Wednesday, February 20, 2008

John, You Old Dog

Not to slander dogs, but….. Not you too, John. John “The Straight Talk Express” McCain had a too cozy relationship with a 40 year old lobbyist named Vivki(sic) Iseman, that is now breaking news. His senior advisers “had to keep her away from him to protect him from himself.” What I want to know is, whose going to protect us from him? So far the story seems to be old news as far as the facts of a philandering John is concerned. The big news is the possible quid pro quo. Did he do favors for her with her clients? If that part of the story turns out to be true, John McCain is probably finished. Even if this only turns out to be about infidelity it might hurt him with female “values” voters, and would make anything he has to say in the future about the “sanctity” of marriage completely laughable. Or should marriage now be defined as between a man and a woman and his mistress? What is the religious right going to think about all this? I’d bet money the Democratic candidates don't go near it. And it does, sadly, once again, remind us of Bill. Speaking of old dogs.

Hillary Needs To Learn The Art of Losng

I understand that nobody likes to lose. It’s almost Un-American. But something that is very distinctly American is sportsmanship, or in this case, sportswomanship. Hillary needs a lesson. Let me tell you how it’s done, Senator Clinton. Here goes.

Once the networks have called the vote as having gone in your opponents favor, you go to whatever venue is scheduled, and before whatever audience you have, say, “I’d like to thank the people who worked so hard on my behalf (in Wisconsin, for instance)—the volunteers who made calls and walked door to door (in the freezing cold, or snow, or whatever it is, wherever it is) to get out the vote. Thank You. And I offer my congratulations to Senator Obama for his victory in, “Wisconsin, Washington, Hawaii, (wherever).” Take a graceful moment to do this obvious thing. Then make your uninspired stump speech.

If someone in her campaign is telling her this little nicety isn’t necessary or important, they are doing her a disservice. If they are telling her to disparage his inspirational speaking style, they are wrong. If they are telling her to make light of Senator Obama’s message of hope and change, this, too, is a mistake. We desperately need hope. It’s about all we have left. And as for change, Senator Clinton, get ready. Change is coming.

Chris Matthews is a Thug

I’ve given up watching Chris Matthews’ show Hardball on MSNBC. But I do still watch Keith Olbermann, and I prefer watching MSNBC’s coverage of the various primaries and that, sadly for both me and Mr. Olbermann means a nearly toxic dose of Matthews. There are many reasons I don’t like Chris Matthews, not the least among them is all the fake macho symbolism—the name of the show, Hardball, screams “tough guy,” the graphics and sounds are too much, over the top, unnecessary, and an assault on the eyes and ears., and his little features like “The Big Number,” push some revulsion button in me I can’t quite identify. But what I hate most about Chris Matthews is the way he attacks and dismisses his guests. He’s even rude to guests he likes, often talking over than, not quite letting them answer a question before he jumps in with his own version, his own answer to his own question. Why does such a bore have his own one hour, prime time news show? And why is Pat Buchannon still a guest on anybody’s show? I’d expect to see Pat Buchannon on Fox, but what’s he doing on MSNBC night after night?

Last night during the post-primary coverage a State Senator from Texas (I think) came on the show to talk about his support for Senator Obama. I was barely paying attention, until I heard Chris Matthews say, “What are Senator Obama’s legislative achievements!!!??” The poor guy talking about his support for Obama started over, sticking to his point, which had nothing to do with Obama’s legislative record, and more to do with Senator Obama as a candidate, as someone who inspires and motivates, and with only a couple of words out of his mouth, Chris slammed him, stopped him again and said, “Sir, You have to give me Senator Obama’s specific legislative accomplishments!!!!!” He was barely under control. The anger and intolerance were not under control. Maybe Mr. Matthews had some prior contact with this unfortunate person, but his question was too aggressive, too angry. And what was the point? O’Rielly plays gotcha politics. Rush plays gotcha politics. I don’t watch MSNBC for that. Thank god Keith Olbermann was there to remind Chris Matthews that they weren’t doing Hardball, they were doing election coverage. But it was the last straw for me. I will not watch Chris Matthews again.

But here’s a thought for MSNBC. Since we seem to be ready for an African American President, Maybe we’re ready for an African American Prime Time News Pundit. I nominate Eugene Robinson.