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Qualifications for President

Another in a series of posts I had the good sense not to make.

My son Chris told me I can't joke about John McCain getting shot down as a qualification to be president.

"You saw how your readers reacted to the Obama 08' new disappointment bumper sticker," he said. "You thought they'd all find it as funny as hell, like you did, and what happened, you lost more readers. They've had it with you. It's your very own bittergate. You're clinging to principles above party. You're clinging to some pollyanna notion of what ought to be. You think you deserve a world without kool-aid drinkers disguised as pragmatists. You thought it was funny, they didn't, and now you're talking about making fun of McCain's service to his country with some lame top ten things McCain's getting shot down qualifies him for."

"I protest," I said. "I respect his service, I'd have respected it even if he hadn't got shot down. Taking a million dollar jet out of the garage for just the 23rd time and crashing. Any dad understands how stuff like that happens. Your insurance rates go up, they think you're going to buy them a new one when they get home. They think they can use the experience on their resume, yes I understand."

"You can't joke about it," he said. "It would be in extremely poor taste."

"Okay," I said. " I was having trouble coming up with ten reasons anyway. I would have had to ask for help from the readers and they wouldn't help, they'd think it lame, they'd be disgusted."

"And anyway there's really not much something like that qualifies you for, maybe a character in a J.G. Ballard novel, but that's not funny."

Related:
Exploding Heads

Right On, General Clark. Do Not Back Down.

“Attacking” McCain’s Military Record

What Wesley Clark really said, and how the press missed it.

Slamming Wesley Clark




 

Comments

what the heck is a "kool aid drinker"?

and don't worry, you'll never lose this reader because of "bad taste".

you'll have to find another way. :)

You certainly haven't lost me as a reader after the Obama Bumper Sticker post, in fact if you hadn't posted that, we would have never had that important discussion, it was a great move.

I have high regard for you and this blog, but I completely agree with the line "You're clinging to some pollyanna notion of what ought to be." in relation to the Obama Bumper Sticker.

From what I have read in your blog the past year or two, You seem to be a strong believer of evolution, as am I. Which is why I believe the most important thing that I always consider when voting on any issue is how to progress society; help out evoultion a little. Mankind has, throughout time, evolved to become more liberal and democratic, because it's the only way we can survive. That's why the new tag for liberals: "Progressive," seems so perfect to me. We help the evolutionary progress of mankind.

That's why, from a darwinian view, the best thing we can do is get Obama elected over McCain, pass any piece of legislation (even if it's a compromise, we're still progressing) that supports more liberal and open-minded views, even in the slightest, and in time the laws will progress even further.

So anyway: Obama 2008! - One Step Further in the Evolution of Mankind.

If you vote for your politicians and never put them under any pressure simply because they are on your side, where is the impetus to adapt? You are not changing the environment a politician lives in, you are merely continuing the existing one. If we do nothing to change the environment the little mammal politicians live in, how will they evolve?

If one does not say something because one is afraid of what others might think, then one might as well shut up.

There are no topics that are off-limits to jokes, insults or criticisms... I guess the rule of thumb is that as long as you want to dish it out, you must be willing to take it too... The sad fact of the world is that most people are ever so willing to dish out, but unwilling to take the jokes/ insults/ criticisms when it is aimed back at them...

About the Wesley Clark thing...am I the only person that sees nothing wrong with what he said? Being a POW will probably have given him the strength to lead the country, I mean after that experience, the pressures of being a president would still seem small. At least to me. It is, however, not a qualification for the presidency and to suggest otherwise is ridiculous.

The McCain camp, sensing an opportunity, complained that Clark had “attacked John McCain’s military service record.” Of course, Clark had done nothing of the kind. He had questioned the relevance of McCain’s combat experience as a qualification to be president of the United States. This is a distinction that you’d expect any reasonably intelligent nine-year old to be able to grasp.

Exactly right. And I don't think what Clark said was "impolitic" but simply the truth: there is no obvious reason why military experience would be an important qualification for an executive, at least not directly. One might think it would make one more reticent to send soldiers to war, but McCain's saber-rattling shows that's not necessarily the case.

Incidentally, although I'm begrudging Obama supporter, I loved the bumper sticker, which I found amusing. I must have missed the kool-aid drinker comments, because I didn't see any protests, but may be I should double check.

Poking fun at McCain's service doesn't work because it alludes to something that lacks any humor; the fact that anyone at all would use something like 'POW status' as a characteristic qualifier for president, and that people would actually rationalize a vote based on this. I am baffled when I hear someone make a statement about his service, someone that is supposed to have some sensibilities, and expect the statement to be the last word.

Poking fun at McCain's service doesn't work because it alludes to something that lacks any humor; the fact that anyone at all would use something like 'POW status' as a characteristic qualifier for president, and that people would actually rationalize a vote based on this. I am baffled when I hear someone make a statement about his service, someone that is supposed to have some sensibilities, and expect the statement to be the last word.

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Let's not fool ourselves:

Obama IS a Republican. He will NOT be nominating ANY progressives or liberals to the bench. He will NOT be supporting any liberal legislation. He does NOT support the Rule of Law.

Hanoi John is a Vietnam Vet that delights in doing to others what the VC did to him.

The only difference I can discern between the GOP candidate and the GOP-controlled Democratic candidate is how soon to declare martial law. (That is if Acting-President Bush isn't ordered by Cheney to do it before Obama is sworn in.)

It makes no difference which one you vote for, either way this nation is doomed.

Of Course, Clark is right. Military service in and of itself does not make you qualified to be president. Clearly, if it were, Kerry would be president today.

I do get the feeling though, that Clark is still running for president. Is he really doing Obama any service by claiming a General would be a better president than a pilot? Even if it's true, how is it relevent in this election (or nomination ;)

where is chris's blog?

probably rather read him...

Are people really so naive as to think St. Obama isn't going to let them down someday? I'm an Obama supporter, and I went in assuming something like FISA would happen.... he did vote for the bankruptcy bill, after all. For the record, I thought the sticker was funny.

You think you deserve a world without kool-aid drinkers disguised as pragmatists.

Norm - what would you like to happen? Have everyone denounce Obama? To what end? Would you prefer we don't vote and get McCain elected because, even though he is evil and is going to keep in the party that we all despise, everyone on the left knew he was evil while people believed Obama was truly and thoroughly good? Or, do you want them to say "Bring back Hillary? We made a huge mistake?" Whether or not she would've made a better candidate/President can still be debated if you like but it's pretty useless because that ship has sailed (or do you think it hasn't?)

I don't think Obama's election is guaranteed (but, unlike JoAnn) I still think it's possible but I think everyone that wants the Democratic party in - weak and flawed as they are, they still suck less than the party of destruction that is in power now - needs to figure out how they can contribute to getting Obama in office....

When Jon Stewart said you can laugh at him (or something to that effect) about Obama, I knew why the audience hadn't been laughing. It's as if (with only some exaggeration) we have had Hitler's regime in power and have the opportunity to get in someone else but --- he's not in yet and Hitler's first lieutenant still might get elected with the same people pulling the strings. It's just not funny yet. When Obama gets in, I'm ready to make fun of everything he does - they already have a guy on SNL who plays him really well.

I think what Clark said seems very valid and not at all dismissive of what happened to McCain and Clark has obviously earned the right to say it. I found it disappointing Obama couldn't find come up with a soundbite that gave each man his cred for what he has done and started bringing us back to an America where people are entitled to their own opinion (especially when it is an educated one) and the whole right wing noise machine doesn't get up in arms - clutching their pearls in shock at the audacity the upstart is (and readying their steamroller campaign of discrediting the naysayer.) Yes, I'm disappointed in Obama (but I'm not surprised) and I still don't want a bumpersticker. :)

Norm - what would you like to happen? Have everyone denounce Obama? To what end?

Since the choice is between Barack and McCain I'd prefer that Barack be elected. I'm not sure what you mean by denounce, is criticizing someone denouncing him? If so, then yes he should be denounced. To what end, the truth. If you vote for Obama thinking he agrees with your views, because his statements are just political and don't reflect what he really thinks, you'll be disappointed. Vote for him not because you agree with all his views but rather that you accept him and his flaws and are not afraid to speak the truth.

http://www.openleft.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=6657

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Let's keep our eyes on the prize, people!

When those Ponuppies arrive on our doorsteps after Obama is sworn in, who the fuck will remember, or even care to remember, the Fourth Amendment anyway? So be good little children (nod to Dan L.) and keep your mouths shut lest you ruin the Ponuppy Parade for the rest of us.

http://tinyurl.com/3njw9c

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080701/aponelpr/obamafaith

Is there any truth to this? I'm talking about allowing charities to discriminate on the basis of religion. Oh wow, is that a slippery slope.

Never mind, I am reading it and it is false. Scared me though.

the openleft article was just tellin' it like it is. this is a perfectly good reason for tellin' it like it is:

To what end, the truth.

when tellin' it like it is becomes outlawed, only outlaws will tell it like it is.

Norm, your commenters have usually had worse taste in jokes than you have, so you have nothing to worry about on that front. Calling your readers kool-aid drinkers, I think that does tick them off. People can disagree with your evaluation of Obama without needing a psychiatric exam. But leave? Never, even if we're mad! We first smoked the OGM crack long ago and we'll get our next hit even if it kills us.

Yes, getting shot down in a plane can be funny (not having been shot down myself). I think McCain was actually shot down or otherwise crashed multiple times, so that increases the oppotunities for comedy.

I think McCain was actually shot down or otherwise crashed multiple times, so that increases the oppotunities for comedy.

well, there you have it. that, plus his physical resemblance to homer simpson- mccain is finito. you can relax now, JoAnn.

Yes, getting shot down in a plane can be funny (not having been shot down myself).

Claiming to have been tortured, because among other things you were water-board, and to claim that as part of your "service to your country" that somehow qualifies you to hold the highest office in the land, and then to turn around, while still maintaining the 'service to your country' bit, that water boarding is in fact not "torture", might be a nice dark comedy bit about political hypocracy.

Durandal: It's hard to tell what you intended to discuss, because your link is broken. But yes--guess from your remark --Obama does seek to expand federal faith-based initiatives that George Bush created , albeit under stricter church-state separation provisions. I'm pretty sure that's not quite the same as letting charities discriminate on a religious basis, but it depends on what kind of accountability Obama has in mind (Under Bush, most of the money has gone to evangelicals, and a lot of that govn money has been used for religious--that is, proselytizing--in addition to charity purposes. But I saw that one coming from a long way off. Are you really so surprised?

I do get the feeling though, that Clark is still running for president.

I almost agree - I got the feeling he was running for Vice President.

Obama does seek to expand federal faith-based initiatives that George Bush created , albeit under stricter church-state separation provisions.

Prediction: It won't be long before someone claims Obama plans to use the faith-based initiative program to funnel money to ... MUSLIMS!!

...as in TERRISTS, AL-KAYDA, ISLAMOFASCISTS ... well, you get the picture.

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