Teh Stupid, It Runs Our Country

In “Making America Stupid,” Tom Friedman writes of the GOP’s “Drill Baby Drill” mantra:

Why would Republicans, the party of business, want to focus our country on breathing life into a 19th-century technology — fossil fuels — rather than giving birth to a 21st-century technology — renewable energy? As I have argued before, it reminds me of someone who, on the eve of the I.T. revolution — on the eve of PCs and the Internet — is pounding the table for America to make more I.B.M. typewriters and carbon paper. “Typewriters, baby, typewriters.”

He goes on to say that McCain is running on nothing but cultural wedge issues to hide the fact that he has no more clue what to do about the economy than George W. Bush did.

Steve Benen says Friedman’s new membership in the “enough” club is significant, because Friedman is a major conventional-wisdom shaper.

And if you want to read a defense of McCain that’s bleeping hilarious, go here. Begin with the sentence. “Let us look at what oil is. It replaced whaling in provided fuel for lamps. This saved the whale,” and keep reading. If this guy were a satirist he’d be brilliant. Unfortunately, he isn’t.

Kevin Drum asks why McCain is running such a sleazy campaign.

So why is McCain doing this? Obvious answer #1: he’s just running a standard Republican campaign. Nobody should really be surprised by this. Obvious answer #2: This is hardly the first time McCain has sold his soul. He’ll regret it later, of course, but this is just who he is, despite the layers of maverickiness he’s managed to cover himself in over the years.

Kevin also suggests McCain genuinely believes Obama would be a bad president, and thus McCain feels morally justified in doing whatever it takes to stop him. I can think of one other possibility, which is that McCain is too mentally impaired to make his own decisions, and Karl Rove or a clone therof is actually running the campaign behind the scenes.

I don’t know what went down on the Sunday bobblehead shows, but some parts of America’s news media seem to be doing some real journalism for a change. This is the kind of reporting they should have done when Bush was running in 2000, and didn’t.

New York Times:Once Elected, Palin Hired Friends and Lashed Foes

Washington Post:As Mayor of Wasilla, Palin Cut Own Duties, Left Trail of Bad Blood

MSNBC: “Palin’s ‘Bridge to Nowhere’ Line Returns

Boston Globe: “As governor and mayor, Palin hired friends for public posts

San Francisco Chronicle: “Campaign check: Lies and half-truths outed.” This article analyzes six campaign commercials and finds them deceptive. Five of the six are McCain’s ads. It also found three statements made by McCain and Palin in speeches or interviews that were, um, wrong. One other item it found deceptive was an anti-Palin email, but there’s no evidence it originated with the Obama campaign. So — 8 McCain deceptions, 1 Obama deception, 1 source unknown deception.

Now, on to serious issues — a number of rightie bloggers are complaining that a “lib” photographer deliberately made McCain look sinister for a photo used on the cover of The Atlantic. Except I’ve got the bleeping issue of the Atlanic right in front of me, and there’s nothing the least bit sinister about the photo. If anything, McCain looks slightly noble and wise, if way wrinkled, in the photo. Apparently the photographer had some fun with “outtakes” — not the photo actually used — and bragged about it on a personal blog. Some rightie bloggers have twisted this into a claim that The Atlantic used one of the “sinister” photos on the cover, which one look at the cover reveals is not true.

This is not a press bias issue; it’s a personal expression issue. Once again, we see that righties hate freedom of expression, and if they had their way they’d ban any speech with which they don’t agree. And they’d do it in the name of “liberty.”