Posts from — September 2008
Simply put, I am a Mets fanatic in the full sense of the word. I might rail against political fanaticism here at CAOT, but I give myself a pass when it comes to baseball. Intellectually I know that sports are meaningless, that baseball’s a game and pales next to the real things that really matter. So why does a horrible ending to a Mets season cut me off at the emotional knees?
Because I’m a fanatic, that’s why.
Doesn’t matter that I’m 42 years old, that people all over the world are struggling with serious problems of life and death. The head knows that these are things that should make us all sick to the soul; the heart only says “but the Mets blew it…again.”
My sister – a Yankees fan – once asked me to come up with a good metaphor to describe the feeling you get when your team’s season ends with bitter disappointment. I told her it was like having your heart broken. It’s like when you’re a kid and that girl you’re nuts about calls you out of the blue and says “see ya around.” The baseball season runs day after day for months; you live and die with those guys night after night. You can’t help but get to know the personality of the team in what can only be described as an intimate way. When your team wins it all, you never lose them, because they’ll come back every anniversary to re-live the season. When your team loses, then they go away. You never see them again.
So when the Mets season ends with a tough loss the whole world turns thin, gray and bleak. For a few weeks, anyway. [Read more →]
If you find yourself leaning towards McCain, you owe it to yourself (and your country) to spend 1:28 with the video clip below. There you’ll see Sarah “one-beat-away” Palin stumble her way through Katie Couric’s very reasonable question, “why does Alaska’s proximity to Russia gives you foreign policy experience”?
A truly cringe-inspiring moment, as the Huff Post’s Nico Pitney puts it. It’ll put some shudder in your step, let me tell you.
I’m not trying to pile on Sarah Palin here, but claiming her role as Alaskan Governor gives her “international experience” – as if only Sarah Palin has been able to keep the Red Army from blasting through the Bering Straight – is ridiculous.
But the real issue continues to be McCain’s disturbingly bad choice of Palin for VP, an indication of the kind of knee-jerk, short-sighted, politically motivated decisions he would make as a president.
The questions keep coming about McCain’s VP vetting process (or lack thereof), rightly shedding a disturbing light on his decision-making style – if one might describe a lack of analysis, thoroughness or careful planning any kind of a decision-making process.
Maybe he’s just a decider.
Now it seems McCain plans to hide his VP nominee from the national media, where she might otherwise be asked – oh, I don’t know – serious questions about domestic and foreign policy? Consider: The only outlet that’s been allowed an in-person interview since she joined the ticket is People magazine. Now there’s some hard-hitting reportage to help voters make an informed decision. She’s got cute kids! War? Economics? Energy policy? Not to worry.
So don’t expect to see the VP nominee making the rounds of news shows because we all know (I guess) that the “elitist media” is not what matters; it’s convention speeches and TV ads and other pre-produced events where candidates present themselves directly to the voters, unencumbered by the media’s “agenda” and “sexism” or any kind of policy analysis.
Welcome to McCain-Palin ’08. Fast food politics.
Here’s the thing: Can they really get away with it? Hasn’t the new media of blogs and YouTube and the Daily Show finally created an informed, sophisticated electorate?
We’ll find out soon enough – although agreeing to a sitdown with “tough as nails” (puh-leaze) Charlie Gibson shows how careful they’re going to go about this. You remember Charlie, he of the softball questions during ABC’s Hillary/Obama debate inanity back in April.
In the meantime, if you haven’t seen the video from MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” where McCain spokesperson Nicole Wallace is asked about this lack of access, then put away sharp instruments and click:
I’m an admitted politico-junkie but right after the end of the Hillary campaign I pretty much tuned out of politics, assuming my interest would come back sometime around the first debate. I don’t think I was alone in this. The Hillary-Obama battle went on for a long time. Fatigue was in.
And then lo and behold, here comes Sarah Palin for VP and it’s super-charged political junkiness all over again. What’s more fun than watching the Republican Party scramble against a gathering media storm built on their own incompetence? TPM summarized the litany of governor’s problems here (hat tip to Moue Magazine for the link) – and that was two days ago.
Richard Cohen jumps on with a bulls-eye:
No high-ranking Russian appeared on any of the weekend talk shows to say how they had considered an invasion of Alaska and then backed off when Sarah Palin became commander in chief of the Alaska National Guard. Who could blame them?
Nothing like utter incompetence on the part of the Grand Old Party to get one’s political interest level sparked up to full speed. Odds are already out that she will withdraw. I’d take them.
Of course, there’s also a chance she won’t withdraw, that she’ll weather the storm, and that McCain will win the general election, thereby placing in power a(nother) president who makes vital decisions about the country without analysis, thoroughness or careful planning.
And this really is the issue – it’s not Palin’s daughter’s pregnancy, or the hockey-playing boyfriend (please) but rather the utter incompetence in choosing a vice president who’s in the midst of a local political scandal, or who’s been associated with the secessionist Alaska Independence Party (AIP), or who attended a church that preached Bush critics “will be banished to hell” and that Alaska will be a “refuge for the End of Times (yikes).” In other words, a candidate with tremendous baggage. Suddenly, the Palin story becomes more than just political intrigue, and not so funny after all. This person could be the president some day. But first we’d have to survive the presidency of the person who chose her.
So those of us who’ve been dozing for a while, thinking that at least McCain – as bad as he might be – would never be another Bush - well, maybe it’s time to start paying close attention again.