19 May, 2008

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

My goodness me. Are Hillary's supporters really so desperate they're turning to bribery these days?

One of Sen. Hillary Clinton's top financial supporters offered $1 million to the Young Democrats of America during a phone conversation in which he also pressed for the organization's two uncommitted superdelegates to endorse the New York Democrat, a high-ranking official with YDA told The Huffington Post.

Haim Saban, the billionaire entertainment magnate and longtime Clinton supporter, denied the allegation. But four independent sources said that just before the North Carolina and Indiana primaries, Saban called YDA President David Hardt and offered what was perceived as a lucrative proposal: $1 million would be made available for the group if Hardt and the organization's other uncommitted superdelegate backed Clinton.

Is it just me, or is the Clinton campaign's determination to win the White House by hook or by crook pathological by now? I think we've gone beyond pathetic here.

Speaking of pathological, McCain's desire to bomb Iran into oblivion seems to be growing and growing and....

...John McCain spoke in Chicago this morning, and went after Obama for saying the potential threat posed by Iran is “tiny” compared to the USSR during the Cold War.

McCain said, “Obviously, Iran isn’t a superpower and doesn’t possess the military power the Soviet Union had. But that does not mean that the threat posed by Iran is insignificant.” McCain went on to argue that Iran is playing a destructive role in Iraq and is “intent on acquiring nuclear weapons.” McCain concluded, “They might not be a superpower, but the threat the government of Iran poses is anything but ‘tiny.’”

Does McCain really want to debate this?

First, Obama didn’t say the possible Iranian threat is “tiny.” He said it’s “tiny” when compared to the Soviet Union. As Josh Marshall explained, Russia was, after all, “the world’s greatest land military power, with a massive strategic nuclear capacity that carried on a multi-decade ideological struggle” with the United States. McCain thinks it reflects poor “judgment” to recognize the obvious difference between a nuclear superpower and Iran?

Second, there’s a bit of a contradiction here. Over the weekend, the McCain campaign said Obama was giving Iran too much credit, offering Iran “the status of a super power akin to the Soviets.” Today, the McCain campaign said Obama isn’t giving Iran enough credit. These guys should probably coordinate talking points among themselves before going on the attack.

And finally, on the substance, Obama is so obviously right about Iran it’s hard to believe this discussion is actually happening. As Newsweek’s Fareed Zakaria explained a few months
ago: “Iran has an economy the size of Finland’s and an annual defense budget of around $4.8 billion. It has not invaded a country since the late 18th century…. Israel and every Arab country (except Syria and Iraq) are quietly or actively allied against Iran. And yet we are to believe that Tehran is about to overturn the international system and replace it with an Islamo-fascist order? What planet are we on?”

Some people, like Bill Kristol, think this incoherent idiot is fit to be our next President. I say the Republicon party would be better off throwing their support to a stunted turnip. The turnip would at least have the sense to not contradict itself while making ridiculous claims in support of a "kill 'em all" philosophy of foreign policy.

I mean, let's face facts, here: would we rather have a vegetable or an Underpants Gnome for President?

Yesterday afternoon, I was chatting with my friend Bill Simmon, discussing the week that was. I mentioned John McCain’s speech on Iraq earlier in the week, in which the senator talked about how great Iraq will look in 2013, at the end of what he hopes would be his first term as

Borrowing a page from one of Yglesias’ commenters, I presented McCain’s plan this way:

Step 1: Get elected.
Step 2: (awkward silence)
Step 3: Troops come home, world marvels at the stable democracy in Iraq

McCain, regrettably, has no idea what to do about Step 2. He knows what he wants to accomplish, but he can’t explain how he’d go about getting there. We’re just supposed to take a leap of faith, assuming he’d come up with a policy someday and it’ll all work out in the end.

After I told Bill about this, he immediately said, “Profit!” I hadn’t the foggiest idea what he was talking about.

Apparently, there was a 1998 episode of “South Park” in which Underpants Gnomes invade people’s homes to steal their underwear. They have a three-part business plan:

Step 1: Collect underpants
Step 2: (awkward silence)
Step 3: Profit!

The similarity between the Underpants Gnomes’ business plan and McCain’s Iraq policy is, of course, striking.

It is, indeed, and we have our answer. This country has already had an assclown extraordinaire: we don't need to follow up with four years of Captain Underpants. We sure as fuck don't need Captain Desperation and her sidekick Boy Bribery, either.

It's a damned good thing we have Obama, or I'd have no hope for this country's future at all.


Efrique said...

I just saw McCain accusing Obama of inexperience and and that his understanding of the Middle East was "risky" (or words broadly along those lines).

I was thinking, yeah, because the whole handling of the Iraq war really showed an amazing level of competence, experience and a deep understanding of the Middle East.

Dana Hunter said...

Didn't it just? I think their brains are plugged into an alternate universe where they really are doing a heckuva job, and that's scrambling their ability to comprehend this reality. ;-) Then again... maybe they're just special.