Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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July 12, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

"FAIRLY SOON"....Is John McCain trying to convince people he's actually Grandpa Simpson's older brother? Here he is in tomorrow's New York Times:

He said, ruefully, that he had not mastered how to use the Internet and relied on his wife and aides like Mark Salter, a senior adviser, and Brooke Buchanan, his press secretary, to get him online to read newspapers (though he prefers reading those the old-fashioned way) and political Web sites and blogs.

"They go on for me," he said. "I am learning to get online myself, and I will have that down fairly soon, getting on myself. I don't expect to be a great communicator, I don't expect to set up my own blog, but I am becoming computer literate to the point where I can get the information that I need."

The Times reports that as he was confessing this, "his aides stared down at their BlackBerries." Probably twittering with their friends to find out what kind of jobs might be opening up at Heritage and Cato on November 5.

Kevin Drum 5:57 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (78)

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Comments

Everyone uses the Internets. It is Mavericky not to!

Posted by: John McCain: More of the Same on July 12, 2008 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

"...but I am becoming computer literate to the point where I can get the information that I need."

Wow, he's like a 5-year-old.

Posted by: Swan on July 12, 2008 at 6:09 PM | PERMALINK

He must not have thought he had much of a need for information long before now, despite his being a Senator and all.

Posted by: Swan on July 12, 2008 at 6:11 PM | PERMALINK

C'mon, give him a break. He knows how to use a credit card - that's pretty tech savvy, isn't it?

Posted by: lampwick on July 12, 2008 at 6:14 PM | PERMALINK

*

Posted by: mhr on July 12, 2008 at 6:17 PM | PERMALINK

He should talk to Ted Stevens. Now there is a guy who understands that "series of interconnected tubes."

Posted by: POed Lib on July 12, 2008 at 6:21 PM | PERMALINK

"They go on for me," he said. "I am learning to get online myself, and I will have that down fairly soon, getting on myself.

WTF?????? I "am learning" to go online? Gee, this guy might be worse than Bush..."learning"??? How the $&@#@&@ long does it take to double-click on the Internet icon?

Please, by all means, let's elect ANOTHER dumb-ass, ignorant, fake "man-of-the-people, out-of-touch Republican...that's sure worked well before.

Posted by: marty on July 12, 2008 at 6:21 PM | PERMALINK

McCain is demonstrating he is as smart as his base.

Posted by: Brojo on July 12, 2008 at 6:37 PM | PERMALINK

Here's another telling excerpt from that Times interview:

"It's like the time I caught the ferry over to Shelbyville. I needed a new heel for my shoe, so, I decided to go to Morganville, which is what they called Shelbyville in those days. So I tied an onion to my belt, which was the style at the time. Now, to take the ferry cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on 'em. Give me five bees for a quarter, you’d say. Now where were we? Oh yeah -- the important thing was that I had an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time. They didn’t have white onions because of the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones..."

Posted by: lampwick on July 12, 2008 at 6:46 PM | PERMALINK

I thought it was verboten for Republicans to use the Internet as Al Gpre invented it.

Posted by: gregor on July 12, 2008 at 7:04 PM | PERMALINK

He knows how to use a credit card - that's pretty tech savvy, isn't it?

Maybe for someone whose greatest aspiration is to be a housewife, but if he's goig to be the President, I think he's got which technology to be a luddite about mixed up.

Posted by: Swan on July 12, 2008 at 7:46 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, now I know how this guy kept crashing so many planes--

He must have assumed he as basically doing the same thing as, you know, riding on the back of the family dog back in first grade, so that all those control-and-dial doohickeys in the plane were so much surplusage.

Those working stiff fools back at flight school couldn't convince the 5' 8" Little Prince Rich Kid that you don't fly a plane by leaning from side to side and smacking it with your hand, no matter what they tried to assuage his ego.

Posted by: Swan on July 12, 2008 at 7:51 PM | PERMALINK

*

Posted by: mhr on July 12, 2008 at 7:52 PM | PERMALINK

At this point, this is the equivalent of saying you don't know how to read and write--but you still think you should be president of the United States of America.

He doesn't even know enough to know how much he doesn't know. He has no idea how damning this admission is, or he wouldn't keep making it. He would be accusing Obama of having said it instead. Heh.

Posted by: shortstop on July 12, 2008 at 7:53 PM | PERMALINK

McCain is clearly unqualified to sit in the Oval Office. The White House removed the old rotary phones years ago.

Posted by: charlie don't surf on July 12, 2008 at 7:54 PM | PERMALINK

And here I thought he was a Mac person.

(rimshot)

Posted by: lampwick on July 12, 2008 at 8:00 PM | PERMALINK

My friends, you are totally clueless. This line is going to KILL with my friends in the WebTV crowd.

Shit! Ok, now where is the fucking send button you cunt?!

Posted by: John McCain on July 12, 2008 at 8:22 PM | PERMALINK

I sure hope American Democrats are going to be energized to defeat this guy in the November election, because otherwise we've become truly ridiculous as a people. Think about it: John McCain is an old fart who can't use the Internet, signed an agreement denouncing America, crashed 5 planes, and called his wife a cunt in public over some stupid bullshit. McCain is even shorter than Obama.

The characters who are in the spotlight of American politics now couldn't be more clearly drawn for us if they were characters from an allegory.

I am sure that if I had a wife or an s.o. and called her a cunt in public over some stupid bullshit, people would never let me live it down. But he's John McCain, so...

John McCain crashed more planes than Al Qaeda, issued a statement against America just like they (and the Taliban) do all the time, acts like he hates women just like they and the Taliban do, and has weird attitudes towards technology and modern institutions just like they do. He's also got to be the most famous liar alive, yet he obviously has a totally corrupt media stubbornly portraying him as the opposite.

McCain was born to be the butt of jokes, not to lead people. If you let him become the President, you're letting our fate be decided solely by grown-up versions of the kids who used to play on your high school football team. Those people are just as dumb now as they were than and will certainly be conned into making just as bad decisions now as they were then. You wouldn't let your 8-year-old child drive you around in your car, so don't let these people run our country.

Posted by: Swan on July 12, 2008 at 8:25 PM | PERMALINK

Is it too late for the Republicans to nominate Inkblot? If Friday's catblogging is indicative, he at least is computer literate.

Posted by: Vincent on July 12, 2008 at 8:30 PM | PERMALINK

McCain's probably not even qualified to manage a retail store.

He'd probably have to crash a couple of them before he figured out how to do that, too.

I wonder if he even has an office, or if he just spends his non-campaign time rolling from casino to casino like Puff Daddy or someone like that.

Posted by: Swan on July 12, 2008 at 8:31 PM | PERMALINK

If you let him become the President, you're letting our fate be decided solely by grown-up versions of the kids who used to play on your high school football team.

I should add "...and a few evil nerds," since of course they have Henry Kissinger, Ari + Scott McClellan, Ben Stein, et al., and the nation's entire share of fat dudes who spend every waking hour switching windows between Dungeons & Dragons computer games, porn, and conservative websites.

Posted by: Swan on July 12, 2008 at 8:34 PM | PERMALINK

Wow, he's like a 5-year-old.

Hey, my niece hasn't quite reached 3 and she can move icons around with the mouse and use her Fisher Price Easy Link (TM) to get where she wants to go.

She has 2+ years cushion to learn to find newspapers if she wants to outpace Straight Talkin' John by 5.

Posted by: Equal Opportunity Cynic on July 12, 2008 at 8:44 PM | PERMALINK

VOTE DIGBY FOR PRESIDENT---VOTE THE INTERNET, I'm almost positive digby knows how to get online.

Posted by: Mike Meyer on July 12, 2008 at 8:46 PM | PERMALINK

Any "geek" who votes for McCain has lost all self-respect. McWorse has lost the youth vote.

Posted by: Neil B. on July 12, 2008 at 8:54 PM | PERMALINK

shortstop: How TRUE, Mccain cannot possibly know how much he's missed on the NET. And its a hell of a lot.

Posted by: Mike Meyer on July 12, 2008 at 8:56 PM | PERMALINK

At this point, this is the equivalent of saying you don't know how to read and write--but you still think you should be president of the United States of America.
-- shortstop @7:53

McCain is clearly unqualified to sit in the Oval Office.
-- charlie don't surf @7:54

My friends, I have read the Constitution and as far as I can tell, it does not require the President to be LITERATE, let alone know how to use this new-fangled internet thingy. The Framers clearly took it for granted that the electorate would not vote for idiots. Foolish, foolish Framers.

-- TP

Posted by: Tony P. on July 12, 2008 at 8:58 PM | PERMALINK

Gregor, Al Gore really did work in Congress to get the Internet (then, ) technology out to public use, which amounts to creating what we actually use.
At http://www.walthowe.com/navnet/history.html we find:

Did Al Gore invent the Internet?
According to a CNN transcript of an interview with Wolf Blitzer, Al Gore said,"During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet." Al Gore was not yet in Congress in 1969 when ARPANET started or in 1974 when the term Internet first came into use. Gore was elected to Congress in 1976. In fairness, Bob Kahn and Vint Cerf acknowledge in a paper titled Al Gore and the Internet that Gore has probably done more than any other elected official to support the growth and development of the Internet from the 1970's to the present.

To think we could have had a thinking man like that, but instead (partly due to pretentious prick Nader) we ended up with Duhbya, and if Americans (like you and mhr) are really as stupid as they've seemed for the last eight years, we can have: a computer illiterate hack, who takes economic advice from corrupt idiots like "Enron Loophole" etc. Phil Gramm, had an adulterous affair with a "cunt" who stole narcotic pills from her own charity organization, etc. ad nauseum

BTW Swan, I'd like to believe McCain didn't really sign an anti-American propaganda piece as a POW, but you realize it isn't easy to resist that kind of pressure. Is that statement really in evidence somewhere? In any case, maybe we should forget the 60s by now - but you know they wouldn't have let Kerry get away with something like that.

Posted by: Neil B. on July 12, 2008 at 9:06 PM | PERMALINK

My guess: He's lying about the "I am learning to get online myself" part. He hasn't even tried, so he has no idea how easy it is; he thinks it must take some expertise. What his wife and aides have been doing isn't helping him get online, it's printing stuff out for him. That's why his aides were staring down at their BlackBerries.

Posted by: Swift Loris on July 12, 2008 at 9:07 PM | PERMALINK

Probably twittering with their friends to find out what kind of jobs might be opening up at Heritage and Cato on November 5.

Oh, dear, I hope so...

Posted by: pol on July 12, 2008 at 9:20 PM | PERMALINK

shortstop: He doesn't even know enough to know how much he doesn't know.

Maybe. An optimistic read is he's ignorant; a pessimistic read is he's stupid or senile. He seems to have no clue that virtually everything he says and does is on the record and available instantly to everyone.

Given his self-confessed ignorance--proclaimed as if a badge of courage, as if admission of vice should somehow make the confessor more virtuous--leads to the conclusion that he's ignorant beyond repair, stupid, or senile.

Posted by: has407 on July 12, 2008 at 9:29 PM | PERMALINK

What's great is that the NYT story is linked off Drudge, but from the "Theodore Roosevelt" main theme - heh, maybe Drudge didn't notice the Internet remarks, and now many people will see this and realize what sort of shape McCain is in. Hopefully, even the swarming enablement hacks like Broder and Tweety etc. won't be able to keep voters befuddled.

Posted by: Neil B. on July 12, 2008 at 9:52 PM | PERMALINK

John McCain crashed more planes than Al Qaeda, issued a statement against America just like they (and the Taliban) do all the time, acts like he hates women just like they and the Taliban do, and has weird attitudes towards technology and modern institutions just like they do.

I'm not suggesting that we do demagoguery, just to be clear.

I'm just saying that the material for the jokes and the one-liners is there (and to be realistic, any political campaign nowadays does need to include a little entertainment / show biz) and that the facts are such that people could really figure the truth out for themselves, so we should have an easy haul. That is, as much as Fox and the Republicans may rely on demagoguing, it is pretty easy for an under-informed or unthinking American to realize something like "John McCain is short for a Senator..." or "Wow, he crashed five planes! That sounds bad!" or "Jeez, I could never call my wife a cunt like that or she'd get a divorce!" so, Fox and the Republicans' propaganda and demagoguing need not get in the way so much in this case. That's my point.

Posted by: Swan on July 12, 2008 at 10:18 PM | PERMALINK

Equal Opportunity Cynic wrote:

Hey, my niece hasn't quite reached 3 and she can move icons around with the mouse and use her Fisher Price Easy Link (TM) to get where she wants to go.

I get what you're saying: since it's so easy, it makes it all the more egregious that this trusted public servant is obviously not taking advantage of what's become the most basic source of information for people in our society for people who need to know things. It's like if John McCain had decided to take a sailboat instead of a plane when he visits foreign countries (just to waste time and his on-the-job salary) or to try to navigate from place to place by the stars, just in case all the maps, Internet directions websites, and street-signs are wrong.

You'd figure a guy who was savvy enough to become a Senator wouldn't act like the nutty professor, but McCain shows it's actually the case that money + the ability to string a few sentences together and smile can propel you to positions of power in this country.

It's just such a damn shame that such an incapable person gets to put his hand on the levers of power.

Posted by: Swan on July 12, 2008 at 10:25 PM | PERMALINK

Washington DC
Its 4 Am
*riiinngg*...*riiinngg*...*riiinngg*.

"Would you get the phone you useless trollop!"

*riiinngg*...*riiinngg*..

"Ello? trol..ophh, mmm First Lady McSame Here.."

"This is Quantico, we have an emergency, President McSame please."

"Hold on. Its for you Frankenstein.."

"You ditzy cheerleader I oughta *pumps fists* *grabs phone* What do, what do, you you want, this better be good!" *pumps fist some more*

"We have some top secret sattelite pics of a missile launch and need you to view them on your computer via the secure DSNET-2, sir."

"But, I dont know how to get on. My aides, My aides, they they, my friend, friend, can you send them pic, the pics in the mail?"

"Sir, we need a decision immediately and DSNET-2 is installed in the White House for your use."

"But But My friend, friend, can you talk me thru the getting it on, on the umm the getting on process?"

"Sir, this is an emergency and we dont have the time!!"

"I dont know, dont know, why cant you people ask me stuff I know about..like like, uhh uhh, bailing out."

Posted by: on July 12, 2008 at 10:37 PM | PERMALINK

I'm starting to have my doubts about John McCain's health care plan.

This is what I found on his website under the link 'Prescription Drug Coverage'...

Hello !

Now you have the opportunity to save your time and money!

With US based online p/h/a/r/m/acy store you can buy any meds you need!

You buy your favorite meds. CIALIS! VIAGRA!

Forget about prescriptions and doctors. Now you save your time.

Forget about high prices at local stores. Save your money now!

Go visit: msbrimccainjxx.com

Hurry now! Hurry!


Posted by: lampwick on July 12, 2008 at 10:43 PM | PERMALINK

McCain isn't a luddite, he's a dinosaur. It isn't an age thing, plenty of 70 year-olds use the internet all day and lots of them are more advanced than people 20-30 years younger.

But being clueless about the internet was a cute and endearing attribute for someone in their 70s eight years ago. Some people like McCain seem to think that the internet is simply a popular technology, not a cultural force that's reshaped the way a decent percentage of the world lives their lives.

In the model of innovators, early adopters, etc. - McCain and other people with his mindset are the dead enders. They may see everyone around them talking about the internet, using the internet, even affecting politics with it. But they fundamentally don't understand or have any curiosity with the premise of it. Their world is always shrinking and they don't fucking care. Some things don't apply to them.

Everyone knows someone like this and doesn't mean they're bad people, obviously. But in a presidential candidate it's a bit scary.

We all get fired up and angry by the McCain press fawning (Obama goes into a diner and gets raked for ordering an orange juice instead of rancid grease from under the fryer - yet McCain can openly proclaim that he's still learning about these 'automobiles' and 'telephones' the kids are talking about).

In 2000 and 2004, Bush's incurious good ol' boy routine may have worked for folks who resented the idea of pretentious elites. But this McCain internet ignorance is a suicide blow. Internet has penetration in something like 90% of U.S. households. Being illiterate with something that has become so basic for such a range of people seems like a crushing embarassment.

Posted by: The Lucky Sea men on July 12, 2008 at 11:34 PM | PERMALINK

This narcissistic liberal generation believes that if someone is not enamored of the things liberals deem important, that proves something. Whether or not McCain goes online is irrelevant. -MHR

Actually it is relevamt as the internet is a technology and its important that our leader know as much about current technology as possible, and that includes nuclear and other electromagnetic weapons. A terrorist thats able to take down the internet could cause massive economical problems. Its important that our leader know how to access such information quickly and be able to asess it.

Posted by: Jet on July 12, 2008 at 11:41 PM | PERMALINK

In his defense, this is hardly a reason to vote against him. Unless I'm missing something that only those who know a lot about the intricacies of the White House would know, a lack of familiarity with using a computer isn't going to prevent him from being able to govern effectively. It's hardly shocking for people of his generation; even if he's more able than he's letting on, he still might not be comfortable using terminology like "search engine" or doing much else besides typing or going on a site. My mom is definitely in his boat.

There are plenty of reasons, well documented on this and other blogs, about why he shouldn't be president. Vote against him for those reasons. Then again, if his lack of tech-savvy is going to help people arrive at that point, who am I to complain?

Posted by: Brian on July 12, 2008 at 11:47 PM | PERMALINK

Marx also promised the world hope and change. -MHR

I suppose you think any and every one who leans slightly left is a Marxist. This is a huge error on your part. Marx was never elected president of any country and died without one. As for Marxist theory, and thats all it is, is flawed. It is meant to dupe the intelligentsia while appealing to the working class. The liberals in America are anti-war, which goes against eternal revolution, that what Marx preaches, the eternal war folks, Neo-cons, currently, have been embraced by the Republicans.

Eternal war is not makinds salvation, but his enserfment. Now, MHR, please think thru your argument before tossing your irrational matter about the room.

Posted by: on July 12, 2008 at 11:51 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think McCain will live this down. A luddite is only charming if he makes up for the tech illiteracy with competence, precision, and expertise in other ways.

Posted by: The Lucky Sea Men on July 12, 2008 at 11:52 PM | PERMALINK

It's hardly shocking for people of his generation; even if he's more able than he's letting on, he still might not be comfortable using terminology like "search engine" or doing much else besides typing or going on a site. -Brian

Most pilots love technology, its what guides them to targets and gets them home safely. Its what controls a jet engine and its what makes that heat seeking missile run up the tailpipe of ones aerial foe. My father in law was shot down in his B-26 bomber and uses the internet daily to email friends and exchange funny cartoons. He gets it, he understands links and attaching images to email. I showed them how to burn pictures to CD's with their new digital camera.

Posted by: on July 12, 2008 at 11:58 PM | PERMALINK

posted by: Brojo on July 12, 2008 at 6:37 PM
McCain is demonstrating he is as smart as his base.

Must be reason McCain shot up in the polls this week.

Posted by: cfcboc on July 13, 2008 at 12:00 AM | PERMALINK

Do you think these iron spearheads are just a fad? I hope so, or else we'll have to rethink this whole bronze armor thing...

Posted by: thersites on July 13, 2008 at 12:05 AM | PERMALINK

"MHR, please think"

ah, now you've reached the crux of the matter

Posted by: Everyman on July 13, 2008 at 12:05 AM | PERMALINK

Now, MHR, please think thru your argument

Anonymous poster is imitating King Canute asking the tide to not come in.

Posted by: thersites on July 13, 2008 at 12:07 AM | PERMALINK

Dont make me take off my shoes. =)

Posted by: on July 13, 2008 at 12:13 AM | PERMALINK

And then there's this little nugget:

Asked which blogs he read, he said: "Brooke and Mark show me Drudge, obviously. Everybody watches, for better or for worse, Drudge."

When you're right, you're right. There's nothing quite like a piping hot Hungry Man, & a bottle of Ballantine's, & curling up to watch Drudge.

Posted by: junebug on July 13, 2008 at 12:43 AM | PERMALINK

I'm starting to get a sense that the fix is in for Obama, from all sides, and that the Republican establishment really doesn't want a Republican to win so they picked this fool as their nominee.

Posted by: Glenna on July 13, 2008 at 2:45 AM | PERMALINK

Watch
The
Internet?

Lordy, lord. He just does not get it. The internet is not just TV channel that you Tune to Drudge and passively observe. The notion of clicking the link, searching for other views, checking references is lost on him.

Posted by: MobiusKlein on July 13, 2008 at 4:11 AM | PERMALINK

@Lampwick

The quote you pulled from the article clearly shows that the NYTimes is trying to point out a problem, in their own delicate way: the guy's brain is not entirely there.

Four years of him sinking into La-La is probably not what the U.S. needs now.

Posted by: SteinL on July 13, 2008 at 5:49 AM | PERMALINK

What a bunch of overdone bollocks. First, the line quoted re the Blackberries is taken grossly out of context, it strikes me that the reporter's point was merely his background people are linked in and McCain relies on them. And where is the bloody problem?

This whankfest on how out of touch McCain is reminds me of the similar whanking in 2004 the same lot of you did. Watching Drudge is merely saying monitoring, and the lot of you Left whankers are engaging in self-delusion to think McCain's remarks are going to be taken poorly in general. Among you lot, to be sure, but you're not his audience.

Posted by: The Lounsbury on July 13, 2008 at 7:16 AM | PERMALINK

Isn't it obvious? McCain can't type. Most 70+ year old American men can't type. That what secretaries are for.

I've never seen much evidence that at the very highest levels being able to type makes you a better executive. An outstanding secretary is a better asset. Heck, De Gaulle didn't even like to use the phone. He preferred to intimidate people in person.

Posted by: Steve Sailer on July 13, 2008 at 8:27 AM | PERMALINK

You know, The Lounsbury, I have to say you're absolutely right. McCain's "audience" couldn't find the 'on' button of a computer if their life depended on it. Next he will be telling us (them) that he "doesn't have time to read," and would have a problem if asked to find Iraq on a map. NASCAR rules!

I am reminded, though, of the SNL skit showing Reagan behind the scenes as a masterful, scheming, Machiavellian manipulator...

Posted by: kudzu on July 13, 2008 at 8:28 AM | PERMALINK

Steve Sailer: I've never seen much evidence that at the very highest levels being able to type makes you a better executive.

Duh. This has nothing to do with "being able to type". Any executive today would be laughed out of the boardroom if they implied that the Internet/Web was unimportant or something they were unfamiliar with--and they damn well better have a working knowledge of it.

In case you missed it, the point is not the candidate's skill at any particular mechanical task, but an apparent failure to understand the shift in how information is distributed and consumed, the channels through which it flows, and the resulting impact.

Maybe McCain really does understand what's going on, but his his statements appear to betray an astounding level of ignorance, stupidity, or disregard.

Posted by: has407 on July 13, 2008 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

Hey....Theodore Roosevelt didn't know how to use the internet either.

Posted by: NormDPloom on July 13, 2008 at 10:59 AM | PERMALINK

In case you missed it, the point is not the candidate's skill at any particular mechanical task, but an apparent failure to understand the shift in how information is distributed and consumed, the channels through which it flows, and the resulting impact.

Exactly. Not personally owning a printing press is not synonymous with failing to understand how Gutenberg revolutionized information.

And I think most of the people arguing that this is a matter of personal preference/mechanical skill rather than a fundamental misunderstanding of the modern world know better; they're obviously well aware of how much this is going to hurt McCain.

Posted by: shortstop on July 13, 2008 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

My first submission was held up due to several links I presume, so here to save time, adjusted and with no links (moderator you can drop the first one):

Ummm. shortstop, what McCain said is not like saying you don't own a printing press, the computer and Internet are something that most people in offices actually *use themselves* and need to for getting around in the modern world. I was saying, your analogy is as bad as the usual apologetics trash I see around, maybe you should work for Faux - but perhaps you aren't really agreeing with the press notion as intimated later.

In any case, I'm amazed no one here yet quoted McCain saying he doesn't even know how to use computers themselves, not just the Internet:
>
Then there’s the Yahoo News video that posed the question “PC or Mac?” to the Republican candidates.

There’s a chorus of “PC” until they get to McCain, who responds, “Neither, I am an illiterate that has to rely on my wife for all the assistance I can get.”

Technology offers huge opportunities for this country. Technology, in many forms, has propelled this nation forward as a leader in many industries. However, it’s often a marginalized issue when it comes to presidential politicking.

Chris O’Brien of the San Jose Mercury News has called on Obama and McCain to debate science and technology.

Sciencedebate2008.com is collecting signatures to make the debate a reality.

I think it’s a great idea and hopefully it will happen.
>

Posted by: Neil B. on July 13, 2008 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

I've always found it incredibly difficult to click on an icon, click on a link or two, or type the name of a company followed by ".com". Thank goodness McCain gets assistance with such onerous tasks.

Posted by: Anon on July 13, 2008 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

"Beulah, would you close the blinds? I feel a chill coming on."

Posted by: Afnon on July 13, 2008 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

In any case, I'm amazed no one here yet quoted McCain saying he doesn't even know how to use computers themselves, not just the Internet

I thought we had, and that's what my own two posts here were assuming. But I've been commenting on this simultaneously in various places; looking back, I see it hasn't been covered here.

At any rate, you totally missed my point (and, given that it started by heartily agreeing with has407's comment, that took a bit of doing on your part). McCain's apparent belief that computers are optional accessories for people who care about such things demonstrates how thoroughly he misunderstands how computers have completely revolutionized every aspect of our world--so comments along the lines of, "But he has a secretary for that!" don't begin to reflect the depth of his ignorance and its implications for the presidency.

Posted by: shortstop on July 13, 2008 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

McCain's statements betray nothing of some Executive Idiocy level of misunderstanding of the internet, rather that he personally leans on others to source information from it for him (indeed the overly fashionable fetishisation of the internet is probably more dangerous).

The frothing at the mouth about this, and even Drum's characterisation are ridiculous. McCain was playing Folksy, and that bloody well plays better than sophisticate, although you lot seem to be utterly incapable of learning that lesson. I rather do hope your man Obama comes through in the end, despite his Leftism, but if you people are any example of US Left's tactical expertise, one should batten down.

Posted by: The Lounsbury on July 13, 2008 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

McCain was playing Folksy, and that bloody well plays better than sophisticate, although you lot seem to be utterly incapable of learning that lesson.

Ah, the brazening-it-out-approach: "He meant to do that!"

Well (wink, wink), let's say he did. His judgment on that is about as bad as it is on virtually every other subject, then, because the time to be Folksy about total computer illiteracy is a good ten years gone. But it certainly may impress the approximately half of one percent of superannuated, frozen-in-time voters who a) are still defiant rather than defensive about not "understanding" computers and b) happen to hear about this on the teevee.

Posted by: shortstop on July 13, 2008 at 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

McCain's statements betray nothing of some Executive Idiocy level of misunderstanding of the internet, rather that he personally leans on others to source information from it for him (indeed the overly fashionable fetishisation of the internet is probably more dangerous).

I feel the exact the same way about the overly fashionable fetishization of the alphabet -- so you don't want to get me started about the cult of literacy. It's not necessary that we have a president who's capable of reading, so long as he's able to personally lean on others to source information for him. Who says the leader of the free world needs to do for himself?

Posted by: junebug on July 13, 2008 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah shortstop, at first I thought you were excusing McCain by saying not owning a printing press ... I meant to say, I was "thinking" you meant that and then admit I figured it out. I didn't really miss your point, just fumbled the reply. I thrash too fast through lots of threads around, trying to help Obama etc. Sorry. Sure, I get it.

This has got to hurt McAncient, but latest polls in basic "dead heat" (?) show that the US public is still pretty out of it.

Posted by: Neil B. on July 13, 2008 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

"I don't expect to be a great communicator..."

Yeah, why would we need one of those?

Posted by: Kenji on July 13, 2008 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

Remind again what qualifications this senile retard has to be president? Being locked in a cage for five years?

Good God, can't people see this guy is so far out of his league that it is ridiculous? The leader of the free world in the 21st Century doesn't know how to use a computer? For fucks sake, open you eyes here people...

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on July 13, 2008 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

Here's a bit of a hint for the knee-jerkers:
(i) I don't live in your bloody country
(ii) I rather look forward to an Obama Presidency
(iii) It might be useful for your own ability to objectively (rather than partisanly) set a sense of your man's positioning vis-a-vis McCain to try not to look at every item through your prejudices.

Of course you can pursue the whole partisan frothing thing, it worked really bloody well in 2004, and you gifted the world with another four years of the bloody current cretin because of your blindness.

Posted by: The Lounsbury on July 13, 2008 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

I don't live in your bloody country

Nor in our century. You're a character in a Maugham short story, and everybody know they don't use computers.

Posted by: shortstop on July 13, 2008 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK


Of course you can pursue the whole partisan frothing thing, it worked really bloody well in 2004, and you gifted the world with another four years of the bloody current cretin because of your blindness.

I sympathize, but for some reason the whole partisan frothing thing worked great for the Repubs in 2004. We have every right to shake people around, like TCD suggests, about McAncient's computer/Internet illiteracy (but I figure being locked in a cage helps sober a person up about war and such, if they'll let it.) BTW, are you a Sully fan? He is being somewhat helpful now, despite earlier indiscretions.

Posted by: Neil B. on July 13, 2008 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, I am a fan of Sully, his politics are close to mine (except his an illiterate in sciences and maths, but no one is perfect).

But the whole point of the partisan frothy obs is the Republican Party frothing works better. Whether you like it or not, the US of A is basically centre right, with a strong strain of cultural conservatism.

The Center Left to Left fooling itself on its own appeal in terms of language and the like is not going to get you a win. Indeed that blindness in my opinion got you snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

I like this Obama character as he seems to get htat, and seems to have a good way of playing his own folksy. But going bloody loonytunes over McCain making some at worst goofy remarks about the internet, that's just getting yourselves blinded to the man's appeal. And the more this sort of crowd fools itself on that, the less well prepared it is to tack to where it needs to be to win.

And I for one don't want to see the US pissing away yet more billions on nonsense and destabilising the world, 8 years of gross incompetence is quite enough.

Posted by: The Lounsbury on July 13, 2008 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

Whether you like it or not, the US of A is basically centre right, with a strong strain of cultural conservatism.
Posted by: The Lounsbury

Out of curiosity, what evidence do you have for this?

Posted by: Gonads on July 13, 2008 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

The Lounsbury, you may have a point about which group can best use this or that, and the American polity. I sure do like your particular and subtle Brit lexilect, is it regional? Yep, 8 years of gross incompetence is quite enough.

BTW, there's a great thread at Cosmic Variance now about this McAncient ilbiteracy.

tyrannogenius ♪♪♪

Posted by: Neil B. on July 13, 2008 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

I say, "The Lounsbury," we benighted colonials are grateful to you for looking in, but could you vary the modifiers for us? The occasional "bally" or "sodding" in place of your relentless bloodies would make the condescension even tastier.

Posted by: Rand Careaga on July 13, 2008 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

Dang. Understanding the tubes is hard work!

Posted by: Ranger Jay on July 13, 2008 at 6:02 PM | PERMALINK

His aides are aware of the Internet traditions.

Posted by: J. on July 14, 2008 at 8:45 AM | PERMALINK

I sympathize, but for some reason the whole partisan frothing thing worked great for the Repubs in 2004.

Also, in 2002, 2000, 1998, 1994, 1988, 1984, and 1980, and, to a lesser extent, 1996.

Posted by: cmdicely on July 14, 2008 at 7:32 PM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: Seireebek on July 22, 2008 at 5:38 AM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: gjoppers on July 30, 2008 at 3:32 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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