments are racist. I do think that rules purporting to be neutral and yet have pernicious disparate impacts should be reevaluated, whether racist intent is present or not. I also think that one should be skeptical of the sudden creation of neutral rules that serve to impede the progress of those challenging the status quo. There is a difference between proposing a fair and orderly system and locking in social inequality by intentionally retarding social progress. If neutral rules bias outcomes toward one select group of citizens, perhaps we should be skeptical of their neutrality.

In any event, one's life story is a part of who he is. So an individualized assessment would take account of race. There are individuals who are racial minorities. We should not presume that there is only one correct way to be an individual.

"His judgment is superior."

What judgment?


I consider statements like this to be racist. The notion that Barack Obama lacks any judgment whatsoever is so ridiculous and at odds with reality that it must be encoded racism.

Trooper York said...

I tell you one thing. I think BO's judgement in women is pretty good. Say what you want about Michelle, she is a strong and fiesty woman and it takes someone with balls to pick someone like that and make a good life together. Just sayn'

XWL said...

Well, I guess it would be alright to make up an Andrew Sullivan contest as well.

Something about how his somewhat changeable views on subjects are 'typical' of the flighty behavior of flamboyantly gay men (even though, he himself isn't particularly flamboyant, but boy, is he ever loving flighty from an intellectual standpoint).

Seems to me it'd be about equivalent to his contest against McCain.

And I'd say something about Presumptive Democratic Presidential Nominee Barack Obama, but that'd be racist.

(now saying anything about him, positive or negative, is automatically racist)

AJ Lynch said...

Sullivan is so clueless. No one calls Abe Simpson Abraham.

Randy said...

"His judgment is superior."

What judgment?

I consider statements like this to be racist. The notion that Barack Obama lacks any judgment whatsoever is so ridiculous and at odds with reality that it must be encoded racism.


Based on the partisan Democratic and Republican comments I've read over the years, I believe you'd have a hard time proving that. Many people have written precisely the same thing over and over about the other party's candidates.

rcocean said...

Mort,

Poster child for "Stuff White People Like".

Mortimer Brezny said...

Based on the partisan Democratic and Republican comments I've read over the years, I believe you'd have a hard time proving that.

So what? You can't prove who deposited the fart that disrupted your meal, but you sure as sulphur can smell it.

AJ Lynch said...

Bissage:

"cause the Dems were in office again."

LOL

P. Rich said...

What does Barack Obama really think about affirmative action?

Barack Obama: "whether it's Native Americans or African-American issues or reparations, the most important thing for the U.S. government to do is not just offer words, but offer deeds."

Could that be a, er, um, clue?

anonymous blogger

May the fleas of a thousand camels infest your jockey shorts, or thong panties, or whatever. Perhaps then you will attain much-needed enlightenment.

Randy said...

Well, Mortimer, here's hoping the appellate caes you listened to did not involve percentages, conversion of those percentages to large numbers, or facts at variance with your personal view of the world.

Revenant said...

Doing this sort of thing to McCain seems entirely fair. Assembling a video made up of his gaffes and misstatements is a good political use of the YouTube community.

The important thing to keep in mind is that you shouldn't make a video of Obama looking inarticulate. That would be racist.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Well, Mortimer, here's hoping the appellate caes you listened to did not involve percentages, conversion of those percentages to large numbers, or facts at variance with your personal view of the world.

I'm not sure what your problem is, but 75 million people is approximately a quarter of the population. In a poll with a 3 point margin of error, 22% could in fact be 25%. I assumed the best case scenario (or worst case, depending on your position) for the argument that was under discussion. You, apparently, need to learn how to read a poll.

As for facts at variance with my view of the world, my point was we don't know when someone's intent in racist. I think it is fair to infer as much when excessive hostility is targeting a racial minority and there is no other plausible reason for it. The conclusion that inference yields may not correspond to the actual state of affairs, but it nonetheless is a valid inference. A rebuttable presumption that the only person to walk by when the foul odor began to circulate is the one who farted, I think, is a valid rule.

jasperjava said...

P.Rich shows his lack of maturity in his last comment. This puts him in a difficult position to judge the maturity of others.

McCain is the immature one, for comparing Obama to Paris Hilton and Britney Spears. His immature tire gauge stunt was pathetic as well.

He comes off as a whining baby, crying because he isn't as popular as Obama. Sad, really. A desperate cry for attention.

Mortimer Brezny said...

The important thing to keep in mind is that you shouldn't make a video of Obama looking inarticulate. That would be racist.

Well. It might be. After all, Obama isn't inarticulate. So the question would be, what's the intent behind the video? I would think that when faced with an articulate opponent, you simply find another avenue of attack, rather than clipping his words together in ways that turn him into a stereotype of some kind.

On the other hand, McCain actually does forget questions and pause for shockingly long periods of time. No ageist trick editing required. The notion that McCain is suffering from a double-standard because he is an old white male is about the most ridiculous thing I have ever read on this or any blog.

Kev said...

There is a very appropriate way to judge whether an individual old person or black person or female person or gay person or disabled person is competent to serve as President: Look at the individual.

Well said. And I think this should be the case whenever we're judging people, whether in elections or in everyday life--as individuals, not as members of groups. Period.

reader_iam said...

No, no. There are no individuals in politics. Only groups.

Mortimer Brezny said...

And I think this should be the case whenever we're judging people, whether in elections or in everyday life--as individuals, not as members of groups. Period.

Apparently, someone doesn't believe in the First Amendment's right of association.

mtrobertsattorney said...

It is one thing to argue that since McCain is 72 years old, it must follow that his mental faculties and judgment are defective. This is an example of "ageism".

But is quite another thing to argue that given statements that McCain has made and the manner in which he has made them, it may well be that he is not playing with a full deck. Why is it off-limits to argue that given this possibility (or probability), together with McCain's well-documented intemperate outbursts, there are legitimate questions about his competence and judgment?

AJ Lynch said...

"He comes off as a whining baby, crying because he isn't as popular as Obama. Sad, really. A desperate cry for attention."

Surely you recall how SNL made fun of the MSM's infatuation with Obama at the expense of Hillary! Hillary gained traction when she and others pointed it out. That is what McCain and others are doing.

Revenant said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mortimer Brezny said...

When the teleprompter's plugged in. :)

He hasn't been inarticulate in sit down debates or when extemporaneously addressing editorial boards of newspapers before streaming web cameras.

Revenant said...

Well. It might be. After all, Obama isn't inarticulate.

When the teleprompter's plugged in. :)

On the other hand, McCain actually does forget questions and pause for shockingly long periods of time.

And Obama forgets how many states there are and claims to be on Senate committees he's not on. A fellow could have a lot of fun making a video out of all the times Obama's been totally out of touch with reality.

But of course, that would be racist.

Revenant said...

He hasn't been inarticulate in sit down debates or when extemporaneously addressing editorial boards of newspapers before streaming web cameras.

Sure he has. When not working from a script he starts babbling like an idiot. He performed atrociously in the debates with Hillary and Edwards.

But I don't know why you're arguing with me. We both agree that it would be racist to make a video suggesting bad things about Obama.

Mortimer Brezny said...

And Obama forgets how many states there are and claims to be on Senate committees he's not on. A fellow could have a lot of fun making a video out of all the times Obama's been totally out of touch with reality.

This would be a rather silly video. If you add in Puerto Rico, Guam, Democrats Abroad, the Virgin Islands, the District of Columbia, and states with caucuses and primaries, I think you have 57 contests of which the primary season was comprised.

That video would also fail to strike very deep. Obama, unlike John McCain, had to battle Hillary Clinton for a long period of time in a sleep deprived state. John McCain has run a relaxed campaign featuring ample vacation time and full nights of rest. Yet McCain has far more problems with mental acuity than Obama does, none of which can be attributed to sleep deprivation or exhaustion.

In any event, if, in light of these facts, one still sought to peddle the notion -- akin to what one might read on Stormfront message boards -- that a Harvard Law grad lacked a basic knowledge of geography, that indeed might be racist if the target were a racial minority and there was no other plausible explanation for the excessive hostility and ready acceptance of the notion that the target was mentally retarded.

Sure he has. When not working from a script he starts babbling like an idiot.

I don't think anyone but people who gather in white robes agrees with you. Perhaps members of the John Birch society....

Mortimer Brezny said...

We both agree that it would be racist to make a video suggesting bad things about Obama.

Neither one of us thinks that any video critical of Obama is of necessity a racist video. You know that. So does anyone else reading this thread.

Revenant said...

This would be a rather silly video. If you add in Puerto Rico, Guam, Democrats Abroad, the Virgin Islands, the District of Columbia, and states with caucuses and primaries, I think you have 57 contests of which the primary season was comprised.

You might want to rethink the whole "Obama didn't miscount, he just thinks Guam is a state" approach there Morty.

Besides, how does adding five locations to the fifty "states with caucuses and primaries" get you to 57? The more intelligent explanation would be that he started to say "fifty", realized he had only been to 47, and mangled the statement as "57". The bigger mystery is why he claimed to be on the banking committee. It doesn't even make much sense as a lie, since he was speaking in public and should have known he'd get fact-checked.

That video would also fail to strike very deep. Obama, unlike John McCain, had to battle Hillary Clinton for a long period of time in a sleep deprived state.

So did Hillary. She managed not to come across like a stunned rabbit when asked unexpected questions. So did McCain, back when he was still in a tight race with the other Republicans.

In any event, if, in light of these facts, one still sought to peddle the notion -- akin to what one might read on Stormfront message boards -- that a Harvard Law grad lacked a basic knowledge of geography

Huh. Democrats have spent the last eight years saying that Bush is an uneducated idiot despite having degrees from two Ivy League schools. It never occurred to me that this might be evidence you're all a bunch of Nazis. Thanks for pointing that out, Mort. All this time I'd just written it off as politics as usual, but it turns out it is evidence of profound racial bias.

Revenant said...

Neither one of us thinks that any video critical of Obama is of necessity a racist video. You know that. So does anyone else reading this thread.

I'm pretty sure most of the people reading this thread think you'll find any criticism of Obama to be racist. That's what you've done so far, after all. You're pretty much "the boy who cried racism" where Obama's concerned.

I guess if someone made a video about Obama along the lines of "Obama isn't perfect... sometimes he cares too much." you might not criticize it for being racist. If Democrats made it, anyway.

Mortimer Brezny said...

The bigger mystery is why [Obama] claimed to be on the banking committee.

Obama never claimed to be on the Banking Committee. You are lying.

You might want to rethink the whole "Obama didn't miscount, he just thinks Guam is a state" approach there Morty.

I would think sleep deprivation would be a rather easy explanation for calling every contest a state, given that most of the contests are held in states. Wisconsin and Texas had both primaries and caucuses, so 55 + 2 = 57. Your 47 states becomes 57 states explanation is fine as well; the point is that it doesn't make much sense to argue he's mentally retarded or lacking in intelligence because he made an error while sleep deprived and Obama's few errors while sleep-deprived do not excuse John McCain's many more egregious cognitive errors and interminable pauses while well-rested and relaxed.

I'm pretty sure most of the people reading this thread think you'll find any criticism of Obama to be racist. That's what you've done so far, after all. You're pretty much "the boy who cried racism" where Obama's concerned.

I'm not sure where this comes from. I believe I called one person here a racist because he used the n-word and then denied that he'd used it, and suggested that another had no coherent argument for opposing the original mission of the Commission on Civil Rights, which I found suspect. But none of those circumstances had anything to do with Obama.

Democrats have spent the last eight years saying that Bush is an uneducated idiot despite having degrees from two Ivy League schools. It never occurred to me that this might be evidence you're all a bunch of Nazis.

Given that I have defended Bush's intelligence -- and taken inordinate grief for it both at work and in my personal life, you can go fuck yourself. I argued all throughout 2003 that Bush was smarter than John Kerry, and I was vindicated when their respective IQ tests came out. Indeed, I said numerous times, perhaps even wrote on this blog, that ridiculing Bush's mode of speech was unfair, because dyslexia runs in his family and his father -- no dummy -- made very similar speech pattern errors. I don't think mocking a hereditary disability is right, and I said so at the time. You are in no position to criticize me for not taking the heat to hateful liberals, because I do it all the time.

She managed not to come across like a stunned rabbit when asked unexpected questions. So did McCain, back when he was still in a tight race with the other Republicans.

That's quite silly. Hillary Clinton comes across as robotic and delivers lines cleanly even when she is caught off-guard by the question because she has memorized so many answers to every anticipated question that she has paragraphs she can simply string together into the versimilitude of a coherent answer even if it is entirely nonresponse to the question actually asked. Everyone knows that. More than half of what issues from her mouth is garbage.

As for John McCain, almost all of the debates were cattle-car affairs. He neither had to go through as long a debate season in a seleep-deprived state, nor did he have to do as many one-on-one debates, nor did he have to do any debates that centered on him in a negative light. The whole point of my previous statements was that McCain has been able to kick up his feet and endure a low pressure campaign, so the fact that he has produced just a smany if not more gaffes of worse severity reflects poorly on McCain and well on Obama, not the other way around.

As for Obama, I'm not sure how old you are, but if you go back and watch press conferences with JFK, he pauses and ponders and responds haltingly, and the press and the public regarded that as authentic and refreshing. If you're so intent on twisting every positive into a negative, then perhaps that means JFK was "stunned like a rabbit," but, again, one might wonder why you are so incredibly hostile and hateful toward Obama, when you are free not to vote for him and to disagree with his policy proposals without living in a delusional reality where he is the anti-Christ.

Michael McNeil said...

(Sorry for posting this first on another thread….)

Since Obama's mother died of cancer at age 52 (only a bit more than a half decade older than Barack Obama is right now), whereas McCain's mom is still vigorously alive today at age 96 — and since cancer is a disease where one's genetic heritage (inherited from one's parents) is an extremely important aspect of one's own susceptibility to the disease — why isn't Obama's health an important question in this campaign?

Mortimer Brezny said...

Why isn't Obama's health an important question in this campaign?

Isn't it? We already know how often he exercises, how skinny he is, what he eats, and how often he eats. We haven't spent nearly as much time talking about McCain's health as much as we do Obama's.

Oh, and John McCain has had skin cancer already. Nice try.

Michael McNeil said...

Skin cancer is typically not a serious problem, caused by sunlight not genetics — while precisely where has Obama's medical history and prognosis been revealed, much less questioned and discussed in detail?

Baron Zemo said...

"Oh, and John McCain has had skin cancer already"

You have already made it clear that you hold his lack of melanin against him my dear fellow, no need to repeat yourself.

Mortimer Brezny said...

You have already made it clear that you hold his lack of melanin against him my dear fellow, no need to repeat yourself.

John McCain actually had malignant skin cancer.

I voted for Bush. So much for the "against white male Republicans" theory.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Skin cancer is typically not a serious problem, caused by sunlight not genetics

Yes, but McCain's was malignant and serious enough that he and his wife were scared. McCain's melanoma was atypical.

XWL said...

Why isn't Obama's health an important question in this campaign?

Remember the account of his Berlin workout.

I have concerns about his lack of sweating, personally.

Anhidrosis is potentially a sign of serious medical problems.

jeff said...

"Obama never claimed to be on the Banking Committee. You are lying."

"Just this past week, we passed out of the out of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee - which is my committee - a bill to call for divestment from Iran as way of ratcheting up the pressure to ensure that they don't obtain a nuclear weapon,"

Yeah, Revenant, where do you get off lying about him claiming to be on the banking committee. As you can see, what he ACTUALLY said was it was his committee. As an American, are they not all of our committee's? Sheesh, always twisting the words. Next thing you know you will be accusing him of tossing his grandmother under the bus. Bastards.

P. Rich said...

jasperjava

Today's new vocabulary word for you: "Humor". Oh, wait. Liberal. Impossible concept. Sorry, boy-girl-it. Back to your serious pretty-pink teething ring.

Mortimer Brezny said...

As you can see, what he ACTUALLY said was it was his committee. As an American, are they not all of our committee's? Sheesh, always twisting the words.

This was one of the sleep deprivation moments I was referring to. Obama misspoke. It was his bill, not his committee. The bill that passed out of the Banking Committee he had co-authored.

As I said, Obama never claimed he was on the Banking Committee. He misspoke about a bill he authored that passed out of the Banking Committee because he was sleep-deprived. But, you probably knew that.

Revenant said...

Obama never claimed to be on the Banking Committee. You are lying.

Alas, I am not. "Please forgive my rudeness" works as an apology, just in case you were at a loss for words.

it doesn't make much sense to argue he's mentally retarded or lacking in intelligence

It makes no sense to argue that either McCain or Obama is mentally deficient. This is entirely about perception. Sullivan doesn't think McCain is too old to be President, either.

because he made an error while sleep deprived

Its a good thing he won't be sleep-deprived as President. Oh, wait.

Besides, the "he was sleep deprived because of his tough campaign against Hillary" doesn't explain all the blunders he made on his European Ego Tour. Maybe he got tired then too, but he didn't do anything he wouldn't have to do again as President.

I'm not sure where this comes from.

That just makes it funnier.

she has memorized so many answers to every anticipated question that she has paragraphs she can simply string together into the versimilitude of a coherent answer even if it is entirely nonresponse to the question actually asked. Everyone knows that.

Everybody might know it, but it is how experienced politicians are able to respond to questions without looking clueless. This goes back to Obama's lack of serious experience, really. The race for President is the first difficult campaign he's run, and the first one where he's had to deal with an ideologically diverse electorate. His instinctive rhetoric is still aimed at appealing to narrow groups, which is why one of his favorite rhetorical tricks is to pretend the people who disagree with his position don't actually exist. That works when you're running in a deeply-blue state. When trying to appeal to a broader range of people, though, you need to study and memorize the proper responses.

More than half of what issues from her mouth is garbage.

This isn't true of Obama? Heh.

if you go back and watch press conferences with JFK, he pauses and ponders and responds haltingly, and the press and the public regarded that as authentic and refreshing. If you're so intent on twisting every positive into a negative

You've gotten confused. You're the one bashing McCain for his halting speech. I'm the one who understands that's often a side effect of thinking.

Revenant said...

This was one of the sleep deprivation moments I was referring to.

Which is funny, because he beat Hillary a long time ago. You were saying that McCain wasn't tired because the Republican race ended early. So what's Obama's problem?

Oh, what's that? You say that the campaign trail is tiring even if you've got the nomination wrapped up? Fascinating. :)

Michael McNeil said...

According to this article from two months ago in Time, resulting from an exhaustive look through McCain's more than 1,000-page medical record, which was recently released in all its excruciating detail; as his personal physician put it, “We can find nothing in his history that would preclude him from serving as president of the United States with vigor.”

Vigor, as the piece notes, such “As he has criss-crossed the country for the past year, routinely putting in 16-hour days on the campaign trail, the 71-year-old John McCain has shown the physical endurance of a much younger man.” Moreover, “A stress test of the heart earlier this year showed McCain to have the cardiovascular health of a younger man.”

As for the skin cancer, as it says, “An examination of his skin in February, which he repeats every few months, discovered on his leg a non-invasive form of skin cancer, called a squamous cell carcinoma, which was "destroyed" earlier this month using liquid nitrogen. It was the fifth incidence of skin cancer for McCain. Only one of those cancers, a 2000 invasive melanoma on his left temple, was considered seriously life threatening. That cancer was removed in 2000, leaving a scar on his face. Connolly said that the chance of that cancer's recurrence was thought to be less than 10%, since so much time has passed without any new problems.”

Mortimer Brezny said...

It makes no sense to argue that either McCain or Obama is mentally deficient.

Then why do you keep arguing that Obama is mentally deficient?

Maybe he got tired then too, but he didn't do anything he wouldn't have to do again as President.

I don't recall any blunders from Obama's foreign trip, but I do remember reporters remarking on cable news how gaffe free and flawless his trip was.

Everybody might know it, but it is how experienced politicians are able to respond to questions without looking clueless.

Hillary lost. And she ran an inept campaign. So much for her experience. In any event, she does look clueless, if you know anything about politics. Only idiots are fooled by her meandering garbage answers, probably because the press is complicit in covering up her mistakes. Her heroism in Tuzla was known to be false for weeks before the press decided to run with the story of her momentary psychosis.

When trying to appeal to a broader range of people, though, you need to study and memorize the proper responses.

Since Obama is more articulate than McCain, is currently appealing to a broader range of voters than McCain, leading in more states than McCain, and memorizes his lines better than McCain, this criticism is about as valid as saying,"Your shit is brown."

You're the one bashing McCain for his halting speech. I'm the one who understands that's often a side effect of thinking.

I'm not bashing McCain for his halting speech. I'm saying we shouldn't have a President who is too forgetful to handle a simple press conference because he can't recollect the question he was just asked.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Which is funny, because he beat Hillary a long time ago. You were saying that McCain wasn't tired because the Republican race ended early. So what's Obama's problem?

This is totally illogical.

Bissage said...

Anhidrosis is potentially a sign of serious medical problems.

I once had a girlfriend who was a marathon runner and she said that’s why she never sweats.

I thought that was crazy but it turned out I never, ever saw her sweat.

But then again . . . maybe it was more that my technique needed some serious improvement.

*looks off wistfully into the distance*

chickenlittle said...

There's a simple litmus test this fall: Is your candidate for or opposed to reparations?

Your money or their money-which will it be?

Mortimer Brezny said...

“We can find nothing in his history that would preclude him from serving as president of the United States with vigor.”

The only reason I brough up McCain's cancer is that you raised the issue of cancer. If you're going to bring up cancer, that McCain has already had cancer is relevant, whether it precludes him from serving or not.

As for his forgetfulness, I wonder if he submitted to an extensive brainscan.

jeff said...

"As I said, Obama never claimed he was on the Banking Committee. He misspoke about a bill he authored that passed out of the Banking Committee because he was sleep-deprived. But, you probably knew that."

So when he said that it was his committee he really didn't say it was his committee because (reading his mind) you say he actually meant to say it was his bill. No, I can honestly say I did not know that. If you don't mind, I think I will borrow your little theory and apply it to my life. Hey Credit card guys....I was sleep deprived when I charged the card up, I didn't mean to do it, so I wont pay the bill. Hey boss, about me calling you all those names and vandalizing your car...sleep deprived. Didn't mean to do any of it. Hey buddy, I never would have slept with your wife, but I was sleep deprived. Not my fault.
Nice. Seems to work in any situation. So what's the plan to make sure he gets his 8 hours every 24 of sleep? While I now would perfectly understand him launching on Russia while intending to change the channel of his tv, I am not sure Russia would.

jeff said...

"Since Obama is more articulate than McCain," (when he isn't sleep deprived)...

There you go. Might want to add that in there.

Mortimer Brezny said...

So when he said that it was his committee he really didn't say it was his committee because (reading his mind) you say he actually meant to say it was his bill. No, I can honestly say I did not know that.

The CNN story that I linked to has a same-day update from Obama's Senate office, noting that he misspoke. In other words, this story was debunked as soon as it hit the press. Yet here you are peddling the inaccurate version of the story. I think you know that you are lying, because the story was modified on the same day it came out.

Bissage said...

You know what? I like it here at Althouse and all. But I swear I find it totally perplexing that so many obviously intelligent, educated, well-read people invest so much time and effort into squabbling over pointless ephemera.

The best I can figure is some people have yet to come to grips with the reality that they’re not very likable.

Mortimer Brezny said...

"Since Obama is more articulate than McCain," (when he isn't sleep deprived)...

There you go. Might want to add that in there.


I think everyone and their mother is more articulate than McCain, under any circumstances.

Mortimer Brezny said...

The best I can figure is some people have yet to come to grips with the reality that they’re not very likable.

Someone is jealous for not being included in the argument.

Baron Zemo said...

I believe my dear Bissage, you have been served.

Bissage said...

Someone is jealous for not being included in the argument.

Nope.

I like you best when you're funny.

Life is short.

Bissage said...

BZ, Mort knows I try not to go there.

Ha!

Sofa King said...

The CNN story that I linked to has a same-day update from Obama's Senate office, noting that he misspoke. In other words, this story was debunked as soon as it hit the press.

No, it was the opposite of "debunked," it was "confirmed." Look, the claim was made that Obama said something wrong. He did. He said it. He didn't mean it, probably, but that doesn't mean he didn't say it. That's what makes it a gaffe.

Revenant said...

why do you keep arguing that Obama is mentally deficient?

I've been arguing that Obama has the same "mental problems" as McCain.

I don't recall any blunders from Obama's foreign trip

"Let me be absolutely clear: Israel is a strong friend of Israel's".

"Just this past week, we passed out of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, which is my committee, a bill to call for divestment from Iran"

"the objective of this trip was to have substantive discussions with people like President Karzai or Prime Minister Maliki or President Sarkozy or others who I expect to be dealing with over the next eight to 10 years."

It is particularly amusing that you "couldn't recall" the second one, given that we've been discussing it today.

but I do remember reporters remarking on cable news how gaffe free and flawless his trip was.

You mean the tame press corps he brought along with him? Imagine that. Maybe they were distracted by the tingle in their legs. Come on, if Bush had said that Israel was a friend of Israel or implied he'd be president until 2010 do you think the press would have masturbated themselves raw over how "flawless" he was? Of course not.

Hillary lost. And she ran an inept campaign.

First of all, Hillary lost because blacks voted along racial lines more strongly than whites did. Secondly, the fact that she lost doesn't make her a better speaker. Gore and Kerry both lost to Bush, after all, and Bush is the worst public speaker we've had in the Oval Office in our lifetimes.

Only idiots are fooled by her meandering garbage answers

The difference is that Clinton offers a canned response containing pablum and garbage. Obama stops, thinks, repeats himself a few times, and still can't come up with anything but pablum and garbage -- it just doesn't sound as coherent. Obviously only a fool would think that either person is offering a real answer; the difference is that Hillary sounded like a prepared politician who knew how to avoid a question and Obama sounded like it had never occurred to him that someone might ask a question he didn't have a good answer for.

Obama is more articulate than McCain [...] and memorizes his lines better than McCain,

I was already aware of your opinion on these points.

is currently appealing to a broader range of voters than McCain, leading in more states than McCain,

They are statistically tied in the polls and have been for months. McCain leads in 25 states, Obama in 22 (plus DC); three are dead heats. So you're wrong on both points. You were probably confused by the fact that Obama currently has the majority of the swing states.

this criticism is about as valid as saying,"Your shit is brown."

That sounds a bit racist.

Michael McNeil said...

Mortimer Brezny sez:
I would think sleep deprivation would be a rather easy explanation for calling every contest a state, given that most of the contests are held in states. Wisconsin and Texas had both primaries and caucuses, so 55 + 2 = 57. Your 47 states becomes 57 states explanation is fine as well; the point is that it doesn't make much sense to argue he's mentally retarded or lacking in intelligence because he made an error while sleep deprived and Obama's few errors while sleep-deprived do not excuse John McCain's many more egregious cognitive errors and interminable pauses while well-rested and relaxed.

Where do you get that McCain's “well-rested and relaxed”? As that Time article pointed out, and many another observer has noted, McCain's been running a mararthon road schedule that would exhaust a far younger man. So, when Obama makes a gaffe, it's because he's “sleep deprived,” but when McCain makes a misstatement (such as substituting a known related word for the correct one — like we all do if you're honest), it's got to be because he's old, and (by implication) senile and demented? Hogwash.

scinfinity said...

Is the new logic that Hillary's ad about Barack being unable to deal with a crisis at 3 in the morning was actually right?

Randy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Randy said...

Mortimer, the eligible voting age population is probably around 210,000,000. You are ascribing opinions to every human being in the United States no matter what age. That's disingeuous. The poll was taken of voters, not residents: Only 22% Say McCain Ad Racist, But Over Half (53%) See Obama Dollar-bill Comment That Way

MadisonMan said...

whereas McCain's mom is still vigorously alive today at age 96

I do believe McCain inherited some gene stock from his long-dead Father.

Richard said...

I'm surprised Andrew Sullivan has room in his head for ageism. Normally, for Andrew, it's all about sex. I've never ever seen a man so obsessed about sex as Andy.

veni vidi vici said...

"Why isn't Obama's health an important question in this campaign?

Isn't it? We already know how often he exercises, how skinny he is, what he eats, and how often he eats. We haven't spent nearly as much time talking about McCain's health as much as we do Obama's.

Oh, and John McCain has had skin cancer already. Nice try."

McCain has released his medical records.
Obama has not.

Nice try.

Nichevo said...

On the sleep deprivation: McCain is in his seventies. BO is what, 47? And does Robobama workouts for Bild. What right does he have to act senile?

As for "57 states" and "8 or 10 years," this is why we insist that American Presidents actually be Americans, and have some connection with America.

If you grow up and were schooled in Paris or Jakarta you may have an excuse for not knowing in your bones how many states there are in the Union. If you have no interest in the US government you might possibly not know how long POTUS terms are.

But an American Presidential candidate should have this stuff down. That's like asking what your name is. What this says to me is that he is not really American in any way that matters.

Oh, he may or may not have been born in the US - which of course he could put to rest by producing his US birth certificate like any Mexican anchor baby - but he is not one of US.

I hope this doesn't seem racist - I would say the same of any white Canadian or Briton or Frenchman or Russian.

Being born and raised by tranzi comsymps has a price. For all of her innumerable flaws, vices, etc., I doubt Hillary! would whiff on the number of states in the Union. Yeah, I do think that is a necessary if not sufficient condition for becoming POTUS.

Revenant said...

I do believe McCain inherited some gene stock from his long-dead Father.

Well, long dead, yeah, but he still lived to 70 before dying of a heart attack. Given that McCain's heart is reportedly in excellent shape it would appear that he skipped that bit of his dad's gene pool.

Kev said...

OK, I was away from the computer for a long afternoon/evening of teaching, but I had to respond to this.

First, I said:
"And I think this should be the case whenever we're judging people, whether in elections or in everyday life--as individuals, not as members of groups. Period."

And Mortimer replied:
Apparently, someone doesn't believe in the First Amendment's right of association.

Sorry, you missed my point on this one. I didn't say I have a problem with people being in groups, whether by birth or choice. (Is anyone really against that??) I said I don't think we should judge them as members of groups, but rather by who they are and what they do individually.

This works in several ways: First, it means that people shouldn't be voting for or against someone because of their race/gender/orientation/income/whatever. (As Zekarias said, 82 comments ago, "A candidate should be judged by merit and not by color of skin or age.") Nor should people be judging others by any of these traits--just by who they are as individuals. Identity politics (especially of the gender and racial variety) get in the way of doing serious business.

This is also why polls (at least the kind that don't involve a ballot box) are pretty much useless, aside from their entertainment value (I give them about as much credibility as a horoscope). People behave as individuals, not as members of groups, and if a poll comes out in which neither you nor I participated, it can't possibly be accurate, because our viewpoints aren't represented.

If you disagree with me on this, then tell me: Whom do you allow to speak for you, and which shared trait between the two of you trumps all the other ones that you may not have in common?

Mortimer Brezny said...

Come on, if Bush had said that Israel was a friend of Israel or implied he'd be president until 2010 do you think the press would have masturbated themselves raw over how "flawless" he was? Of course not.

This is irrelevant to our discussion, because I am not someone who faults Bush for minor flaws of public speaking, nor someone who draws nasty conclusions about his character based on them. McCain, on the other hand, worries me, because I saw him on video tape unable to recollect the question he had just been asked. That inability to answer a question was nothing at all like the halting speech that Obama rarely exhibits, nor do I think that anyone who wants to avoid that should become a Clintonian robot. McCain's brain freeze was frightening and it made me question McCain's competence to be President, regardless of what his medical records say. Mine is a legitimate concern, not a slander, and no amount of distortionary harping on Obama's fictional "inexperience" is going to change my mind, nor should it.

Sorry, you missed my point on this one. I didn't say I have a problem with people being in groups, whether by birth or choice. (Is anyone really against that??) I said I don't think we should judge them as members of groups

If your argument is that we should not judge people for their associations, then I suppose we should not care one whit about whether someone joins a terrorist group that is dedicated to the overthrow of our government.

People behave as individuals, not as members of groups, and if a poll comes out in which neither you nor I participated, it can't possibly be accurate, because our viewpoints aren't represented.

People make this argument, but it isn't a very good one. Sampling theory isn't as dense as you imply, and your ignorance of statistics is showing.

As for "57 states" and "8 or 10 years," this is why we insist that American Presidents actually be Americans, and have some connection with America.

Revenant, I think, knows I am just busting his chops when I slyly suggest he might be racist. This comment, however, actually is astounding for its stupidity and its xenophobia.

Where do you get that McCain's “well-rested and relaxed”?

While Obama was battling it out with Hillary, McCain was coasting. He went on vacation numerous times and his own campaign staff called him "well-rested and relaxed". I could go back on RedLasso and find the instances of this that I saw on cable television, but RedLasso has been shut down.

Roger J. said...

As VVV noted above--when Obama releases his MEDICAL RECORDS and not just a note from his doc, then we can assess the state of his health.

Of all of Mortimer's defenses for Obama gaffes, the sleep deprivation defense is the best. I love it. Mort: all people make mistakes; they screw up' don't you think its a bit wierd that you can't just say, Yeah, he screwed up. All you have to do is watch Obamas Chicago presser where he stammered through 8 questions and then closed the conference--His skill appears to be reading the teleprompter.

I am NOT saying that McCain is any better; but I would love to see Obama do the town hall meeting thing with McCain for a head to head comparison. We have two lousy candidates and I just want to who to vote against.

downtownlad said...

Why? John McCain doesn't look at the individual. The old fart has already promised to fire people who work in his administration if he finds out they are gay.

Kev said...

OK, one more round:

I said, "Sorry, you missed my point on this one. I didn't say I have a problem with people being in groups, whether by birth or choice. (Is anyone really against that??) I said I don't think we should judge them as members of groups."

And Mort replied:
If your argument is that we should not judge people for their associations, then I suppose we should not care one whit about whether someone joins a terrorist group that is dedicated to the overthrow of our government.

OK, I see that I need to clarify something here. I was talking about groups into which people are born (race, gender, etc.) or choose to join (religion*, social clubs, professional organizations, etc.). I wasn't really talking about groups that are designed around criminal behavior (gangs, the Mafia, and so on). Once we start talking about behavior, it crosses into a whole different territory; having the right of free association doesn't excuse someone from the liability of criminal acts performed while a member of a group.

I also said: "People behave as individuals, not as members of groups, and if a poll comes out in which neither you nor I participated, it can't possibly be accurate, because our viewpoints aren't represented."

And Mort responded:
People make this argument, but it isn't a very good one. Sampling theory isn't as dense as you imply, and your ignorance of statistics is showing.

That's your opinion, and you're entitled to it. I'm also entitled to mine: I don't buy into the idea that samples can accurately reflect a population. In order to believe that, you have to also believe that people act in groups more than they act as individuals, and I don't believe that at all. (That's one of the two main reasons I abandoned the Ph.D that I started a while back; the other one was that I would have had to put my horn down for a year and hole myself up in the fourth floor of the library doing research. Thanks, but no thanks.)

And Mort, you didn't answer my question: If a poll comes out in which you didn't participate, and you still consider it to be valid, then which person(s) have you allowed to speak for you, and which physical or character trait(s) qualify them to do so?


*I realize that, in some cases, people may consider themselves to be born into a religion, so I guess that could fall into either of the first two groups.

Mortimer Brezny said...

OK, I see that I need to clarify something here. I was talking about groups into which people are born (race, gender, etc.) or choose to join (religion*, social clubs, professional organizations, etc.). I wasn't really talking about groups that are designed around criminal behavior (gangs, the Mafia, and so on). Once we start talking about behavior, it crosses into a whole different territory; having the right of free association doesn't excuse someone from the liability of criminal acts performed while a member of a group.

Now that you have clarified your defectively reasoned argument, there is no reason for me to answer your rhetorical question.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Of all of Mortimer's defenses for Obama gaffes, the sleep deprivation defense is the best. I love it.

That is what Obama himself has said, and it is true that people make more mental errors when they are sleep-deprived.

Revenant said...

That is what Obama himself has said

Well then, it must be true. Only a racist could doubt it.

Kev said...

Now that you have clarified your defectively reasoned argument, there is no reason for me to answer your rhetorical question.

Nah, you just don't have an answer (just as I thought).

Do tell what you find defective about my reasoning, though. Seriously.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Do tell what you find defective about my reasoning, though. Seriously.

I found defective in your reasoning what you felt the need to clarify.

Nah, you just don't have an answer (just as I thought).

Your question is irrelevant in light of your clarification. That you think your question is still relevant in the wake of your argument's modification is proof of your defective reasoning.

Well then, it must be true.

If you want to doubt that a man running a Presidential campaign is sleep-deprived, go ahead, but according to press reports, all modern candidates are, due to the intensity of their schedules.

Kev said...

Your question is irrelevant in light of your clarification. That you think your question is still relevant in the wake of your argument's modification is proof of your defective reasoning.

*sigh* Let me try again:

I don't believe that one should judge people according to group memberships that exist largely apart from behavior (such as being white, black, Hispanic, Asian, straight, gay, handicapped, able-bodied, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, atheist). In these groups, people tend to act more as individuals than as members of those specific groups.

On the other hand, members of groups constructed around specific behaviors, especially antisocial ones (i.e. criminal gangs, the Mafia) often suppress their individuality in favor of group membership, and if this membership leads to specific actions, those committing the actions may be judged accordingly (and I'll concede that, right or wrong, there's some guilt-by-association laid upon others in these groups, whether or not they participated in a specific event).

Please tell me which specific aspect of my argument you find irrelevant. And I'd still like to hear your answer to my question, whether or not you find it relevant (c'mon, play along; who hasn't participated in a survey just for fun?): Who gets to speak for you in a poll in which you don't participate, and what trait(s) qualify them to do so? Age? Race? Income? Gender?

(On the other hand, if you really do believe that "all x people believe y," then we might not have much more to discuss here.)

Nichevo said...

As for "57 states" and "8 or 10 years," this is why we insist that American Presidents actually be Americans, and have some connection with America.

Revenant, I think, knows I am just busting his chops when I slyly suggest he might be racist. This comment, however, actually is astounding for its stupidity and its xenophobia.



Why?

K. said...

Race is not relevant to one's capacity for the job; age is. Unless Obama is a genetic oddity, there's no concern about the onset of Alzheimer's, for example. It's a legitimate question as to whether McCain has the energy for the job. When the self-described foreign policy expert has to be corrected on who the enemy in Iraq is, it's fair to wonder why.

I'm older than Obama and younger than McCain. I'm eligible for membership in AARP. My 80-year old father -- who would make a lot better president than John McCain -- bluntly says that the man is too old for the job, especially given this critical period in American history.