Squaring the Culture

"...and I will make justice the plumb line, and righteousness the level;
then hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
and the waters will overflow the secret place."
Isaiah 28:17

09/13/2008 (10:50 am)

The Seinfeld Candidate

A commenter at political site Inoperable Terran observed that Obama is rapidly becoming “the Seinfeld Candidate,” a campaign sitcom about nothing. Here’s why.

Barack Obama told his followers that in response to the unfair and inaccurate attack ads from the McCain campaign (I’m still not sure what part they think is false,) he was going to take the gloves off and get tough… but on important issues:

I will guarantee, we are going to hit back hard,” he pledged. “But we are going to hit back hard on the issues that matter to families.

This morning, it appears he needs to put the gloves back on. The first “important issue” in the new “get tough” campaign took McCain to task for being out of touch, noting that technology was very different back in 1982 and that McCain doesn’t even know how to send email.

Last night, Michelle Malkin was pointing out that some 83 million Americans are off-line, and that this ad insults them all pretty heartily, especially seniors. Today, though, the mob is getting angry; it seems that not only is McCain actually internet-savvy, he’s unable to send email because of injuries sustained while under torture — and a five-minute web search would have told them so, because it’s been written about at length.

I don’t think I’ve seen a political gaffe of this magnitude before, ever. John Kerry in a fire-retardant suit and Mike Dukakis in a tank don’t really come close. The implications tumble over each other: Obama’s campaign does not know how to use Google? They don’t vet their ads for accuracy? How pompous is it to assume that one who cannot send email is too far out of touch to hold office? This is what they think is important to American families? Obama wants us to take his campaign as evidence of his competence? And on and on…

I’m not going to produce all the links; Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit has the Gold Standard collection, so I’ll refer you there. However, I want to draw your attention to some of the better comments. Jimmie at The Sundries Shack has a good laugh and links to the relevant support for McCain’s condition. Ace of Spades HQ makes the obvious connection to Obama’s fitness for office:

This is important:

What you are now seeing is Obama’s performance in a crisis challenging situation.

And Jonah Goldberg at The Corner skips lightly over the gaffe to analyze the original argument itself, which is almost as bad for Obama:

Lord knows I think the chicken-hawk arguments are stupid. And I don’t think the fact that Obama never served in the military should count against him in and of itself. But how stupid is it for the Obama campaign to claim that McCain is unqualified to be president because he can’t grasp cyber-security issues based on the fact he has never sent an email when the McCain campaign can just as easily say Obama can’t understand first order national security issues because he’s never fired a rife, flown a plane, commanded men in battle, or faced an enemy? I mean which prepares someone to be commander in chief better, hitting “send” on AOL or fighting a war?

I spent a fair amount of time earlier in this campaign season researching Obama’s Marxist roots and attempting to draw attention to them. I still think that’s true and relevant. These days, however, I don’t think that problem is nearly as important as the simple fact that Barack Obama is incompetent. He’s made dozens of gaffes, disavowed associations with a dozen friends (not credibly), had to retract several ill-considered comments, displayed a laughable ego, and now that he’s under a little campaign pressure for the first time in his life, he’s proving himself completely inept. He’s not suitable to be President; he’s not even suitable to be Senator. I think he’ll be happiest, and serving his genuine purpose best, as an instructor at a major university. He thinks deeply and does pretty good presentations and explanations. He sure as hell does not know how to run a campaign, though, and anybody who wants to take a chance with this flippin’ idiot at the head of the most powerful nation on earth deserves to have his voting privileges revoked for life.

Hillary Clinton has to be the happiest woman in America this morning. Barack Obama has granted her absolute moral authority to say “I told you so” in 2012. She’s going to be difficult to beat.

Inoperable Terran gave me my opening line, so I’ll give him the summary as well. This pretty much nails it:

This whole Obama thing has *got* to be a put-on by the DNC. Any minute Allen Funt will pop out and they’ll announce the real ticket is Hillary Clinton and Phil Bredesen (or Mark Warner) or something, right?

« « I Don't Hate To Say "I Told You So…" | Main | Proletarian Palin » »


September 13, 2008 @ 4:42 pm #


I have been reading some of the breitbart commentary where I think the story first posted. This gaff may be worse than the lipstick on a pig comment. The MSM will resist toasting him, but that may not matter.

September 13, 2008 @ 5:16 pm #


I think it’s considerably worse.

September 13, 2008 @ 10:28 pm #

“But how stupid is it for the Obama campaign to claim that McCain is unqualified to be president because he can’t grasp cyber-security issues based on the fact he has never sent an email…”

As we’re finding out, it’s apparently the best they can do.

I can understand how a single politician can be so vacant. What’s hard for me to understand is why the press is determined to show they have a similar lack of substance. I am am more amazed at the selection and positioning of the material than the content. Today our local paper had a front-page article by their very own staff who are on location in the Great Alaskan Gold Rush of 2008. Topic: the ins and outs of Sarah Palin and the bridge to nowhere. They seem not to understand that not many people care. I do not know the word for the journalistic equivalent of “tone deaf,” but it’s them.

September 14, 2008 @ 12:25 pm #

You mention HRC being tough to beat in 2012. You could be right, but my thinking is that her moment has passed. She will be four years older and the Clinton administration will be four years further into the past. Her name recognition will be fading as older voters die and younger voters join the ranks. And dems don’t nominate previous losers.

September 14, 2008 @ 1:21 pm #


That is my thinking also. Her inability to pick off the neophyte Obama put a huge dent in that aura of “inevitability” about her quest for the presidency.

Obama may turn out to be the “perfect” candidate for the Republicans … knocks off Hillary, and then loses the general election.

September 14, 2008 @ 1:35 pm #

You mention HRC being tough to beat in 2012. You could be right, but my thinking is that her moment has passed.

At the risk of being unoriginal, I would not count her out until I see her feet protruding from under Dorothy’s house.

She was inevitable, and then Obama stole her spot. I think what will happen in 2012 if Obama loses is that she’ll hop onto the ticket again and we’ll get inevitability squared, and nobody will even attempt to oppose her.

I have to tell you, though, I hope very strongly that I’m wrong and you’re right.

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