I was again reading Ben Smith’s blog at Politico.com – it’s another wont o’ mine – when I came upon a link to something called The Gawker, a blog described by its proprietors as “Manhattan media news and gossip.” (Should I ask them about this alleged Jon Bon Jovi-Valerie Bertinelli romance?)
At Gawker, this gossip-guy Nick Denton has some campaign advice for David Axelrod: attack McCain not as “4 years of Bushies, maaan,” but as a “dangerous maverick,” maaan:
Obama may indeed have less experience in politics than John McCain. It is slightly unsettling that a man so ambitious never filled out his resumé with a management job. But he is at least deliberate in his thinking and decisionmaking [sic]; one can imagine him as the boss of a company; he has the temperament of a chief executive. John McCain, the maverick, doesn’t.
This begs a question: In what thinking a decision-making has Barack Obama been “deliberate”? I can think of nothing. He is a skilled orator, gifted at feigning nuance, but that should not obscure Obama’s substantive lack of depth. The only positions on which he has deliberated and remained intellectually consistent are his position on the war in Iraq and his “surge is bad” mantra, and even those call into question Obama’s version of deliberation.
Obama’s famous anti-war speech was delivered when he was running for the Illinois State senate and speaking to a group of anti-war activists. It was part of a political campaign, thus more and appeal for votes than a deliberate statement of policy.
What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by Richard Perles [sic] and Paul Wolfowitz and other arm-chair, weekend warriors in this Administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne.
What I am opposed to is the attempt by political hacks like Karl Roves to distract us from a rise in the uninsured, a rise in the poverty rate, a drop in the median income to distract us from corporate scandals and a stock market that has just gone thru the worst month since the Great Depression.
That is purely political rhetoric, which seems as if could have been copied straight from the MoveOn.org anti-Bushie handbook. This is not the rhetoric of a thoughtful, deliberate decision-maker.
Obama has also bitterly clung to his SURGE IS BAD rhetoric, in regards to the strategy pushed by John McCain to win the war in Iraq when Barry wished to flee, even after the surge has been empirically proven to be a success. (Wait, Obama has now said that the surge “has succeeded in ways that nobody anticipated.” I can’t keep his deliberate decisions straight anymore. He is slipping into the Gawker version of “maverick.” You know, the kind who is BAD and should not be President.)
If the phone rings at 3am in the White House, it’s McCain the proud martyr I worry about rather than careful Barack Obama.
Obama is not careful. Obama is not deliberate. That is an image crafted by David Axelrod for the benefit of the non-observant and the gossip columnists. And John McCain, despite what the Gawker says, is not about to fly off the handle, declare himself a martyr, and put the country he loves, the country for which he has fought, and the country for which he metaphorically donated a piece of that heart, come to harm because of his actions.
Did you see John McCain’s speech last night in St. Paul? Where Obama was hissing, screaming, ranting, and flying off-the-handle in front of the Styrofoam in Denver last week, John McCain was calm, cool, careful, collected, rational, and deliberate.
So let the Gawkers gawk, I guess. From what I’ve learned, they have more online readers than I’ll ever have, and they are, like everyone, entitled to a political opinion and to express that opinion. And it makes sense that folks who are entwined with celebrity rumor would have a crush on Obama.
My friends, to borrow an expression, let us be careful and deliberate about our choice for whom to vote in November. At this point in our history, we cannot afford to take a blind leap of faith off the debate by voting for a great vacuum who happens to be the latest political fad.