So What Are the Odds That the Hateful Left Will Stop Falling into These Jabs?
What a wonderful thing is the Internet, on which a few minutes of catch-up browsing can bring both smear and counterpoint. RIFuture has the smear:
Do you really think we will grow our IT and ET economies with a president [McCain] who doesn’t even understand how to use a computer?
And Jonah Goldberg has the explanation:
The reason he doesn’t send email is that he can’t use a keyboard because of the relentless beatings he received from the Viet Cong. From the Boston Globe (March 4, 2000):
McCain gets emotional at the mention of military families needing food stamps or veterans lacking health care. The outrage comes from inside: McCain’s severe war injuries prevent him from combing his hair, typing on a keyboard, or tying his shoes.
Thank goodness for Obama’s politics of change! Used to be candidates would investigate and weigh the possibility of the “oh” sound of a political backfire.
(And, by the way, could anything be more emblematic of the chill-inducing thought processes of the Left than Matt’s apparent belief that the New Economy, the world of High Tech, the Marketplace of Innovation cannot possibly operate and advance in the absence of a “with it” president? One could argue that such a president could know just enough to do some real harm to the industry.)
After multiple distractions, I’ve finally worked my way down the Corner to find Victor Davis Hanson’s summation of the point that I meant to convey:
The problem with all this, as we saw with the lipstick quote and small-town mayor sneers, is twofold. Obama’s original charm for many was his Olympian other-worldliness and easy cool post-politics. Now he seems no different from, or nastier than most, any other candidate. (You saw another sort of that disconnect between divinity and reality when he chose a plastic Greek temple and outdoor stadium throng to deliver pedestrian wonkish points about spending priorities). In his defense, his thousands in media are doing him a disservice, and turning off the electorate in daily buffonish partianship.
Also, his recent attacks against an ‘old fish’ and ‘lipsticked pig’, and those of his supporters, come off as ageist and sexist and that can’t go well with a lot of voters. Yes, he is registering new voters, but since 2004, millions, to match them, have gone into their sixties and are “evolving,” as they say, in their views. Some may well identify with a feisty older McCain in the way middle America does with Palin. And when you add up the daily outbursts of disdain and condescension from Hollywood celebs, unhinged pundits, Biden’s daily fare, and the sneers of lower-tier Democratic politicians, the image is one of furor and panic, not calm governance. Another 2 weeks of this and I think millions are going to keep quiet, say they are “undecided,” but privately conclude that they have had enough of all this bias, and simply won’t vote for any more of Obamania.
Begin with the assumption that most Americans do not keep up with bloggers’ and politicos’ hour-by-hour pace. You’ve got one side making deliberately offensive comments (see also, “cocky wacko“) while trying to sell the politics of rising above and the other side pointing out that a little moderation of rhetoric might be in order.
Whether Obama wins or loses, the output of the American Left is likely to be intolerably toxic. Of course, if he loses, at least that toxicity won’t have a man in the White House.
As Will says in the comments: “Checkmate.” This 2000 story comes via Jonah Goldberg again:
McCain himself was convinced early on that the Internet had to play a critical role in the campaign. Time and again it allowed him to leverage his money and his organization. “In the Virginia primary,” McCain told me, “we needed a lot of petitions signed to get on the ballot. We had the form available to download off the Internet and got 17,000 signatures with very little trouble.” …
In certain ways, McCain was a natural Web candidate. Chairman of the Senate Telecommunications Subcommittee and regarded as the U.S. Senate’s savviest technologist, McCain is an inveterate devotee of email. His nightly ritual is to read his email together with his wife, Cindy. The injuries he incurred as a Vietnam POW make it painful for McCain to type. Instead, he dictates responses that his wife types on a laptop. “She’s a whiz on the keyboard, and I’m so laborious,” McCain admits.
Look, I haven’t quizzed McCain on his Internet savvy, but he’s clearly got enough background with the technology to counter the substantive claims made in Obama’s ad, and the fact that his personal usage is affected by POW injuries tarnishes with a streak of manure the high-saturation, halo-effect image of Obama as the New Politician. See, that’s the thing with thinking your candidate is “inevitable”; every hunk of lead can begin to look like the silver bullet that’s going to off the pointless competition.