September 13, 2008

That McCain-can't-use-email ad.

Glenn Reynolds is blogging up a storm over it.

Let's watch:



Here's a list of my thoughts on that ad:

1. Obama is trying to do a cute funny ad that will get the kind of attention that McCain's "biggest celebrity" ad got.

2. The ad begins with the can't-use-email mockery but switches to McCain's really serious cluelessness problem: McCain has said he doesn't understand much about economics. These 2 things taken together mainly convey the message: McCain is old. McCain's age is also a serious problem, and Obama is justified in massaging our doubts about it, but there's an odd disproportion between the not being able to use email and not understanding economics.

3. At the end, a third item is thrown in, the usual complaint about tax cuts for the rich and nothing for you, which doesn't really carry on the old clueless guy theme very well. Then, we see McCain arm-in-arm with Bush, and that's a fourth thing thrown in, the old McSame theme, making that ad quite a grab bag. I would have preferred more thematic coherence and artistic taste. It should all have been about what an early 80s relic McCain is. The sympathy for the rich notion is not 80s vintage. And Bush isn't a guy from the 80s. They just couldn't stick to one great idea. I'll bet at one point they had a better ad, and somebody decided they had to throw in a few more things.

4. After trying to make McCain look geezerly and then showing him with that other old guy George Bush, they show Obama standing next to Biden. (And Obama looks like he's helping Biden along.) News flash: Bush was born in 1946, and Biden was born in 1942. Obama voluntarily paired himself with a man who is older than the man he wants to link McCain too. So that screwed up the old-man theme.

5. As Glenn Reynolds and many others have noted, mocking McCain over email draws attention to McCain's war injuries and might upset lots of older voters who don't feel at ease using computers. I'm not so sure this makes the ad completely boneheaded. You know, plenty of old people recognize their own limitations and see that as a reason to doubt the capacity of other old people. Old people are not just a bunch of vain cranks who get pissed off if anyone ever dares to impugn old people. Some old people admire youthful vigor and flexibility.

120 comments:

Prosecutorial Indiscretion said...

This ad was a huge mistake, but the furor over it obscured the single dumbest statement of Obama's candidacy.

After literally years of demanding that people not question his patriotism, claiming that he would never question anyone's patriotism, and decrying the negative effect raising the issue of patriotism had on political campaigns, Obama said "So, when American workers hear John McCain talking about putting 'Country First,' it’s fair to ask –- which country?"

Seriously? I'm sure the McCain campaign would love nothing more - literally - than to spend the next two months comparing and contrasting how the candidates have demonstrated their commitment to America. If the campaign should pick up on this, or if it should get media circulation beyond a couple mentions on Political Punch and a Politico blog, it will haunt Obama for the remainder of his descent into Kerryland.

Peter V. Bella said...

In a world where events happen fast, we need a president who can respond to them with swiftness and alacrity. We need a president with athletic agility who can be in the right place at the right time and use the latest technology to defend threats against our country.

John McCain cannot tie his shoes. He cannot use a computer. John McCain cannot even perform presedential ceremonial duties like throwing out the first pitch at baseball games.

Does America really want a cripple as President of the United States during these troubled times?

Barak Obama can type. Barak Obama can play basketball. Barak Obama can email you. Barak Obama can tie his own shoes and put his own clothes on all by himself.

Barak Obama is qualified to be president and ready to lead on day one.



I’m Barak Obama and I approved this message.

Michael_H said...

Have the adults who were running the Obama campaign earlier this summer all left for other opportunities?

It is increasingly evident that those presently running the Obama campaign are neo-adults whose every idea starts with the phrase "wouldn't it be cool if....", and ends with an ad, speech, phrase or backdrop that makes their look candidate evermore unqualified.

It's as if Carl Rove opened a management recruitment company that placed 'talent' in the Obama campaign staff.

2yellowdogs said...

"Does America really want a cripple as President of the United States during these troubled times?"

Yeah, you're right, what were we thinking with that whole FDR thing?

yashu said...

Re mainstream media, I find it interesting to compare the difference in reporting, tone, rhetorical construction-- not to mention investigative rigor-- in these two NY Times reports on respective Obama & McCain ads. I don't particularly like either ad. I do think Obama's is by far the bigger blunder (cf. Instapundit's rundown)-- given the fact that McCain can't email (i.e. type) *because of his war injuries*, and that it's been well reported (even by the NY Times) in years past that McCain's campaigns have been pioneers in web-savviness. So, Obama's ad is arguably offensive/insulting-- in any case it's certainly false, i.e. seriously misleading (it's hard to believe they could've been this clueless). But what I'm more interested in is the rhetorical difference between the NY Times analyses. (Even beyond the glaring fact that the NY Times hasn't noticed the inaccuracy/blunder of the Obama ad. Yeah, I'm sure they looked hard.)

Obama vs. McCain: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/13/us/politics/13oadbox.html

McCain vs. Obama: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/13/us/politics/13madbox.html

I'll just quote the last paragraph of each. Analysis of Obama's ad against McCain:

SCORECARD The overriding message of this advertisement is that Mr. McCain — who is 72, though the commercial never mentions that — is out of touch and out of date. The Obama campaign says the intention is to show how long Mr. McCain has served in Washington, but it also suggests that he may not be equipped to handle today’s fast-moving problems. By linking him to two Bush presidents, the advertisement tries to deflate the message that McCain would be a candidate of change. But will Mr. Obama attract older voters with this message?

Analysis of McCain's ad against Obama:

SCORECARD The advertisement is the latest in a number that resort to a dubious disregard for the facts. The nonpartisan political analysis group Factcheck.org has already criticized “Disrespectful” as “particularly egregious,” saying that it “goes down new paths of deception,” and is “peddling false quotes.” Even the title is troublesome. “Disrespectful” is one of those words that is loaded with racial and class connotations that many people consider offensive.

Sloanasaurus said...

The ad is a complete lie. McCain uses computers a lot as has been previously documented. Moreover he was Chair of the telecommunications comittee and knows a lot more about technology than Obama, the commmunity organizer, will ever hope to know.

The ad mocks McCain's war injuries. In the lipstick on the pig issue, the Obama line was i didn't mean to call Gov. Palin a pig. Here we will hear the same thing. "I didn't mean to mock Mccain's disability.

How many more "i didn't mean its" will it take.

A theme is coming out about Obama - that he is a cruel person.

Peter V. Bella said...

It's as if Carl Rove opened a management recruitment company that placed 'talent' in the Obama campaign staff.

Worse. One name. A name that draws respect and fear in Democrats. A name that is associated with vicious ruthlessness. A man who is respected to his face and feared and reviled behind his back.

Rahm Emanuel. He is the man who is Obama's new brain. He is a man who will stop at nothing to win. No trick is too dirty, no smear is to evil, and no tactic is too low. Obama is a product of the corrupt Chicago Machine and so is Emanuel. Emanuel took Chicago Style politics to the nth degree. He is ruthless, vicious, amoral, and evil.

Karl Rove is a saint compared to the devil Rahm Emanuel.

D said...

The ad, and the ignorance of McCain's physical issues, only point out the fact - again - that Barry and his crew are not ready for prime-time.

All I see is Barry in a boat spinning in circles as his quest for power goes down the drain.

Paul Zrimsek said...

McCain has said he doesn't understand much about economics. These 2 things taken together mainly convey the message: McCain is old.

Say what? E-mail is newfangled; economics has been around a while.

garage mahal said...

POW!

Peter V. Bella said...

Hunting season is right around the corner. Who ever came up with the moose shooter meme is going to alienate millions of hunters from both parties.

It is moose hunting, not moose shooting. Hunters are very touchy about terminology in light of the constant bad rap they get from the anti-hunting nuts.

Sloanasaurus said...

McCain understands that Obama's tax increase on small businesses in this country will reduce jobs. McCain understands that we need to reduce corporate tax rates to compete with the rest of the world, whose tax rates are all lower.

Obama wants to increase taxes on small businesses and then redistribute the wealth to people who pay no taxes. What a sham

Obama - cruel to his political opponents, cruel to the American worker.

EnigmatiCore said...

Get off my lawn.

Peter V. Bella said...

John McCain cannot tie his shoes, put his clothes on, or use a computer.

Barak Obama can do all those things. His clothing is by Garanimals and his computer is by Fisher Price.

Are these the types of men we want to lead out country in the Twenty FIrst Century?


I'm Hillary Clinton. I should be President.

Peter V. Bella said...

garage mahal said...
POW!


COMMUNITY ORGANIZER!

rhhardin said...

``Still doesn't understand the economy'' isn't a winner.

Look for a series of five-year plans if Obama takes over, each one ruined by bad weather in the farm belts.

John Thacker said...

McCain has said he doesn't understand much about economics.

Sen. Obama made this statment:

"Just ask the machinists in Pennsylvania who build Harley-Davidsons," Obama said of McCain's record. "Because John McCain didn’t just oppose the requirement that the government buy American-made motorcycles, he called Buy American provisions 'disgraceful.' Just ask the workers across this country who have seen their jobs outsourced. The very companies that shipped their jobs overseas have been rewarded with billions of dollars in tax breaks that John McCain supports and plans to continue.

"So, when American workers hear John McCain talking about putting 'Country First,'" Obama said, "it’s fair to ask –- which country?"


But the Buy American regulations are disgraceful, and bad economics. Ask any economist. So it seems to me that either John McCain knows more about economics than Sen. Obama, or else Barack Obama is just lying and pandering.

I fully accept that Sen. McCain is more ignorant of economics than he should be. It's true, as far as I can see, of all politicians and all voters, including myself. At least he's apparently aware of the fact.

rhhardin said...

I have to report that Obama is creeping up in yard signs, now 5 McCain, 2 Obama, in the Central Ohio bike commute poll.

mju47 said...

This argument that McCain can't use email because of war injuries is incredibly specious. I personally have exchanged email with at least one person who has no ability to use his hands at the computer. Hell, I'm pretty sure Stephen Hawking uses email. Tools to help people with various disabilities use computers exist in abundance, and someone in McCain's position would have access to any of them if he were interested and needed them.

I'm not this ad's greatest fan, but a lot of the criticism of it smacks of condescension toward the disabled (and the elderly as well; my McCain-aged parents used to think that email was some newfangled thing that they wouldn't have any use for...that changed around 1996).

rhhardin said...

Mike Munger on free trade is an education, and very entertaining podcast, if Obama wants to learn economics. It wouldn't hurt McCain either.

I stress entertaining. Listen.

As a focussed maxim, if you want to be safe from outsourcing, then don't participate in the benefits either. You'd be ekeing out a bare existence in huts.

The podcast traces out a lot of side effects that dominate every result.

Randy said...

The sarcasm at the beginning undercuts the serious message.

Randy said...

"So, when American workers hear John McCain talking about putting 'Country First,'" Obama said, "it’s fair to ask –- which country?"

I saw this on Jake Tapper's blog last night. I think it is the most offensive thing I have heard one presidential candidate say about another presidential candidate in my lifetime. I could be wrong, though, because I can't remember what Nixon himself said in public about McGovern.

Maguro said...

The sarcasm at the beginning undercuts the serious message.

Exactly. The issue of McCain's age and health is legit and could help Obama, but needs to be handled seriously and with some sensitivity. They should have shown how physically demanding the job is and soberly questioned McCain's fitness for those duties. The whole making-fun-of-old-people vibe is a mistake, I think.

David said...

1)Using email doesn't teach a person anything about how the Internet works or about the security and regulatory issues facing it. These things could be better learned by reading and talking with appropriate people.

2)People who have a worshipful attitude toward new technologies are rarely effective technology users and rarely good executives.

3)FDR could have used "e-mail" by sitting down at the White House teletype machine himself, rather than having his operators do it for him. Would this have made his administration any more effective?

Richard Dolan said...

Presumably, the idea behind this ad is O's attempt to take back the "change" mantra. McC is old, out of touch, a throw back. The "old" part of that message is obvious. Any potential voter who hasn't figured that out before now must be a permanent resident of some Chicago cemetery. As we all know, that is already a reliable Democratic voting block.

So how does O get at the "out of touch and throw back" theme, without shooting himself in the foot? This ad is saying that McC is culturally out of touch -- he's the kind of guy who doesn't know about email and still thinks the BeeGees are hot, which leads McC to be politically out of touch just like Bush. So how persuasive is that link from "culturally behind the times" to being politically McSame? To be more precies, how is that message going to resonate with the target population -- you know, the more middling, largely female suburban/exurban voter in Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Colorado, Pennsylvania, NH, Virginia where this election will be decided? My guess is that it will not resonate at all, and has the potential to really bomb with those voters (especially if they read Glenn).

This is just another misstep showing that Team O is aiming its campaign and its message in the wrong direction. The people who might respond to this ad are already on board with Team O. They need to figure out a message that will appeal to the majority who aren't, and they only way they do that is to respond to the McC-Palin theme of "Change and Reform." So far, Team O's effort to do that has been to say Palin (McC's version of reform personified) is a phony. That's completely backfired, and they haven't come up with anything else. They have to deal with the "reform" theme, and thus with Palin, if they are going to have any chance. So far, I don't see them doing that, and their efforts to date have just sunk them further.

mcg said...

This argument that McCain can't use email because of war injuries is incredibly specious. I personally have exchanged email with at least one person who has no ability to use his hands at the computer. Hell, I'm pretty sure Stephen Hawking uses email.

The Stephen Hawking comparison is irrelevant. Without his computer, Hawking ability to communicate would be curtailed to near zero. McCain doesn't need a computer to communicate effectively in the way that Hawking does.

The argument may be specious, but it is less so than you're making it. However, more importantly, the argument is irrelevant, because McCain does, actually, use email. See the Glenn Reynolds link for plenty of confirmation.

Tools to help people with various disabilities use computers exist in abundance, and someone in McCain's position would have access to any of them if he were interested and needed them.

Yes. One of those tools is assistants. For example, one of the articles Glenn links to talks about how he reads emails regularly with his wife, and dictates his responses to her.

So really, the biggest problem with that section of Obama's advertisement is that it's just bullshit.

Steven said...

[Clip from the Obama commercial runs, then pauses. New voiceover by Cindy McCain says:]

"It's true, my husband can't email."

[Swap to still photos of John McCain from the early 1970s]

"The tortures John McCain suffered as a POW in Vietnam included crippling attacks on his hands, leaving John unable use a keyboard."

[Domestic scene of John and Cindy sitting next to each other, Cindy's hands on a keyboard.]

"So, in order to correspond by email, John relies on my help. I type his email for him."

[Switch to Cindy McCain talking to the camera]

"Senator Obama has promised change. Apparently that change means mocking American servicemen for injuries sustained when serving their country. That isn't the kind of change we need."

[McCain/Palin logo. Voice switches to John McCain]

"I'm John McCain, and I approve of this message."

Chris said...

"[M]ocking McCain over email draws attention to McCain's war injuries..."

It's much worse than that. It's mocking McCain for his war injuries. That's insane.

chickenlittle said...

"It's much worse than that. It's mocking McCain for his war injuries. That's insane"

That's the level of journalism one expects these days at "Talking Points Memo"

Joan said...

I'm not so sure this makes the ad completely boneheaded.

I am, because it's both offensive and a lie. McCain and his campaign are tech-savvy, as demonstrated by how thoroughly they're trouncing Obama in web ads and rapid response video.

But I agree with Prosecutorial Indiscretion that "it's fair to ask - which country?" is far more egregious, and I'm betting the McCain camp will have something to say about that very soon.

Cedarford said...

Randy - I think it is the most offensive thing I have heard one presidential candidate say about another presidential candidate in my lifetime. I could be wrong, though, because I can't remember what Nixon himself said in public about McGovern.

Nixon thought most of McGovern's ideas were flat-out loony. But as a highly decorated combat Vet, Nixon respected McGovern's WWII heroism. No one that ran for President since TDR had as significant a war record for courage under fire as McGovern and his bomber missions. The majority who started with McGovern died.
No way would Nixon smear McGovern by asking what "Country he put 1st?"
Part of the tragedy of Nixon was he had quite decent parts of character mixed in with the paranoid and twisted.

================
mju47 said...
This argument that McCain can't use email because of war injuries is incredibly specious. I personally have exchanged email with at least one person who has no ability to use his hands at the computer.


It is a question of need to workaround a disability at significant cost in time, and in McCains case, pain to adapt his body to the workaround operating a desktop, laptop.
If he had to, he likely could, but he had staffers and employees doing that for constituents and for his writings and personal electronic communications.
I have no doubt he has the brains and technical background. Remember Obama has no technical background - minimal math and science education as an International Relations major and lawyer. Biden? Pretty much the same....

Both Palin and McCain are pilots. Meaning they must have known and shown they were adept in the cutting edge electronics, comms, flight math and physics of their time when qualified to fly.

As for the disabled, yes, they can do a lot of things if they want to, and "triumph" over their disability...but they still have a damn good reason for not doing something that "challenges" their disability and doing things that they enjoy and are easier to do, or in areas where they are competitive with fully able people.

Yes, there are blind golfers. But most blind people do not "see" the point of it. And there are artists that can only paint with a brush in their mouth after a few bad strokes. But those that don't, aren't lazy or lacking in courage - they just have different priorities accounting for their disability...

In McCain's case, we know one area where he worked hard and took enormous pain to do something his disability blocked him from....Fly again. Over a year, McCain had scar tissue and shortened tendons ripped - with no pain killers because it was a long process - against all doctors advice that he was finished as airworthy.
Eventually he got his knee bent enough to fit in a cockpit and arms free enough to operate controls and cowling release.

He flew again.

Doctors and his therapist said they never had a patient with his level of grit.

Later, the onset of arthritis from the joint and tissue damage of his being shot down and being tortured by joint dislocation caused him to lose most of the arm motion he paid dearly to regain.

I don't think the line "You lack the guts to overcome your handicap and email!" is a particularly effective message outside Manhattan and San Francisco.

PatCA said...

I sincerely hope that McCain and Palin are taking notes so they can bring up these gaffes in the debates.

Yes, bring up a war hero's injuries again, Obama! Bring up Palin's inexperience!

AlphaLiberal said...

You're not making sense Ann. Age has nothing to do with knowledge about economics. You make that unique assertion but don't back it up with any explanation. Nor does the criticism of McCain's tax plan have anything to do with age.

You're the one fixated on age here and you made a remarkably weak case for the conclusions you began with. It's not an anti-old people ad.

McCain is out of touch with the American people most, young and old (my elderly parents included) know how to use email.

Actually, it's Althouse who is being sexist saying old people don't know how to use email. I know many who do.

Sy said...

Alphaliberal,

Why do you keep on lying? Fact of the matter is McCain CAN USE EMAIL. Due to his war injuries, he does it with his wife. He can't use the keyboard.

Sexism, ageism, handicapped unfriendly - change you can believe in Obama/Bidin

mcg said...

Actually, it's Althouse who is being sexist saying old people don't know how to use email.

I wanted to quote this self-beclowning statement just in case AlphaLiberal comes to his senses and deletes it.

Beth said...

I know a lot of "old" people - folks in their 70s and 80s -- who use computers daily. I wonder if their reaction is different? Something like, "being old is no excuse for being ignorant." I think the email ad was lame, but I do think there's room for McCain is out of touch arguments. They just didn't make a good one here.

Roger J. said...

I am guessing that this ad was aimed at the under 30 demo (who I understand use texting and IMing far more than email--but I am an old guy). Moreover, I don't want a president to use email--it is not secure--ask Kwame Kilpatrick and Scooter Libby. This ad is not going to help Obama with the one demographic that turns out and votes regularly. I do not for a second believe that Obama meant to ridicule John McCain for war injuries--he can't possibly be that stupid; what it shows, I think, is how inept his campaign is. And since Senator Obama has cited his experience in running his campaign as his sole executive experience, that brings that up for examination. Not a good job by team Obama, IMO.

Roger J. said...

And it seems to me, Beth, the issue is not if he can use computers--he does with assistance. He is apparently unable to use the keyboard on the computer.

Michael McNeil said...

I only yesterday finished reinstalling my 95 year old (on 9-11) mother's computer so she can once again e-mail all her friends and family. Being mentally acute, she's also amused by this newfangled meme that a) there's something radical about women balancing family and career (she worked probably since I was a month or two old), and b) that John McCain is old.

jdeeripper said...

garage mahal said...POW!

KPOW...Zok!!

I don't think McCain or Obama know much about economics.

John McCain was simply honest.

Obama is just a know it all nerd who keeps pretending to know how to solve every problem, cure every illness, heal every wound.

McCain gets points for straight talk on this. Obama is a delusional dork.

President McCain's Treasury Secretary Mitt Romney and Commerce Secretary Meg Whitman understand economics and that's good enough for me.

Alex said...

Sometimes I'm just flabbergasted. Some thing are so out of bounds, so unacceptable, so indefensible. Yet AlphaLiberal comes in here and defends it. Has he no decency?

vbspurs said...

This ad is indefensible. I literally have no idea why this was put out there, given what is readily known about John McCain's war injuries.

John McCain - can't email due to war injuries.

Barack Obama - can't Google due to being a jackass.

Cheers,
Victoria

Jake said...

"Old people are not just a bunch of vain cranks."

R2... and I should know.

Pastafarian said...

Alphaliberal -- don't be obtuse. Of course the images of McCain wearing enormous outdated glasses, along with the disco ball and rubik's cube, were meant to remind the viewer just how OLD McCain is; and he's so old and old-fashioned that he doesn't use email.

It's a little shocking that no one in the Obama campaign knew why he doesn't personally use email (and has his wife or assistants do it for him), because the reason (war injuries) was mentioned in every article I've seen that mentioned that he didn't use it directly. So how could they know that he didn't use email, without knowing why?

Why is McCain's age a valid concern at all? Why can the electorate discriminate based on age, when an employer can't? Shouldn't the electorate consider only ability, independent of age, race, gender, and so on, just as an employer must? I'm really surprised that Althouse considers McCain's age a valid concern. Very illiberal of you.

Obama's daily displays of poor judgment are really becoming hard to defend, aren't they, Alpha?

vbspurs said...

Why can the electorate discriminate based on age, when an employer can't?

Employers are not allowed to, but they do. Similarly, voters shouldn't take age into consideration, but they do.

The problem arises when Obama literally is agist, publicly.

He represents a political side which fought for fairness in the workplace, to combat agism and sexism in society.

And all he can do is point out McCain is out-of-touch because he's older than dirt?

Awful, awful ad.

Jonathan said...

Obama's online ads have made frequent use of this photo of McCain embracing W, in an attempt to link McCain with Bush. But ever since I learned about the extent of McCain's disabilities, when I see this photo my first thought is "McCain can't raise his arms because of his service to our country." I wonder how many other people have the same reaction to this image.

vbspurs said...

Me, Jonathan. It makes me wince that McCain is straining to his utmost in that photo, to extend his arms.

Less humane people just wince because he's hugging Bush.

It shows you where people's priorities lie -- compassion v. hate.

Ralph 08 said...

Imagine a commercial circa 1982 where Ombama is featured. I can just see the white lines, mirror and rolled up $100 bill.

John Althouse Cohen said...

mocking McCain over email draws attention to McCain's war injuries and might upset lots of older voters who don't feel at ease using computers.

In addition to your points about why we should give old people more credit than just assuming they'll be offended by this, another thing is: those voters aren't running for president.

Most people can probably think of lots of abilities or experiences that they don't have that would be good to have if they were running for president. One such ability might very well be: the ability to sit down at a computer and directly engage with discussions that your staff is having over email. (I have an old blog post on whether this is actually important.) That's not disrespectful to all the random American citizens who've never learned email -- they're not running for president; McCain is.

vbspurs said...

JAC, I responded over your blog.

I ended my post with:

You know, John F. Kennedy suffered from dyslexia (it is fair to say, though he was never diagnosed). But the man was a speedreader who devoured books at an alarming rate, even if he couldn't spell well.

The point is that negatives can be overcome by sheer will, discipline, and an organised mind.

I sense John McCain has these executive attributes, in spades.


Cheers,
Victoria

AlphaLiberal said...

"As Glenn Reynolds and many others have noted, mocking McCain over email draws attention to McCain's war injuries..."

This makes no damn sense whatsoever. There are plenty of injured veterans, plenty of senior citizens that can use email and the web.

The thing is that McCain has staff and servants doing all that for him. He's out of touch.

Peter V. Bella said...

Barack Obama - can't Google due to being a jackass.

Well, the jack ass is the Democratic Party Mascot. He is running true to form.

vbspurs said...

LOL, Peter. ;)

BTW, not all veteran injuries are the same. If that's what we're arguing, then John Kerry's bandaid Purple Hearts are equal to 5 1/2 years of Vietcong torture, but he was much more "in touch" because he can email.

Sheesh.

Beau said...

Of course the images of McCain wearing enormous outdated glasses, along with the disco ball and rubik's cube, were meant to remind the viewer just how OLD McCain is; and he's so old and old-fashioned that he doesn't use email.

I didn't get this from the message at all. What the message said to me is that McCain hasn't moved on, or changed, in a changing world, since becoming a senator.

When McCain refers to not using a computer he consistently will state that other people find the info or blog (his daughter's) for him. Never that he can't do it because of disability. I doubt he'd hold back from mentioning stiff fingers as he's not shy about talking about his war injuries. I think he's just referring to himself with humor and that he's a bit of a luddite when it comes to technology. Nothing wrong with that. Many people relate to being a duffer when it comes to this stuff.

jdeeripper said...

So crippled up McCain doesn't like to type out emails. Check.

Sarah Palin fired a guy who worked for her and no one else. Check.

The Democrats are really going on the offensive. I don't know if the Republicans can endure this much longer.

vbspurs said...

Jdeeripper, heh -- Charles Krauthammer had a hilarious expression on his face, when he called this attack:

"It's sweet".

He's right. This is nothing. It's small potatoes. We talk about it, because we would talk about anything. I would anyway. I'm sure others will giggle at us, 4 years from now.

Cheers,
Victoria

John Althouse Cohen said...

Victoria: Thanks for the comments, and points taken on the blog post. I would just add:

1. I'm agnostic on whether the email thing really matters for president. So you may very well be right that it's either not a big problem or something he can overcome. But if you're right about that, then that's still implying that it's a legitimate concern.

2. You pointed out on my blog that Bill Clinton didn't use email when he was president. Well, of course it used to be a non-issue for a president not to use email -- it didn't even exist till recently. I know email was around in 1997, but it didn't play anywhere near the ubiquitous role in people's lives that it does today. I think Jon Chait (in the quote I give in that blog post) makes the most salient point by focusing on how he interacts with his staff in the year 2009, not how Bill Clinton did things 12 years ago (which is the equivalent of the Middle Ages considering the lightning pace at which communication technology progresses).

Again, this isn't a criticism of everyone who doesn't use email. I'm sure some people get by without it. But president of the United States is the most complicated job in the world. I think it's interesting to think about the ways it might hold a president back. It also shows a lack of curiosity about the changing nature of American society, which is pretty relevant for someone who's asking us to be that society's leader.

As to your point about how McCain has been a well-regarded Senator without using email, I don't know if that's the greatest example, since he often seems unaware of his own positions that he's taken in the past. (His bewilderment at being asked about funding for birth control, which he voted against, is just one of many examples.) Maybe he is out of the loop -- I don't know.

3. Your comment on my blog introduced a quote as "Jac wrote..." ("McCain's entire staff surely uses email to communicate virtually everything with each other. If McCain is never in the electronic loop, how is he supposed to manage that staff?"), but I didn't write that -- I was just quoting Jon Chait from TNR.

vbspurs said...

I'm just out the door, John, but just to say thanks for your feedback. (Apologies for getting the attribution wrong too!)

There's an overiding sentiment in this "McCain doesn't use email" scenario.

Not that he's old, but that he's past it. He can't handle modernity (subliminal message, "like Barack can").

As mentioned by many others, there are millions of older people who have successfully become computer literate despite their frailties or incapacities. The man who wrote The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Jean-Dominique Bauby, is a case in point. Stephen Hawking is another.

The ads message is simple. It's a dig at being so incurious, he won't even force himself to learn how to email. Incurious...George?

This ad is not about John McCain, and therefore the Obama camp do not care if it is factually true or not. They may even know he can't use computers by himself because of his disabilities. It's irrelevant, for them.

What is relevant is to try to make a connexion, ANY connexion to George Bush.

The problem is, he's successfully separated himself from the latter all these years, and now, much moreso with Sarah Palin.

They say some have a 9/10 mentality about foreign affairs.

Well, I go further: Barack Obama's campaign playbook is still on 9/28.

Cheers,
Victoria

Beau said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Revenant said...

Even setting aside McCain's medical difficulties with keyboards, mocking him for not using email still seems a bit silly. A lot of people still use email seldom -- or not at all. Not just the elderly, either. There's a risk of this coming across as more elitism.

Revenant said...

This makes no damn sense whatsoever. There are plenty of injured veterans, plenty of senior citizens that can use email and the web.

That makes about as much sense as saying that people in wheelchairs could walk if they really wanted to, because plenty of other injured people walk all the time.

mcg said...

Governor Patterson should resign. As a blind person, he can't drive, which means he can't relate to issues of transportation that a sighted person can, and there's no way he ever will. And of course, transportation is a critical issue in New York.

Sloanasaurus said...

One such ability might very well be: the ability to sit down at a computer and directly engage with discussions that your staff is having over email. (I have an old blog post on whether this is actually important.) That's not disrespectful to all the random American citizens who've never learned email -- they're not running for president; McCain is.

Another such abilty could be flying a high performance fighter jet or piloting a destroyer. But, who is counting.

John Althouse Cohen said...

I wrote: One such ability might very well be: the ability to sit down at a computer and directly engage with discussions that your staff is having over email. (I have an old blog post on whether this is actually important.) That's not disrespectful to all the random American citizens who've never learned email -- they're not running for president; McCain is.

Sloan... wrote: Another such abilty could be flying a high performance fighter jet or piloting a destroyer.

That's fine with me. Sure, McCain gets credit for his military experience. And he is inexperienced with technology. If we're going to consider the positive experience, which he certainly has, it's only fair to consider the negative experience. So as far as I can tell, you and I have no disagreement on this.

Joe said...

Why does any politician use email? Has nobody learned from all the subpoenas for electronic records?

Moreover, what does using or not using email have to do with anything? Or using the internet? Are we next going to ask if a candidate has HD TV? Or knows how to setup a video system? How about changing a tire or the oil in a car?

It is political suicide to charge down the path that to be president you must be in touch by doing anything and everything a "common" person does. Once you start that list, it's endless.

Incidentally, does Obama know C++ or C# or even how to write a simple web page? If not he's apparently a fucking loser out of touch with technology.

rhhardin said...

News Flash!

I have to report that Obama is creeping up in yard signs, now 5 McCain, 2 Obama, in the Central Ohio bike commute poll.

This Obama sign is today gone! See?

I've seen the woman of the house. She's a definite feminist type.

Thomas said...

I saw an item recently that said McCain has trouble typing on a keyboard because of his war injuries.

The ad, at the very least, comes off as insensitive.

John Althouse Cohen said...

As far as the point that he might have trouble using a keyboard: I don't know if that's true. But if that is, why didn't he just say that when he was asked if he uses the internet? All he said was (paraphrasing), "I'm computer illiterate, so I have Cindy use the computer for me." If the problem was his handicap, why use the self-deprecating language, "illiterate"? Why not just say, "You know, it's hard for me to type because of a disability with my hands, so I have Cindy help me with that."

(Again, I have no idea if he even does have a disability with his hands that prevents him from using a keyboard. Everyone seems to be assuming that. But it was foolish of the Obama campaign to put the spotlight on that question anyway.)

Joe said...

Knowing how to use email gives you no more understanding of modern technology than knowing how to use a remote, tells you how television works.

bearbee said...

And he is inexperienced with technology

Flying a jet fighter is technology.

Perhaps the McThuselah **thanks vbspurs** camp could counter-ad on O's lack of skills in flying a jet.

re: McT's wounds, as he has gotten older no doubt painful osteoarthritis has set in directly as a result of his wounds.

bearbee said...

My niece's 5 year old uses the computer.

Big woop on knowledge of email use.

Joe said...

One other point, the first cell phone (the brick they showed) came out in 1984, not 1982.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7432915/

Revenant said...

Again, I have no idea if he even does have a disability with his hands that prevents him from using a keyboard. Everyone seems to be assuming that.

Instapundit has a bunch of links to the evidence for that claim; it was mentioned in a number of newspaper articles over the last few years. He isn't "unable" to use a keyboard, as such; it is just uncomfortable for him to do.

As for why he didn't say that instead of saying he was computer illiterate -- he probably IS computer illiterate. His injury is just some or all of the reason WHY he is computer illiterate. I would guess he said he was computer illiterate because he doesnt' see that as being a harmful thing to admit to.

Joyce said...

Hi Althouse, I'm a new poster here. I grew up in the U.S., but am now living in Hong Kong. So I guess I'm a bit of an outsider.

Most disability does not stop people from using computers. Plus, there are tools to help those who need it. I have a friend who was paralyzed by a spinal tumor operation. He's better now, but still in a wheelchair and with some limited motion. But he types and emails. And McCain is not nearly as disabled as my friend. It's actually a ridiculous point.

Also, oddly, at one point I worked with three guys over the age of 70. OK, they called me "Miss" and kept asking me to run errands for them. (I'm 34 and married). But, you know, I had to respect the work they did as newspaper editors -- fast work on a not-simple computer system, looking up stuff online, sending emails, etc.

If they can do it, McCain should be able to. I don't think old people are going to cut him slack on this one. If McCain is not tech-savvy, then it also be hard for him to be information-savvy in today's world.

mcg said...

That's all well and good, but quotes like this

In certain ways, McCain was a natural Web candidate. Chairman of the Senate Telecommunications Subcommittee and regarded as the U.S. Senate's savviest technologist, McCain is an inveterate devotee of email. His nightly ritual is to read his email together with his wife, Cindy. The injuries he incurred as a Vietnam POW make it painful for McCain to type. Instead, he dictates responses that his wife types on a laptop. "She's a whiz on the keyboard, and I'm so laborious," McCain admits.

(link) pretty much render that argument moot. As I said above, the problem with this ad isn't so much ageism as it is that it's bullshit.

Kirk Parker said...

"Imagine a commercial circa 1982 where Ombama is featured."

-Ralph 08

OK, Ralph wins the thread! Although (and probably not alas) I expect McCain is a bit too classy to actually run such an ad...

Cedarford said...

JOhn A. Cohen - That's fine with me. Sure, McCain gets credit for his military experience. And he is inexperienced with technology.

Flying an A-4 takes 2 1/2 years of training that 40%+ do not complete, to qualify as a carrier pilot. Doing that requires technical mastery of some 20 major systems - including inertial navigation computer, ground attack display computer, radar avionics suite, ECM.
Cutting edge technology 45 years ago. Simpler tech than today, put simpler does not imply less complex and difficult to operate.

Cohen, one day talk to a friend, if any are private pilots, on what they need to know and do well to get a license. That's a taste of what a military carrier pilot has to know and do in life and death moments...

Plus, and while like Biden and far more recently Obams has found, the Senate has staffers to guide Senators on issues - McCain was on Commerce Telecomm and Science Committees. Where he notably bucked the 1996 Telecomm Act, was a player in Broadband, HDTV and cell phone legislation, and involved in regulation legislation of Internet Commerce - especially as one of the leaders who did not want the Internet censored or taxed.

McCain is a "friend of NASA" and for keeping America competitive scientifically. Very different than the "anti-science" Bushies..

And on Armed Forces Committee, he has been extensively briefed and involved in technical debates on STARWARS, cyberwar, unmanned planes, AF intl and GPS networks.

Argue that it is mostly staff and he shows up to vote and give speeches someone else wrote for him - but that is no different than Biden's MO over the years, or Obama's recent few years there...

Not to say Obama is not "cool and with it", Cohen, I noticed he wears his "buds" and listens to iPOD. No doubt at his university sinecure courtesy of the bilionaire Crown, Pitzker, and Klutznik Families that control the UofC BOT - Barack has enjoyed some aspects of high tech university IT that come as a job perk.

But his background and education is all low or no tech. He could even "work" for his South Chicago community and teach Constitutional Law without knowing how electricity works, how to run a spreadsheet, or being able to drive and fix a car. Same with his constituents and students.

Not saying, of course, that Obama doesn't know about such technical theory. Just that for 46 years of his life they were not an inherent part of his education or career.

blake said...

C'mon, nobody mentioned the walk-away best--and truest--analysis of this situation? Instapundit quoted it, from Village Idiot over at Ace of Spades:

"I think they spent months trying to figure out how they can position Obama as better qualified than McCain, and basically came up with the fact that Obama can type."

"Ouch" is right.

'cause that's all we're talking about. Use of a particular technology is pretty irrelevant. Does McCain have an iPod? Maybe we can get him on that next.

Cedarford said...

mcg - I think your quote in your 4:58PM comment put the whole email thing to bed.

On the other things in the ad, the "being out of touch" charge is not going to fly with McCain's record, even though there is a fetid aroma of lobbyists around McCains work in Science and technology.

McCain's economic shortcomings are pretty patchable if he sells it as he will be a leader judging progress and have someone with a great "reforming" track record in business and finance doing both a strategic audit of the Federal Gov't and manning Treasury. Mitt Romney comes to mind.
McCain could even push it back in Obama's face as a "youth-themed" recovery and reinvigoration of America's ability to compete and get things done in a Global Era where America has been hobbled by trial lawyers, environmental lawyers, and the old DC mentality that both Parties have been defeated by so far.

Obama can't even bail off McCain and hit Palin as technologically out-of-touch. She is likely miles ahead of him on technology and business. She was a qualified deckhand on a commercial Alaskan fishing boat, adept at many technical systems and response to emergency situations. Same with her becoming a licensed pilot. Footage of her home as Gov shows her pretty hooked in to laptops, cell phones, and blackberry as much routine parts of her life a pouring cereal for the younger kids..
She did the financials for a small fishing fleet, involved in finace and budget for her town, and the same as governor.
Obama has none of those life experiences, or their technical or financial equivalent..Unless you count his Rezko loan for the Obama mansion...which I think he won't want to bring up in polite company, being as it is a "Chicago Thang". Or investing his book millions...

I suppose his many private jet flights and dinners with billionaire Crown, Klutznik, and Pitzker Family members counts a little - they know finance, the Crowns, technology too - but only count in a Hillary kind of way. "I learned everything I needed to know about finance, technology, being an executive..even be ready to be CEO or President ..by eating and flying with someone who did those things."

reader_iam said...

Your average 8th-grader is likely better at text-messaging than your average 30-year-old. Middle-schoolers for president!

vbspurs said...

And he is inexperienced with technology.

I'm pretty sure even when he flew, he had to be very technologically savvy, John.

I mean, there are gradations of being technologically-savvy, yes?

But this is a very unsound argument by Team Obama overall.

McCain could answer with a great degree of snark that BOTH McCain and Palin can pilot a plane.

Something neither Obama nor Biden can do.

It's really a silly argument.

Cheers,
Victoria

reader_iam said...

Life's a bitch, and then you die. In between, you become obsolete (and ever faster and sooner). Classic adding of insult to injury, dontcha think? The part that people (younger people--ahem) forget is that pretty much no one is immune.

Some things just never, never, ever change.

reader_iam said...

And he is inexperienced with technology.

Hell, half of the people who say they're experienced with technology really don't know what they're talking. (The use of the word "half" is a generosity on my part.) Who's fooling whom, really?

Fen said...

Ann: As Glenn Reynolds and many others have noted, mocking McCain over email draws attention to McCain's war injuries and might upset lots of older voters who don't feel at ease using computers. I'm not so sure this makes the ad completely boneheaded.

It does Ann, here's why:

Obama mocking McCain as internet illiterate when a mere Google search would reveal McCain doesn't type due to torture injuries [not war injuries]. He has others handle the keyboard while he looks on.

Do you see the irony? If Obama had only searched the net, he wouldn't have egg on his face. Again.

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

So its Obama who doesn't understand how to use the net, not McCain.

David said...

Okay, if Obama wants to talk about technology, let's talk about technology. Let's have someone interview him and see if he can explain how the Internet works and especially its commercial aspects, including such things as the way traffic handoffs are charged or not charged between mutiple service providers. This would be more relevant to policy issues than would a typing test.

While we're at it, let's see how much he knows about *other* technologies--"technology" and "computer" are not synonyms, after all. Does he know how steel is made? Does he known what a milling machine is? Can he give a simple overview of how electricity is produced and distributed, and explain which industries are particularly power-intensive? All of these things are pretty vital to the economy.

As in so many other cases, what "progressives" really value is not real knowledge but merely trendiness.

vbspurs said...

Who's fooling whom, really?

I designed a website once. I'm available for Secretary of State in case of need.

vbspurs said...

David wrote:

As in so many other cases, what "progressives" really value is not real knowledge but merely trendiness.

Yes, yes and yes. And yes.

Peter V. Bella said...

Pitzker Family members counts a little - they know finance, the Crowns, technology too - but only count in a Hillary kind of way.

Cedarford, I beleive you meant the Pritzker family. Old AN Pritzker made his initial money working as a lawyer for the Chicago mob and as a bootlegger during Prohibition. He invested heavily into real estate and the fortune was on its way. The Crowns are anaother paragon of Chicago Corruption. One of their companies, Material Services, was caught paying bribes to politicians. One of the Crowns was convicted and sent off to Federal Prison. Wonderful people the Democrats surround themselves with. Corrupt Chicgoans.

bearbee said...

If McT has a hearing aid and a pacemaker that would put him ahead of O in those technologies.

re: economics, is this what O's expertise based upon?

Fen said...

Well, now that Florida has shifted from "tossup" to "leans GOP", any other demographics Team Obama wants to piss off?

reader_iam said...

For more silliness.

Roger J. said...

John Althouse Cohen said, " I know email was around in 1997, but it didn't play anywhere near the ubiquitous role in people's lives that it does today." while I agree that email is more ubiquitous today than ever before you may be shocked to learn that I used email on the Darpa net in 1986. Thats the way people communicated on what has become the world wide net back then. I will chalk this up to the callowness of youth. Then it was called winmail. I dont expect you know this stuff because you were just a babe.

reader_iam said...

And in close to the same time period, I can remember using one of those Commodore (I think--it's all so long ago, and I'm getting old now, I'll admit it) units which could show only partial sentences at a time to write articles as I covered town meetings and such for a newspaper. And then hooking it into then-landlines to painfully slowly submit stories electronically.

Of course, I can also remember dictating stories from public pay phones way out in the middle of East Gybip, and most notably one instance when one of those auto-sprinkler thingies came on, and in the course of the dictation, soaked my legs all the way up to mid-thigh.

Good times, good times.

(I don't remember, truth be told, exactly when I first started using e-mail. But it was, indeed, some time in the '80s.

"More's the pity," by the way, is the first thing that pops to mind with regard to that. If I knew then what I know now ... .)

Roger J. said...

reader-I bought my commodore 64 in 1985..I understand some of their music programs still work. Back in the days of 5 and a quarter floppies==youth is indeed wasted on the young

reader_iam said...

I also remember when I first used a networked computer chat forum of any type. That would be back in early college, something like late '80 or the first half of '81.

Roger J. said...

and who can forget the flame wars on usenet that make todays blogs, no matter how ill tempered, look tame by comparison

rhhardin said...

Somewhere I have Eigensmash for the Commodore 64, which diagonalizes any real symmetric matrix by lasering, bombing, shooting up and generally wreaking screen-and-audio havoc on off-diagonal elements by plane rotations and high altitude bombing.

In fact.... hmm (digs out old media)

EIGENSMASH.txt

However on looking at it, I think it was for the Vic-20. The Commodore 64 had weirder audio and visual structures, I think.

Just set N to the desired dimension.

blake said...

I didn't really get on line till '91. I did a little BBSing in the '80s.

And some timesharing as a kid. Hundreds of dollars a second.

And one of my earliest memories is that of loading a stack of punch cards into this ginormous machine that would shoot them across the room with an incredible clatter.

Computer technology has to be the most disposable stuff you can waste brain cells on.

Prosecutorial Indiscretion said...

I love the Vic-20. That was my first computer. I still have it back in my parents' attic (along with the tape drive), though sadly the video chip is a bit of a mess.

Larry J said...

Given Obama's laundry list of new government programs and the taxes that go along with them, I'd say he's the one that doesn't understand much about economics. Just last week, he admitted that raising taxes during a recession would likely hurt the economy. The point is that raising taxes any time has a negative impact on the economy but he's too much of a socialist to see that.

If I wanted an empty suit, I'd go to a clothing store. I sure as hell wouldn't elect it president.

adogzilla2 said...

John Althouse Cohen, how refreshing that Senator McCain has a sense of humor, self-deprecating or otherwise.

Has no one here ever heard of using the telephone?

I found the ad condescending and insensitive. The Democrats have spent decades pandering to the afflicted and elderly. Now they, too, are thrown under the bus?

Obama has underestimated the impact of this on older (over 35, evidently) voters.

Didn't he say this campaign demonstrates his executive and leadership abilities? OK. I've got the picture.

blake said...

adogzilla,

That's sort of what cracks me up about this. I'd say anyone 35 or up is old enough to find '82 nostalgic.

Ann said...

Most 5th grade kids can send an email, use MySpace, use Google, write a report, design a PowerPoint. At least all the ones I know can. Big deal.

People at McCain's level have more important things to do, so they have "people" to do email for them while they study up on issues, talk to leaders of nations and industries, etc.

We know that so, ads like this, we just shrug off as more of that silly stuff politicians do.

vbspurs said...

People at McCain's level have more important things to do, so they have "people" to do email for them while they study up on issues, talk to leaders of nations and industries, etc.

Ann, I'll actually disagree with you here (lightly).

It's a benefit to be computer literate. This is true of everyone, from senior citizens to children.

Where I think this ad's logic is misplaced, is when it suggests it should be mandatory, and if not, it's a sign of backwardness, to the point of seeming arrogant and vaguely Luddite.

Clearly, this is not the case with McCain, and it also doesn't describe many people who, like Kelly Ripa and Bill Clinton, simply never took to computers.

Cheers,
Victoria

Terry said...

"I love the Vic-20." I had a Vic-20 and was considered so hi-tech at the time. It was fried by a surge during a thunder storm and I lost six hours of work...

But, other than that, good memories.

vbspurs said...

RH, I see the feminist lady took out her sign, but there are a slew of them behind her property.

Maybe someone swiped it?

If she doesn't replace it, then we can firmly say she's changed her mind.

MTbomber said...

So which is it? This is bad because McCain can't use a computer because of his war injuries, or this is bad because he is now carrying a laptop and using it regularly after all, like his campaign announced in a press release a day after this was released? At first, the right wing blogosphere went crazy over how they were dissing his war injuries -- turns out, that's not the problem, turns out McCain said he didn't "have use for e-mail", that it was a preference, not an injury thin -- he has never said that his injuries prevent him from using e-mail or a computer. So I guess it's just attack whichever way seems to work best, doesn't matter if it's true, let's just see if we can nail him for something, preferably McPOW's war injuries. Ooops, too late, that's not the problem after all . . . . never mind.

The bankruptcy of the McCain campaign, and most of you, is that you are looking at everything but what really matters and blowing it off in favor of the quadrennial Rove attack campaign -- 8 years of almost complete executive failure in the White House, in which McCain metamorphisized from a maverick republican who broke with his party, to one of the most reliable supporters of Bush policy in the Senate. A major cheerleader for a war that should never have been fought -- one of the most important because of the extra respect his POW status brings to every pontification he gives regarding military matters. A supporter after the fact -- for political reasons -- of the very tax cuts that have created almost $4 Trillion of new federal debt under GOP leadership. And now, an adherant of the same policy of lying to win that has served us so well under Bush and Cheney. You can't put lipstick on that pig, so you always go for the POW angle, the personal attack, the gender card, whatever works. Country First? No, Winning First.

Keep it up. Feel good about the polls. Your guy, running on experience for 18 months, suddenly chooses a demonstrably unqualified VP, and gets a boost in right wing enthusiasm -- never mind what McCain said about how being a mayor or a governor (to Rudy and Mitt) as inicative of a lack of the type of experience needed to deal with hte world's problem, and so he brings us a mayor of a small town and 20 month governor of AK?? Yep, Rudy was the mayor of a small town himself, with only 7,000 . . . I mean 7,000,000 people, but that didn't spare him from McCain's attack. And that was Rudy "9-11" Giuliani, who brought the credential of "9-11" to the race. Sarah brings . . . "energy" (specifically, her exaggerated claims about Alaskan domestic oil production) as her main foreign policy credential. So McCain makes a purely cynical, political choice -- someone who will need a lot more than 60 days of cramming for the potential Presidency to actually do the job -- and then he launches a campaign seemingly built on embracing his inner Munchausen.

There will be a reckoning -- there always is. I just hope this one takes place on Nov 4, not after it (like the last two elections), where most of you were no doubt insisten on how life or death critical it is that we elect (or re-elect) the worst and most dishonest President in contemporary history. And now you are doing it again. A very real scenario is that McCain dies early in his term, leaving us with the two term Mayor of Wasilla, with 20 months in the state house as Governor of the richest (and most anti-American) state in the union, and a clear and demonstrable absence of any thought in her head about foreign policy prior to 2 weeks ago, to face off against Putin, Beijing, North Korea, Iran and all of our other enemies in the world. I don't think signing a bad pipeline deal will cut it. Of course, having the reckles and unhinged McCain live may prove to be even worse. At least she's fiesty and was willing to take on a few corrupt old Republicans and special interests in AK -- he's reckless, and completely in the pocket of special interests, his campaign run for lobbyists and by lobbyists. Of course, after 2 weeks of intense brainwashing, she will probably fall right in line with the rest of the party in the Lower 48 - the one that calls itself conservative, but has presided over one of the largest expansions of federal spending in our history, while cutting taxes to the rich. And all of these contradictions work for you. How special.

I think our kids will take back this country that all of you are selling out to the special interest clearinghouse now known as the GOP. One can only hope.

Fen said...

he has never said that his injuries prevent him from using e-mail or a computer

No, he's said his injuries make it painful to type. Idiot. I guess both you and Obama are too tech-ignorant to make use of Google:

"In certain ways, McCain was a natural Web candidate. Chairman of the Senate Telecommunications Subcommittee and regarded as the U.S. Senate's savviest technologist, McCain is an inveterate devotee of email. His nightly ritual is to read his email together with his wife, Cindy. The injuries he incurred as a Vietnam POW make it painful for McCain to type. Instead, he dictates responses that his wife types on a laptop. "She's a whiz on the keyboard, and I'm so laborious," McCain admits.

Fen said...

A very real scenario is that McCain dies early in his term, leaving us with the two term Mayor of Wasilla who is still more qualified than Obama.

What happens if Biden dies early? Who will hold Obama's hand on foreign policy.

hdhouse said...

mcCain uses email just fine when it comes to trying to raise money.

I sent him a penny...for his thought(s)....and blew the penny.

Michael McNeil said...

While we're talking about “computer illiteracy,” what are we to think about that displayed by folks in this very thread, when they assert that e-mail was invented only “recently,” probably sometime around “1997”? Me, I've been using e-mail for more than 20 years, and at that thought I was a latecomer to it as I resisted adopting it during the mid-80's for some time.

I also think it's laughable the way some are attacking McCain as being technically incompetent because, technically, he can't use a keyboard. Clearly you folks never seen the inside of an old fighter jet's cockpit, and have utterly no idea what the pilot has to do to operate and navigate the craft.

sierra said...

This notion that McCain is somehow inadequate on the technology front because he displays insufficient dedication to the task of sending out emails is nothing short of offensive. My father-in-law suffers from a neurological disease that renders his hands mostly useless, I suppose in much the same as McCain's albeit without the pain component. Using a spoon to feed himself takes great effort. I occasionally receive an email reply from him that consists of half a dozen words. I have to marvel that he can send them out at all, and wonder how much time it took. He tried various speech recognition packages, but he finds them difficult to use, something he has to wrestle with. Instead, he does what McCain probably does: he hits the speed dial on his speaker phone. He has no trouble whatsoever talking on the phone. Good grief. Computers are supposed to make your life easier, aren't they? Isn't that the whole point? The thought of suggesting to his face that he needs to get with the program, or repeating Joyce's "If they can do it, [you] should be able to," is revolting and shameful.

krylovite said...

Glenn Reynolds is an idiot.

PatCA said...

It's also a dumb ad because young people are the only people that Obama is still carrying. Why preach to the youth choir and insult all the older voters who are undecided?

The Exalted said...

no email because of his war injuries?

are you serious?

republican themes are as dumb as they get.

Nichevo said...

Keep digging, whores, keep digging. We're going to put in a septic tank over your graves to try and mask the smell, so...dig deep. Think of future generations.

I want you to be proud of every moment you spent fighting this battle. You haven't called McCain impotent yet, or gay, or a child molester, have you? You haven't yet said Palin conducts Black Masses, according to the Sephardic rite, using the blood and entrails of Down's Syndrome babies.

There's lots of slime left down at the bottom of the barrel. So you have much farther to go. Think of your patriotic duty! Never give up! Si tu puedes!

Haven't you got one single freaking thing to say that is both interesting AND true? How about, either interesting OR true?

UberShaman said...

Nichevo - I think maybe you ought to ask yourself that same question. Have *you* got anything to say that is relevant? It takes a lot of work to create a website and keep it up, and you ought to at least keep from rambling incoherently and insulting people.

mlwillia00 said...

Liberals are such Dumba$$es! McCain was recognized in 2000 as the most technology knowledgable Senator in the Senate. McCain can not use email because typing on a computer is painful for him because of his injuries suffered as a POW. His wife types for him to answer his emails. Do liberals enjoy picking on disabled veterans or are they just scum?