Politics, Foreign Policy, Current Events and Occasional Outbursts Lacking Couth

Much has been made of Senator John McCain's, shall we say, lacking of youth and the subsequent "inability to effectively lead." Certainly McCain's physical presence what with wispy white hair, seemingly stiff and fragile carriage (likely as much to do with permanent disabilities received during his stay in Vietnam) a stark contrast to the athletic youth of his opponent. McCain likely won't be sinking any three pointers nor will photographers scramble to snap images of him jaunting, shirtless amongst the surf.

Beyond the obvious physical contrast of a man into his 7th decade of life against a man looking to be in his prime despite staring at his 5th there lies the element of mental health. Much ado has been made regarding John McCain's verbal gaffes. Opponents attribute any and every misstatement uttered by John McCain to an aged and feeble mind knocking on the door of senility. Shades of Reagan, perhaps, only this intellectual fade occurs not late in a Presidential term but during the very process that will decide who attains America's highest seat.

Of course McCain's detractor's conveniently ignore their own candidates moments of verbal confusion. Barack Obama, for all his messianic stardom, has delivered his own assortment of statements that leave us to scratch our heads and chuckle a bit. Some examples:

  • You cannot possibly visit 57 of these United States. Even if you toss in all five US territories.
  • Israel certainly is a strong friend of Israel. Very likely the similarity in names is the source of their kinship. What are the odds that both nations not only have an identical name but one that consists of an even ratio of consonant's to vowels?
  • A tornado that manages to kill 10,000 people is very likely a sign of the Apocalypse and will be followed by some very irritable fellows riding horses, waving around scales and swords and generally making life on earth much worse than it already is.

Three examples of what can be attributed to, colloquially, a "brain fart." An event when your mouth and your brain get on two trains heading in opposite directions. While your brain is waving frantically at taxi's in a vain effort to get back, your mouth charges merrily ahead and spills forth some nonsense. We've all done it.

But Obama's gaffes aren't limited to such offhanded moments of fatigue or happenstance. To wit:

  • Marking the anniversary of the March 1965 "Bloody Sunday" in Selma, Ala., Obama, speaking at a church, said his parents got together "because of what happened in Selma." Obama was born in 1961.
  • The Tribune dug this up: Obama, in his memoir, Dreams of My Father, writes of a story in Life magazine that influenced him -- about a black man trying to bleach his skin white. No such article could be found in Life or Ebony.

These gaffes, however antiquated (one year,) are clearly not the above momentary disconnect between mind and mouth. Rather they are clearly fabrication's due either to political expediency or a rather over active imagination. Whatever the case, certain otherwise learned and respected Obama proponents would do well to realize the "gaffe" scenario within the concept of glass houses and stones. Is it a fair source of criticism? Certainly. Is it as one sided as they would present? Not even slightly. Let's move along to more important aspects of our candidates, shall we?


Anonymous said...

Its a meme that purportedly plays well. Polls have shown a larger % of Americans are concerned about a president who is too old than a president who is black or too young.
McCain should hope he never has a stumble or accident like Bob Dole did in '96 (falling off the stage).
That Obama also makes mistakes or tells tall tales as well (people expect this any way, these people are politicians, though Dan of TDAXP is right in noting the trans formative nature of a "dead hooker in the trunk" moment or revelation) is beside the point. One could go at this tit for tat for days on end, and probably emerge with McCain the worse for wear simply b/c he has a 25 odd year record to defend which can be mined lucratively for gaffes, flip-flops, questionable decisions, etc.

Dick Stanley said...

And through it all, here at the end of July, the polls show Barry and Mac still within the margin of error. Barry's novelty seems not to be catching on. What you want to bet that Mac wins this one in a walk?

Jay@Soob said...

Eddie, agreed. Which is why I suggested we move beyond such. Though I thought it important to point out the hypocrisy of various Obama types.

In a walk? I wouldn't take that bet, even given where my own ballot will lie. It's going to be close, I suspect. Very close, barring an October Surprise or any other such massive anomaly.

J. said...

You mean like this poll, dick?

Soob, I don't see it as hypocritical to point out that McCain - who's running on the platform that he's the "national security" candidate - doesn't know or consistently misrepresents national security issues. I'd certainly like my President to know that Czechosolvakia doesn't exist anymore. If you desire substance, McCain's attitude toward Russia is very, very adversarial, for some reason. His inability or refusal to shift from Bush's Iraq/Afghan strategy (or lack thereof) is very depressing. McCain's pandering to oil drilling as a way to save at the pump is astonishing. All you have is a few mistatements from Obama on non-issues. Come on, convince me that McCain's gaffes aren't a sign of his own temperment and instability.

Jay@Soob said...

J. You're looking beyond the gaffes and at the actual policies. Which is substantive and worthwhile.
I agree, McCain's "drill more" policy isn't a sound basis for energy security (more on this in the commentary here.)

His position on Russia seems to have been substantiated to a degree by recent events in Georgia.

Agreed on Afghanistan and Iraq though likely not for the same reasons.