Monday, April 21, 2008

Stop The Inanity

The Pennsylvania primary is tomorrow and it can’t come soon enough. Hillary Clinton says this, Barack Obama says that, Hillary Clinton responds to what Barack Obama says, Barack Obama responds to the response, and on and on. The latest round is that Sen. Obama said that he, Hillary Clinton, or John McCain would be better presidents than George W. Bush. I think we’re all agreed that Teddy the Wonder Lizard would be a better president than George W. Bush, but now Hillary Clinton is making a huge deal out of it. Aw, jeepers, here we go again.

And it’s not just limited to the Democrats. Yesterday on ABC’s This Week, John McCain impugned Sen. Obama’s patriotism by saying it was “open to question” because of his acquaintance with William Ayers, an aging radical from the 1960’s Weather Underground who lives in his neighborhood in Chicago. He also managed to get in some sycophancy with the right-wing fringe by standing up for Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) and denouncing Mr. Obama for saying he’s “friendly” with Mr. Coburn when they work together in the Senate, comparing it to his friendship with Mr. Ayers. Oh, cue the outrage on that one. When Mr. McCain was asked about his endorsement by Pastor John Hagee, whose views on religion, Catholics, and gays are as radical as anything ever espoused by the Weather Underground, Mr. McCain said that was different. Why? Because it is.

Fortunately all this campaign jousting is solely for the benefit of the pundits who drive themselves into conniptions every time a candidate makes a gesture. It gives them the opportunity, as Tim Russert did on Meet The Press, to pose a question of Sen. Obama’s electability based on a falsehood about the pledge of allegiance and flag lapel pins and make it sound as if that is the most important thing facing the voters. Not to be outdone, William Kristol thinks that how a candidate wishes Jewish voters a happy passover tells you everything you need to know. Oy.

The only good news about any of this is that very few voters are paying attention to this latest round of inanities. Most of them are too busy wondering where they’re going to come up with the money to pay for $4 a gallon for gas to get to their $10 an hour job from their house that’s lost anywhere up to 10% of its value in the last year or so. Maybe when the pundits start asking real questions about those issues, they’ll listen.