Dems are going to have to find gaffes more recent than second hand stuff from 25 years ago to make something stick.Humor is a very touchy thing for Pols to use though and I've been uncomfortable at times with McCain's. Obama gets flak for being humorless (he is) but McCain gets on thin ice with his.A big reason I voted for Gore Lieberman in 2000 was my fear of how Bush's self-deprecating humor would translate espcially into Arabic, Chinese, or Russian. Americans can be a very tough lot for the rest of the world to figure out and no more so than when we're making jokes.
Again, it was racist statements from the early 1980's that sunk Ron Paul.I've heard a lot of people's big reasons for voting against Bush, and that is by far the weirdest. CC
The thing that people often miss about gaffes is that they have "legs" as a scandal when there is some history or policy to tie to the accusation.Republicans bitch about what happened to Trent Lott, but if the story had been solely about Lott's misspeaking at a birthday party, there would have been no story. The trouble is that Lott had too much to seize upon in his past -- both personally and politically -- that made the charge of racism stick. Ditto George Allan with "macaca." And ditto Ron Paul, who is convinced that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 didn't just overstep federal power but actually worsened race relations. (I can see how whites might have felt more positively about blacks when blacks didn't pose competition for jobs etc., but that's a somewhat one-sided perspective on race relations. Black people seem to feel better about white people now that blacks have redress for discrimination.)What's getting built up against McCain is a charge of sexism that will be tied to his policy positions, such as his belief that Lilly Ledbetter, who did not receive equal pay for equal work for decades, just needed more "education and training" in order to be paid fairly. (Unless McCain is planning to start a federal program to "educate and train" women to detect within 180 days the first time their boss is screwing them over, I'm not sure how his idea is going to fix the problem that the Ledbetter legislation he opposes is addressing.)The sexism charge against Obama is struggling because the "sweetie" gaffe doesn't have much of a history to tie in, although some folks are doing their best to misread his position on post-viability abortions in order to claim that he isn't strong on women's rights. (He said in an interview that he believes in the Casey regime where states can restrict post-viability abortion so long as there are exceptions for the life and health of the mother. He said that "mental distress" wasn't enough to create such an exception; there had to be something physical involved. One reason a woman might need to abort is if she is on psychiatric medication that causes serious damage to the fetus, but that if not used might cause the woman to become suicidal or psychotic. This isn't "mental distress"; this is a "physical issue." Medication physically affects brain chemistry as well as a developing fetus."Mental distress" would be more like having a wage-earner lose his job after the fetus became viable, making the addition of a baby to the family economically impossible. In such circumstances, a state could require a woman to complete the pregnancy.
I've heard a lot of people's big reasons for voting against Bush, and that is by far the weirdest.Maybe... I had voted for Dems from McGovern to Gore Lieberman so it wasn't a change for me. I had always been interested in foreign affairs, I felt the GOP had harmed the US with impeachment, and was interventionist and a supporter of nation building... Rwanda and Bosina had a deep impact on me. I was very humiliated by the worlds inaction (I had visited Bosnia in the 70s as a College student)... so I was very put off by Bush's humor about his grades and smarts... I had worked for DoD in Europe in the 80s during the missle deployment, AirLand 2000 (fighting thru a limited nuke war) and you realize how real this stuff was and the last thing I wanted was a Prez making jokes about himself. I was a big fan of Lieberman and still am... so I feel I've been pretty consistent through out the years.......everyone else has just changed.PS McCain was a Navy Pilot in the early 60s... you can bet there is plenty behavior in his past that would not pass muster by today's standards.I doubt it will stick.
PS JJ's balls talk ought to give you some idea on Chicago's Political Culture. That's how a lot of leaders talk in this town talk and I've even been in rooms with some, as the only guy, listening to them talk about who doesn't have enough balls for this or that and thinking to myself geez I'm the only person with balls......but I didn't have enough of 'em to say so......I blog instead I guess.
I hear you Bill. ;-)TEA who notes again how quickly plagiarism sunk Rev. Donald Cameron, but Rev. Ray Drennan's anti-religious intolerance and bigotry is apparently no big deal. . . ;-)Sorry CC. I just couldn't resist that. Yes it is "off-topic" to John McCain and Hillary Clinton but, like most such comments I post, it is very much on-topic to the basic principles involved.
If Drennan had, say, run for UUA president, it probably would have been a big deal. Drennan certainly seems like an extremist on separation of church and state. A few would like it, I think most UUA members would think he took it way too far. (And there's something very ironic about plagarising sermons on Dr. Martin Luther King.)If McCain is an average citizen, he can make all the rape jokes he wants. If the people of Arizona want to elect him anyway, ok, whatever. But once he starts running for a national office, these things tend to come back out, again like in the case of Ron Paul.CC
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