But anyway, hard at work saving the world, John McMaverick didn't have any time to waste on politics! (well, he was still running ads, still sending surrogates out to attack Obama on TV, and all his campaign offices were open for business, but who's keeping score, right?) Tomorrow's debate could not go on as planned!
...except now that there is an agreement on the table, it looks like it will proceed as planned.
So was this big campaign suspending stunt really necessary? Even though he tried as hard as he could to get out of it, McCain will have to debate Obama tomorrow night. Given how incoherent and incompetent he's been over the past couple weeks, not to mention blatantly sleazy and dishonest, one would think Obama has a lot of ammunition to work with. It's quite possible McCain's just scared to death of going toe to toe with him. Debating is a lot different than sending out surrogates to lie for you and putting dishonest campaign ads on the airwaves; in a debate setting, the other guy can immediately refute your bullshit, and make you look foolish. It's not a perfect system, and lends itself far too easily to vacant soundbites, but at least it's relatively fair.
So not the best situation for McCain, and now he's wasted a lot of time that could have been spent on debate prep. But when you consider some other factors, it may have been worth it...
COURIC: Well, explain to me why that enhances your foreign policy credentials?No wonder McCain tried to grab the spotlight yesterday; he didn't want this disastrous interview to be the top story. It was an absolute trainwreck. I said essentially the same thing about the Gibson one, but this one was several orders of magnitude worse. Some think it might be because she still had some cocky arrogance at that point (her speech at the convention was well-received by the base), but now that her numbers have tanked, she realizes that she is truly in over her head, and her confidence has been deeply shaken.
PALIN: Well, it certainly does because our next door neighbors are foreign countries. they're in the state that i am the executive of. And there in Russia --
COURIC: Have you ever been involved with any negotiations for example, with the Russians?
PALIN: We have trade missions back and forth. We do -- it's very important when you consider even national security issues with Russia -- as Putin rears his head and comes into the airspace of the United States of America, where do they go?
It's Alaska, It's right over the border. It is from Alaska, that we send those out to make sure an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there, they are right next to our state.
Here's another gem:
COURIC: Why isn’t it better, Governor Palin, to spend $700 billion helping middle-class families struggling with health care, housing, gas and groceries? … Instead of helping these big financial institutions that played a role in creating this mess?
PALIN: Ultimately, what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the health care reform that is needed to help shore up the economy– Oh, it’s got to be about job creation too. So health care reform and reducing taxes and reining in spending has got to accompany tax reductions.
What the hell is she even talking about? What does any of that have to do with the question? It's like she's desperately trying to recite all the stupid talking points that have been crammed into her brain by the McCain campaign, without understanding what any of it really means or doing any critical thinking of her own.
I almost feel bad for her, except that she made the conscious decision to accept the nomination. She had to know what it would entail; she had to know what would be expected of her. Running for the second most important job in the country is not a decision that ANYONE should take lightly. But she seems to have accepted only a matter of hours after McCain asked.
She deserves every bit of the ridicule coming her way, because this election is just too damn important to start pulling punches so we don't hurt poor Sarah's feelings. Fuck that.
UPDATE: Greenwald was wrong:
Sarah Palin isn't Dan Quayle. She is extremely smart -- much smarter than the average media star who will eventually be interviewing her -- and she is very politically skilled as well. She didn't go from obscure small-town city council member to Governor to Vice Presidential nominee by accident. She'll be more than adequately prepared for the shallow, 30-second, rote exchanges that pass for political interviews in our Serious mainstream discourse. Anyone expecting her to fall on her face or be exposed as some drooling simpleton is going to be extremely disappointed. That might (or might not) happen with real questioning, but she's not going to face that.
Credit where credit is due, Gibson and Couric didn't roll over for her. They actually asked her some real questions. Damn arrogant liberal elitest media! Anyway, this is what he thinks now:
One of two things is absolutely clear at this point: she is either (a) completely ignorant about the most basic political issues -- a vacant, ill-informed, incurious know-nothing, or (b) aggressively concealing her actual beliefs about these matters because she's petrified of deviating from the simple-minded campaign talking points she's been fed and/or because her actual beliefs are so politically unpalatable, even when taking into account the right-wing extremism that is permitted, even rewarded, in our mainstream. I'm not really sure which is worse, but it doesn't really matter, because with 40 days left before the election, both options are heinous.I go with (a).
UPDATE 2: Wow, my whole post is already obsolete.
Bailout deal breaks down.
Key members of Congress claimed agreement Thursday on an outline and crucial details of an urgent multibillion-dollar plan to stave off national economic disaster, but a historic White House meeting with President Bush, the two men fighting to replace him and other congressional leaders broke up with conflicts in plain view.Heckofajob, McCain. That's some great leadership there. Marc Ambinder reports on McCain's "contributions" to the negotiations:
During the White House meeting, it appears that Sen. John McCain had an agenda. He brought up alternative proposals, surprising and angering Democrats. He did not, according to someone briefed on the meeting, provide specifics.No specifics? What the hell do you need specifics for when you have McCain? He'll just sit both sides down and tell them to stop the bullshit. Easy, problem solved!