August 21, 2008

It's the new Bloggingheads — with me and Bob Wright!

Here. I'll do some clips soon, but for now, here's the list of topics:
Did McCain cheat at the Saddleback forum? (07:27)
Are Obama and McCain really Christians? (09:10)
Bad vs. evil: a metaphysics primer (16:48)
Time for the Obama camp to panic? (06:13)
Ann disses Obama’s dissing of Clarence Thomas (08:43)
Lack of creativity in BhTV commenters alleged (08:18)
Good title: "Like a Prayer." You can't see it in the segment titles, but we talk about Madonna a lot in the end. We talk about Satan too.

23 comments:

Christy said...

Bad link, but I think most of us know how to get there anyway.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Don't go for second best, Baby.

1jpb said...

I don't know about the link, but going to the source worked.

Ann Althouse said...

Link fixed. Sorry.

Simon said...

A little disappointing to see Bob repeating the painfully dreary talking point that if Justice Thomas isn't asking questions from the bench, therefore he must not be bright enough to be there, or must be disengaged from the court's work.

Simon said...

Well-fielded, by the way.

Simon said...

By the way - I think I've asked this before, but I don't remember seeing an answer and you raise the issue again in this diavlog, so maybe it's worth asking again here.

You've said that you don't think McCain's appointments will be as conservative as he might want supporters to think. And let's stipulate that he doesn't want to appoint a Scalia, or even a Rehnquist; he'd rather appoint a Kennedy or perhaps a Roberts. Ultimately, though, he has to appoint from the pool of available talent; for your point about McCain being more moderate on judicial picks, to hold, intent must meet opportunity. Can you point to some examples of people who are not presently on the Supreme Court that are examples of the kind of person you think McCain will appoint? Do you have in mind someone like Mike McConnell, for example?

michael farris said...

"we talk about Madonna a lot in the end. We talk about Satan too"

So .... you're saying they're different people?

Ann Althouse said...

Note, I put up a lot of short clips from this in separate posts so you can talk about the subjects separately. Use this post to talk about whatever you want.

Christy said...

Your best Bloggingheads to date for my money. You made Bob Wright sound insubstantial. He misinterpreted your political positions?! This suggests he is a checklist liberal and not the thinker I'd deemed him to be.

1jpb said...

Whatever I want?

Well, OK.

I've been looking for someone on the internets, or elsewhere in media, to look at how the candidates answered the questions that we now know weren't a surprise, i.e. the first two questions. Warren has said that these questions were given to both candidates in advance.

As I recall, McCain made a huge effort to pretend that these were really tough and challenging questions. He even makes a funny face while he tries to think of the third person. Now we know that he was being 100%, indisputably, dishonest in his hyped performance. He knew these questions.

There has been plenty of discussion about other possibly fraudulent representations and shenanigans, but this one is totally obvious, and it has been totally missed (as far as I can tell.) Why?

In contrast, BHO doesn't' do this. And, it's interesting that BHO's second answer was so specific and detailed. This was honest, but not politically savvy. Since he had the heads-up I would have thought that his team would have told him to not explicitly say "drugs" and "drank." The canned and generic "youthful indiscretions" would have been more political. And, he could have gone further by talking about the absence of God as a reason for his indiscretions--something along the lines of Bush's redemption story. He left a lot of opportunity (for a stereotypical embellishing/deceitful politician) on the table. Look at McCain's answer to see the vague, political, way to address one's own failings. It's like that debate where Clinton and Edwards list strengths as their weaknesses.

I like it when BHO doesn't do the manipulative thing. But it seems that most folks totally missed this aspect of Saddleback. For example, Althouse on bhtv, on multiple occasions, attempts to read BHO's mind to tell us what BHO really believes and what he really wants to say. But, she's so busy inventing thoughts for BHO that she can't do the math to catch McCain's undeniable manipulations, no mind reading required.

And, BHO did clearly state that he had a heads-up (if I recall correctly, he may have confessed to "cheating," yikes--this guy is definitely not spewing the poll tested words of his staff.) This was the question about Warren's global thing. Warren only told this to BHO ahead of the "debate" because McCain wasn't at the church (in the cone of silence) ahead of the "debate" so Warren couldn't tell him about the global thing.

I think that we must consider that we now know these candidates knew more than was originally thought. That's a real insight--this goes to the question of what people do when they don't think anyone is watching. This is the most important question of character, imho.

blake said...

As I recall, McCain made a huge effort to pretend that these were really tough and challenging questions. He even makes a funny face while he tries to think of the third person. Now we know that he was being 100%, indisputably, dishonest in his hyped performance. He knew these questions.

100%! Indisputably! Dishonest,

Or, it's a tough question and he still hadn't decided on the answer.

I don't have an answer for that question. Do you? To me, it raises all sorts of issues about the nature and quality of wisdom, and how you identify it and contrast it among people you respect.

Or, if you prefer, he's senile and forgot his prepared answers.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Note, I put up a lot of short clips from this in separate posts so you can talk about the subjects separately. Use this post to talk about whatever you want.

Bloggingheads again?!? It's like the Hamburger Helper of the blog today.

1jpb said...

Blake,

His staff has already stated that McCain went through a debate preparation regime on the day of the "debate." His campaign has also acknowledged that the preparations even continued during his time in the green room.

And, really Blake, you're smart enough to know that McCain's answers were preconceived. How do you explain his total BS about seeking advice from John Lewis? It's not true, but it does sound good, as McCain's debate preparation folks must have realized.

Regarding senility, I don't think that he could have come this far if his memory was that bad.

P.S. I can very easily answer that question. It's not suppose to be a situation where you think about what is the politically shrewd thing to say. You simply look at where you actually seek wisdom and advice. Then, you share it.

chickenlittle said...

Bloggingheads again?!? It's like the Hamburger Helper of the blog today.

LOL

Doesn't she know McCain is being asked questions beneath his pay grade

Ben (The Tiger) said...

Re the intro --

We love you, Althouse, but I must admit that I too was really disappointed not to see Mickey back this week.

blake said...

1jpb,

OK, you can answer that question easily. I can't. I still can't. Let me think about it for a few more minutes here.

...

Nope. I've come up with a couple of answers but I think mostly that it's a non-precise question.

Whom do I go to for questions about what? I've got tech friends, for example, that I'd go to for questions about technical things. I know some people who know good wines. I know some wise religious people but I don't know if they're any wiser than I am, or my friends the wine experts.

So, the question is perhaps meant as just a reflection on the person being asked, but you'd be a fool to answer it that way. What we really want to know is, "Who will you look to for wisdom if you're The President?"

And if I'm the President, I'm probably going to want to talk to a former President, or Sec'y of State or something like that.

Anyway, what we can assume is that they prepped for this event and came up with more than three choices, and McCain was deciding which would reflect best on him.

Given the openness of the question, I don't find that dishonest, just smart.

I do remember back in BHO's glory days? When he answered truthfully to the question about his weaknesses while HRC and Edwards-destroyer-of-parties gave BS answers?

Happy times, those. Wouldn't mind seeing that BHO again.

Namazu said...

You missed a segment: Bob tries to go mano a mano with Namazu on the Greenspan bubble.

1jpb said...

Blake said:

"McCain was deciding which would reflect best on him.

Given the openness of the question, I don't find that dishonest, just smart."

Your comment is inconceivable to me.

1) It is, by definition, dishonest to give an answer just because it makes you look good even though it's not true. He has not and will not have John Lewis as one of his top three advisers. And, this was not a flub, because he had calculatingly prepared this answer. He chose to lie to our faces (via the camera lenses.)

2) He flat out deceives us by pretending that he doesn't know the questions. I just rewatched the video. He, undeniably pretends that he's never heard the second question, and he notes how it, like the first question sure are tough. Now, in retrospect we see that he is pulling the wool over our eyes.

It is very rare that we find opportunities to catch politicians blatantly choosing and preparing to deceive us. This situation is even better, because it allows us to see that under the identical circumstances one candidate plays calculates to deceive us, while the other doesn't. It's like a scientific study for character.

WSJ fails the character test.

Now that he's been caught scheming to deceiving us what are we to think about his campaign's explanation that he couldn't be lying about the "cone" because he's a POW. Likewise, with his campaign saying that he lived in a POW camp for 5.5 years as a response to inquiries about his family's many homes. And, how many times did McCain allude to his POW experience during this Saddleback thing?

I believe that it is acceptable to push the POW card really hard, POWs have earned that privilege. But, it would be nice to see a little self restraint from the JSM campaign.

blake said...

1) It is, by definition, dishonest to give an answer just because it makes you look good even though it's not true.

You assume it's not true. I'm saying the question can be answered--truthfully--many different ways.

He has not and will not have John Lewis as one of his top three advisers. And, this was not a flub, because he had calculatingly prepared this answer. He chose to lie to our faces (via the camera lenses.)

Did he say he would? And is it so far-fetched? This is the guy suspected of considering Lieberman as his veep.

2) He flat out deceives us by pretending that he doesn't know the questions. I just rewatched the video. He, undeniably pretends that he's never heard the second question, and he notes how it, like the first question sure are tough. Now, in retrospect we see that he is pulling the wool over our eyes.

I find your interpretation...unlikely. Not that McCain's above it, necessarily, but that this was an attempt to fool people. He had to know that the fact that they knew the questions would come out.

blake said...

WSJ fails the character test.

The Wall Street Journal?

JSM, you mean? Or is this some sort of Bushitler thing?

amba said...

Obama threw Clarence Thomas under the back of the bus.

blake said...

Nice, Amba.