Thursday, July 24, 2008


The AP gives us three examples of the political game of gotcha, and not one of them originated with the usual purveyors of idiotic controversy in miniature - journalists. Instead, the story describes three controversies that fundamentally are legitimate subjects of political reporting:

  • John McCain's abject ignorance of the actual timeline of the escalation in Iraq
  • CBS's careful editing of an interview to avoid exposure of McCain's ignorance
  • the details of Obama's willingness to meet with the ugly, awful leaders of enemy countries without precondition
The last one, the Republican one, comes closest to the usual invidious gaffe-seeking. Only a captious Republican could think that "without precondition" means "without preparation." Of course, the McCain campaign is trying to make the weak-minded think Obama meant "any time, anywhere, at the bad guys' beck and call," which is just ridiculous idiocy for ridiculous idiots, and there's no way Obama committed to anything so dumb. Still, it's useful for Obama to clarify, even though he was probably clear at the time he first said he meet with those in power in Iran.

Even more, McCain's frequent need of factual correction about what is supposed to be his signature issue ought to be at the top of the news. The guy doesn't have what it takes - unless you want four more years - and we ought to know that before we make another moronic choice.

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