The high Republican dudgeon over Obama's ad hitting McCain on computers is, as mentioned below, proof that Republicans will say literally anything in pursuit of partisan advantage. Anything. No matter how stupid. No matter how ludicrous. They will -- and I mean this literally -- defend a flat-earther if they think it means winning a news cycle. They are utterly untroubled by concepts of credibility, honesty, fairness . . .
But what makes this all extra fun for me is the realization that they don't even know they've just been played. Obama just took page one from the Rove playbook and worked it.
Ask yourself two questions as we come to the end of this news cycle: 1) Are we still talking about Palin? 2) What's the voter's take-away from all this?
Answer #1, no, we're not talking about Palin, we're talking about McCain.
And answer #2, the voter take-away is "McCain is so old he doesn't know what the internet is."
Both answers courtesy of the GOP Phony Outrage Machine. (GOP-POM.)
Kids: you don't do the whole hysterical rending of garments and public weeping act when it serves to magnify your opponent's message. You do the phony outrage thing to distract from your opponent's message. (And your own complete lack of a message.)
I'll tell you what I think. I think it's probably true that McCain is largely computer illiterate. The POW excuse is pure, Grade A bullshit. I suspect basically we have here an old guy who's been rich and powerful for a long time and no more worries about his computer than he does his vacuum cleaner.
Not just old and out of touch. Rich, powerful, old and out of touch. Thanks to the GOP-POM, everyone got that.
Todd Craighead started life with one hand behind his back – literally. Arthrogryposis, a condition resulting from restricted movement in the womb, had stiffened his joints and left him with poorly developed muscles and bones. Weighing a mite four pounds, his feet were deformed, hands cupped, his right hip was out of socket and right arm was twisted back up behind his head.
My premise has been that there is literally no bottom to the GOP barrel. And now, ladies and gentlemen, hot on the heels of the last week's nauseating displays, we have what may be the ultimate proof of the moral vacuity and intellectual dishonesty that characterize the brain dead former party of ideas.
Once again, I link to the jaw-dropping apologists at Stubborn Facts. Here's the backstory: Obama runs a (badly produced) ad alleging that McCain is out of touch and cannot even use a computer.
The reaction? You will honestly not believe it. John McCain can't use a computer because . . . wait for it . . . he was a POW. He can't type because he was a POW, and because he can't type he can't use a computer.
McCain can't use a computer because he can't type? I can't type, geniuses. I've written 150 books with two fingers. 40,000 pages with two fingers. Are you people high? Are you drunk? McCain can't use a computer because he can't type? My son was using a computer when he was four and couldn't handle a pair of scissors. He couldn't reliably get a spoon into his mouth but he could use a computer. Are you out of your sad little say-anything-to-win minds?
here's me typing with one finger. Here's me typing with my big toe and a piece of stale Italian bread.
Lemme ask you something, boys: can McCain use a phone? Because I'm betting he can. And you know what? If he can punch a teeny, tiny little telephone button, I'm betting he can punch a keyboard key or hold a mouse.
I'm not going to even try linking to the many times I've lauded John McCain as a man. I'm not someone who has many heroes. But McCain was one of mine.
No one can or should diminish what McCain suffered for this country. He was brave. He was strong. He wore the uniform and served with distinction.
But I guess all that was a long time ago. Because now John McCain is just another two-bit politician willing to crawl through the gutter to achieve his goal. The man whose 2000 presidential bid was destroyed by racist slander is now reduced to lying about his opponent. And not just lying. Smearing. Just the way he was smeared, with a sleazy, despicable ad that does everything but call Barack Obama a child molester.
Watch the ad. Wait for the money shot. Know where it is? The one of Obama gazing down, as if leering at a child.
There are no accidents in political ads. That was a deliberate choice. The shot was chosen to make it seem Obama is leering at a child while the copy lies blatantly about Obama's record on sex education. While the VO talks bout Obama wanting to teach children about sex before they learn to read.
John McCain. From hero, to victim of political smears, to perpetrator of political smears.
John McCain. Maverick? No. Just another scumbag politician.
Answering the question: Is there anything a Republican can't rationalize in pursuit of partisan advantage?
As noted above, to function effectively, a chief executive must work through and therefore be able to trust and rely on her subordinates. After Palin was elected mayor, she inherited the previous administration's staff and department heads; she may have wanted, reasonably enough, to establish that she was in charge and that the department heads would follow her administration's policy. She may have wanted to know, that is, if they were loyal. She may have asked them questions probing whether this was so. The now-famous "rhetorical question" (famous in the sense that it was asked, but no one seems to recall exactly what the question was) she asked Emmons, the library chief, perhaps went something like this: "I need to know that you're going to implement the decisions that I've made, even if you don't agree with them. Suppose I asked you to do something just unthinkable - suppose I asked you to get rid of all the Harry Potter books, for example. Would you be willing to do it?" Emmons evidently said that she'd rather quit (although it obviously doesn't follow from that preference that she was fired because she wouldn't ban certain books).
If that's a fair reconstruction, then the incident may have been (to borrow one of Justice O'Connor's preferred pejoratives) unattractive, but it becomes understandable and it certainly wasn't "seeking to ban books." We have a situation with a new mayor of a fast-growing frontier town getting a feel for office. No books were banned, and there's no direct evidence that Palin ever intended to ban them. We already know that the left either doesn't understand the concept of a rhetorical context or they think Palin doesn't. At very least, while this isn't by any means the sort of debunking we've offered before, it posits theory of events fits the facts adduced thusfar, and doesn't superimpose extraordinary motivations onto the actors as the more outlandish claims do. All this should make us highly skeptical of the critics' claims.
So, you see, it's okay that Palin asked the librarian whether she would theoretically allow the mayor to censor books. Because it was just a loyalty test.
So, um, police chief, if I . . . purely theoretically . . . asked whether you'd round up all the Jews if I asked you, would you be able to do that for me?
Then I'm sorry, I'm going to have to let you go for disloyalty.
I don’t think the obvious fact that I can’t keep up with this blog should stop me from starting other new blogs, do you?
I have two new work-related blogs. One is called TheFAYZ. It’s written as a sort of bridge between books in my GONE series. GONE is out now. HUNGER: a GONE novel comes out next year. TheFAYZ is written by a non-book character named Sinder. She’ll see some of what happens on-camera in the books, but otherwise will be involved in a separate, free-standing storyline, with new characters.
And I get to have fun with Photoshop.
The second blog is still in development. I’m calling it Stupid Blog Name. It will be a group blog focusing on YA literature. So far I have a kidlit agent and former Harper editor, a Simon editor, and a handful of YA authors. I’ll add a bookseller or two, more editors and writers. And I want to add some actual kids — you know, the readers. I have a piece of lovely artwork up there holding the place down for me. I hope to have it all up and running in a week or two.