Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Say It Ain't So, Joe

"Truthiness" Windbag: When vice presidential candidate Joe Biden guaranteed an international crises in the first six months of an Obama administration, my first reaction was yeah, he's probably right. Visions of 9/11 and Cold War games played by the Soviet Union danced through my mind. Dummy me, I neglected the political implications what the senator from Delaware said. His remarks 16 days before an election although historically plausible were politically dumb. Sure enough, John McCain took the hand off and scorched his rival that even his vice presidential running mate admits Obama is a blank slate in the face of coming national security threats. "Watch, we're gonna have an international crises, a generated crises, to test the mettle of this guy," Biden said. "And, he's gonna have to make some really tough -- I don't know what the decision's gonna be -- but I promise you it will occur." He said Obama's challengers "will find out this guy's got steel in his spine" when he is tested. The remarks were delivered on a silver platter allowing the McCain campaign to change the subject and grab their strongest issue, foreign policy. Reads a McCain campaign memo: "We don't need a president who invites testing from the world at a time our economy is in crises and Americans are fighting two wars..." Countered the Obama campaign: "We know that we need steady leadership in tumultuous times, not the erratic lurching and stubborn ideology of John McCain." We doubt this story has legs. It went unmentioned by MSNBC commentators but received considerable play on Fox. No surprise there. Let's keep our fingers crossed Biden doesn't dive into historical "truthiness," as Stephen Colbert would say, on the chances of an assassination attempt on Obama's life.

Rush to Judgment: Rush Limbaugh, the monarch of right wing talk radio, said, repeated himself, refused to back down -- that Colin Powell's endorsement of Barack Obama was racial. Limbaugh questioned why the Republican would desert ranks and endorse a fellow black man. Mt. Rushmore was unimpressed with Powell's reasons ditching the GOP faithful. Said Powell: "If my endorsement of Barack Obama had been based on race only, I would have announced my decision much earlier in the campaign." Limbaugh's ideology blinds his normally good judgment. Several years ago, Limbaugh was fired as an NFL pregame analyst for one of the TV networks for making disparaging remarks about Donavan McNabb, a black quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles. He claimed McNabb was hailed as one of the league's top players only because he was black. Despite his stature in the media, it is difficult to cut any swath for Limbaugh because of his heritage and warped cultural views incubated as a child growing up in the South. His fans have forgiven him as an admitted drug addict. To blame race by an American icon is unforgivable.

Joe The Plumber Revisited: The Obama media fan club humiliated Joe the Plumber, John McCain's favorite Middle Class example, for having no plumber's license, owing back taxes and financially incapable of buying his boss's company. All that for asking Obama a simple question on a Toledo, Ohio, rope line. Joe Wurlzelbacher asked Obama why he had to pay additional taxes under the Obama tax plan. The Democratic presidential candidate essentially answered "to spread the wealth." Obama's concept is that in America "one person's struggles is all of our struggles." In his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention, Obama replaced the idea of an American dream with the century-old progressive pitch of "America's promise." But as Jonah Goldberg in an op-ed column in the Los Angeles Times, pointed out: "The two visions are in opposition. The former is individualistic; the latter collectivist." In America, Goldberg writes, "that's fine because the pursuit of happiness is an individual, not a collective, right." Obama's explanation to Joe the Plumber is a clear and significant expression of his world view, with roots stretching back to his religion and his days as a community organizer. Goldberg says millions of Americans don't share that view. They don't begrudge the wealthy. They want the same opportunity. And, there folks, you have another example of the yawning gap between the ideologies of Barack Obama and John McCain.

1 comment:

David Golightly said...

Uh, I, as an Obama supporter, could care less about Joe Wurzelbacher and wish him all the best. Neither do I particularly care about his lack of license or back taxes. Unfortunately, the McCain campaign should've thought twice before making him the centerpiece of their pseudo-populist debate shtick. Blaming Joe's 15 minutes of media infamy on Obama's supporters is as silly as it is inappropriate.