Thursday, February 21, 2008

Political Links

I've been knocked out for a while with the flu-bug-from-hell, and am still a little wobbly. So, absent any coherent thoughts of my own after spending the better part of the last six days feverish, weak, and coughing my lungs out (whatever you do, don't come near me - you want no part of this) I'm posting links to a few political posts that my addled brain has found either interesting or encouraging:

Here Mark Nicholas, formerly of (which is now once again all-but-defunct) now with Political Base, explains why Hillary Clinton has lost his vote. While Mr. Nicholas - who still considers himself a supporter and fan of former president Bill Clinton - tosses a little vitriol Hillary Clinton's way, this piece is also a somewhat belated love letter to Barack Obama. Most interestingly, he argues, "Barack Obama is the natural continuation of that Clinton legacy, not Hillary Clinton."

Evidently, while I was either unconscious or totally incoherent Tuesday night, Texas state Senator Kirk Watson appeared on CNN in support of Barack Obama. Well intentioned, no doubt, but... Let's just say, with friends like these...

Sen. Watson's performance was a disaster, as many have noted. When asked to produce a single one of Obama's legislative accomplishments, he could not. This reinforced the myth (here I mean, more strongly, the colloquial lie) that Obama is all style, no substance. In response, Michael Westmoreland-White at Kentucky Fried Politics offers this partial list of Obama's accomplishments.

On the same subject, Jack Turner of Jack and Jill Politics has an even more comprehensive message on Barack Obama's experience. Included is a two-part strategy for how to be helpful when responding to the criticism that Barack Obama has no substance:

1. Demonstrate that he does have substance (both Turner and Westmoreland-White's posts do this), and

2. Flip the question.

Turner notes that appearing on behalf of Sen. Clinton, Stephanie Tubbs Jones did no better outlining legislative accomplishments than Kirk Watson did for Barack Obama.

Meanwhile, unless you've been trapped in a cave like me, you've probably seen that presumptive Republican nominee John McCain is getting some questions about his relationship with a blonde lobbyist. Sorry. No link, and no comment. God knows there are enough reasons not to vote for McCain, who recently reversed his courageous stand against torture, without a sex scandal. Having sold his once maverick soul to win the GOP bid that had always eluded him, I don't care what he did or didn't do with this or any woman (or man). In my moral calculus, sex has nothing on supporting the perpetuation of an unjust war, and removing limitations on conduct within that already unjust war.

So long, Straight Talk Express.

(For more on the once-noble McCain and torture, see here.)


Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about the flu, dude. I hope that you're getting plenty of rest and fluids and all that.

The NYT McCain "bombshell" was, IMHO, pretty half-baked. The story took a substantive issue with McCain-- his close working relationship with lobbyists, contrary to his image as a squeaky-clean Fighter Against Special Interests-- and bollixed it up with poorly sourced sexual innuendo. In doing so, they did McCain a huge favor, at least in the short run, by making him a martyr and getting even Rush Limbaugh to come to his defense, meanwhile giving him a free pass to tell multiple lies about his granting of personal favors to a client of the lobbyist in question. Thankfully, some of the media (like Mike Isikoff at Newsweek) are fact-checking McCain on his assertions since the article, but since there's no nookie involved in those articles, they've gotten a lot less traction.

The explanation behind the story reading the way it did seems to be that the newsroom was at the mercy of the NYT's and McCain's lawyers. Perhaps. However, it seems that they could have told the real story about McCain and his relations to K Street without the sexual innuendo in such a way that no lawyers could have made a reasonable objection.

Liam said...

Get well, Chris.

I agree with you about everything. I also feel the same way about McCain.

Sandalstraps said...

Brian and Liam,

Thanks for your comments.

I think I've finally bid this damned flu bug adieu, and am feeling much, much better.