October 26, 2008

John McCain on "Meet the Press."

Did you watch? To me, McCain sounds exhausted or sick. Maybe he has a sore throat. He let out an immense sigh when he was in the middle of talking about Colin Powell . At one point, he misspoke and said, emphatically, "We've got to get government spending out of control." (He immediately corrected himself, but still...)

Whenever he found the chance, he would stress that Barack Obama has a far-left ideology, and whenever he needed a different argument -- such as when Brokaw confronted him with his own statements in favor of making the rich pay more taxes -- he would resort to the argument that different times require different solutions. How can you use these two rhetorical strategies alternately? It's incoherent. I'll write more about that when I have the transcript to work with.

What did you think?

UPDATE: Now, we've got the transcript. (Video here.) Let me show you what I mean about incoherence:
MR. BROKAW: Well, let me ask you about that business about spreading the wealth around ... which has been a favorite phrase now of the McCain campaign. And also your vice presidential candidate has used the word "socialist" and "socialism." ... Do you honestly think that Barack Obama would have as his advisers--Warren Buffet; Paul Volcker, former chairman of the Federal Reserve under Ronald Reagan, who is widely credited with saving the economy at that time; Bob Rubin, former Treasury secretary; and even Chris Buckley, the son of the godfather of the modern conservative movement--both endorsing his economic policies and help shaping them if they thought he was a socialist of some kind?

SEN. McCAIN: All I know is that Senator Obama's record is very clear. It's his record, not Volcker's record, not anybody else's. He started out in the lefthand lane of American politics and has remained there. He has been judged the most liberal United States senator. Biden's number three. "Joe the Biden" is number three. Bernie Sanders is number two. And, and I respect that. But let's not, let's not call it anything but it is.

MR. BROKAW: Well, he...

SEN. McCAIN: He's voted for tax increases, against tax cuts, has advocated raising capital gains tax. Another, another anchor, Charlie Gibson, said, "Why would you want to raise capital gains taxes and--when you know that that could decrease revenue?" He said, "It's a matter of fairness." He said to "Joe the Plumber," it's "spreading the wealth around." I, I--his political philosophy is very, very different about what he believes is future of America's concerned.

MR. BROKAW: Well, can we, can we...

SEN. McCAIN: I believe the worst thing you can do is raise taxes.

MR. BROKAW: Can we share with the audience, then, a couple of...

SEN. McCAIN: Sure. Sure.

MR. BROKAW: ...your comments about taxing wealthy Americans?

SEN. McCAIN: Sure.

MR. BROKAW: This is from April 11th, 2004. It's MEET THE PRESS...

SEN. McCAIN: Mm-hmm.

MR. BROKAW: ...and this is what you had to say about wealthy Americans and taxes at that time.

(Videotape)

SEN. McCAIN: I voted against the tax cuts because of the disproportional amount that went to the wealthiest Americans.

(End videotape)

MR. BROKAW: And then this is what you had to say on "Hardball" back in 2000 to Chris Matthews.

(Videotape, October 12, 2000)

SEN. McCAIN: Here's what I, I, I really believe, that when you are--reach a certain level of comfort, there's nothing wrong with paying somewhat more.

(End videotape)

SEN. McCAIN: That's what--listen, even the flat tax people somewhat pay more. Even--you put into different, different categories of wealthier people paying, paying higher taxes into different brackets. I mean, and the, and these are different times, my friend. These are times of the biggest financial crisis we've faced in America.
Note the "my friend" that slips out as McCain tries to switch to the "different times" rhetoric that, as I said in the post, is incoherent with the argument that the 2 candidates represent starkly different ideology.

Brokaw pushes him on the use of the term "socialism," pointing out the inconvenient fact that "the $700 billion bailout ... has the United States government buying shares in American banks, in effect nationalizing those banks to a degree" and needling him about "your own mortgage plan of spending $300 billion to buy bad mortgages from banks, having taxpayers who have done the responsible thing, in effect, subsidize people who've done the dumb or wrong thing."

McCain again resorts to the "different times" gambit:
Because we are in a financial crisis of monumental proportions. The role of government is to intervene when a nation is in crisis. A homeowner's loan corporation was instituted in the Great Depression. They went out and they bought people's mortgages, and, over time, people were able, then, to pay back those mortgages. And the Treasury actually made some money.
The question wasn't whether it was a good idea. It was how can you call Obama "socialist" when you support things like this? You should have to say something along lines of: Well, it's socialism all right, but sometimes that's just what we need and it works out pretty well, so it's fine.

Or you could say: We're just blowing off steam when we call it "socialism," Tom. You know that. It's like when I called Cindy a ... whatever, Tom, I know Cindy's a human being, and Obama's not a socialist. It's a figure of speech.
MR. BROKAW: Let me ask you quickly about your $300 billion bailout of, of mortgages. Some people have said, look, if there's a homeowner out there who's done the irresponsible thing and a bank is looking at that foreclosure and saying, "Hey, I don't have to work this out. I can just get the government to pick it up," why should a taxpayer in Waterloo, Iowa, or in Akron, Ohio, have to subsidize somebody who has done the dumb, wrong thing?

SEN. McCAIN: Well, in simplest terms, if their neighbor next door throws the keys in the living room floor and leaves, then the value of their home is going to dramatically decrease as well. And again, this has been done before. As I said, during the Great Depression and...

MR. BROKAW: And that's when Republicans called it socialism under FDR.

SEN. McCAIN: Well, look, in the Great Depression, there were some things that worked and some things that didn't work. But for the government to do nothing in the face of a massive crisis of proportions that we have not seen, I mean, it's hard for us to imagine how, in, in retrospect, how serious the Great Depression was, but the fact is that Senator Obama, by the way, opposes that, that; and I want to use some of the $750 billion to go and buy those mortgages and that, I think, will stabilize the market. It's not the only thing that needs to be done, but I think it's a vital first step so Americans can realize the American dream.
So, McCain has nothing on the ideological point about socialism. He's gone completely over to the pragmatic side of wanting to do whatever works. And yet, he's not persuasive that this idea would work. It's a big, outrageously expensive program that spares people from the consequences of their poor decisions. But let's just do it, because the times are difficult.

57 comments:

Host with the Most said...

"We've got to get government spending out of control." (He immediately corrected himself, but still...)

Oh, COME ON, Ann!

Are you so insecure in your decision for Obama that you have to resort to parsing speaking mistakes?

Sheesh!

Again, for new visitors to this blog, here is Ann's reason for choosing Obama, boiled down:

Obama talks good.

rhhardin said...

McCain's advantage is that he's not Obama, not that he has a coherent strategy.

McCain was the media's choice for the Republican candidate.

The slog factor takes out anybody you'd actually want.

Ron said...

Well, you just can't let Brokaw force you in directions you don't want to go, so, sure, John stay on message!

Meade said...

Right. So McCain is the devil we know. Nothing new about that.

William said...

Semiotics: McCain is perceived as lurching on some key issues because, well, he physically lurches. Nice people do not edit their reactions to the old and the lame the way they do their reactions based on sex and race. Obama is young and graceful in his movements. His many twists and pivots are not perceived as lurching but as pragmatism.....Some prejudices are more prejudiced than other prejudices.

Yachira said...

Host with the most said, "Again, for new visitors to this blog, here is Ann's reason for choosing Obama, boiled down:

Obama talks good.
"

You forgot, "And he's clean!"

vet66 said...

In the midst of a global financial crisis Brokaw should be thrilled that McCain even talks about the subject. The worlds banking financial wizards can't explain how to get to where they want to go much less how taxation will be factored in.

At least McCain is not afraid to delve into a fluid situation expecting that those he is talking to understand that the financial battlefield is in enormous flux.

Biden's retort to the news anchor "Are you serious/joking" and "Who writes your questions" should have been immediately replied "Who writes your answers?"

Brokaw is asking boiler plate gotcha questions and Biden is flummoxed when asked a non-boiler plate question. The fix is in and anyone who steps out of line will be punished accordingly.

McCain and Powell are both military men. I believe McCain found it distasteful to have to take Powell to task for politicizing his personal historical significance ahead of the military and national security.

The real question that is being studiously avoided by the BHO camp is the obvious comparison between spreading the wealth around and Marx belief "From each according to his ability to each according to his need." Biden can dance all he wants but the comparison is apt and spot on.

AJ Lynch said...

Sorry but I am boycotting Meet The Press until they change the format and show's title to "Meet The Taxpayers" or "Meet the Angry Mob Who Are Paying For The Bailouts".

Maguro said...

I'm not sure why it's incoherent to say that Obama is too far to the left and marginal tax rates on "the rich" should sometimes go up. There are surely degrees of difference between his ideal taxation regime and Obama's and we already know they define who is rich quite differently.

McCain is just saying: Vote for me, I'm a mushy centrist - that Obama guy is way over there on the left!

Probably won't work, but there it is.

Ken Mitchell said...

I have to echo rhhardin's answer; when there was a CHOICE of conservative candidates, McCain was the darling of the media, and he delighted in that. I'm not the only person who noted, back then, that McCain was the weakest and least conservative candidate, the easiest for the Dems to beat.

Now that McCain is THE Republican candidate, hand-picked for that sacrificial role by the MSM, McCain fails to understand that it was obvious from the first that the media would OF COURSE abandon him for the REAL liberal rather than the faux-moderate that McCain was trying to be. And he feels, rightfully, betrayed by the "journalists" who anointed him to be the sacrificial lamb.

This is what we get from "open" primaries, where the opposition gets to select our candidate for us.

I'm actually quite down on the political process in general these days. I feel that if God had wanted us to have elections, He would have given us _candidates_!

1jpb said...

I only caught the last part of his interview, and I was only paying half attention.

But, it did look bad when he couldn't remember the five Secretaries of State.

Not really a big deal on it's own, but recently McCain has been looking old from my (admittedly pro-BHO and presumably skewed) perspective.

freshlegacy said...

McCain's biggest liability, and he has a number of big liabilities, is simply that he's old. Old and tired and frustrated. Perhaps we can thank South Carolina for giving us Obama. First, because it was in South Carolina that the present incumbent president knocked an eight-years-younger John McCain out of contention for the presidency in 2000. And second, because it was South Carolina that ignited a most racially tinged Democratic contest in 2008 by giving Obama a primary election victory that helped propel him in front of Clinton for the nomination.

I can certainly understand NOT voting for McCain this year, although I will vote for him. I can't understand voting FOR Obama. It isn't simply his "lefty" politics. He is too slick, too oily, too facile with both sides of an argument, too amoral with his answers, too easy to massage the hopes and dreams of whoever punches his ticket at the moment. The last paragraph of George Will's column today in the Washington Post says it all: "Obama, no stickler for consistency..."

McCain's run for the presidency is truly a tragic endeavor, a fairly principled tired old soldier against a ruthless, rising, elegant young warrior.

Michael said...

After witnessing McCain's performance this morning, anybody who wasn't afraid of Palin becoming President has to be scared to death.

The man was almost incoherent.

Terry said...

Obama minus teleprompter: 'umm, ah, wait a minute, um, mff, um, wait a minute, uh, uh, ah, ummm...'.

Compare McCain to Obama on O'Reilly (sp).

Both candidates have great and bad days.

Look, at this point, days before the election, we know neither man is a complete idiot.

But to me, McCain is the devil I know and Obama is the devil I don't.

TitusonlyTops said...

He was amazing. This is more than I can take Althouse. What happened? We need your republican love NOW.

Danny said...

If you want regurgitated RNC talking points, I believe they have a website and several blogs to go along with it. Love for McCain (or fear of Obama, more likely) shouldn't block your sense of smell when the hot, messy bullshit starts plopping out.

Ann Althouse said...

titusonlytops said..."He was amazing. This is more than I can take Althouse. What happened? We need your republican love NOW."

LOL. You are no more a Republican than I am. But in any case, what scares me about McCain isn't conservatism. It's him in liberal mode. If we must have liberalism, let's have Obama, and let's have the Democratic Party own it. In 2 years, we can vote on what they've done.

rcocean said...

Ken nails it. McCain won the nomination with the endorsement of the New York Times. He was the favorite of David Brooks, Kristol, and every other faux conservative.

Because of the insane primary system which selected the nominee in six weeks, had open primaries and winner-take-all we ended up with McCain. Even though he only got about 35% of the vote through Mid Feb.

Go back to late August. This turkey wanted to pick Lieberman as his VP. Only when Republican leaders told McCain it would split the convention - did he go for Palin at the last moment. His sidekick Graham never stopped fighting for Lieberman.

This race has been close because the Democrats selected Obama. Hillary would have taken the lead and never relinquished it. All McCain has been able to is claim he's not as bad as the other guy.

Kim said...

McCain's incoherent because conservatives haven't ever had a coherent philosophy. McCain is pragmatic (the exact thing for which conservatives hated Clinton) while adopting the ethics of the christian bible. Democrats have found a man who consistently holds his beliefs and that is why he is more appealing. Obama stands for something and he is a true believer.

To be clear, both frighten me but it's consistency of ideas that will do the most damage without consistent ideas to fight them. Republicans, as well as America, are doomed to lose more and more ground to communism/collectivism because they don't have an ideological, reason-based leg to stand on.

TitusonlyTops said...

I know I am not a republican. I just want republican love.

It seems so exotic and dangerous and something I don't find in my world. So in that respect I would find it kind of hot.

I would say things like I am going to fuck you you fucking republican and you are going to like it.

Palladian said...

"Democrats have found a man who consistently holds his beliefs and that is why he is more appealing."

LOL. What beliefs? Consistency? Even people who like him don't have the temerity to call him consistent.

"Obama stands for something and he is a true believer."

He sure is a True Believer...

MTfromCC said...

He really does seem older and more frail than he did 3 months ago. And he really is down to a few tired points that make him seem very small, much smaller than he should have been.

I really think the argument that restoring tax rates to where they were after Reagan's presidency is akin to socialism is an intellectually thin and uncompelling argument that most middle class people do not agree with, and that derisively belittles the opposition in an election where belittling with derision is a particularly ill advised tactic. Maybe it plays to the base, but it is a loser strategy in Election 2008.

Arguing that Obama is a radical, manchurian candidate fails because voters have seen Obama, and they largely like what they see (and they are not so hot on what Mcccain has shown them over the same time period). Biden was a very solid and assuring choice, Palin was a very risky and unnerving choice that has been a mixed bag -- probably negative when all is said and done -- although I don't think it would have made a difference if he had chosen Romney or Ridge or Lieberman, or a different female republican, etc. McCain's drama queen act at the outset of the financial crisis was very bad for him. And Obama's steadiness no matter what they throw at him has been evident.

In debate, and on the campaign trail, Obama has been very calm and unflappable, open, yet disciplined, and McCain seems like he is always on the verge of snapping into a rage, flailing from one extreme to another, reinventing himself over and over, and looking much smaller and much less the leader than Obama. The debates have had huge numbers of viewers, and all polling reflects a widely held view that Obama "won" all three by healthy margins. He was the more Presidential.

In that context, McCain's final pre-election appearance on Meet the Press seems to be the final exclamation point on the McCain campaign. I agree with Ann, he seemed very off his game, had several "senior" moments (my favorite was when he couldn't remember the 5th of 5 secretaries of state who have endorsed him . . . in which it was not the fact that he forgot Schultz, but that he let remembering it get in the way of what he needed to accomplish in this national TV appearence -- what may be his last national TV opportunity to change the dynamic. Think about it, He is behind Obama by solid margins nationally and electorally, and on Meet the Press, he lets 2 or 3 senior moments, and a sad and tired "red baiting" line of attack to dominate what needed to be a compelling final interview for him. This was a reminder of why he is losing so solidly, of why it is irresponsible to vote for him.

PS - I disagree with those who think liking Obama is a "cult of personality" thing. It is not that at all. At some point, all of the people I know who support Obama (including me) came to the following conclusions: 1. Dramatic change from the status quo was needed. 2. The Republicans were in charge over the past 7 years, and are not going to bring about that change. 3. Obama is a credible agent for that change, who is quite evidently much more reasonable than right wing hyperbole would have us believe. 4. Obama is fine, in fact, he really seems to have really excellent potential to be a great President.

That's the bottom line. Obama has passed the test of being Presidential. He personally seems very steady -- measured, thoughtful, very smart, open to different ideas, and, above all, very serious. Not some "off the ranch" leftie, not some dangerous neophyte -- that's Palin -- but a serious, informed and thoughtful man, with extraordinary oratorical skills and leadership abilities who has run a near flawless campaign over almost 2 years. We know him, we've seen him and we like what we see and know.

I guess that frustrates conservatives and right wingers, but I can't understand why government as the GOP has run it these past 7 years -- ending with the largest corporate socialism event EVER -- doesn't frustrate them even more. McCain's not the answer to what conservatism OR the country wants. I'm not sure what is -- I am optimistic about Obama -- but you are much more likely to end up with energetic and sincere government with Obama than with McCain, and that is not the worst thing right now. And let the GOP spend the next 4 years finding its inner conservative soul. The outward one has become very unappealing.

Palladian said...

"but you are much more likely to end up with energetic and sincere government with Obama"

Yes, this is the heart of the problem. Conservatives and libertarians do not want an "energetic and sincere" government. In fact, anyone who loves liberty should be terrified of the idea of an "energetic and sincere" government.

Rob said...

So you too have fallen under the hypnotic glow of the One and his One True Press.

Responding to an emergency is much different than following a long-term philosophy. Obama has repeatedly slipped and let his belief that taxation is a means of social engineering. He said taxation is a means of “spreading the wealth” even if it reduces actual government revenue because it is an issue of "fairness." His running mate has said that paying taxes is “patriotic” (what about the 40% who don’t pay income taxes – are the working poor not patriotic?). Obama’s associations over his lifetime are important because they reinforce his teachings and world-view on how government should work, and those important associates advocate a radical redistribution of wealth.

Criticizing McCain because he acted pragmatically in a crisis rather than falling back on pure ideology while simultaneously believing that McCain’s act somehow inoculates Obama from a (limited) career based on the ideology of an overreaching government is simply intellectually dishonest.

The crisis again shows McCain is willing to constructively compromise to stave off disaster - What did Obama compromise on? It just shows Obama is a political opportunist.

Enjoy the Kool-Aide.

ricpic said...

It is catastrophic to raise taxes in a severe economic downturn. That is economics 101. The fact that McCain puts the case poorly doesn't make it any less a reality. Is your desire to vote for Obama so strong that you WON'T see that, Althouse?

Original George said...

What's wrong with incoherence, if that's McCain's problem?

"Not even Roosevelt's most ardent defenders would argue that the legislation of the first Hundred Days was coherent and carefully thought out," concludes "FDR: The First Hundred Days," a new history of FDR's first days in office.

FDR refused to accept Hoover's 10-page handwritten invitation to stand together and declare a bank holiday long before FDR's inauguration. Then, once in office, he did just that, either out of necessity, because he was devious, or because at first he didn't fully understand the situation.

Unlike Sen. Obama, at least Sen. McCain has a senior-level track record, as did FDR. You don't raises taxes in a recession. That's Econ. 101.

(Interestingly, both FDR and McCain were handicapped, had great wealth, weren't intellectuals, were loose cannons in their parties, were unfaithful to their wives, and had naval backgrounds.)

blake said...

Yes, we'll let the Democrats loose for two years--or, when the fark up the economy a la FDR and still manage to blame the Republicans, eight years (or 24 years), and then when they've enacted all these massive, failing programs, we'll just dismantle them, just as we've been able to do with Social Security, Welfare, Medicare, the various instruments of the Wars on Drugs, Poverty and Crime, etc. etc. etc.

Because, historically, there's never been a problem reversing the implementing of massive bureaucracies once they've proven not to work. That's why we're ending universal public education after only 50 years of utter failure.

And why our income tax rates are going to go back to the 7% if you make over $500,000 (adjusted for 1913 dollars, so, that's a one TRILLION dolalrs).

Some mistakes are harder to undo than others. One must have faith in the utter incompetency of the ruling party to hope to come out of a single-party government unscathed.

John Althouse Cohen said...

Right. So McCain is the devil we know. Nothing new about that.

But we don't know him. He's all over the place, with no apparent principles or integrity beyond whatever happens to be expedient at the moment. He flip-flops constantly, and he's dramatically reinvented himself about once every couple years.

Maguro said...

...rhetoric that, as I said in the post, is incoherent with the argument that the 2 candidates represent starkly different ideology.

I'm not sure who's been making that argument. McCain has always cultivated that "maverick" image to let us know that he's not an ideological conservative but a pragmatic one.

He's the Anthony Kennedy of politics - not a true conservative but at least not a complete lib.

peter hoh said...

It can't be socialism when a Republican is pushing it.

Bailouts, agribusiness subsidies, and sports stadiums are investments, so they don't count as spending, especially when they are financed with borrowed money.

And they certainly don't count as "spreading the wealth around" because they involve shoveling money to the privileged few.

John Stodder said...

(Interestingly, both FDR and McCain were handicapped, had great wealth, weren't intellectuals, were loose cannons in their parties, were unfaithful to their wives, and had naval backgrounds.)

And didn't FDR also say "my friends" a lot?

The problem with your analogy is that McCain more resembles the 1944 version of FDR than the 1932 version. A tired, forgetful figurehead.

Now that I've come out for Obama, I can say this: You're telling me Brokaw doesn't get the profound difference between the Treasury and the Fed propping up banks in what is clearly a temporary band-aid and Obama's comment that a small business owner should be content to share his meager profits with others who haven't taken his risks? Only one of those is "socialism." The other is just the kind of thing that happens in our mixed economy, in which certain industries have long been subject to disproportionate regulation because it's been proven necessary. Commercial aviation, nuclear power and, yeah, banks. Among many others.

We've never had pure capitalism in America since before George Washington. So it's childish to say, "well, you're okay with this kind of socialism, so you can't object to any other form of socialism." It's always a trade-off between the risks of government intervention and the risks of non-intervention, and everything is to a degree.

Bob said...

Watching the show over the past few weeks has left me with a real sadness that Russert wasn't here this year. He was extrodinary compared to the rest of the media pack. Plus he would have enjoyed both this campaign and the fact the Bills have a winning season right now.

Watching McCain today and seeing how gray Obama looked earlier this week it does appear we burn thru our candidates.

jdeeripper said...

rcocean said...All McCain has been able to is claim he's not as bad as the other guy.

That's about all he has other than experience.

John Althouse Cohen said...Right. So McCain is the devil we know. Nothing new about that.

But we don't know him...He flip-flops constantly


Better a man who flip flops than a flip flop wearing man .

Ann has shorts, I have flip flop/sandal thingies. Bad.

Original George said...

John--

Maybe McCain should dye his hair.

Otherwise, he looks hearty.

Here's a photo of Pres. Roosevelt before the end. Now, he looks very bad. If there'd been TV in 1944, he couldn't have gotten elected looking like that.

John Althouse Cohen said...

Here's a photo of Pres. Roosevelt before the end. Now, he looks very bad. If there'd been TV in 1944, he couldn't have gotten elected looking like that.

Well, remember, FDR died in office. That's not a good thing.

John Althouse Cohen said...

In other words, this isn't just some trivial thing that we're focused on because of TV. The president's health/vigor actually matters and is a totally legitimate substantive issue.

EDH said...

Ann,

Admit at least that McCain's point is harder to make than Obama's demagogic demo-grantery.

Here's Greg Mankiw on the incentive effects on the upper middle class.

Obama's proposed tax hikes reduce my incentive to work by 62 percent compared to the McCain plan and by 93 percent compared to the no-tax scenario. In a sense, putting the various pieces of the tax system together, I would be facing a marginal tax rate of 93 percent.

And the Wall Street Journal's Obama's 95% Illusion on the incentive effects for low earners.

There's another catch: Because Mr. Obama's tax credits are phased out as incomes rise, they impose a huge "marginal" tax rate increase on low-income workers. The marginal tax rate refers to the rate on the next dollar of income earned. As the nearby chart illustrates, the marginal rate for millions of low- and middle-income workers would spike as they earn more income.

Some families with an income of $40,000 could lose up to 40 cents in vanishing credits for every additional dollar earned from working overtime or taking a new job. As public policy, this is contradictory. The tax credits are sold in the name of "making work pay," but in practice they can be a disincentive to working harder, especially if you're a lower-income couple getting raises of $1,000 or $2,000 a year. One mystery -- among many -- of the McCain campaign is why it has allowed Mr. Obama's 95% illusion to go unanswered.

jdeeripper said...

If the Republicans were running a Romney/Ridge ticket now they'd be up by 20 points.

They'd have the 2004 Bush states plus New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Michigan.

This is making me nauseous to think about.

The only good thing about this election is that it has temporarily distracted me from my personal life.

So in November I'm going to be doubly devastated.

Darcy said...

Geez. McCain really did suck in that interview. I can't disagree.

But Prof. Althouse's offerings of what he should have said are ludicrous. Or they would be if he'd said them, anyway. It definitely sounds like what she believes, though.

Darcy said...

Yes, this is the heart of the problem. Conservatives and libertarians do not want an "energetic and sincere" government. In fact, anyone who loves liberty should be terrified of the idea of an "energetic and sincere" government.

Thank you. Liberals love this idea...it is exactly why The One is so mesmerizing.

former law student said...

His campaign platform consists of not being Obama. He's no conservative, and doesn't really believe some of the jazz he's spouting.

His energy is obviously low, but he didn't really seem any different from how he was in the various debates.

eaglewingz08 said...

Even though McCain was less energetic than he usually is, he, unlike the Obamanation, still knows that there are only fifty (not 59) states. There are just some things that an American knows from childhood. A Kenyan-Indonesian bred child might be forgiven for substituting the 57 muslim countries for the 50 states. But I don't believe Ann called Obama out on that gaffe, or on his breathalyzer/inhalater comments, or on his New Party Membership (actual socialist party membership doesn't matter does it Ann?)Check out new party archives and new zeal website, also read the High Road, about the actual history of Illinois' New Party (founded by ACORN and the Democratic Socialists of America-Damn, there's that Socialist thing again, can't some good koolaid drinking tinfoil hatwearing libnut erase that from Obama's history?)

Jen Bradford said...

I think it was the opiate that is the Meet The Press format that made him fade out. The endless yammering about polls and "reports". Knowing in advance that you'll be presented with statements you made years ago and having to account for any disparity like a kid held after school - I found the whole thing exhausting myself. I had a similar feeling using a dial-up connection at my folks' place last week.

Floridan said...

Eaglewingz08: " . . . there are only fifty (not 59) states."

While it is true that there are not 59 states, Obama said there were 57.

I guess all of us make mistakes.

JAL said...

Forget Meet the Press.

This while campaign thing is brutal.

Ann likes what she thinks Obama is going to do with the economy. Maybe non business people tend to think that way.

So look at Economics from an economics prof:

http://gregmankiw.blogspot.com/2008/10/blog-post.html

Obama will cost us at a time when we don't need to be "costed."

At a pot luck supper last night, a twenty something couple is talking. Blonde chickie who is working a couple jobs to make ends meet states "I don't want anybody giving me money I'm not earned -- taking it from some one else." BF states -- if the business (he works for) is taxed more, we will just pass it on to the consumer."

Then they related incident of a fitness client telling them he wasn't going to look for a job -- he's on disability, cause he knows how to work the system.

Young couple say "But we're the system..."

Amazing how those Joe the Plumber types get economics 101.

jdeeripper said...

JAL said...Amazing how those Joe the Plumber types get economics 101.

Joe the Plumbers...Joes the Plumbers...Plum.. Joes the...Look, working class White guys don't mean shit.

They aren't the swing vote. They are a demographic dead end.

Joe the Plumber may be an icon, but his type is endangered

Christopher said...

Floridan wrote:

"While it is true that there are not 59 states, Obama said there were 57.

I guess all of us make mistakes."


That you do.

Actually, Obama said that he'd visited fifty-seven states, wouldn't be able to visit two, and then had one to go. Which makes sixty.

"Over the last 15 months, we’ve traveled to every corner of the United States. I’ve now been in 57 states? I think one left to go. Alaska and Hawaii, I was not allowed to go to even though I really wanted to visit, but my staff would not justify it."

See?

If you're going to try to make someone look like silly by correcting him, make sure that you're actually right.

jdeeripper said...

Althouse - John McCain on "Meet the Press." Did you watch? To me, McCain sounds exhausted or sick.

He's looked worse .

I'm voting for the Ole Fool but jezus h. Haha...

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

I think that Brokaw subjected McCain to the standard MSM disdain. I got through the first part about the Iowa polls and the identification with Bush charge; McCain did better than Biden in his recent celebrated answers to a conservative critic. McCain's answers were responsive. Then we have the polls about Obama being ahead on Health Care etc. A more fair minded question would have been, 'Why is your plan better than Obama's?' That would have given the 'independent voter' some useful information. 'Meet the Press?' Frankly this is a blind date neither of us wants to go on.

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

Had the interview been with Obama and he was 39% down in the polling on health care policy, the question would have been, 'The distinguished Harvard economist Greg Mankiw prefers your plan to your opponent's. Why do you think the polls suggest that the public doesn't? Do you think it is racism?' In fact, Mankiw does prefer McCain's health care program.

montana urban legend said...

Yes, this is the heart of the problem. Conservatives and libertarians do not want an "energetic and sincere" government. In fact, anyone who loves liberty should be terrified of the idea of an "energetic and sincere" government.

Thank you. Liberals love this idea...it is exactly why The One is so mesmerizing.


I'm ok with lackadaisacal government as long as the politicians who run on it forego their salaries, benefits, office expenses, etc. And if you prefer a government that lies to you and to the public over one that does not, then I think that says something more about you than you'd want to admit, frankly.

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

Obama IS a socialist and everyone who doesn't think so is lying to themselves. The bailout was a socialist policy which will have severe consequences on the economy for years to come.

Unfortunately, McCain is just a middling politician who lacks any fundamental understanding of free markets.

Toby said...

The basic "socialist" notion is that "the workers" should own "the means of proudction, distribution and exchange". Lenin and his cohorts equated "the workers" with "the dictatorship of the proletariat", where the workers would be represented by its vanguard, the Communist Party.

I see nothing remotely like this in Obama's presentation of his policies. We have a throwaway remark to a member of the public, and on that millimeter-wide basis, McCain and Palin have erected a fantasy world of Socialism (with a captial "S"), and Communism.

I saw Biden's interview with Barbara West, who appeared in the guise of a hostile schoolmarm quizzing a pupil she is convinced has broken school rules. Biden dismissed her with the contempt she deserved.

I though McCain with Brokaw was on the edge of incoherence. Well, he's run the gamut from Mavericks to William Ayers to Joe the Plumber to Karl Marx. Its McCain's Last Stand.

smurfix said...

McCain? "Adopting the ethics of the christian bible"? You must be kidding. Whatever happened to Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness Against Thy Neighbor? Oh, I forget, in his opinion Obama's an uppity n*gg*r and therefore no "neighbor", so obviously it's OK, right?

WRONG.

"Are you so insecure in your decision for Obama that you have to resort to parsing speaking mistakes?"

Well, if that was her only point, I'd actually agree. But it isn't. Care to actually read (and understand) the whole thing, next time?

Thanks.

Meade said...

John Althouse Cohen said...

But we don't know him. He's all over the place, with no apparent principles or integrity beyond whatever happens to be expedient at the moment. He flip-flops constantly, and he's dramatically reinvented himself about once every couple years

John, your hyperbole aside, I agree with your critique of John McCain. It's a critique that can fairly be made of nearly every successful pragmatic individual who has a long record in politics. Hence, the devil we know.

My argument for Obama being the devil we don't know can be found 
here - most eloquently, I think, on points 1, 2, 3, 4, 6a, 6b, 6c, 7, 8, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 11, and 12.

Floridan said...

Chis: "If you're going to try to make someone look like silly by correcting him, make sure that you're actually right."

I believe you just made my point.