Sunday, April 8, 2007

Gaffes

With the quarterly earnings posted, the campaign is back in the swing of things. Everybody got their day in the sun (or, if they earned less than $10M, their day under a rock) and now is the time to rock that hott suntan. Ah, who am I kidding? It was a week full of gaffes.

Leading the charge was Johnny Mac, who last weekend gave a press conference from a Baghdad market talking progress on the war effort. Wearing full body armor, flanked by dozens of soldiers and heavy artillery, McCain said "never have I been able to drive from the airport, never have I been able to go out into the city as I was today." He quickly reverted to damage control, telling 60 Minutes (among others) "Of course I'm going to misspeak and I've done it on numerous occasions and I probably will do in the future." Given the harsh response to his Baghdad visit, McCain needed to play politics to placate his numerous critics especially after the shellacking he took in fundraising the week before. He is a wounded man trying to stay on life support long enough to heal up for the summer. But, if you actually look at his comments, which the sound byte media does not allow us, McCain really didn't misspeak in Baghdad. What he said was that there "are reasons for cautious -- very cautious optimism" in Iraq, and based upon his reasons, that is a valid argument. His only true gaffe was insensitivity. It is incredibly disrespectful to the people in Iraq everyday without an armored posse to flash the cameras, smile, and talk about progress when people are dying by the handful every single day without body armor and tanks to back them up. He should have apologized about that, and not about misspeaking. He didn't misspeak, and therein lies the twofold problem. Number 1, why is he backing down from a statement that he could easily stand behind? And number 2, does he really feel the need to seek out optimism? Straight talk? More like fate talk. Like, I think he is fated to a slippery slope away from the wide respect he used to hold.

A few days later, Mitt Romney gaffed about much more benign guns. The kind of guns that kill critters, and not neighborhoods full of civilians. My watchdog homeys up in Keene badgered Mitt into saying "I've been a hunter pretty much all my life." Pretty much. Kind of like I pretty much get every girl I go after. By pretty much, they meant once when he was a teenager he shot a rabbit with a BB gun, and then last year he shot at some quails while at a posh resort with the Republican Governors Convention. Ultimately, the campaign decided to stop lying and just came out and said "Governor Romney never said he was Teddy Roosevelt. He’s more like Jed Clampett." By the way, I was up in Keene yesterday, however briefly. Just wanted to give a shout out to the Elm City. I anxiously await next time I get to kick it at Margarita's with all the Owls.

In other news, Newt came out on Fox to call for Gonzo to get, well, gone-zo. "This is the most mishandled, artificial, self-created mess that I can remember...the buck has to stop somewhere and I am assuming it is the Attorney General and his immediate team and I think it is amazing that there's any doubt about the fact that they have totally mishandled this." Damn.

What the gaffes really come down to is this: its a damn shame that these politicians can't just Ghost Ride their campaigns when they become too hard to handle.


Ghost Ride
Go Crazy
Who's That Drivin?
Quabbin Qountry.

7 comments:

Jenny said...

I have to say that I love that you refer to these people by random nicknames my favorite being Gonzo with the sweet pun afterwards of "gone-zo" good play.

o said...

yo, check this article about the quality of lawyer in doj: http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2007/04/08/scandal_puts_spotlight_on_christian_law_school/

in other news, a very conservative professor of mine also called for Al to hit the road. As with most political "scandals" i am disappointed that this is what actually might bring the AG down. Firing US attorneys for no reason is CLEARLY within the prerogative of the President/AG. I would much rather see Al impeached/fired for arguing that the Geneva Conventions don't apply or counseling the president to sign laws that he will simply ignore or illegally invading Iraq (ok, a questionable assertion) or something that is actually illegal. Don't get me wrong, im pissed that Al and the rest of justice lied to congress and the media, but it seems to me like they just made an administrative mistake. Meaning, they didn't think through the response to their actions and prepare for it, so they were caught off guard and spoke to quickly instead of taking a deep breath and just saying, "we can do this and if you don't like it, vote for somebody else."

Jenny said...

So in my politics class today we are debating the pros and cons of the BCRA and whether or not limiting campaign controbutions is truly beneficial or just a temporary fix. Any thoughts on that? Particularly the fact that Obama, who has raised as much money as Hilary, but from a large source of people and therefore a wider base. Do you think it is better to have that wide base because it speaks to the will of the people? IN addition what about the fact that the gov. has been limiting what different organizations, not affiliated with a party, are allowed to do with the money that they themselves have raised in terms of support for a candidate.Anyway just thought maybe you could write a little opinion on that then I can steal it and say it in class on Thursday...or I guess I could quote you and be like "Well according to Bryan Bissel recent graduate of Wesleyen University and current 6th grade teacher of math at Amherst Middle believes...yadda yadda yadda"

o said...

Jenny, i would like to hear bryan's thoughts on this issue as well, but i do have a general comment on campaign finance laws.

While the general goal of the law is admirable, i think that the overall effect is to make it easier for those in office to remain in office. Limiting the impact of non-party related groups will only serve to insulate folks from attack. What is particularly interesting is that these laws fly directly in the face of the First Amendment. If the framers had anything in mind when they proposed and ratified Amendment One, it was that individuals would be free to use their resources to speak out, without consequence, against the government. Imposing donation limits and blackout dates goes a long way to frustrate individual citizens and citizen groups from getting out their messages.

I'm not really sure what problem the BCRA aims to fix. It is true that there are some individuals who have money to burn and can easily manipulate an election, (and by "individuals" i mostly mean corporations, they technically are people) but at some point mustn't we rely on the voters to be able to see through the crap and pick the right candidate? I mean, we do live in a democratic republic and we must have some faith in the people. Else the whole thing falls apart...

BTB said...

more on BCRA later!

jeremy said...

a couple of things: 1) my senior year of high school was the first time my friends and i saw "gaffe" in print and it was quite hilarious to us as we were in a big backwards phase whereby "gaf", the reverse of "fag," was our lingo for something gay (and let's face it, as a high schooler and, for me, beyond, everything is "fucking gay;" 2) much more importantly, i had never seen that ghostride video except for some parody my cousin sent me and holy balls is it awesome. too bad if i want to participate i have to ghostride my bike. so gaf.

BTB said...

Solley, credit where credit is due - I found out about ghost ride from reading your wall post. Props to your cousin!