Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
September 12, 2008
POLITICS: Obama Walks Into A Minefield

Earlier today I discussed the Obama campaign's ridiculous attack on John McCain as being 'out of touch' because he doesn't send emails, despite McCain's lengthy legislative record - as extensive as anyone in Congress - dealing with high-tech, telecom and internet issues.

The obvious and unconcealed subtext of the ad was an attack on McCain being old and uncool compared to the web-savvy younger generation - a risky line of argument given the large number of old people who vote, but perhaps driven by Obama's need to raise money and enthusiasm among the young and the wired. (Leave aside what the use of email has to do with competence to be President).

But more than a few conservative bloggers immediately wondered whether there was perhaps a reason why McCain does not have a Blackberry or type out emails, and with a little Googling Jonah Goldberg and others have discovered the answer: McCain finds it too painful to type because of his war injuries.

You can read the details from Goldberg here and Allahpundit here, including the fact that McCain does dictate emails to his wife, he just can't type them himself. I won't repeat here Goldberg's point, with which I agree completely, about what McCain's wartime service does and doesn't mean for his qualifications for the presidency; but no matter what it means in the abstract, the fact remains that the Obama people have now gone on record mocking him for things he can't do because of injuries he sustained while being tortured in the service of his country. What imbeciles. And the greatest irony is that as they hit McCain for not being tech-savvy, they are the ones who didn't bother to Google this stuff before firing off their ad.

Jacob Weisberg's column from 2000 pithily ties together both reasons why this avenue of attack is nuts:

Six months ago, no one would have pegged McCain as the most cybersavvy of this year's crop of candidates. At 63, he is the oldest of the bunch and because of his war injuries, he is limited in his ability to wield a keyboard. But McCain's job as chairman of the Senate commerce committee forced him to learn about the Internet early on, and young Web entrepreneurs such as Jerry Yang and Jeff Bezos fascinate him. Well before he announced his exploratory committee, McCain had assimilated the notion that the Web could be vital to the kind of insurgent, anti-establishment campaign he wanted to run.


Thanks to Fose and Gullett, the McCain campaign has become the most eager experimenter with Web advertising, Web organizing, and Web fund raising. "Even more impressive than the money is the way we can communicate with people," McCain said on the bus. "We can communicate with them eight to 10 times a day. You know how much it cost to communicate with someone eight times a day before the Internet? It's going to change politics."

Last night McCain participated in another Web first: the first-ever "cyberfundraiser." At the event, he boasted about the latest returns from his Web site. In the first eight days following the New Hampshire primary, he raised $2.6 million on the Internet, for a Web total of $4.1 million from 40,000 individual donors. According to Fose, money is still coming in from the candidate's Web site at the rate of about $100,000 a day. In addition, the Web site has had 10 million hits in the week following New Hampshire. Some 100,000 people have clicked a button asking for volunteers who want to be actively involved with McCain's campaign. One of them was Andy Grove, the chairman of Intel.

I suppose it could be worse: Obama's other main line of attack today is that McCain is too out of touch to be President because he's a Senator. And questioning McCain's patriotism, which I suppose is a fair enough argument despite the Democrats' incessant shrieking when the topic comes up...but not a battle Obama is likely to win.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 9:29 PM | Politics 2008 | Comments (37) | TrackBack (0)

He does have a Blackberry there are photos of him using it, and he's spoken of it before. But he is a frail older man. That we have to consider.

Not to mention McCAin lauched a 30 ad "Democrat Barack Obama and his Senate colleagues torpedoed meaningful changes in immigration laws." when Obama's name is not on the bill, he didn't sponsor the bill and McCain actually voted against the bill as well.

Posted by: olivia at September 13, 2008 12:14 AM

Wow. That's a winning combo Obama's got. Stop the pig and lipstick routine just long enough to make fun of a war veteran's tortured hands and question his patriotism.

Posted by: stan at September 13, 2008 12:22 AM

Hey Olivia and all the other Obama supporters, I will make this real simple-Please list all of Barack Obama' s accomplishments as a US Senator. All the legislation he wrote and had passed and all the examples of his demonstrated leadership abilities-Since you are not just a bunch of mindless drones who just follow the latest media creation-I expect to read a lot of information. Thanks in advance.

Posted by: dch at September 13, 2008 1:07 AM

I've posted here before on this subject, but let me reiterate: Obama himself cites his principal qualification for the presidency being his stewardship of his campaign for the presidency. This attack ad and it's fallout are indicative of the tone-deaf and dumb-shit actions of a jackass. Is there anyone out there who believes that this juvenile boob has the right stuff to lead a nation?

Posted by: joe at September 13, 2008 4:08 AM

"Is there anyone out there who believes that this juvenile boob has the right stuff to lead a nation?"

As much of a right as the one running it now.

Posted by: jim at September 13, 2008 11:14 AM

I'll make it real simple too.
Sorry John McCain. If you need a fainting couch because Obama said something about putting lipstick on a pig, you just aren't strong enough to protect me from terrorists who might use bombs.

Posted by: Berto at September 13, 2008 11:24 AM

1) So your point is that even though John McCain does not use email or the internet, he does regulate it. That's just we need in Washington: more people passing laws about things they don't understand.

2) And now we need to be careful about questioning any of John McCain's shortcomings; because it may be unpatriotic. He was a veteran you know!! and a POW!! How about is involvement with the Keating Five -- was that related to his time in capture? Is that off limits too?

PATRIOTISM IS THE LAST REFUGE OF A SCOUNDREL -- and this country has been led by scoundrels for long enough!!

Vote OBAMA 08!!

Posted by: Patrick at September 13, 2008 2:35 PM

Wasn't McCain's son on the board of that Nevada bank that just went belly up? Guess the chip doesn't far from the old block.

Posted by: jim at September 13, 2008 3:51 PM

Surely there must be at least one Obama supporter who can post a comment on this site which is logical and rational. Between the histrionics and non sequiturs, it's enough to make normal people dizzy.

Posted by: stan at September 13, 2008 3:53 PM

Stan, histrionics and non sequiturs seems to be the best they can do. Obama's surrogates made an ad that is factually inaccurate, and apparently pointing it's fallacies out is equivalent to needing a fainting couch. Just once I'd like to see them take on an actual McCain policy and try to analyze it. I'd bet we will be waiting past November for that to ever occur.

Oh yeah, Jim, Bush isn't running. You'd make more sense if you honed in on McCain's platform. If you ever read any military history, you'd learn that one of the most common mistakes made is fighting the current war as if it were the last war.

Posted by: NRA Life Member at September 13, 2008 4:08 PM

I don't need to hone in on McCain's platform. I KNOW what the GOP platform is and it is frightening, disgraceful and largely against most things I believe in. John McCain is the front man for the operation. Bush is the current front man. It makes no difference (largely) which GOP shill is running the show at this point. The last 8 years have been enough. I am not fighting the last war, simply pointing out that I am convinced that changing the old man in charge while keeping the machine in place behind him will lead to more of the same.

See I can admit what I feel about this. As Mike has consistently asked for is the honesty from y'all to say that you wouldn't vote for Barack (or any Democrat) because they are a Democrat. Most of you all hated McCain back in the primaries but you'll take him because ultimately you know that the machine is bigger than the man and that while he do this and that on his own the mainframe will still be in place chugging merrily along. At this point I wouldn't vote for a GOP front person for office because of what that party represents and stands for. For example, I don't care is Sarah Palin is inexperienced or not. Doesn't matter to me. I find her politics abhorrent and since I believe we have been going down the wrong road for several years I don't need more of y'all driving the bus. As I have said before, I will take my chances with Obama, Biden, Hillary, Kucinich or Bozo the Freaking Clown (oh wait, he's there already) because the last 2 terms have been so putrid that, in my view, the only alternative is to get the GOP out of the White House.

NRA, you are so wrapped up in pointing out Bush-hate like it's your job that you can't see that people have legitimate reasons for disliking what has become of the politics and policies of this administration and that what has happened will certainly be linked to McCain. Hell, he's practically running on the "Status quo is good" ticket. You're wrong. Not looking back. Just looking to change and if you want to mock the use of the word because of the amount of times Obama uses it then fine. He can run all he wants on the "change" campaign because change would be good. That's my opinion. I'm sure you'll call me ignorant, or a commie, or out of my mind, or unpatriotic, or lacking in understanding of the nuance of the issues. Whatever. I disagree with you and I disagree with the GOP and I disagree with this administration. Just because you disagree with me does not make you any more right than it makes me. Although, I doubt you feel that way.

Posted by: jim at September 13, 2008 4:35 PM

I won't vote for Obama because he is a socialist who uses Marxist (class warfare) tactics to gain power. His tax policies will decrease revenues because they will chase capital away from our country. In looking at I see that he wants a windfall profits tax on oil companies. This will be a disincentive to produce energy and is a classic example of class warfare. In picking and choosing what he considers to be the energy sources of the future, he is employing the same strategy of the Fascist corporate state. In bypassing market economics, he is implying that he is smart enough to make the correct choices. Since he's never run so much as a lemonade stand, I doubt he has the economic expertise to know what is right for the future. If he wants wind, solar etc. he could lower all taxes on business (especially capital gains) to encourage investors to take on risks in any of these ventures, but instead, he chooses to tax an unfavored industry.

He also wants to invest tax dollars in 5 million green jobs and bases that on the Michigan 21st Century Jobs Fund. If you check this link you'll see that Michigan has had one of the worst economies in the US for the past four years, yet he's using Michigan as a model.

He wants to abrogate Free Trade agreements that are in place. Again, his judgement is flawed because he has no background in wealth creation. The far better way to go would be to lower corporate taxes to make the USA a better place to conduct business. We currently have the second highest corporate rate in the industrialized world, and his tax policy will drive more businesses away.

When I invest, I take on the risk myself, and do not expect another party much less you as a taxpayer to back up my choices. Suddenly, a guy who has never invested and taken on economic risk in his life is supposed to know how to control our economy better than the people who have created it through innovation.

I could go on and on by just quoting his website, but the main point is that the Obama has no bloody idea of how to grow or create wealth other than taxing and redristributing it. The fact that the Democrat Party has sunken into this pathetic level of disfunctional thinking is why I won't support them or him.

I would also add that his judgement on individual associations from Tony Rezko, Bill Ayers, Rev. Wright, Fr. Pfleger tell me that he will not have the ability to deal with malignant foreign leaders such as Putin, Ahmadinejad, Chavez and others. His compliance and cooperation with Richard Daley, John Stroger and the rest of the Chicago political machine indicates that he is beholden to power politics and will bring no change whatsoever. Could you possibly defend his request of a one million dollar earmark to the U. of Chicago Hospital which then gave his wife a raise of close to $200,000 shortly after he took office?

However, the main point of Crank's post was that Obama's ad was inaccurate. You haven't attempted to refute anything that he said in any of your posts. You can insult me, Stan, DCH, Crank or John McCain if you want, but it merely indicates your intellectual incoherence and inability to focus on a post topic.

Posted by: NRA Life Member at September 13, 2008 6:03 PM

Re: 'He does have a Blackberry there are photos of him using it'

I think that was actually a remote control to his TV. He likes to carry it with him so when he gets home, he can change the channel to Matlock without fishing around for it.

Posted by: Patrick at September 13, 2008 8:55 PM

Actually Jim, you and the others really don't know anything about anything. There is term called garbage in-garbage out-all people such as yourself do is parrot whatever the biased MSM says-do you deny that MSM lies, obfuscates and manipulates the truth to the benefit of theDemocrats/Left? Do you ever see the media try to destroy a democrat or liberal like they have tried to destroy Palin over the last 2 weeks? Does this tell you anything about all the info you base your positions and views on? It is basically totally worthless. Maybe you and the others will some day have an epiphany regarding where you get info from.

Posted by: dch at September 14, 2008 1:04 AM

allow me to answer your question to Jim. Yes, I have seen the media try to destroy a democrat or liberal (in this case a democrat). His name is Al Gore, and the media went as far as making-up lies and then attributing them to him (i.e he invented the internet, etc) for over 18 months (1999-2000).
The fact you can't remember this, shows you are the one that doesn't know anything about anything.

As for Jim, Jesus Christ was a commie. You're just an American voter.

Everyone else, please say it out loud: Sarah Palin is a liar. She never told Congress "thanks, but no thanks" for the Bridge to nowhere money. Congress told her they wouldn't pay for it.

Posted by: Berto at September 14, 2008 3:51 AM

Berto is wrong asserting Palin lied about the "bridge to nowhere". A relevant link is contained in saturdays menu. The Alaskan governor at that time, Don Young(R), was instrumental in establishing that earmark in the 2006 Transportation Appropriations Act. Senator Tom Coburn(R) proposed an amendment to that bill which would have taken much of that Alaskan pork and transferred it to Louisiana to rebuild a bridge damaged during Hurricane Katrina. Coburn's amendment was killed in the senate, with both senators Biden and Obama voting against it. Palin promised to review the project if elected governor. When she was elected, she reviewed the project, decided it was not the best use of those funds for the state of Alaska, and she appropriated that money for disbursal to other transportation projects throughout the state, as the congressional act had specifically given her the power to do so. Now Obama fans, please defend that senators $746 million dollars in earmarks during his 143 days in office.

Posted by: joe at September 14, 2008 5:40 AM

Jesus Christ was a communist? That's an interesting perspective.

I'd actually like to see someone on here give a rational, well thought out, evidence-backed explanation of why the "last two terms were so putrid." Now, I'm not defending Bush or expressing an opinion on him, one way or the other, but I guess I'd like to see an attack on him that isn't based on Democrat talking points and loony left assumptions.

I've never seen a comment threat get this far afield.

Posted by: per14 at September 14, 2008 7:16 AM

Jesus Christ was a communist? That's an interesting perspective.

I'd actually like to see someone on here give a rational, well thought out, evidence-backed explanation of why the "last two terms were so putrid." Now, I'm not defending Bush or expressing an opinion on him, one way or the other, but I guess I'd like to see an attack on him that isn't based on Democrat talking points and loony left assumptions.

I've never seen a comment threat get this far afield.

Posted by: per14 at September 14, 2008 7:17 AM

Now let's talk race...that's right..race..let's talk about our heritage...the next generation...and life and death. Do any of you head in the sand democrats realize that every day on average 1,000 black children are slaughtered in America's abortion clinics? Of course there's other races going to their unjust death as well. Take heed..shedding innocent blood is one of the great abominations in the sight of the living God who will judge Mr. Obama, McCain,,and us all..for every knee shall bow at the Judgement Day!

Posted by: Bob at September 14, 2008 8:07 AM

You know, this really started I think when McCain--and by all means correct me who claimed this--would never accept earmarks, they were wrong, pork barrel spending, etc. Frankly, if my representative said no to what I define as an earmark: a directed piece of federal spending in a specific district, well, why else would we have local representation?

We have an earmark where I live to rebuild an important bridge on a very busy road. It handles a lot of truck and civilian traffic on a large state road. It's not a federal highway, but the old bridge was deteriorating. Well, I think that's a great way to spend money: build a better infrastructure. The bridge to nowhere is an example of graft: in this case, Republican graft, since Ted Stevens, the big mouth anti-first amendment loony pushed it. And if you were really honorable, then someone like Palin should have said no to the bridge and then given back the money. So in the earmark case, McCain is not noble, but self righteous.

BTW, this is off topic, but I realized when I wrote first amendment, why is it that these groups have this in common (well generally anyway): If you are for the second amendment, you are against the first and fifth, and vice versa? After the Constitution was adopted, and many wanted over 20, they settled on 10. And you can't pick and choose which ones to enforce.

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at September 14, 2008 8:19 AM


You've wasted your talents, literally, by your hypocritically rants against the Democrats. You're too smart for that...


Posted by: Braf at September 14, 2008 9:46 AM

The issue with earmarks is that they do not strand on their own in a bill. They are generally inserted into other legislation which is deemed to important to not pass. If the bridge repair to which you refer is important and necessary, and if it can be construed as a federal responsibility and not a local one, your Congressman or Senators should be able to get a vote on it for it's merits in separate legislation.

Another problem with earmark spending as it is currently practiced is many of them seem to be passed as a Senatorial courtesy. You vote for mine, and I'll vote for yours. Since it is based on bringing money to a given state or district, a reasonable skeptic could say that it is an inducement to voters to support an in-office political entity, and that this inducement is borne by tax payers who live outside the state or district, and thus are in effect being coerced through taxation to finance an incumbent's re-election effort.

I am in favor of the First and Fifth Amendments as well as the Second. I'm not a mind reader, but in regard to the Fifth, I humbly ask if you are referring to "no person being held for a crime without an indictment". If you look at the Preamble, you will see the important words "We The People of the United States". If you are in an offhand way implying that Second Amendment supporters who agree with detention at Guantanamo are somehow in violation of that portion of the Fifth Amendment, I'd like you to explain to me how you can include non-uniformed combatants who are not US citizens as The People of the United States? That is a stretch. If that is not your implication, then your post is too obtuse for me to follow. As to your implication that I as Second Amendment supporter do not also favor the First Amendment, once again, you are not clear enough for me to be able to refute you. In any event, I agree with Freedom of Speech and that the government should not establish a religion or interfere with it's exercise.

By the way, is Jim or any of the other port-side posters ever going to make an effort to refute the original post made by Crank? You know, Obama's ad that pokes fun at McCain for not using a computer. For all the hot air puffed around, I've yet to see anything substantial come out of any of your mouths.

Posted by: NRA Life Member at September 14, 2008 9:51 AM

Two other quick comments.

1. Ted Stevens and Don Young are boobs. I am embarrassed by their behavior in regard helping themselves to the tax kitty as if it were their own piggy bank. I'd also acknowledge Trent Lott and anyone else who fits the description.

2. As to picking and choosing Amendments, I'd love to see more reverence for the 10th Amendment, which says that powers not delegated by the Constitution to the federal government nor prohibited to the States by the Constitution, are left to the States. It would disallow the overturning of state abortion statutes by Roe v. Wade, and in the light of Heller v. DC, many local gun control laws would seem to be forbidden due to the Second Amendment.

Posted by: NRA Life Member at September 14, 2008 10:03 AM

I have noticed how much of this comment thread is directed towards changing the subject. A few quick observations:

1. Berto does in fact have his facts precisely wrong on the Bridge. Coburn fought Ted Stevens to a draw in Congress - he killed the earmark but the Bridge funds were rolled into the general transportation funds sent to Alaska. It was Palin who killed the Bridge project entirely and redirected the money to more practical uses. At the time (September 21, 2007) the Porkbusters crowd hailed her as a hero. This is not revisionist history. I'll be doing a longer post on this sooner or later.

2. Jim, reread Point III here. I answered Mike's question back in May. I don't feel the need to repeat it ad infinitum.

3. Also to Berto: Jesus was a communitarian - He taught that we should share what we have with others. Not the same as invoking government authority to compel redistribution. The command of Christian charity is individual. (Exit question: who gives more to charity, Joe Biden or Rush Limbaugh?).

Posted by: The Crank at September 14, 2008 10:47 AM

Patrick he uses the internet. This is a preposterous argument to involve myself in, but allow me to quote McCain as found in the New York Times. The link followed by the relevant quote.

Q: What websites if any do you look at regularly?

Mr. McCain: Sometimes I look at Politico. Sometimes RealPolitics, sometimes.

(Mrs. McCain and Ms. Buchanan both interject: “Meagan’s blog!”)

Mr. McCain: Excuse me, Meagan’s blog. And we also look at the blogs from Michael and from you that may not be in the newspaper, that are just part of your blog.

Q: But do you go on line for yourself?

Mr. McCain: They go on for me. I am learning to get online myself, and I will have that down fairly soon, getting on myself. I don’t expect to be a great communicator, I don’t expect to set up my own blog, but I am becoming computer literate to the point where I can get the information that I need – including going to my daughter’s blog first, before anything else.

Posted by: KDH at September 14, 2008 10:54 AM


I'm glad you're so psychic. Seeing as we've never met and you know nothing about me you yet are SO insightful. It's simply amazing. Truly shocking how succinctly you put everything together. I am humbled by your brilliance. I'll now go read stuff and not think about it in the least. If you aren't a practicing psychic I guess the only other possible thing you could be would be a self-important, ego-maniacal asshole.

So you want a take on Obama saying McCain doesn't type? Here it is. Boo-freaking-hoo. Do you really, honestly, truly care that he said that? Would you have voted for him if he hadn't said it? C'mon. Do you think McCain is truly outraged at this offense? Hell, Bush (and by that I mean Rove) said he had bastard black children. Ooooh. I'm sure John McCain is wounded to the core by Blackberry Gate.

Posted by: jim at September 14, 2008 11:07 AM

I'm not wrong about Palin's lying.
Palin was elected governor in November 2006. One year earlier, in November 2005, the “bridge to nowhere” earmark ceased to exist.
She NEVER told Congress "thanks, but no thanks". And she didn't "misremember" or "exaggerate" her role. She LIED about it.

Jesus Christ supported redistribution of wealth. Read the Bible sometime. You might find out it's not just about justification for hating gays.

Posted by: Berto at September 14, 2008 11:40 AM

I noticed in the paper today an article describing how the rightwing blogosphere was collectively up in arms about Obama challenging McCain's familiarity with computers. All used the same talking points, claiming it was somehow an attack on his service to our country (?!?!?), and also noting that he's passed dozens of laws concerning the internet (great...).

Crank I thought you came up with this drivel on your own. Now i see its being fed to you by Karl Rove (or his successor).

See link:

Posted by: Patrick at September 14, 2008 12:20 PM

Patrick, unlike the left-o-sphere we don't have a centralized command-and-control model for this kind of stuff. I jumped on the part about McCain's web-savviness on my own accord - I rememeber giving money thru McCain's website in 2000 and his role as Chairman of the committee on those issues. As for the stuff about his inability to type, that was all out there in the media 8 years ago - I give credit to Goldberg for digging it up, but I knew a bunch of people who were immediately wondering the same thing.

Posted by: The Crank at September 14, 2008 12:31 PM


"Jesus Christ supported redistribution of wealth. Read the Bible sometime. You might find out it's not just about justification for hating gays."


Let's see -- where was it in the gospel where Jesus says that believers should use the violent power of the state to seize the wealth of non-believers and give it to others? Hmmmmm, that would be ....... nowhere.

Posted by: stan at September 14, 2008 3:14 PM

"unlike the left-o-sphere" the Right owns AM talk radio, their talking points are fed to them on a weekly basis (Negreponte's Monday meetings), they have brought the mainstream media to heel through their charges of "liberal bias" (not to mention the MSM millionaires i.e Russert, Matthews, Dowd, etc looking out for their own financial interests), etc.
But in the holy name of Karl Rove, all thoughts are totally independent of what they've been told. (LOL)

From your origianal post: McCain was a POW? Who knew?

Seems you don't believe this country should spend billions of dollars (garnered from hard-working middle class Americans) to protect the riches of energy company CEOs in the mid-east?
Now that's bipartisanship I can believe in!
(Glad to see we have something important in common).
Cheers mate.

Posted by: Berto at September 14, 2008 10:12 PM


You have spun the Bridge to Nowhere. How about spinning Palin's Iraq visit. Oh, she never went. That must really have been a trip of a lifetime. McCain's first big choice and he screwed the pooch with an awful choice. Put your country first not your political party.
As a test try to not mention Obama in defending McCain's choice/mistake.

Posted by: javaman at September 14, 2008 10:14 PM

javaman - You have a direct quote of her claiming to visit Iraq, as opposed to visiting Iraq-bound troops in Kuwait? A direct quote, not a media paraphrase.

Posted by: The Crank at September 14, 2008 10:18 PM

Now you have standards? Her aides said it, she claimed till once again she was caught oops mis quoted.
But as long as she can see Russia we are in great hands.

Posted by: javaman at September 14, 2008 10:37 PM

I have a direct quote from her about telling Congress "thanks, but no thanks" to the Bridge to nowhere earmark.
Of course, we all know the earmark ceased to exist a year before she was elected Governor.
What's next? Is she going to claim she stared down Kruschev during the "Missles of October" crisis?
(If so, I'm sure you'll find justification for that lie too).

Posted by: Berto at September 14, 2008 11:21 PM

It seems like these talking points the lefties get are just too good to check. Don't you guys get tired of looking like fools? Today you guys are wrong about the Bridge and wrong about travel. If you had a lick of shame you'd check up on your talking points before trucking in them, but you don't so you won't.

The good news is that Palin could strangle puppies for fun but the news would be ignored by everybody but you lunatics. You've successfully inoculated her and for that I thank you. Because it makes me laugh.

Posted by: spongeworthy at September 15, 2008 11:56 AM
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