Thursday, October 16, 2008


I WAS TWEETING the debate last night like Vin Diesel: FAST AND FURIOUS.

(ACTUALLY, if I were really tweeting like the Diese, I'd be tweeting about D&D).

THOSE OF YOU who were unlucky enough to have followed the whole thing will recall:

A) MY PREDICTION that the pundits would attempt to call the debate for McCain, purely out of a desire for a new plotline.

B) MY ABSOLUTE SURPRISE that the instant polls would reveal such an overwhelming consensus in favor of Obama, especially among independents.

I WAS GOING to write on about how bizarre it was to watch the pundits on CNN all suddenly change their minds about what just happened the moment they learned of those early polls...

(EXCEPT GERGEN, who actually got it exactly right, saying McCain's eye-roll and facial spasm strategy that began at the 20 minute mark would be his undoing)...

AND I WAS GOING to write how I ended up feeling no better than those pundits once it was clear my dire, gut pessimism about debate coverage was proven false (for the fourth time in a row this season).

BUT THEN, while looking for a link to back up my Diesel/D&D claim above, I came across this video.




Alex Perham said...

This video warms my heart.

Benjamin said...

I was at work during the debate and only got to listen to most of it, so maybe I missed out on something visual, but I thought McCain won the debate. (Maybe it's Nixon/Kennedy radio syndrome again, but then again, from what I did see, it was Obama sporting the five-o-clock moustache.)

Regardless of what the polls and pundits decide, however, I am very disturbed by one thing. Last night was the first time I have ever distrusted Obama. I have never liked his politics, but I have never found him to be untrustworthy.

Regarding Ayers: yes, it's a red herring; no, he won't have a place in the administration (I doubt he's even allowed in federal buildings). But Obama DID launch his Illinois state senate career in Ayers's home; his claim that Ayers "has not been involved in THIS campaign" is pure Clintonian hedging.

Obama claimed to have doubled the number of charter schools in Illinois. I follow the issue fairly closely, and simply put, there is no way that is true. Maybe he meant Chicago? Either way, I'm pretty sure there's a majority of both houses and a governor who deserve some share of the credit. I understand Obama wanting to appear supportive of charter schools, but why oversell it? (Again, Clintonian... this does not look good to me.)

And his claim that all of McCain's ads have been negative?

I don't know. Maybe I drastically mis-heard things. I'm posting this here because if I did, I know Obama supporters will get me their side of things. But the Obama I heard last night talked like Clinton (Bill), and I never thought I'd see that day.

Aron said...

I had nightmares of McCain's blinky smirking weasel face after this debate. (O_o)

Lhyzz said...

master, if you want the facts, just check

DK said...

I work in movies and my inspiration was always to make a really bad B action movie ala Timecop. But now it has changed. I want to be famous enough to invite Vin to play in my D&D game.

Benjamin said...

Cancer kicker--

I am aware that the Republicans have blown the Ayers "issue" (which is too strong a word, but one which I will use for lack of a substitute) way out of proportion. I expect that.

What I did not expect is what I can only interpret as Obama's deliberate attempt to deceive (at worst) or mislead (at best).

I found, from the third debate transcript [] the quote in question. Obama said, "Mr. Ayers IS NOT involved in my campaign. He has never been involved in THIS campaign." [emphasis added]

But when Stephonopoulos (from your article) mentioned the "early organizing meeting" for Obama's state senate campaign, Obama didn't deny it. And to my knowledge, has never refuted it.

Which means, to me, that Obama's narrowly tailored language in last night's debate was intended to mislead. I see no difference between Obama's use of the phrase "this campaign" and Clinton's use of the phrase "sexual relations." As Mark Twain said, "Often the surest way to convey misinformation is to tell the strict truth."

That still leaves charter schools (maybe gaffe territory, though I think otherwise), and the flat out lie that McCain's ads have all been negative.

I was expecting another four years of a President I didn't like. But I didn't expect four more years of a President I couldn't trust.

limesix said...


In accusing Obama of parsing his response, you're also parsing your reading of it, as if you're looking not for support that you can believe him, but rather proof that (as you always suspected) you can not.

On the Ayers issue, I'm not sure why you're suggesting that it's misleading for Obama to say that Ayers is non involved in THIS campaign. Are you suggesting that every campaign he has ever run is of a piece, and everyone involved can be gathered into a whole? He was in a debate, and in the same way that McCain can rightly say that he is not Bush (and deliver a decent line in the process), Obama can rightly say that Ayers is not involved in his campaign - because he's not. His presidential campaign is not his senate campaign is not his state senate campaign.

And a debate surely isn't the place to get into a longer dissection of the circumstances of when and where and how Ayers was involved in his political life, especially since it's pretty well documented already.

Anyway - you say you don't like his politics, so it's probably a moot point, but on that point at least, I think you're making something out of literally nothing.


Benjamin said...


You're correct about the parsing. It's a survival skill that I learned during the Clinton years. Now, I like Clinton, and I wish he could be President again. But let's be honest, in order to know what Clinton was really saying, you had to put his words under the microscope.

It's a habit, and one that I keep because it rarely fails me. Maybe you're right, and I am making something out of nothing. But I can't shake the suspicion that Obama is unnecessarily trying to make nothing out of something that was barely anything to begin with.

But now I'll drop that subject. I think we can all agree that what really matters is that, in a week, we'll be transported to a world of deliberate, beautiful, bald-faced lying. And molemen. Lots and lots of molemen.

Unknown said...

NO spell capabilities? and NO race benefits? Vin Diesel couldn't take the Ultimate Warrior no matter what the weather conditions were! I bet John McCain could morph into a Illusionist if he had enough sun exposure.