Thursday, September 18, 2008

Real Gaffes

Over the last day or so, Talking Points Memo (and others) have been throwing some heavy punches at McCain over an interview he did with Radio Caracol. It sounds like the best case scenario is that McCain either doesn't know the name of the Spanish Prime Minister or thinks that Spain is a Latin American country; the worst case, that he wants to enact some seriously scary and alienating foreign policy. Although an aide has denied that McCain made a mistake, which would confirm a truly cold stance against Spain's relative pacifism in recent years, it's hard to be sure that's what McCain had in mind if you listen to what he said. I'll let Josh Marhall of TPM tell the story, which includes the relevant portion of the interview:

Given the inconsistencies between the aide's statement and McCain's language in the interview, it looks distressingly like they've taken a belligerent, militaristic stance to cover up what would otherwise have been a mid-level gaffe. Not only does this interpretation indicate a shallow inability to take responsibility for the slightest misunderstanding, there's no way to read the story such that McCain gives the tiniest fuck about what people from other countries think. This has already caused a bit of an international incident, as the Spanish Press is not taking this lightly. Just imagine the sort of trouble he would stir up as president of the United States.

To add to his troubles, John McCain said at a rally today that if he were president, he would fire the chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission. The problem is, that's not an action that the president is authorized to take. At least, not yet. As ABC News points out, "while the president nominates and the Senate confirms the SEC chair, a commissioner of an independent regulatory commission cannot be removed by the president." Again, because of the fairly disgusting belligerence and expansion of executive power of the last eight years, it's unclear whether McCain is unaware of the president's responsibilities in this regard or merely wanted to create new ones. And again, let's just hope he was being an idiot.

Then there's Palin, who was showcased at that same rally in Cedar Rapids – they seem to be traveling as an inseparable team now. Shortly after calling the city "Grand Rapids," she answers a question about energy by saying, well, you tell me:

Mmmm. Congress. Molecules. Bags! Export bans not allowed to... keep oil for the hungry... market? What?

Add to this that McCain does not know how to use a computer – I do not understand why that is not one of the biggest issues of this campaign – and Palin apparently chose unbelievably obvious security questions for her now-hacked personal email account and then proceeded to semi-legally but ultra-stupidly use that account for government business...

You know, there's been a lot of talk about "experience" and "qualifications" this election, but for all that gabbing it doesn't seem like we've even asked the question yet. Let's actually have the conversation. Hell, let's just talk about basic competence for a moment.

Sure, it's funny now, but imagine Ciudad de México in flames because of a misguided old "maverick"'s attempt to nuke Madrid.

EDIT: Also, McCain apparently invented the blackberry. Even though he can't use google. Maybe not his greatest week.

1 comment:

  1. Palin-McCain, Bomb Spain!: A Message of Real Change '08.

    Gotta admit it has a catchy ring to it. He may have won my vote. Spain has had it too good for too long. Had to put Palin first for the rhyme to work but that change is also innevitable isn't it?