Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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March 24, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

McCAIN'S CRED....Via Steve Benen, MSNBC analyst Chuck Todd tells us why John McCain can get away with routine demonstrations of abject ignorance, like his recent proclamation that Iran is supporting al-Qaeda in Iraq:

Even if he gets dinged on the experience stuff, "Oh, he says he's Mr. Experience. Doesn't he know the difference between this stuff?" He's got enough of that in the bank, at least with the media, that he can get away with it. I mean, the irony to this is had either Senator Clinton or Senator Obama misspoke like that, it'd have been on a running loop, and it would become a, a big problem for a couple of days for them.

Italics mine. Let's recap. Foreign policy cred lets him get away with wild howlers on foreign policy. Fiscal integrity cred lets him get away with outlandishly irresponsible economic plans. Anti-lobbyist cred lets him get away with pandering to lobbyists. Campaign finance reform cred lets him get away with gaming the campaign finance system. Straight talking cred lets him get away with brutally slandering Mitt Romney in the closing days of the Republican primary. Maverick uprightness cred allows him to get away with begging for endorsements from extremist religious leaders like John Hagee. "Man of conviction" cred allows him to get away with transparent flip-flopping so egregious it would make any other politician a laughingstock. Anti-torture cred allows him to get away with supporting torture as long as only the CIA does it.

Remind me again: where does all this cred come from? And what window do Democrats go to to get the same treatment the press gives McCain?

Kevin Drum 5:24 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (90)

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How outrageous, to presume that any Dem could or should possibly be treated the same as this Great Man. Get down on your knees in gratitude that a lightning bolt doesn't come down from heaven and strike you dead on the spot.

What I want to know, and what few people talk about, is how Bush got the same treatment once McCain was out of the race in 2000. And Thompson was getting it, until it was obvious he could barely get out of bed in the morning. Giuliani was getting it until he turned out to be a crook and a dud campaigner. Huckabee got it for a while, as well, until he became a threat to McCain, and even then his coverage was never bad despite the plain fact that he's a nut. It isn't just McCain, and it helps to disguise the root of the problem to say it is. There's a greater pattern here.

Posted by: MG on March 24, 2008 at 5:33 PM | PERMALINK

Greenwald found the following quote from Time's Ana Marie Cox to Howie Kurtz earlier this year:

"The journalists who covered McCain in 2000 feel very self-conscious about the criticism that the press came under for apparently being so taken with John McCain. There's a sense that the first time was so fun and exciting, but this time we're really going to be sober and critical and the dispassionate observers we're supposed to be."
http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/03/24/mccain/index.html

Posted by: wvng on March 24, 2008 at 5:33 PM | PERMALINK

The Dems just have to nominate white male candidate who has a wife who inherited her wealth from the family's business selling a consumable fluid and he must have served in Vietnam as a military officer and as a Senator in Washington.

Posted by: gregor on March 24, 2008 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

mcain: the manchurian canadite, enough said

Posted by: mrmakymkay on March 24, 2008 at 5:38 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin asked: "Remind me again: where does all this cred come from?"

It comes from America's Ultra-Rich Ruling Class, Inc. -- the people who own the mass media from which the overwhelming majority of Americans get the overwhelming majority of their information, and who also own John McCain and the Republican Party.

They want John McCain to become president and continue the Cheney/Bush policies of massive tax cuts for the ultra-rich and deregulation of their industry so that they can gobble up more and more of America's newspapers, networks and TV and radio stations, with the goal of eventually having complete, unshakeable totalitarian control of ALL the information that Americans can get anywhere.

The mass media's shameless support for Cheney/Bush and their onslaughts of character assassination against Gore in 2000 and Kerry in 2004 got Cheney/Bush close enough to steal those elections through voter disenfranchisement and fraud.

And that's exactly what America's corporate overlords have planned for 2008.

Kevin asked: "And what window do Democrats go to to get the same treatment the press gives McCain?"

Mainstream Democratic candidates like Clinton and Obama espouse a "kinder and gentler" corporate dictatorship. They believe that corporations should be subject to the rule of law, for one thing -- that so-called "free markets" should not be corrupted with lying, cheating and stealing. And they believe that the working class and middle class (who are increasingly indistinguishable) should get a few crumbs from the table of the ultra-rich.

Whereas the Republicans hold lying, cheating and stealing as cornerstones of their theory of governance, and believe that the working class and the middle class should get a kick in the teeth.

That's why Democratic candidates are unacceptable to America's corporate ruling class, and are subjected to campaigns of character assassination by the corporate-owned mass media.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on March 24, 2008 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, that option not available in blue.

Posted by: gummitch on March 24, 2008 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

The Dems just have to nominate white male candidate who has a wife who inherited her wealth from the family's business selling a consumable fluid and he must have served in Vietnam as a military officer and as a Senator in Washington.

gregor forgot the /snark tag.

Anyway, been there, done that.

Posted by: David in NY on March 24, 2008 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

"Remind me again: where does all this cred come from?"

I declare, Kevin, sometimes I think you don't even read your own posts. Where does all the cred come from? The answer is right there in your own post:

He's got enough of that in the bank, at least with the media,
Posted by: Quaker in a Basement on March 24, 2008 at 5:49 PM | PERMALINK

John Magnificent McCain cannot be questioned. He is a hero, and a beautiful American to boot. His knowledge and experience are unparalleled in this great nation.

Only Liberal Fools would refuse to see and bow down to such greatness. You and your pathetic inexperienced candidates. They are inexperienced liberals, and they do not have any real experience. And they certainly do not Love America.

Thank God the Lord has delivered us John Magnificent McCain. You all will cower, you cowards.

Posted by: Free Lover of Freedom and Free Liberty on March 24, 2008 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

And what window do Democrats go to to get the same treatment the press gives McCain?

First stop is surgery, of course: sex change for Hillary, skin bleaching for Obama.

Then some aging treatments: they can't just be white men, they have to be old, cranky white men, just like the media, so the media will identify.

And finally -- this can take care of some of the aging -- they have to spend a decade or so giving tongue-baths to the media, chuckling at their jokes, pretending to respect their intelligence and integrity and insight, feeding them free booze and free dinners, on the contributors' tab of course.

After that, why, it'll be a battle on the issues, of course.

Or not...

Posted by: bleh on March 24, 2008 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

Thank God the Lord has delivered us John Magnificent McCain. You all will cower, you cowards.

Posted by: Free Lover of Freedom and Free Liberty on March 24, 2008 at 5:50 PM | PERMALI

frikin jebus lovers, funny name for someone that supports higharchy. im sorry but when your own govt spies on their countrymen means freedom is out the frikin window

Posted by: on March 24, 2008 at 5:57 PM | PERMALINK

I wish it was only a matter of cred. Unfortunately, it's also -- as with all other matters that require a modicum of intelligence and education -- a problem that our press is clueless.

Case in point: I'm listening to All Things Considered on March 20th. Host Robert Siegel, a man who sounds NPR-smart but isn't, is talking to nut Matthew Continetti and E.J. Dionne Jr. about John McCain's "miscue on Iran's training of militants." Continetti states that it's not a miscue at all, and McCain is right and everyone knows and there's evidence here and there and everywhere that Iran and Al Qaeda are working together. Siegel ends the conversation thanking him, never challenges him, and never even allows Dionne to challenge him.

If I were as clueless as Siegel and depended on NPR for my news I would have accepted the Iran and Al Qaeda intimate connection as a well-known and generally accepted fact. Thanks NPR!
____________________________________________

Posted by: Aris on March 24, 2008 at 6:00 PM | PERMALINK

I think I woke up on the other side of the looking glass yesterday. It was stunning. (Video at the link. He says it with a straight face.)

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State on March 24, 2008 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

I mean come on, guys.

Can't have a beer with Obama -- he's a Moslem and you know they don't drink.

Can't have a beer with Hillary -- let down your guard and she gets out the scissors, if you know what I mean.

What choice is left?

Posted by: thersites on March 24, 2008 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

Per Jamison Foser:

Remember the media's excuse for obsessing over John Edwards' expensive haircut: The cut was deemed newsworthy because it was (supposedly) incongruous with his image as a fighter for the working class and poor. Well, few things are more incongruous with McCain's carefully cultivated image as a military and foreign policy expert than the fact that he apparently doesn't understand basic facts about Iran and Al Qaeda. So you might assume that, by the standard the media applied to John Edwards, John McCain's blunders would receive heavy media coverage, much of it mocking.

And, of course, we know how the media would have reacted if Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton or John Kerry had displayed such stunning ignorance about such a basic national security question.

But the media has different standards for John McCain.


http://mediamatters.org/items/200803210010

Posted by: Stefan on March 24, 2008 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

jizz mixed with bbq sauce is some potent luv.

Posted by: linda on March 24, 2008 at 6:09 PM | PERMALINK

and before someone tears off my head -- yes I know Obama's not a Moslem and even if he was, so what?

Posted by: thersites the blackguard on March 24, 2008 at 6:09 PM | PERMALINK

Thersites,
You have two choices. A) Share a boner pill with the candidate of your choice. B) Spend a whole evening without your restless leg kicking the candidate of your choice.

Easy huh?

Posted by: optical weenie on March 24, 2008 at 6:12 PM | PERMALINK

after growing up with images from The Front Page and Woodward and Bernstein, I can't believe all of these smart, independent reporters can be so easily bought by ready access to the candidate and some occasional barbecue.

I sure hope Obama is pretty fucking handy with the small talk and flattery on the press plane, because it's clear these guys aren't paying attention to anything but their own egos. They let a smarmy little frat boy in the white house because he gave them cute nicknames, and now they're only too happy to let a demented, ethical dubious pol rave about policy matters he has never tried to understand, making grotesque mistake after mistake.

Posted by: travis on March 24, 2008 at 6:15 PM | PERMALINK

The media views McCain as a lovable coot - an older uncle type who keeps candy in his pocket and passes it out every time he visits the kids.

Think of a cross between the Candy Man and Uncle Fester.

Hey, he goes on the Daily Show for god sakes. Ya gotta love that, right?

Posted by: Keith G on March 24, 2008 at 6:15 PM | PERMALINK

ain't goin' there, Weenie.

Posted by: thersites on March 24, 2008 at 6:15 PM | PERMALINK

Just a reminder, think about the sectors that *actually own* the SCLM ...

Posted by: N. B. on March 24, 2008 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK

Apparently the man makes some world-class BBQ! I think a lot of reporters are afraid they won't be invited to his victory BBQ party-- isn't that enough reason to give him favorable press?

Kidding aside, what are they afraid of when it comes to shining a bright light on McCain? His notorious temper? That they feel like they're picking on their grandfather and/or a former POW?

Posted by: zoe from pittsburgh on March 24, 2008 at 6:24 PM | PERMALINK

The media doesn't like Democrats because they are not as "fun." They keep reminding us of real problems, not the exciting, exotic problems that you see on TV shows like Alias and 24.

Obama may have a workable gimmick with his poker habit. Poker is fairly popular right now. I recall that Bill Clinton had some marathon games of hearts on the campaign trail in '92.

If it doesn't endear them, at least maybe he can take them for enough money that they can't afford their morning lattes.

Posted by: lobbygow on March 24, 2008 at 6:30 PM | PERMALINK

*

(Who is still at it???)

Posted by: mhr on March 24, 2008 at 6:34 PM | PERMALINK

Blue Girl, I went and watched those clips again.

Jeepers. I don't want to have a beer with McCain, either. He might drool on me.

Are we sure GW can't run again?

Posted by: thersites on March 24, 2008 at 6:40 PM | PERMALINK

mhr - your glorious leader is five years into a losing war, with 4000 dead Americans and not a goddamned thing to show for it. Bush's "no surrender" plan is simply to leave office and let the next president take the blame. He's destroyed the army, and America's reputation. Now it's time for the grownups to clean up the mess.

But if you want to daydream about Reagan, go ahead with your rawhide fantasies. Ron only left office 20 years ago.

Posted by: travis on March 24, 2008 at 6:42 PM | PERMALINK

Let's face facts--the White Christian Male Oligarchy that run the Media along with the rest of the economy wants a White Man to be president. Only one White Man in the race...

Posted by: Sid, the white-shoe humanist on March 24, 2008 at 6:58 PM | PERMALINK

Karl Rove advised "attack his strengths" (example: Kerry's credentials as a war hero).

From what you say, McCain's strengths are very vulnerable. They can be made into a story as soon as Obama&Co. are free to attack... Ahhh, let's say, forcefully publicize them -- practically a duty, after all, an informed electorate being important, and all that.

Posted by: Rovologist on March 24, 2008 at 6:58 PM | PERMALINK

Were does all of mclame's "cred" come from?

By blowing the chimp and the criminal cabal that is behind all the treason, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.

Posted by: on March 24, 2008 at 7:01 PM | PERMALINK

I worry that whining about how "the media says McCain has particle physics cred!" just ends up reinforcing the storyline ("hmm, I remember reading something about how McCain has particle physics cred...").

On the other hand, those kind of uninformed voters don't hang around here, so maybe this is a good venue for weekly thrashings of starry-eyed journalists.

Posted by: on March 24, 2008 at 7:09 PM | PERMALINK

I worry that whining about how "the media says McCain has particle physics cred!" just ends up reinforcing the storyline ("hmm, I remember reading something about how McCain has particle physics cred...").

On the other hand, those kind of uninformed voters don't hang around here, so maybe this is a good venue for weekly thrashings of starry-eyed journalists.

Posted by: Eric on March 24, 2008 at 7:09 PM | PERMALINK

travis >"...your glorious leader is five years into a losing war, with 4000 dead Americans and not a goddamned thing to show for it. Bush's "no surrender" plan is simply to leave office and let the next president take the blame. He's destroyed the army, and America's reputation...."

He is just doing as his overlords wish, same as Reagan did & St. McCain of the Liquor Kingdom will.

"Fear not the path of truth for the lack of people walking on it." - Robert F. Kennedy

Posted by: daCascadian on March 24, 2008 at 7:16 PM | PERMALINK

"where does all this cred come from?" - Kevin

He has a nice personality. People like him. In the American democracy, that's what matters. For the same reason, he's also lots of people's second choice candidate. No one cares about all this boring policy stuff. Okay, a handful of politics nerds care about policy. No one else does.

Posted by: Gary Sugar on March 24, 2008 at 7:18 PM | PERMALINK

McCain credibility comes from the fact that he has a record; Obama and Clinton have had to invent theirs. He has accomplished things in the Senate; they have not. He has been so accessible to the media for so long that he knows most of the reporters covering him personally; Obama is aloof from most of the press, and Clinton treats members of the media with barely disguised hostility.

Kevin Drum is doing here what the Bush campaign did in 2000 (and the Bush administration did for several years thereafter), claiming that the politicians he likes are victims of the media. This worked for Bush because many strong Republicans dislike the media; if McCain was on the media's side, then Bush was on their side. Most Democrats and independents do not have the same hostility toward the news media (Fox News apart) that strong Republicans do. Absent this hostility, Democrats claiming to be victims of media bias just look whining and weak.

Sometimes in politics the media does your job for you. This is not something any campaign should ever count on. The Democratic Presidential nominee this year, no matter who this is, will have to make the case against McCain's ideas him or herself. If that's unfair, well, tough.

Posted by: Zathras on March 24, 2008 at 7:23 PM | PERMALINK

what window do Democrats go to to get the same treatment the press gives McCain?

The attack-your-own-party window, of course. Like Lieberman. The only problem is, it leads to your own party's base hating you.

Posted by: Shelby on March 24, 2008 at 7:46 PM | PERMALINK

you keep harping on about this faux pas on Iran funding AQ as if it's some huge blunder when the fact is there's been significance intelligence for 2 years indicating that indeed there is some evidence to that effect - so a misstatement here is not the 'howler' you suggest. Everything else you mention is the type of shit that comes up when you've been in the senate for as long as he has - you are forced into some awkward positions. If Obama actually had any experience to reference he'd have the same liability.

Posted by: orson on March 24, 2008 at 7:48 PM | PERMALINK

....cred come from?

Shrimp bought and bar tabs covered for the boys on the bus in 2000. If he wins, McCain will have passed Peter Minuit for achieving the highest ROI in North American history.

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on March 24, 2008 at 7:59 PM | PERMALINK

well Obama has done one thing of significance of late which will display him as being as two-faced as the others: the national dialogue on race. That's never gonna happen, it would be poison at the polls - so it was a rather shameless ploy to cover his tracks on Wright. Don't see ya talking about that Kevin.

Posted by: ablong on March 24, 2008 at 8:04 PM | PERMALINK

Over the past two days, the fawning American media has provided rave reviews of John McCain's visit to France. While the New York Times lauded "McCain's soothing tones," Time gushed about "McCain's Paris romance" and the transformation of Franco-American relations made possible by his warm embrace of French President Nicolas Sarkozy. But lost in these accounts is John McCain's vitriolic France-bashing in the run-up to the war in Iraq. Back in 2003, John McCain stood shoulder to shoulder with the Paris-hating purveyors of "freedom fries" and "old Europe."

For the details, see:
"Fawning Media Ignore McCain's Past France-Bashing."

Posted by: Mad on March 24, 2008 at 8:50 PM | PERMALINK

McCain credibility comes from the fact that he has a record...

Hey, he did his time.

Posted by: Bob M on March 24, 2008 at 9:34 PM | PERMALINK

Where does the cred come from? The press's bosses let their peons know. You betcha. “Tell me where a man gets his cornpone, and I’ll tell you what his ‘pinions is.” said Mark Twain. Nothing changes.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on March 24, 2008 at 9:37 PM | PERMALINK

Good question, Kevin, but you know perfectly well where and how he gets a pass on the politics of trivia. He gets it from the people you'd like to work for. Wouldn't you really and truly like to be part of the TV/mainstream punditocracy? Think of the life your cats would have watching you on TV as you blithely fit right in. No substance, all style, all day f'ing long. Wheeeeee!

Posted by: TJM on March 24, 2008 at 9:42 PM | PERMALINK

Ha, nice post, Kev.

Posted by: Swan on March 24, 2008 at 9:45 PM | PERMALINK

I think all you have to do is give the press BBQ at your country house and make the same jokes a couple dozen times on the trail. That and make sure to have fresh coffee and donuts on the bus.

Posted by: Mike P on March 24, 2008 at 9:47 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, yes, Zathrat, we all know that McCain has a long record of pandering to the press, that his "accomplishments" in the Senate amount to very little, and that his "record" is one of supporting wars run by Republicans and opposing wars run by Democrats. Not really so much a "record" as the ravings of an ideologue with a lust for death and destruction so long as it was started by a Republican.

In other words, the "record" no one will see so long as the press continues to fellate McCain.

Posted by: the on March 24, 2008 at 9:50 PM | PERMALINK

You go to the Republican window.

Duh.

Posted by: pjcamp on March 24, 2008 at 9:58 PM | PERMALINK

Obama does gets the same McCain-treatment.

Posted by: JoeCHI on March 24, 2008 at 10:21 PM | PERMALINK

Great post, Kevin. I heard John McCain referred to as "one of America's greatest living heros" on Fox News. Talk about framing! I think it might be more honest to refer to him as "one of America's greatest living captives". Being shot down while bombing civilian targets in Viet Nam doesn't add up to heroism from where I sit.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on March 24, 2008 at 10:30 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, I don't say this nearly enough (mostly because I'm prone to quibble even over mild differences of opinion) but this is an excellent post. Simple, to the point, has a nice rhetorical device, and is absolutely damning of both McCain and the media's undeserved, kid-glove treatment of him.

Well done and thank you for this and all of the hard work you do that seldom gets the thanks it deserves =)

Posted by: Augustus on March 24, 2008 at 10:53 PM | PERMALINK

That's the spirit Kevin. Yes! We can!

Posted by: Psyberian on March 24, 2008 at 11:08 PM | PERMALINK

Whenever I try to picture the press covering the McCain campaign, I think of the video on McCain's daughter's blog of Holly Bailey at the Sedona Barbecue swinging around on a tire swing, wine glass in hand, until she eventually loses a shoe and slumps to the ground in a fit of laughter.

Posted by: jocutus on March 24, 2008 at 11:50 PM | PERMALINK

Get a current world map, with or without current country borders, and see if they can even find Iran or Iraq.

Posted by: Kaphin on March 25, 2008 at 12:01 AM | PERMALINK

The only way McCain supporters or those on the fence won't vote for McCain is if he's caught in a gay sex scandal. These people just don't care that he's willing to sell off our government to the highest bidder, or that he's willing to cripple our military, or bankrupt our economy. As long as he's a straight white male, that's enough for them when you consider the options. Pretty pathetic, but it's a sad truth.

Posted by: Guy Fawkes on March 25, 2008 at 12:10 AM | PERMALINK

All the dems have to do is run a 'negro' against him so that the press will be too afraid to attack him.

Posted by: Jay Severin Has A small Pen1s on March 25, 2008 at 12:17 AM | PERMALINK

Thanks for taking our scum...

Posted by: Manuel Noriega on March 25, 2008 at 1:10 AM | PERMALINK

let us consider the number of deaths of evil empire storm troopers in iraq.

the "official" count is 4,000.

why is it that i think that is significantly "depressed" accounting?

because i think that the SOP for what constitutes a KIA in IRAQ ratchets down the true count.

this is an "accounting" issue that is ignored.

what is the requirement for being counted as a KIA in Iraq[kii]? well, if my recollection serves me accurately, you must die immediately at the attack site to be counted as a kii.

so, consider how this works. 5 marines are driving about baghdad in a hummer. they drive over an explosive device which is detonated.

1 marine is killed instantly by shrapnel. he can be recorded as a kii.

another marine is killed because he breaks his neck when the hummer rolls over. the pentagon will not record this death as a kii.

the remaining 3 marines are ambulanced to a triage center. 1 terminates enroute. he will not be accounted as a kii.

1 terminates at the triage center. he will not be accounted as a kii.

the fifth marine is medivaced to ramstein enroute to bethesda. he dies after arriving at bethesda. he will not be accounted as a kii.

so, 5 marines died as the result of opposition to the amerikan invasion of iraq. but only one was counted as a KIA.

so, let us do the math. the USG reports that only 4,000 suckers have been murdered as the result of our invasion. i say that the real figure is closer to 20,000 if vietnam era accounting was operative.

and if the state would allow for the observation, the counting, of the aluminum coffins being returned to dover afb, we would know this reality.

and this doesn't even begin to account for the exposures to depleted uranium[radioactive] munitions....the long-term incidents of disability and death.

i shall never forget my insurance agent. a warrant officer chopper jock in the nam. he was so gung-ho for killing the "gooks" . and i suspect that because i had been in the usmc in that era, he thought i felt the same way.

years went by. 30 years after he mustered out of the army, he began to be afflicted by all kinds of strange medical problems.

now, when he was in the nam, he mixed agents orange, purple, white, black before he loaded them into his huey and dispersed them over civilian populations. these were all highly toxic chemicals. lethal in the short term. teratogenic, mutagenic in the long-term. lethal in the long-term.

eventually, when his medical ills became so monstrous, he went to the VA hospital in houston. after some eval, his ills were determined to be caused by his exposure to agent orange[et alia]. and the VA has been picking up all his medical expenses.

no one is looking at these issues, now, i think. i wonder how many other vietnam era vets are now being diagnosed as being victims of amerikan chemical warfare.

and i wonder about the iraq soldiers exposed to depleted uranium. will their cancers ever be acknowledged as being the result of the homicidal[mass murdering] activities of the USG?

i reflect upon this because of one of my "girl friday's" situation. her husband was usmc force recon. in the era of the most extravagant dispersion of these toxins.

today, he is dying from a very exotic cancer. which i attribute to his exposure to these chemical agents.

he is such an ignorant "patriot". he spurns his VA coverage. as far as he is concerned, his govt had nothing to do with his illness. he will die within weeks and his family will be impoverished.

save us from "patriots".

Posted by: albertchampion on March 25, 2008 at 1:11 AM | PERMALINK

Actually, I don't think I want Democrats getting a free ride. Holding them accountable is what makes them better candidates.

I mean, George W Bush never got held accountable for anything his whole life and look what it bought his parents: a smirking bully who had no ability to deal with his own mistakes or failures.

Posted by: scotus on March 25, 2008 at 5:30 AM | PERMALINK

One reason NOT to vote for John McCain that is not widely discussed is this: Bush and Cheney will never be held acccountable for their crimes!

At least if we get a Democrat in the White House, there is a chance we will have a proper investigation into the Downing Street memo, the Niger yellowcake forgery, secret renditions, etc. etc. Elect McCain and it all disappears and these reptiles slink off into the underbrush with no accountability.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on March 25, 2008 at 5:51 AM | PERMALINK

Where does all this "cred" come from? The credulousness of the press and the American public. Pretty simple really. Unfortunately his supporters have even invaded Second Life.

Posted by: Dot Lane on March 25, 2008 at 7:00 AM | PERMALINK

I can't wait for the Obama McCain debates. I think McCain will be hardpressed to come off as other than a cranky warmonger who knows little about substantive issues.

While his present media environment makes this an impossible question to ask, I would like to hear more about why McCain was generally not respected by others in his party. And, I'd like to hear about the likely psychological effects of his longterm prisoner of war status. There must be research that suggests whether or not long term psychological damage results from such treatment.

Posted by: mperloe on March 25, 2008 at 7:19 AM | PERMALINK

Is it just me, or doesn't McCain look a little bit like Dr Evil?

Posted by: DR on March 25, 2008 at 7:27 AM | PERMALINK

What would the poor dumb American Public do every 4 years (sometimes every two years) without the political "gag" show put on by the PRESS?

Posted by: buckheaddad on March 25, 2008 at 7:37 AM | PERMALINK

Remind me again: where does all this cred come from?

Many years of free booze, gourmet treats and sucking up to the hacks, for whom the limbic system has evolved to dominate the nervous.

Posted by: ahem on March 25, 2008 at 7:43 AM | PERMALINK

McCain has so much cred in the bank?

Funny, I thought he preferred S&Ls.

Posted by: TR on March 25, 2008 at 8:02 AM | PERMALINK

Saw much of this earlier in the campaign when both parties had fuller rosters (as I recall, it was assumed from the start that most of the Republican candidates were already qualified to immediately take the reins of the presidency...and the talk was of how tall each stood, or how square their jaws were...etc. don't forget Matthews obsession with their shaving lotions...the only thing that saved the Dems from the start was how vacuous this bunch of Repugs turned out to be, only to compete to be the wing-nuttiest) On the other hand, the Dems are perceived as "whiny" if they bring up the disparity of the media reporting standards, as they are run through the ringer by Russert types, and their persistent bias. So, instead of confronting the bias, it seemed in many ways they would grovel in some direction the media approved...damned if you do, damned if you don't.

When it gets down to the final two, if the journalistic imbalance continues (and it will) hopefully the public will become aware of it. But, I would not count on it mattering much if the Dems continue to drag out their elimination process in the petty, negative forms they have taken on, as most concern will turn to apathy. The Dems can't control the media, but they certainly could get a bit more creative in dealing with them (I have seen them engage the media in a positive upper-hand manner) AND...they could all but stop the apathy building by avoiding the chicken-shit negative campaigning currently unfolding in their primary, it will be just another distraction.

Posted by: benmerc on March 25, 2008 at 8:16 AM | PERMALINK

I'll say it again: the media in the USA is owned, operated and biased towards the interests of corporate Republicanism - and to that end those media outlets will lie outright, twist any demonstrable fact to their own purposes and promote John McCain into the White House using any means necessary. To believe otherwise is naive and self-destructive.

Posted by: fingerfood hussein on March 25, 2008 at 8:19 AM | PERMALINK

Just by being in a field of work for a period of time and having an opinion on a subject tends to confer credentials. It's absurd, but true. Once you are perceived as an authority, even in the sciences, you tend to carry that authority even when you are way off base.

The Republican noise machine actively tears down the credibility of the opposition. This is a very important part of their success. The opposition, until now, tends not to be so nasty which is why Republicans get a pass from the uncritical media no matter how wrong and confused they are. Democrats are endlessly admonished to be bipartisan and you often hear Democratic politicians giving their respects to their colleagues. Conservative Democrats usually through triangulation actively add credence to right-wing agenda.

Posted by: bellumregio on March 25, 2008 at 8:26 AM | PERMALINK

This happens for the simple reason that corporatists own the airwaves. All the large media outlets, which just happen to serve the vast majority of the voting public, could care less about the minority that actually take the time to be informed.

Posted by: thepeoplechoose on March 25, 2008 at 8:41 AM | PERMALINK

Cred comes from a lapdog MSM that after years of browbeating will do nothing to upset Master and get labelled as Liberal. You see it in Matthews and Russert all the time. Even when it appears they might open up a can of worms for McCain, in they end the refer to his experience and he gets a pass. The highest stumbling block was dared to be proffered by none other than George Will; McCain's age, as Will explained away McCain's Al Qaeda/Iran link as being a senior moment. And Lord knows you don't attack a president with obvious dementia you only link him to one who's critical thinking skills waned away before our very eyes while in office. Bomb, bomb Iran becomes we begin bombing in five minutes. Even if McCain goes on one of his patented tirades, it will become a senior thing, locking up the Senior moment demographic. I fear the Pepsi Generation will eat its own at it's peril. Repugnicon rise to power wasn't so much the bamboozling of the Religious Right as it was their mastery of Madison Avenue as the Electorate's eyes glaze over in a tortuously long election season.

Posted by: glblank on March 25, 2008 at 8:43 AM | PERMALINK

"Whenever I try to picture the press covering the McCain campaign, I think of the video on McCain's daughter's blog of Holly Bailey at the Sedona Barbecue swinging around on a tire swing, wine glass in hand, until she eventually loses a shoe and slumps to the ground in a fit of laughter."

Which, I guess, resulted in this:
http://www.newsweek.com/id/118076/page/1

Grilling=Gravitas, at least when you are without authenticity yourself.

Posted by: Steve Paradis on March 25, 2008 at 8:44 AM | PERMALINK

Where does the cred come from? Come on this is so easy. It's all a byproduct of his...

BARBECUE CRED!

Posted by: werenotgonnatakeit on March 25, 2008 at 9:07 AM | PERMALINK

Conservative Deflator: Is there reason to think a Democratic President would be more aggressive on investigations into "the Downing Street memo, the Niger yellowcake forgery, secret renditions, etc. etc." than the Democratic doormats in Congress have been? I certainly hope you're right, but color me skeptical.

Posted by: sullijan on March 25, 2008 at 9:08 AM | PERMALINK

Boy, this "the media ain't treating us fair" stuff is really getting boring.

Can I remind you one more time that the media is owned by mega millionaires. To assume that they will sit around and do nothing while a Democrat gets elected is naive at best.

Get over it. It's boring. Yes, the media loves McCain. They would have loved Romney just as much. For Christ's sake, they would have loved Huckabee, if necessary.

When faced with higher taxes, more regulation of the media, and an end to robber baron capitalism, you really think that the media elites are going to sit on the sidelines this year?

You want equal treatment? Buy a television network. What? Don't have the money? You must be a Democrat.

Posted by: Dicksknee on March 25, 2008 at 9:34 AM | PERMALINK

If the mainstream media doesn't want to be mocked all the time on the internet, they should act in a manner that doesn't bring well-deserved mockery upon them. Letting McCain say anything is one such way to help prove that the reporters are not reporting and that the editors have given up all pretense of fairness.

If Fox News doesn't keep moving right it will be the average 'fair and balanced' media outlet.

Posted by: freelunch on March 25, 2008 at 9:45 AM | PERMALINK

I'm waiting for the 'Self rightousness cred and moral cred" that the MSM allows. Obama is getting creamed because he worships his God at a church the MSM and wingnuts call un-American and he is a Muslim. Something the media hasn't corrected even as he is being vilified for attending a Christian church. Clinton can't escape what her HUSBAND did even as McCain did the same thing. He did and she didn't. I guess you call that "Fair and Balanced" reporting and coverage. .. McCain called Fallwell and Robertson extremists (paraphrasing) If that isn't exact, it was something like it. When is the media going to pressure McCain on his "Adultery Cred?" And the MSM cries about remarks and comments on the internet. I wonder why?

Posted by: nellieh on March 25, 2008 at 10:21 AM | PERMALINK

THOSE "MISPEAKS" (if you will) COULD GET McCain IN ELECTION TROUBLE.

Posted by: KYJurisDoctor on March 25, 2008 at 10:35 AM | PERMALINK

"One reason NOT to vote for John McCain that is not widely discussed is this: Bush and Cheney will never be held accountable for their crimes!"

Would that that were the case. Obama and HRC are different, but not that much different.

Posted by: TJM on March 25, 2008 at 10:43 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin...the "cred" lavished upon McCrazypants comes entirely from the press. It's really that simple(minded). The "press" has a stiffy for McCrazypants for some impossible-to-discern reason and that is all that matters. To them.

The completely corporately compromised "press" creates reality, damnit! NOT the Bush Administration!

Posted by: praedor atrebates on March 25, 2008 at 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

jizz mixed with bbq sauce is some potent luv.

Posted by: linda

Oh my.

Posted by: ronnyg on March 25, 2008 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

shit on McCain as much as you want - Brit Hume has told Hillary she should quit the race before it becomes embarrassing and that can only mean one thing: she's no longer their most hoped for opponent and the GOP are licking their chops over taking it to Obama: Wright has exposed his ultra left wing lineage and that's like shooting fish in a barrel when trolling for independent voters.

Posted by: idiot on March 25, 2008 at 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

Judging from the missteps from McCain's recent European trip, I believe we're seeing the first signs of early onset Alzheimer's. Let's keep an eye on the progression of this condition during the course of the summer.

Posted by: Kepps on March 25, 2008 at 12:16 PM | PERMALINK

Indeed, Kevin! and note this extract from a piece on NPR re McCain's extreme right-wing "pro-life" position, "Misconceptions about McCain's Abortion Stance":

"He voted against family planning, he voted against freedom of access to clinic entrances ... he voted against funding for teen pregnancy-prevention programs."

Posted by: Patricia on March 25, 2008 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

Shades of Ronald Reagan.

Posted by: Beret on March 25, 2008 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

IOKIYAR incarnate, simple as that.

Posted by: bartkid on March 25, 2008 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

Dear lord. McCain is stone soup!! Nothing meaningful in it but what the media brought along themselves.

Posted by: Randy Owens on March 25, 2008 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK

Rename McCain's bus the SideWinder Express!

Posted by: CautiousDemo on March 25, 2008 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

It's not hard. You get cred by agreeing with whatever the press says.

Step 1: Give the press an all access pass. Sell the "all access" bit by cracking off-color jokes and losing your temper in front of/at them regularly.

Step 2: When they ask you questions that hint towards their position, follow their lead, agree with whatever they say, and then go further than they did.

For example, if they say, "Lots of americans believe we should pull out of Iraq, but I wonder about stability if we leave" you say "Iraq would be horribly unstable if we left so we must stay. Actually, we need to surge. And not just now, for 100 years."

For another example, if they say, "I don't like taxes" you say, "we should cut taxes, especially for folks like you". Then propose whatever tax cuts you like.

It's important to do this in the confines of an all access, private-seeming conversation. You can't say it on TV or the radio. But you should say it to a reporters face. And when they ask you why you don't support their position publically, claim it's a political necessity and then reassert that you believe what they believe, only moreso.

Step 3: Point out when what you're agreeing to isn't what the party as a whole believes (about 15% of the time). This will build your cred as a straight shooting maverick.

Step 4: Watch the Press believe they know the real you despite all your actions.

Posted by: Dan on March 26, 2008 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

'Taint "cred"... It's "crud".

The crusty, uncleaned remnant of princlipled positions long abandoned in the lurch to the right in search of the bottom feeding "base".

Posted by: ADNK on March 28, 2008 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

John McCain is as fake and as fraudulent as can be. He expects us to be sympathetic to his Vietnam war experiences, while, when he was a prisoner, denounced the very country he is supposed to be running for president of. He is a direct product of the Keating 5 incident, and that
should never be forgotten, that he tried to cause more unlawful activities with these, these Keating people. Why isn't McCain in prison with the rest of those scoundrels? Any old, white pasty guy who is running for public office, and who has to rely on a war record that is 40 years old, and distorted, is probably not worthy of the office he is seeking, whether it's for President of the United States or for Dogcatcher of Phoenix, Arizona.

Posted by: Mike Kitts on March 30, 2008 at 9:59 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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