Saturday, October 18, 2008

McCain and Letterman

I dunno if y'all followed any of the controversy caused by McCain's cancellation of a planned visit with David Letterman during his "campaign suspension," but Letterman was pretty pissed about is in a funny way. Here's his triumphant return, in which Letterman is nicer than he could have been but certainly not all that happy to see him:

My favorite part of this is the very last exchange, just after McCain openly claims that Obama actually does "pal around with terrorists." Letterman's response: well, sure, but what about people like G. Gordon Liddy?

David Letterman: You will also admit that we cannot really control who we interact with in our lives 100%.

John McCain: For how we interact and how long we interact with them – But the point is, the point, in this campaign is the economy –

L: Did you not have a relationship with Gordon Liddy?

M: I've met him.

L: Did you attend a fundraiser at his house?

M: [utterly confused] Gordon Liddy's...

L: Hahaha. We'll be right back here with Senator McCain.

Golden. McCain's confusion is really the story there, for me. It really highlights the degradation of meaningful words in politics, along precisely the lines that Orwell worried about. As I've argued since November, 2001, terrorism is not a feature of ideology, it's a feature of action. Oliver North would have been a better figure to mention than G. Gordon Liddy, but breaking into the DNC headquarters will do for the purposes of national television. The fact that someone would turn the notion of association with borderline terrorists around on him is totally out of the realm of possibility in McCain's mind.

It shouldn't be.

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