Talk to Your Parents About McCain, The Make-Believe Maverick

Please note that I’m not advocating voting for Obama as much as I’m imploring you to not vote for McCain.

I also just finished reading a story in Rolling Stone called Make-Believe Maverick by Tim Dickinson. I thought it was an interesting piece and really left me with no plausible reason to vote for McCain. It’s a bit long, but, if true, provides a rather damning account of McCain’s life. Especially interesting to me was the section entitled “He is Hotheaded,” mostly because it shows how little McCain has changed and what a terrible President he would be:

At least three of McCain’s GOP colleagues have gone on record to say that they consider him temperamentally unsuited to be commander in chief. Smith, the former senator from New Hampshire, has said that McCain’s “temper would place this country at risk in international affairs, and the world perhaps in danger. In my mind, it should disqualify him.” Sen. Domenici of New Mexico has said he doesn’t “want this guy anywhere near a trigger.” And Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi weighed in that “the thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine. He is erratic. He is hotheaded.”

I’d be curious to hear any rebuttals to the piece if anyone has one.

9 Replies to “Talk to Your Parents About McCain, The Make-Believe Maverick”

  1. These stupid videos that you’ve been adding to political posts are not only annoying, they also make YOU look like an tool. This one is about as moronic as the “Don’t Vote” one (though a bit less offensive to me personally). Also, it makes you out to be a liar, because the video clearly advocates voting for Obama, who is at least as much of an ass as McCain. Anything that shows McCain as a horrible choice is fine with me (when it does so reasonably, unlike your video which only claims “catastrophic consequences” under a McCain presidency), but that certainly doesn’t mean that Obama is a good alternative. He’s not. That video feeds right into the black-and-white worldview that has crippled the political scene in America. People by and large don’t remember how to think outside the government-approved boxes, and you’re not helping by posting that video.

  2. I like how Jeff didn’t even read the article, and chose instead to commend on the video. It’s much easier to shoot your mouth off about a 30-second clip than to consider a fully-developed argument. How’s that for a black-and-white worldview?

  3. I shouldn’t respond to a comment as ignorant as Dan’s, but if I start down that road I won’t be able to respond to a lot of the world. So here you go, Dan.

    I did read the article. I don’t know why you assumed that I didn’t, I see nothing in my comment that shows a lack of understanding of the article. I enjoyed the article. I believe it gives a very enlightening picture of the man behind the curtain. I have no problem with the article. I think that John McCain would make a horrible president, and I am not a supporter of his. Since I had no problem with the article and had nothing to add to it, I didn’t say anything about it. Andrew asked for rebuttals, and I have none.

    But the article wasn’t the only element of the post. There was a video, too. And the video made Andrew look foolish by taking it as a self-evident fact that if McCain is a bad choice, then Obama is obviously a good choice. Obama will do just as poor a job as president as McCain will, they’ll just do things a tiny bit differently. The video did not take this into account. The video confused being witty with being intelligent, and they are by no means the same thing. The video paints the upcoming election as the obvious choice between good and bad (to be perfectly honest, I don’t even think one or the other is the “lesser of two evils” I think they’re just both pretty evil), and that’s what I wanted to argue against.

    Which brings me to your comment. To be perfectly honest, I don’t understand what you’re trying to say. You claim I have a black-and-white worldview because I decided to “shoot my mouth off” about the video rather than “consider a fully-developed argument”. Even if I had done that, I don’t see how that would constitute a black-and-white worldview. I argued (briefly, I admit) against the content of the video, its the implications, and its appearance on Andrew’s post. If I am at fault, it’s due to the tone rather than the content. My comment sounded frustrated and annoyed when I could have been more respectful and cordial. For that, Andrew, I apologize to you. But the fact of the matter is that I did consider the well-reasoned argument against McCain, I agree with the assessment, and I don’t think anyone should vote for him. I also think there are well-reasoned arguments against Obama, and I don’t think anyone should vote for him, either. Actually, I don’t think anyone should vote for anyone, but that’s a whole ‘nother can of worms. The point is that you didn’t understand the content of my comment, and so decided to make assumptions about my political beliefs and try to bring me down (using no argument).

    And since you have deemed it appropriate to make assumptions about my political views and then make unfounded accusations based on those views, I’ve got a few assumptions about your “worldview”. I’m guessing you’re an Obama supporter, and I’m betting you’re a true believer. You probably think that Obama is the knight in shining armor that America has been waiting for (the “change we can believe in”, if you will), riding into Washington to save the day. I’m also betting you’re a die-hard Democrat, so you would have supported anybody who came out of the DNC as the victor. You buy into whatever propaganda the liberal elites put on your plate, hence your equation of the article’s argument with the video’s conclusion. You probably think that Biden (the epitome of a career politician) is a great running-mate that fits right in with the “let’s bring change to Washington” message. You probably think Obama’s decision not to use public finance for his campaign (reversing one of the only strong positions he’s taken in his time in the senate) was somehow justified. You probably think that Obama is justified in expanding the American empire abroad (like McCain), which he’s admitted to. You probably think that fixing the health care system and “going through the Federal budget line by line and cutting programs that aren’t working” are more than just the same bullshit promises from another bullshit politician. I think you’re the one who can’t think outside the box that the Democrats provide to you, and so were unable to recognize the nuance of my argument.

    Maybe I’m wrong about the whole thing. I genuinely hope I am. Perhaps your comment just wasn’t properly thought through, and now that you look at it you see how it came across as a nonsensical demand for a thoroughly intellectual smack-down regarding the upcoming presidential election, which I hope I have provided. But if you still think I’m wrong about the video, I’d love to hear your response, as long as you promise to think before you “shoot your mouth off” again.

  4. @Jeff:

    “And the video made Andrew look foolish by taking it as a self-evident fact that if McCain is a bad choice, then Obama is obviously a good choice.”

    That’s not what I’m saying, which was the entire point of the “Please note that I?m not advocating voting for Obama as much as I?m imploring you to not vote for McCain” line in the post. In fact, I would have preferred that the video not mention Obama at all.

  5. As Jeff reiterated, the post was not meant to endorse Obama, but to critique McCain. The video, which is flimsy on its own, is supported by the article, which is not. An attack on the video, then, is ineffective. You chose to attack the video and ignore the article, which I took to be too easy, leading me to charge you with shooting your mouth off. I repurposed your “black-and-white thinking” metaphor to describe the kind of simple mind that responds to YouTube clips. Have you ever read YouTube comments? They’re uniquely retarded. I’m sorry I misjudged you. You’re right that I assumed you hadn’t read the article. But your misreading of the post as pro-Obama and failure to address its argument gave me no reason to think my assumption was wrong.

  6. Andrew:
    I understood your point about not supporting Obama, which is why I was confused and put off by your inclusion of the video. You brought a thought-provoking article to our attention. You cheapened it by including the video. I’m not sure why the video was part of the post, as it directly contradicts a point you explicitly made (which you and I have both mentioned already). If you knew the contents of the video as relative to your own stance on the issue, why did you post it? That question is what I was trying to call attention to in my comment.

    Dan:
    I completely disagree with your assertion that the video is supported by the article. The conclusion of the video is not, “John McCain doesn’t deserve your vote,” but rather, “John McCain doesn’t deserve your vote and Barack Obama does.” The video and the article are completely separate entities, and I treated them as such. They are only similar in that neither are sympathetic to John McCain. That’s irrelevant. My argument was, and always has been, that the fact that John McCain is a bad candidate doesn’t mean Barack Obama is a good one (which was the conclusion of the video, not the article). That is the kind of black-and-white thinking I was referring to. Repurposing my metaphor to mean that black-and-white thinkers are stupid YouTube users is not what I had in mind. I was trying to describe unthinking members of both major political parties (perhaps even all political parties) who assume that the only reasonable options are Democrat and Republican. Those are the type of people who are impressed by this video (not thoughtful and discerning people like Andrew). Also, I didn’t post on YouTube. I posted on AFdN, a site I respect and where I expect to be respected. Finally, I don’t believe I misread the post at all. I know Andrew isn’t pro-Obama, and the post FOR THE MOST PART reflected that. I was calling into question the portion of the post (the video) that was pro-Obama, and calling Andrew to task for including a video that seriously detracted from the caliber of an otherwise intellectually consistent article. I addressed an inconsistency in the post, and said nothing about the consistent part. I think my comment was very clearly NOT about the article, just about the video. You drew the connection and made assumptions based on it. I don’t think I gave you any reason to.

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