EVERY Aspect of this Profile in Courage is Inaccurate or Defunct

There's not much in the way of analysis that I can add to Frank Rich's blistering, fact-filled and essential column in today's Times.  http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/17/opinio n/17rich.html?ref=opinion

THE CANDIDATE WE STILL DON'T KNOW goes a long way in taking down many of the cris de coeur favored in so many recurring concern diaries & comments.  Even better, Rich strikes right to heart of the, ahem, REAL McCain.  

Here are a few highlights but please go to the source & read the whole thing - it's long, tough, and detailed  Forward it & the evidentiary links that back up his points.  The column compiles & packages a lot of hard ammo on the real McCain.

On concern,:

The poor guy should be winning in a landslide against the despised party of Bush-Cheney, and he's not. He should be passing the 50 percent mark in polls, and he's not. He's been done in by that ad with Britney and Paris and by a new international crisis that allows McCain to again flex his Manchurian Candidate military cred. Let the neocons identify a new battleground for igniting World War III, whether Baghdad or Tehran or Moscow, and McCain gets with the program as if Angela Lansbury has just dealt him the Queen of Hearts.

Obama has also been defeated by racism (again). He can't connect and "close the deal" with ordinary Americans too doltish to comprehend a multicultural biography that includes what Cokie Roberts of ABC News has damned as the "foreign, exotic place" of Hawaii. As The Economist sums up the received wisdom, "lunch-pail Ohio Democrats" find Obama's ideas of change "airy-fairy" and are all asking, "Who on earth is this guy?"

It seems almost churlish to look at some actual facts. No presidential candidate was breaking the 50 percent mark in mid-August polls in 2004 or 2000. Obama's average lead of three to four points is marginally larger than both John Kerry's and Al Gore's leads then (each was winning by one point in Gallup surveys). Obama is also ahead of Ronald Reagan in mid-August 1980 (40 percent to Jimmy Carter's 46). At Pollster.com, which aggregates polls and gauges the electoral count, Obama as of Friday stood at 284 electoral votes, McCain at 169. That means McCain could win all 85 electoral votes in current toss-up states and still lose the election.

Yet surely, we keep hearing, Obama should be running away with the thing. Even Michael Dukakis was beating the first George Bush by 17 percentage points in the summer of 1988. Of course, were Obama ahead by 17 points today, the same prognosticators now fussing over his narrow lead would be predicting that the arrogant and presumptuous Obama was destined to squander that landslide on vacation and tank just like his hapless predecessor.

The rest after the bump, but I'd rather you jump right to the Times & read the whole thing.

So why isn't Obama romping? The obvious answer -- and both the excessively genteel Obama campaign and a too-compliant press bear responsibility for it -- is that the public doesn't know who on earth John McCain is. The most revealing poll this month by far is the Pew Research Center survey finding that 48 percent of Americans feel they're "hearing too much" about Obama. Pew found that only 26 percent feel that way about McCain, and that nearly 4 in 10 Americans feel they hear too little about him. It's past time for that pressing educational need to be met.

And this brings Rich to the real McCain:

With the exception of McCain's imprisonment in Vietnam, every aspect of this profile in courage is inaccurate or defunct.

McCain never called for Donald Rumsfeld to be fired and didn't start criticizing the war plan until late August 2003, nearly four months after "Mission Accomplished." By then the growing insurgency was undeniable. On the day Hurricane Katrina hit, McCain laughed it up with the oblivious president at a birthday photo-op in Arizona. McCain didn't get to New Orleans for another six months and didn't sharply express public criticism of the Bush response to the calamity until this April, when he traveled to the Gulf Coast in desperate search of election-year pageantry surrounding him with black extras.

McCain long ago embraced the right's agents of intolerance, even spending months courting the Rev. John Hagee, whose fringe views about Roman Catholics and the Holocaust were known to anyone who can use the Internet. (Once the McCain campaign discovered YouTube, it ditched Hagee.) On Monday McCain is scheduled to appear at an Atlanta fund-raiser being promoted by Ralph Reed, who is not only the former aide de camp to one of the agents of intolerance McCain once vilified (Pat Robertson) but is also the former Abramoff acolyte showcased in McCain's own Senate investigation of Indian casino lobbying.

And a great shout-out to TPM as well qualified hit on the press.  (I would be less kind to the Times & Post, though arguably they have been far more responsible than most other outlets.)

While reporters at The Post and The New York Times have been vetting McCain, many others give him a free pass. Their default cliché is to present him as the Old Faithful everyone already knows. They routinely salute his "independence," his "maverick image" and his "renegade reputation" -- as the hackneyed script was reiterated by Karl Rove in a Wall Street Journal op-ed column last week. At Talking Points Memo, the essential blog vigilantly pursuing the McCain revelations often ignored elsewhere, Josh Marshall accurately observes that the Republican candidate is "graded on a curve."

Most Americans still don't know, as Marshall writes, that on the campaign trail "McCain frequently forgets key elements of policies, gets countries' names wrong, forgets things he's said only hours or days before and is frequently just confused." Most Americans still don't know it is precisely for this reason that the McCain campaign has now shut down the press's previously unfettered access to the candidate on the Straight Talk Express.

-snip-

Some of those who know McCain best -- Republicans -- are tougher on him than the press is. Rita Hauser, who was a Bush financial chairwoman in New York in 2000 and served on the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board in the administration's first term, joined other players in the G.O.P. establishment in forming Republicans for Obama last week. Why? The leadership qualities she admires in Obama -- temperament, sustained judgment, the ability to play well with others -- are missing in McCain. "He doesn't listen carefully to people and make reasoned judgments,"Hauser told me. "If John says `I'm going with so and so,' you can't count on that the next morning," she complained, adding, "That's not the man we want for president."

And he reminds us that some rabidly anti-Obama voices are a double-edged sword slicing at McCain as well:

Corsi's writings have been repeatedly promoted by Sean Hannity on Fox News; Corsi's publisher, Mary Matalin, has praised her author's "scholarship." If Republican warriors like Hannity and Matalin think so highly of Corsi's research into Obama, then perhaps we should take seriously Corsi's scholarship about McCain. In recent articles at worldnetdaily.com, Corsi has claimed (among other charges) that the McCain campaign received "strong" financial support from a "group tied to Al Qaeda" and that "McCain's personal fortune traces back to organized crime in Arizona."

Tags: concern, data, ge, John McCain, mccain, obama, outrage (all tags)

Comments

14 Comments

Far Better:

Skip my highlights & go straight to the source: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/17/opinio n/17rich.html?ref=opinion

by January 20 2008-08-16 10:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Far Better:

Thanks January 20 Rich is great and so are you. REC

by Politicalslave 2008-08-17 04:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Far Better:

Thanks Poli, I agree wholeheartedly about Rich.

by January 20 2008-08-17 01:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Far Better:


Corsi has claimed (among other charges) that the McCain campaign received "strong" financial support from a "group tied to Al Qaeda" and that "McCain's personal fortune traces back to organized crime in Arizona."

Are you insinuating that this whole "election" is really just a proxy war between the Phoenix and Chicago mobs?  I like where this is headed....

by SuperCameron 2008-08-17 01:07PM | 0 recs
Profile in Courage is Inaccurate or Defunct
McCain last night used talking points from his speeches and the same jokes he used for months in town halls. He's about as exciting as a bag of rocks. About the same level of intelligence.
I saw a blurb being run across the bottom of the screen last night during the "debate"- Obama raised $51 million in July, while "John McCain and the RNC had $96 million on hand as of August".
Interesting that they had to add in the RNC fundraising to make McCain's totals look better.
Thanks for posting Rich's column, as usual, he separates the wheat from the chaff.
by skohayes 2008-08-17 04:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Profile in Courage is Inaccurate or Defunct

Well the man can tell a joke.  Though lately the angry tone is kinda defeating the humor.  

by January 20 2008-08-17 01:43PM | 0 recs
Re: EVERY Aspect

Every Day... Every Way..

We gotta point this shit out..

by nogo postal 2008-08-17 05:23AM | 0 recs
Re: EVERY Aspect of this Profile in Courage is Ina

"graded on a curve"?

I should think that an Obama supporter like Rich might hesitate to bring up that criticism of McCain.

No Presidential candidate in living memory has been graded on a more generous curve than Obama -- given credit for accomplishments he didn't achieve and for  judgment and courage he never displayed. And everybody who is not fully in the tank for Obama knows that by now.

by frankly0 2008-08-17 06:37AM | 0 recs
Re: EVERY Aspect of this Profile in Courage is Ina

Oh, actually it's Josh Marshall who originally came up with the expression that McCain was "graded on a curve".

It's actually good Marshall should do this, just in case we should any us of have forgotten what a shameless, useless hack Josh Marshall has become.

Do you think Marshall's positioning himself so that someday he might take over Keith Olbermann's Histrionic Hack slot on MSNBC? You know, like Conan O'Brien taking over the Tonight Show from Jay Leno?

by frankly0 2008-08-17 06:47AM | 0 recs
Re: EVERY Aspect of this Profile in Courage is Ina

The only shameless useless hack here is you and your ilk...

Back under the bridge.

by JenKinFLA 2008-08-17 07:59AM | 0 recs
so ......

tell us again why you are here?

by emsprater 2008-08-17 07:12AM | 0 recs
Calling out "franklyo" to ADMINS

You are a newly minted repug troll and are here for one purpose only, to disrupt this blog and slander the Democratic nominee.  Get back under your bridge, posthaste.

by ReillyDiefenbach 2008-08-17 07:19AM | 0 recs
That's not fair.

to compare "frankly0" to a troll. I know a number of trolls and some are quite decent. We really need a new category for his ilk.

by Skipster 2008-08-17 08:26AM | 0 recs
Sweet.

Thanks for spreadin' this about, J20.  Good stuff.

Rec'd.

by fogiv 2008-08-17 11:09AM | 0 recs

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