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August 05, 2008

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I just shuddered a little bit.

3...2...1...

"Liberals need to lighten up. They have no sense of humor."

I can't wait to see our resident conservatives explain this one.

I'm betting on "Obama would be worse on the issues that matter to me" because "irrelevant to being president", and "taken out of context" kinda seems to be a non-starter for this one.

I guess they could try "it was only a joke", but somehow I don't think that excuse will fly with this crowd. Maybe Redstate.

How much longer before the first Mrs. McCain is in a pro-Obama ad?

Am I correct in assuming that the corporate media won't touch this story?

On a slightly different topic: the MSM and the righwing blogspere dutifully engaged in a noise storm over Obama's remark about keeping tires inflated to the right pressure as a means of getting the best gas mileage from your car.

Sneer,sneer,sneer. Except who was being sneered at? "Keep your tire pressure right so you get good mileage" is one of those things daddies say to their offspring. Do the Republicans think our daddies are giving bad advice?

But none of this matters. I mean the stupidity of the Republican attacks won't lessen the effectiveness. After one hundred more days of rightwing nonsense dutifully promoted by the pundits we very easily could end up with another ignorant conceited authoritarian in the WHite House.

What is especially sad is the way that Mrs. McCain seems to be cheerfully going along with the "gag".

IOKIYAR

I think the most thankless job in the world is to be the spouse of a politician.

"All I’m saying is that if Barack Obama had gone to an event with 20,000 people wasting gas to talk about energy and said that his wife should have simulated sucking a banana dick between another woman’s legs, this race would be f*cking over."

Absolutely true. And that tells you everything you need to know about the media in this campaign.

(If, as he said, he looked at the schedule, it would be hard to spot the Beauty Pageant without noticing the Fake Orgasm Contest right beneath it.)

Tasteless joke time.

I think Cindy would've won that one, what with all the practice she's been getting with John over the years.

Am I correct in assuming that the corporate media won't touch this story?

smart money says: Yes, You Are Correct.

Meh, McCain's just courting a group of voters that wouldn't normally vote. Same thing goes for when Obama played the Jay-Z song "99 Problems but a Bitch Ain't One".

As for McCain objectifying his wife, I probably would've avoided a comment like that, the same way I try to avoid getting smacked upside the head. But I don't fault McCain for appearing at Sturgis. Bikers have a good reputation for "supporting the troops", and it's a good demographic to go after that often gets ignored (too raunchy for conservatives and too supportive of current foreign policy for liberals).

Meh, McCain's just courting a group of voters that wouldn't normally vote. Same thing goes for when Obama played the Jay-Z song "99 Problems but a Bitch Ain't One".

Oh FFS. The bullsh!t myth that won't die.

Page 6 of the NY Post (the original source of the smear) is, um, how you say, not worth the pulp it's printed on.

"All I’m saying is that if Barack Obama had gone to an event with 20,000 people wasting gas to talk about energy and said that his wife should have simulated sucking a banana dick between another woman’s legs, this race would be f*cking over."

Quote of the day. Quote of the year.

the truth is that he's a $520-shoe wearing elitist -- and a total phony at Sturgis. He's got nothing more in common with the Harley-riding bike ralliers there than George Bush does with a true rancher in Texas.

Don't underestimate the number of wealthy folks at Sturgis. Harleys ain't cheap! I was passing through South Dakota during the 50th Anniversary Sturgis Rally back in the 1980s and I met an entire motorcycle club worth of Washington State periodontists who were taking part.

(BTW, my apologies if my response was unduly harsh, LT -- 'twas not you that I was expressing frustration with, but, rather, the tenacious pervasiveness of the myth.)

Where's Tony Perkins, James Dobson, Pat Robertson, and the rest of the "Obama's the Antichrist" Religious Right crowd when their revered candidate is pimping his wife in front of a crowd of drunk bikers? Funny how they are mum about this little Miss Buffalo Chip episode but line up to heap praise on McSame's "The One" ad. They can sure pick their battles...

"Supporting the troops" and "supportive of current foreign policy" are not the same thing, LT.

I suppose it's possible that 'the troops' are all gung-ho Bushies, and every man jack of them wants to 'win' in Iraq, but in that case I have to ask: what support do we owe to 'the troops' if this war, or any war, is their idea?

-- TP

Well, what about Obama's Jay-Z moment that MoDo gets in a tiff over for no good reason? I don't understand why reaching out is such a bad thing.

Wouldn't that be Mrs. Buffalo Chip? As in a woman married to a piece of dried bovine dung?

Lt Nixon, 80% of the bikers I know, and I do know several, maybe as many as hilzoy used to, are strongly against our current foreign policy and are planning on voting for Obama. Anecdotal, sure, but it just is a way of saying don't make declarative statements without back up.

I suppose it's possible that 'the troops' are all gung-ho Bushies, and every man jack of them wants to 'win' in Iraq, but in that case I have to ask: what support do we owe to 'the troops' if this war, or any war, is their idea?

I never said in my comment that you had to exclusively support Bush's foreign policy to "support the troops". I'm sorry if you misunderstood me. You don't owe us anything. I just have respect for guys who pay their tributes to the POW/MIA cause in their own way.

The more I learn about the McCain marriage, the sorrier I feel for Cindy. You have to wonder why she puts up with it, especially considering she's the one with the money.

maybe as many as hilzoy used to, are strongly against our current foreign policy and are planning on voting for Obama.

I tried providing a link to the Rolling Thunder Rally which met with President Bush. Here's a link to biker counter-protesters in Berkeley. But, yeah I agree, it was probably a little too broad a generalization. I'm just saying it's more supportive of Bush foreign policy than like MoveOn.org or something.

BTW, my apologies if my response was unduly harsh, LT

I dunno dude, I'm pretty annoying.

Well, what about Obama's Jay-Z moment that MoDo gets in a tiff over for no good reason? I don't understand why reaching out is such a bad thing.

Hey, I have no major issues with having Jigga on one's iPod, LT. (Arguably) the greatest MC ever, etc. Is factual inaccuracies that get my back up. That, and the fact that MoDo still has a job. Clark Hoyt FTW.

(Tangentially related: Jeff Chang on bringing hip hop back to its radical roots; Latoya Peterson on the relationship between the hip hop generation and Obama.)

I think McCain may not have known about the specifics of the toplessness, simulated sex, etc. but I do think he was objectifying his wife for the amusement of a crowd of bikers -- and that he didn't offer up Meghan for that very reason. Even if a 24-year-old participating in a "just a beauty pageant" might not be too far outside the norm -- these were bikers who'd been drinking. What father is going to offer up his daughter for a crowd of sodden, cheering, overheated bikers, even if it's "just a beauty pageant"?

But the woman he called a cunt in front of the press and aides? Well, that's another story.

Maybe McCain, when it comes right down to it, is just a rude, crude, asshole. Food for thought.

(Arguably) the greatest MC ever, etc.

One word, dude: Rakim.

Respect the man.

Thanks -

I think McCain may not have known about the specifics of the toplessness, simulated sex

Which shows a level of incompetance, yeah? That he or his staff didn't do enough research to know what goes on at that event?

And the woman he called a cunt in front of the press is the same woman he said "Hey, honey, you could be First Lady and Miss Buffalo Chip!"

Cindy McCain--some days I feel real bad for her.

LT Nixon-But I don't fault McCain for appearing at Sturgis.

I don't have a problem with that either, campaigning is all about getting out and talking to 'the people,' whoever those people might be. I do have to second those that say this was an incredibly stupid (and sexist) thing to do. Appearing at, say, the tire-burning event is one thing. Portraying his wife as a sex object... I'm just shaking my head in disbelief.

The point I'm making is that while John McCain was trying to position himself as the biker's best friend, the truth is that he's a $520-shoe wearing elitist -- and a total phony at Sturgis. He's got nothing more in common with the Harley-riding bike ralliers there than George Bush does with a true rancher in Texas

I'm not so sure of that. I'm guessing that Navy pilots like McCain are known to tell some rather crude and misogynistic jokes at times -- though usually not so publicly, or about their own wives.

I couldn't watch the video at work. Now that I'm home, and watched it...

Ewwww.

I mean, yeah, at first he looks like he's making a little self-deprecating joke about how clueless he is, which might not be so bad, but then he has to go right over the line and leer about her being "Miss Buffalo Chip." Man, the religious right must be cringing at the thought of voting for this guy.

Frankly, he looked drunk. The little giggle, the awkward shuffle, (yes, I know he's injured, but this looked different), dipping his hand in and out of his pocket, licking his lips, a little slur in his "s"s at the start of the clip, a sort of frozen look for a second toward the end just before he giggled, like "OMG, did I just say that out loud?". I've been on stage with drunk performers, and he reminds me of those occasions.

Hmm, some quick googling reveals that McCain used to do PR for his wife's beer company, his father was an alcoholic, and he used to drink a lot in his "younger days." But his staff says he's sober these days, so I guess that settles that. Unusual for an ex-drinker to sober up so well while helping run a beer company, but hey, this is SuperMcCain here.

Argh.

Could we just have a President and Vice President who don't get drunk in public and slur their way through debates and shoot friends in the face? Is that really too much to ask?

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2008/03/0
9/alcohol_industry_ties_may_test_mccain/?page=2

How can she stand it? Just leave that sorry old fool already Cindy. Find a man who will treat you with respect. Things will only get worse if he gets elected.

In December 1966, when John McCain requested his first combat assignment in Vietnam, Barack Obama turned 5 years old and was enjoying the freedoms a child should enjoy.

As Obama turned 7, McCain had survived a burning jet fire on the USS Forrestal and had just flown his 23rd bombing mission over communist North Vietnam.

In 1973, as Obama reached age 12, McCain was finally released from a prisoner-of-war camp in the Hanoi Hilton.

At age 15, when Obama was still in high school, McCain became the commanding officer of a Naval Training Squadron in Florida. He turned a poorly managed military unit into a distinguished, combat-ready team.

When Obama reached the legal age of 21 and was experimenting with pot and cocaine, McCain declined an admiral promotion and ran for and was elected to Congress.

By 1987, Obama was a young man of 25 and McCain had assumed the office of senator from Arizona (after a successful four-year tour in the U.S. House of Representatives).

At age 36, Obama looked on as Sen. McCain was named one of Time magazine's 25 most influential people in America.

Whom do we choose as our next leader? Do we choose a man with proven military and political achievements, or a man with little experience other than a stint as a community leader and junior senator? Decisions, decisions!

While I realize that this is a thread that invites profanity, what with its subject and also the Pandagon quote I led with...

oh, never mind.

A four-year "tour" in the House of Representatives, Alan? Gosh. Towards election time, did he start muttering "I'm short, man. Two more weeks and out"?

Well, then, why wasn't he offering to get his very pretty daughter Meghan up on stage?

I'm not at all defending McCain, but this seems like a dumb point and undermines an otherwise quality post. His daughter wouldn't even make sense for the "joke" he told.

undermines an otherwise quality post
To be clear, I'm talking about Carpentier's post there, not Hilzoy's. Need more coffee.

"Alan Trout". Oh for heaven's sake.

You know the McCain campaign doesn't respect you when they don't even bother to pick convincing names for their paid shills.

Incidentally, kitten, the identical post from the same shill is available at The Obama “Death List” hoax post at cLog.

His daughter wouldn't even make sense for the "joke" he told.

Sure she would. Just change it to "First Daughter and Miss Buffalo Chip".

John McCain, who predates bluegrass, the B-17, and commercial television, is, indeed, quite experienced. but what a shame age and experience isn't a substitute for good judgment.

"Alan Trout" would have bolted Lincoln in 1860 for John C. Fremont...

I just have respect for guys who pay their tributes to the POW/MIA cause in their own way.

What do you mean by the "POW/MIA cause," LT? Surely you're not one of those loonies who think that Vietnam is still holding US prisoners from the 60's and 70's? That notion, never very plausible, was thoroughly debunked years ago by John Kerry and . . . John McCain.

I can't wait to see our resident conservatives explain this one.

He was pandering to his audience, likely without knowing all the details of the contest.

I really don’t see “conservatives” bending over backwards to spin every dumb remark the candidate makes as being harmless or innocent. Something like this usually brings a cringe and a face-palm.

I haven’t seen anything in my morning rounds. If I do see anything today I’ll get back to you though.

I really don’t see “conservatives” bending over backwards to spin every dumb remark the candidate makes as being harmless or innocent.

I've got a question about this that, a bit unfairly, uses another person's comment, but that thread has already moved below the event horizon, so I hope you won't mind.

Lt Nixon took out after Gore's houseboat, and a few people pointed out that he had just taken a rather unreliable source and took it at face value. Now, I tend to think of this sort of thing (to grab a random report and seize on it) as a conservative tendency, because it neatly fits in the world view (a ha! see what the liberal media won't write about) And there is certainly people on the left who are willing to do the same thing. But my feeling is that I don't see liberals seizing on some nugget with the same sort of glee that conservatives do. What would constitute as a counter example of that for you OCSteve? (and Lt Nixon is also welcome to jump in as well)

I realize that this could be considered a loaded question, but I'm really wondering if you see the mirror image liberals, or if you see something different that you find equally problematic.

LJ: I’m not sure I understand your question completely, but if you are talking about seizing on memes that are untrue with a bit of glee…

Bush and the plastic turkey is the first that comes to mind. The NYT started it, but offered a correction a week later. (bottom of the page). Still, even today you’ll find tons of folks gleefully bringing it up as gospel – that the turkey was fake, that Bush was just there for a photo op, that he didn’t eat with the troops, etc. Tim Blair has practically made a blog career out of pointing it out every time someone brings it up. (Yes, I am saying that the NYT can be an “unreliable source”.)

Another would be the "John McCain crashed 5 airplanes" meme. I've seen and countered that here at least three times.

On this:
“what the liberal media won't write about”

Most recently that would be Edwards.

LJ: if you see something different that you find equally problematic

Forgot one. On this, my pet peeve is people trying to discredit a source based on board members past employment, funding, etc. without ever considering the point or argument. “That organization has a board member who worked for Exxon in the past, therefore I can just totally discount their arguments.” The right does this too, but my feeling is that it is not as predominant. They are more likely to deconstruct the argument first, then note the other stuff as a BTW. Strictly my opinion, but you asked. ;)

Bush and the plastic turkey is the first that comes to mind.

I'm afraid I don't get this...why would any leftie talk about this? I mean, regardless of whether it was plastic turkey photo op or a real dinner with real turkey, Bush sent the country to war based on a tapestry of lies and incompetence for nothing. How does the turkey change any of that?

Another would be the "John McCain crashed 5 airplanes" meme.

Last time I checked, there were plenty of liberals here correcting that statement as well. Like, um, me. Or Gary. Or others.

If I were conservative, this isn't one case I'd be trumpeting too loudly. The revised claim is that McCain lost three aircraft with no extenuating circumstances whatsoever at a time of his life when he admitted to drinking heavily. I'm not sure that pilots who lose three aircraft for no reason get to keep flying if their fathers are not high ranking admirals. Why the heck would any conservative want to ever talk about this again? It makes McCain look worse than Bush. At least Bush never lost an aircraft.

On this, my pet peeve is people trying to discredit a source based on board members past employment, funding, etc. without ever considering the point or argument.

Not sure I get where you're going here. Institutions often lie and pay other people to lie. It seems silly for Exxon to pay good money without getting something back. Looking back at all the awesome research that proved that smoking was either harmless or beneficial to human health, I think skepticism for people on Exxon's payroll might be warranted.

Mind you, I find it hilarious that you're writing this given your past statements about how those climate scientists can't be trusted because global warming is their meal ticket.

I'm halfway between OCSteve and LJ. I think that there are absolutely instances of liberals seizing on irrelevant stuff with glee. However, I don't think we do it nearly as often, especially when the irrelevant bits are flat-out false.

I don't think this has much to do with liberalism and conservatism per se; I think it's more about the odd things that happen to political movements in their twilight.

"In 1944, when McCain was 8 years old, Robert Byrd was serving his county proudly as a welder in a shipyard....

By 1958, McCain was a young man of 22, and Byrd had assumed the office of senator from West Virginia (after a successful six-year tour in the U.S. House of Representatives)."

Clearly Alan would agree that Byrd would be a better president than McCain. After all, older is better.

Turb: Mind you, I find it hilarious that you're writing this given your past statements about how those climate scientists can't be trusted because global warming is their meal ticket.

Hey I didn’t say I was immune... ;)

Still, I think your point would be more appropriate if that was my entire argument. My point was (pet peeve) folks who won’t consider the argument once they identify a funding source they don’t like.

I recall spending literally days getting into some pretty nitty-gritty detail with you on that topic.

However, I don't think we do it nearly as often, especially when the irrelevant bits are flat-out false.

First of all, thanks OCSteve, that was sort of what I was asking. Hilzoy gets at what I was thinking with her comment above, and her suggestion that

I think it's more about the odd things that happen to political movements in their twilight.

is interesting, though I'm not sure if I agree. I've mentioned before about the strain of faux libertarianism that exists in conservatism, and I think that there is a stronger than average tendency in the conservative movement that is contrarian and revels in prefacing arguments with 'even though X is common wisdom, the opposite is true'. I also tend to think that seizing on points like this seems to be a hallmark of the movement in particular rather than something that is shared by all political movements that have lost relevance.

OCSteve,

Very true, you did indeed spend days on it, which is to your credit.


I will say that I think there are two different phenomena at work here: a fast filter and a slow lack of credibility metric. On a daily basis, people are bombarded by information and have to assess claims without really having the time to dig into details. In those cases, asking who paid for an analysis and quickly rejecting it if you don't like the payer is perfectly reasonable. The goal after all isn't to find absolute truth no matter what (since you don't have the time or energy to do that), but to find as good an approximation as you can given the limited time and energy available.

The slow version involves skepticism when you are doing detailed analysis and when you do have time to dive in. I think this case is different because it can't work as a blanket exclusion based on funding; it must be premised in the funders' credibility. If the funders have strong economic incentives to deceive combined with no track record of resisting such incentives in the past, there is no reason to trust them. There is a difference between the GAO and Exxon.

Now, often times people mix and match these two notions which is bad, but they are separate things. And while either can be horribly abused, so can everything else in life.

The best way to understand McCain's views about women is that they probably aren't different from the common assumptions at the Naval Academy and in the wardrooms of the fleet in the late '50s and early '60s.
Come to think about it, his views of pretty much everything seem stuck back then and there.

Alot of people are saying imagine if Obama had said this about his wife. First of all, he wouldn't. There is no way he would have demeaned his wife in such a way. Cindy McCain may be a nice lady, but to stand on stage and laugh when her husband talks about his stuff is embarrassing to watch. I'm sure he and his aides were quite aware of the venue they were at and felt that pandering was the way to go. What else do they have? Oh and he's going to make Congress work when he becomes President. Given the fact that he rarely shows up on the floor of the Senate, that would be interesting.

Turb: I can agree with all that. It’s a very good explanation actually.

I do think sometimes that people fail to take into account that you are most likely to get funding from organizations that are aligned with your interests. That doesn’t always make your advocacy positions worthless, or make you a front-group.

Hypothetical:
I’m categorized as a GW denialist. But I strongly support development of alternate fuels and reducing our dependency on foreign oil, for a variety of reasons. Say I win the lottery tomorrow and decide to contribute $100,000 to an alt-fuel initiative run by Al Gore. Does that make Gore a front for GW denialists? Hardly. But I do see that type of thing, where people can’t accept that there may be legitimate aligned interests even where there are differences in other positions. That’s kind of what Gore’s “We” campaign is all about I believe.

Obama would never make a comment like the one McCain made for at least two reasons. First, he is far more situationally aware and, in his personal lifestyle, far more conservative than McCain. Second, he has no apparent sense of humor whereas McCain does, of a sorts, though not one that many find appealing. Making a joke at your wife's expense is cheap shot, and consistent with a guy his age who's been on the campaign trail way too long.

At least as offensive is the high dudgeon and hypocrisy of the left . . . the same left who read and enjoy Marcotte and Wonkette's endless vulgarity and conscious, vicious insults to those they disagree with and who managed to nuance themselves into a studied compartmentalization of Bill Clinton's antics. So, excuse me if much of this hand wringing sounds a bit overdone.

But my feeling is that I don't see liberals seizing on some nugget with the same sort of glee that conservatives do. What would constitute as a counter example of that for you OCSteve?

Hmm, probably not liberals on this blog. Seizing on a random nugget of information is often just for the sake of low-brow humor. I get a kick out of it, but I doubt a lot of others here do.

As for lefties seeking to seize on a nugget of information to give over all context. I'd say the HuffPo's war wire is designed to play up all the sensational violence in order to denigrate support for the war in Iraq. Nothing wrong with that, but I don't think it gives the full picture of what's going on in Iraq.

When did Marcotte or Wonkette run for president?

the same left who read and enjoy Marcotte and Wonkette's endless vulgarity and conscious, vicious insults to those they disagree with and who managed to nuance themselves into a studied compartmentalization of Bill Clinton's antics.

It might just be me, but I find lies much more vulgar than truths, no matter how off color those truths may be. And when the people who cite those falsehoods are corrected and it is pointed out that they are lies but the people who have conveyed them can't admit they've been had, that is infinitely more conscious vulgarity than the former. (I add that this isn't directed at Lt Nixon or OCSteve) I suppose that the notion is along the line of Picasso's 'Art is a lie that helps us see the truth', but to me, it seems like a big shell game that the conservative movement uses to stoke its resentment.

Obama has a sense of humor, it's just fairly intellectual: he is amused by bad logic. That showed up occasionally on the stump during the primaries. I suspect he's carefully clamping down on any lower-brow humor, he's too black for America to accept it from him.

Tho I have no love for McCain, it was just a joke.

Are you liberals really utterly bereft of a sense of humor?

Do y'all truly think that McCain was serious about his wife "running" in this contest?

One more reason why we would be in trouble if The Leader of Those Without a Scintilla of Humor were to be the head of our nation.

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