Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Old Man Tired Brain

John McCain is starting to complain that the media is in love with Barack Obama, which is a bit like Bush complaining that Cheney doesn't care about the environment. Of course, this media favor dust up has nothing on the time Obama hit his wiffle ball over the fence on to McCain's lawn. Oh my God, was McCain mad that day. He still hasn't given Obama his ball back. Anyway, the media are the ones who have advanced the theme that McCain is some maverick with foreign policy expertise when everything seems to indicate otherwise, so how biased could they be? (Side note: Do you think McCain has voted for his own video, since he's admitted he doesn't know how to use computers?)

Yes, the media seems to favor Obama's radical "I probably won't bomb anybody in my first 100 days" policy over McCain's sensible "I will bomb everybody immediately just to be safe" plan.

And yes, lately the media is writing more pieces asking whether McCain is ignorant, senile or a combination of both. But is that reflective of an inherent bias or just some actual reporting? Let's take a look at the latest of these articles and McCain's comments therein to see just what's going on here.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz) said "Iraq" on Monday when he apparently meant "Afghanistan", adding to a string of mixed-up word choices that is giving ammunition to the opposition...McCain appeared to confuse Iraq and Afghanistan in a “Good Morning America” interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer, who asked whether the "the situation in Afghanistan is precarious and urgent.”
McCain responded: “I'm afraid it's a very hard struggle, particularly given the situation on the Iraq/Pakistan border," McCain said. The ABC posting added: “Iraq and Pakistan do not share a border. Afghanistan and Pakistan do.”


Oh, come on! No, Iraq does not share a border with Pakistan, but India does and that's another I country. Iraq does share a border with Iran, yet another I country. And we have combat zones in both Iraq and Afghanistan right now. You can see how confusing this gets, even for a foreign policy expert like McCain. He never said he was a geography expert! Besides, not knowing Middle Eastern and Central Asian borders just makes him like 80% of American voters. Lastly, people who are concerned that McCain wants to bomb Iran can rest easy. He doesn't even know where it is! Bias!

McCain aides point out that he spends much more time than Obama talking extemporaneously, taking questions from voters and reporters. "Being human and tripping over your tongue occasionally doesn't mean a thing," a top McCain official said.

Right! Anybody can read off a note card and get things right. You try getting things right off the top of your head when you don't know what you're talking about in the first place. Bias!

Among the other lapses: “Somalia” for “Sudan”: As recounted in a reporter’s pool report from McCain’s Straight Talk Express bus on June 30, the senator said while discussing Darfur, a region of Sudan: "How can we bring pressure on the government of Somalia?" Senior adviser Mark Salter corrected him: “Sudan.”

Come on! Black people are in both of these countries! And black people have been killed in both countries! What's the damn difference? If you want to argue that these are two entirely different countries with two entirely different set of challenges, that Somalia is becoming a haven for Al Qaeda and Sudan is being overladen with guns from China, you're just splitting gray hairs.

Oh, and calling McCain staffers "senior" advisers? Bias!

A YouTube clip from last year memorializes McCain referring to Vladimir Putin of Russia — following a trip to Germany — as “President Putin of Germany.”

Germany and Russia were both in World War II. Just because they fought against each other doesn't mean they aren't basically the same country. Bias!

This spring, McCain said troops in Iraq were “down to pre-surge levels” when in fact there were 20,000 more troops than when the surge policy began.

Look, McCain supports the surge. So what if doesn't know every tiny manpower detail about troop strength related to the position he supports? Bias! Just because those 20,000 troops have at least 100,000 family members hoping they come home soon doesn't mean McCain is just another old guy who's bad with numbers. Bias!

In perhaps the most curious incident, McCain said earlier this month that as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, he had tried to confuse his captors by giving the names of Pittsburgh Steelers starting players when asked to identify his squadron mates. McCain has told the story many times over the years — but always correctly referred to the names he gave as members of the Green Bay Packers.

That's the most curious incident? Anyway, both Green Bay and Pittsburgh are small cities with NFL teams, and both teams wear gold pants. Just because McCain was a POW from 1968-1973 and and the Steelers didn't win their first Super Bowl until 1975 doesn't mean he's old and confused. He made that comment in Pittsburgh. It wasn't a slip, it was pandering! Come on! Bias!

Also this spring, McCain twice appeared to mistake Sunnis and Shiites, two branches of Islam that split violently.

Listen, if he can't even tell Germans and Russians apart, how in the world do you think he's going to tell brown people apart? Just because every single Iraqi conflict stems from this fundamental religious difference and McCain claims to be a foreign policy expert doesn't mean he's senile. So what if the Shiites in Iraq identify with fellow Shiites in Iran more than Iraqi Sunnis, influencing every policy we try to enact in Iraq? McCain is old, but that schism happened 800 years ago. He's not that old! Bias!

Voters, thinking about their own relatives, can be expected to scrutinize McCain’s debate performances for signs of slippage. Every voter has a parent, grandparent or a friend whose mental acuity declined as they grew older.

Oh nice. Pointing out that McCain is like your grandpa who falls asleep at the Thanksgiving table after yelling that he hates gooks and those slopes poisoned his potatoes? Bias!

I tell you what, if this media bias in favor of Obama keeps up until November, this country is going to end up electing a young, energetic, intelligent President who knows what he's talking about. Is that really what this country needs?

John McCain is a maverick! Sure, it's in the same way the guy who begs for change on the freeway on ramp is a maverick, but still. Maverick!

Addendum! This poster, incredible as it is, is not more evidence that McCain is senile. Yes, it has McCain floating in the clouds, watching over us all, and it has fighter jets and the word "Peace" right next to each other, but it's not like McCain designed. Remember, he can't even use a computer!

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