Codebreakers

The Politico:

In a campaign year marked by flare-ups surrounding comments that have offended one group or another, John McCain and Barack Obama have moved on to the next sensitive battleground: the question of McCain’s advanced age.

As some Republicans see it, Democrats are deliberately talking in code about the presumptive 71-year-old GOP nominee as part of an attempt to highlight his age.

“It is code; there is no question it is,” Ed Rollins, a Republican strategist who helped lead President Ronald Reagan’s 1984 reelection campaign, said when age surfaced as an issue. “They are trying to raise doubts.”

Yes. There is a definite code:

In all seriousness, Democrats would be really stupid to push ham-handed efforts regarding McCain’s age, because it is one of those issues that will raise itself. People will draw their own conclusions when they see McCain standing next to Obama. Hell, they will draw them when they see McCain standing next to his VP choice, who is more than likely going to be much younger than McCain.

But most of all, McCain’s ideas are old, and we are better off focusing on them.






105 replies
  1. 1
    Ninerdave says:

    You’re right the issue will raise itself. There’s no need to push it, and I have yet to see any prominent Dems make a big deal of it. However that’s not going to stop the GOP from claiming that the Dems are “ageist” or are playing the “Age Card”.

  2. 2
    Dreggas says:

    They want to bitch about ageism?

    Fuck. Them.

  3. 3

    I was listening to the “Obama’s using code for ‘old'” debate the other night on MSNBC and it sounded a whole lot like they’re just playing the refs. Any time it’s suggested that McCain is “out of touch” with the American people McCain’s folks will scream “‘out-of-touch’ means ‘teh old'”. “McCain has no grasp of the economic hardships…” will become “OMG! They just said McCain is ‘teh old'”.

    McCain’s age is an issue! If the old coot chooses someone like LA Governor, and Professional Snake Handler, Bobby Jindal as his running mate, I don’t want that dusty old fart anywhere near the Oval Office.

  4. 4
    RSA says:

    When it comes to choosing McCain for President, I think his having been a hero during World War I is going weigh much more heavily than any silly questions about his age.

  5. 5
    MNPundit says:

    Absolutely but the idiots over at DKos are having a fucking grand old party (pun intended) doing that, particularly DHinMI whom I have argued with several times.

    I was accused of getting the vapors. Look I know you people are bloggers and you don’t have fuck all influence, but tamp it down, it’s offensive and fucking counterproductive.

  6. 6
    Crusty Dem says:

    Dreggas, check out all the other buttons those idiots are selling. Actually more offensive stuff about the Clintons than about Obama. I guess the took the “White House” one down (if it was ever on their website).

  7. 7
    gypsy howell says:

    I aint sayin’ he’s old, I’m just saying he’s losing his marbles.

    To wit:

    Anyone care to put those last few garbled sentences at the end through the McCain Translator for me?

  8. 8
    Madam Zorba says:

    I think those talking points are going to backfire for the Republicians. I never think of McCain as old until THEY point it out to me.

  9. 9
    ThymeZone says:

    The GOP is desperate and hopeless. They are going to insist that any criticism of McCain is “ageist” the same way that the Hillbots insisted that any criticism of the Beast was “sexist.”

    It’s.All.Bullshit.Theater.Deflection.Subject-changing.

    The fact is that McCain’s ideas and policies are just a trainwreck, and people can figure out — or not — why that is. He’s old, he’s pandered himself into corners, he is intellectually lazy, he doesn’t get the details, he is not really a policy guy, he is all politics and all vote-counting. He’s been a Senator forever, and that skews his view of reality.

    Personally I hope the Dems just hammer the fuck out of him on every thing all the time. He’s a great target. He’s a disaster.

  10. 10
    TCG says:

    Ya the age thing will come into play when people see Obama and McCain standing next to each other.

    Especially if there is a High Def broadcast. McCain’s not just 25 years older than Obama, he’s looks like he’s got high mileage as well.

  11. 11
    jrg says:

    They want to bitch about ageism? Fuck. Them.

    It’s not so much that McCain is old, it’s more that he sounds like an Alzheimer’s patient. The fact that he’s old does not mean anything, it just explains why he sounds like he lost his marbles.

    There is a big difference between saying “I won’t vote for someone because they are black” and “I won’t vote for someone whose cognitive abilities are failing, possibly due to age”.

    One viewpoint is based on prejudice, the other viewpoint is based on an easily observable reality.

    There is no need to bring it up, but it will be brought up often. McCain is an unstable old man. If he does finish his term in office, don’t count on him being lucid through his tenure.

  12. 12
    Garrigus Carraig says:

    Look I know you people are bloggers and you don’t have fuck all influence, but tamp it down, it’s offensive and fucking counterproductive.

    Wait. What?

    The only person who needs to keep mum ’bout Greatgrampa’s age is Teh PWNy. Anyone else can blow on the dogwhistle till they’re blue in the face. He is old and it is a factor.

    Also, John totally has influence. Duh.

  13. 13
    Church Lady says:

    While I don’t have anything personal against John McCain, his age alone would prevent me from voting for him. My parents and in-laws range in age from 71 to 76, and, in addition to the usual physical aliments for people in their 70’s, the senior moments sure seem to come fast and furious these days. Heck, look at before and after photos of Clinton and Bush – that is one job that really ages you. Although it might not be PC to talk about it, I’m sorry – 72 is just too damn old to start a term as President.

  14. 14
    JL says:

    don’t count on him being lucid through his tenure

    McCain’s lucid now?

  15. 15
    Zifnab says:

    Republicans playing the victim card? Le gaspe. I eagerly await the wingnut brigades to trout out the “disenfranchised minority” card, when news pundits across the nation try to convince us that being 71-years-old is so much harder to bare than being black, and that we should be more sensitive to poor McCain.

    And I think it’ll fly just about as well as a golf cart full of bricks.

    No one really likes being told, “If you don’t vote for my candidate, you’re a –ist!” Not the best way to win elections.

  16. 16
    Noah says:

    I think criticizing his ideas as old will be enough. As long as you phrase it the right way, you can only imply the age thing.

    Like how McCain is stumped when asked whether condoms help stop the spread of AIDS….

    http://novemberblog.blogspot.c.....ident.html

    The Dems should use this in an ad. A good tagline could be something like, “What Century is John McCain living in?”

  17. 17
    Elvis Elvisberg says:

    I agree with all those above who think that this is just ref working from the GOP.

    McCain doesn’t know anything about anything.

    The word “confusion” doesn’t have anything to do with age. They want to take McCain’s hapless ignorance off the table. No, thanks, we’ll mention it anyway, but thanks for the idea.

  18. 18
    JL says:

    Church Lady, Hopefully we don’t need to see what McCain looks like after 4 years in office.

  19. 19
    southpaw says:

    One generally raises the age issue to subtly suggest that the candidate could rapidly decline, become confused, an not perform at the same level he can today. With McCain this is unnecessarily circuitous; for whatever reason, he already seems to lack the necessary mental acuity to be president. The issue with McCain is not feared confusion; the issue is actually-existing confusion. There’s no need to bring age into it.

  20. 20
    Rosali says:

    They’re just setting up in advance excuses and justifications for their own racist statements. When someone calls them out on their blatant racism, they can just say “Well the Dems made ageist comments”.

  21. 21
    jibeaux says:

    being 71-years-old is so much harder to bare than being black

    All other things being equal, I’d say it’s harder to bare…

  22. 22
    Zifnab says:

    Furthermore, who’s talking in code? Last time I flipped on Letterman or Leno or Stewart, no one was pulling any punches. Jokes were made at Obama’s bowling skills, Hillary’s pants suit, and McCain’s receding hairline with equal abandon.

    The difference between bowling jokes and face-wrinkle jokes? MSNBC spent two fucking weeks telling me about how a 37 over 8 frames makes a man unfit for the Oval Office.

  23. 23
    KCinDC says:

    Agreed, southpaw. I don’t care why McCain is confused and doesn’t know what he’s talking about. It disqualifies him from being president, whether it’s because of age, incuriosity, orneriness, disease, psychological issues, or just plain stupidity.

  24. 24
    David Hunt says:

    being 71-years-old is so much harder to bare than being black

    All other things being equal, I’d say it’s harder to bare…

    Being 71 may be harder than being black, but most of aspire to be 71 years old…given the alternative.

  25. 25
    jake says:

    Yup. This is why I refuse to give the Victims of Perpetual Victimhood (AKA Loons who think Hillary was robbed, slapped in the face and forced to iron a shirt) a single fucking inch.

    It’s the nutjobs’ dream world where Miranda is stood on its head and applied to anything anyone says, ever: “You have the right to shut up or we’ll scream. Everything you say will be used against you no matter how hard we have to stretch to make you look bad. Why aren’t you saying anything? Are you ignoring us?!?”

    Do. Not. Want.

  26. 26
    Ed in NJ says:

    And here in a nutshell is why Democrats lose elections. While everyone uses any kind of code they see fit for Obama’s race, we on the left have to pussy foot around fears that we will be labeled ageists for talking about McCain’s age.

    The reality is that McCain’s age is a legitimate issue. There shouldn’t be a need for code. It’s not his body that is old and a problem, it’s his mind and ideas.

    We need to stop worrying about how our campaign will be labeled and start fostering doubt about the McCain candidacy. Republicans don’t worry about being called racist. They just keep spewing their shit. I’m all for running a nice, respectful campaign, and I look forward to that in 2012. For now, it’s too important to win first.

  27. 27
    The Other Steve says:

    I’m surprised by that McCain picture. Generally most of the ads the McCain folks have been running are shadowing out McCain’s left cheek, or only showing his right side.

    I noticed this in the ad they ran here with the “Only a Fool or a Fraud would love war” argument.

  28. 28
    jibeaux says:

    harder to bare…

    it was a spelling joke, David.

    I hate it when I have to spell these things out.

  29. 29
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    McCain seems to have formed most of his thinking about international relations back in the Cold War years and he appears to be desperately trying to fit the current world situation into that paradigm. Cold Warriors made their bones opposing a monolithic evil that threatened the world, thus the transformation of Iran from a country that’s acting in its own interests in a very dangerous neighborhood into a threat to world peace. I believe that the contradictions of attempting to wrestle the ME situation into an analogue of the Cold War leads to most of McCain’s gaffes and bizarre statements. It isn’t so much that he’s old, it’s that he can’t let go of old ideas.
    To suggest that McCain is out of touch with the post-Cold War world is not ageist (Though it will be decried as such by his apologists) because he has plenty of younger company among the neocons and his own party on that one.

  30. 30
    Dork says:

    And here in a nutshell is why Democrats lose elections. While everyone uses any kind of code they see fit for Obama’s race, we on the left have to pussy foot around fears that we will be labeled ageists for talking about McCain’s age.

    What Ed said.

    If you think the GOP will becomes less “OMG! He’s a NEGRO!” as November rolls around, you’re crazy. The Dems need to be just as aggressive, asking how McCane can be Pres if there’s no diaper-changing station in the WH, comparing him to Abe Simpson, and having Obama pummel him with Public Enemy and Ice Cube trivia questions at every debate.

    More seriously — anyone else notice that whatever that bump on McCane’s face is, it appears to be growing larger?

  31. 31
    Joe Beese says:

    Did anyone watch that SNL video? With his hands kind of nesting in each other with one thumb atop the other?

    That’s the body language equivalent of a three year old holding his penis when he gets anxious.

    Yeah, I’m definitely voting for the other guy.

  32. 32
    4tehlulz says:

    whatever that bump on McCane’s face is, it appears to be growing larger?

    His nose?

  33. 33
    cybergal619 says:

    I was listening to the “Obama’s using code for ‘old’” debate the other night on MSNBC

    I heard that discussion, too. Funniest part was when that radical repuke analyst called Obama “exotic” while whining that we shouldn’t call McCombOver “old.”

  34. 34
    teak111 says:

    Both my father and mother in law are sold on McCain. Actually, its that they listen Rush all day and are afraid of Obama, the terrorist, Obama the black man, Obama with the most far left voting record in the Senate. These comments actually come out of their mouths. The GOP noise machine is purring right along, folks.

    Face to face debates are the only way to cut through the noise, McCain v Obama in front of the lights answering tough questions. McC stumbling and fumbling as they talk in his ear, Obama expressing reasonable opinions.

  35. 35
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    If you think the GOP will becomes less “OMG! He’s a NEGRO!” as November rolls around, you’re crazy.

    The GOP won’t do it but their surrogates and 527’s sure will. McCain will issue a few watered-down denunciations in public and then giggle about it in private before saying (As he already has) that he has no control over these people.

  36. 36

    Dork Says:

    More seriously—anyone else notice that whatever that bump on McCane’s face is, it appears to be growing larger?

    June 17th, 2008 at 3:02 pm

    That’s not exactly a “bump” – McCain stores cookies and crackers in his cheeks to snack on when he awakes to pee at 3am.

    Clap-on!

  37. 37
    Zifnab says:

    And here in a nutshell is why Democrats lose elections. While everyone uses any kind of code they see fit for Obama’s race, we on the left have to pussy foot around fears that we will be labeled ageists for talking about McCain’s age.

    The reality is that McCain’s age is a legitimate issue. There shouldn’t be a need for code. It’s not his body that is old and a problem, it’s his mind and ideas.

    Um… fuck that. If we’d run Chris Dodd as our candidate, the wingnuts would be scretching from the rafters about the “Alzheimer’s Candidate” who is too weak and feeble to fight the terrorists and is probably racist because he lived long enough back to see Jim Crow and make some poor black lady sit on the back of the bus.

    I have no problem with John McCain’s age. And, frankly, I think taking swings at his mental state is hitting below the belt. I’m not going to Terri Shavio the next Presidential contenders.

    All that said, Democrats don’t lose elections because they get smeared. If a smear is all it takes to bring down a nominee, Hillary Clinton would have been pulling in voters at the same rate as Dennis Kuccinich. Democrats lose elections by playing Republican-Lite and trying to stake out middle ground that doesn’t exist. Compromising on women’s health issues, compromising on FISA, compromising on Iraq funding, compromising on the ballooning deficit… these are the issues that make Democrats so unattractive.

    All this talk of ageism and racism and sexism are just shields to cover positions on real issues. You can attack McCain’s health care policy by claiming, “He’s gone through cancer treatments that he won’t extend to every American” and the GOP can fire back, “Quit picking on McCain because he had cancer!” You can attack Hillary’s war position by claiming that she was weak-kneed in the face of GOP pressure, and her supports can fire back with, “You’re calling women inferior to men! Misogynist!”

    But its the health care position and the war position that will make the next Presidential nominee a winner or a loser. Democrats refused to throw up real opposition to the war in 2002, and waffled hard in 2004. So wingers picked them off by going hard right in territory that already leaned their way. Then guys like Jim Webb and John Tester ran to the left in red states, rallying the anti-war base in supposedly GOP heartland, pressing hard on important economic issues with classic Dem policies, and won upset victories.

  38. 38
    The Moar You Know says:

    Republicans fight dirty as hell and then scream “unfair” when a Dem throws so much as a questionable blow. So, no, I’m gonna say it loud and clear – McCain is a doddering old man who already has, at best, “questionable” lucidity and probably cannot survive a complete term in office.

    McCain: too old for the job. Period.

  39. 39
    Zifnab says:

    Face to face debates are the only way to cut through the noise, McCain v Obama in front of the lights answering tough questions. McC stumbling and fumbling as they talk in his ear, Obama expressing reasonable opinions.

    “Senator McCain, this question is to you. How do you think your amazing BBQ Chicken recipe will most benefit America as we battle terrorists to death in Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan? And if you had one terrorist country to bomb today, which one would it be, and why would it be totally awesome? We’ll give you a few hours to answer and then let Osama Hussein offer his your typical liberal response.”

  40. 40
    kwAwk says:

    Zifnab Says:

    And here in a nutshell is why Democrats lose elections. While everyone uses any kind of code they see fit for Obama’s race, we on the left have to pussy foot around fears that we will be labeled ageists for talking about McCain’s age.

    The reality is that McCain’s age is a legitimate issue. There shouldn’t be a need for code. It’s not his body that is old and a problem, it’s his mind and ideas.

    Um… fuck that. If we’d run Chris Dodd as our candidate, the wingnuts would be scretching from the rafters about the “Alzheimer’s Candidate” who is too weak and feeble to fight the terrorists and is probably racist because he lived long enough back to see Jim Crow and make some poor black lady sit on the back of the bus.

    I have no problem with John McCain’s age. And, frankly, I think taking swings at his mental state is hitting below the belt. I’m not going to Terri Shavio the next Presidential contenders.

    All that said, Democrats don’t lose elections because they get smeared. If a smear is all it takes to bring down a nominee, Hillary Clinton would have been pulling in voters at the same rate as Dennis Kuccinich. Democrats lose elections by playing Republican-Lite and trying to stake out middle ground that doesn’t exist. Compromising on women’s health issues, compromising on FISA, compromising on Iraq funding, compromising on the ballooning deficit… these are the issues that make Democrats so unattractive.

    All this talk of ageism and racism and sexism are just shields to cover positions on real issues. You can attack McCain’s health care policy by claiming, “He’s gone through cancer treatments that he won’t extend to every American” and the GOP can fire back, “Quit picking on McCain because he had cancer!” You can attack Hillary’s war position by claiming that she was weak-kneed in the face of GOP pressure, and her supports can fire back with, “You’re calling women inferior to men! Misogynist!”

    But its the health care position and the war position that will make the next Presidential nominee a winner or a loser. Democrats refused to throw up real opposition to the war in 2002, and waffled hard in 2004. So wingers picked them off by going hard right in territory that already leaned their way. Then guys like Jim Webb and John Tester ran to the left in red states, rallying the anti-war base in supposedly GOP heartland, pressing hard on important economic issues with classic Dem policies, and won upset victories.

    Perfectly said. We need a Democratic nominee who is proud to be a Democrat, not one that has to hide behind goofy attacks on his opponents age.

    People live longer and longer each generation, eventually there will be a 72 year old President. Perhaps a Dem. So that really shouldn’t be an issue.

    And if Obama wins the Presidency he will have a much larger mandate for change and much more moral authority to make those changes if he forces the electorate to decide on the issues and not on emotional side show factors.

  41. 41
    Punchy says:

    The GOP noise machine is purring right along, folks.

    Pontificated on this for awhile, and was looking for others’ opinions:

    Coorelation vs. Causation. Does the RW radio cause these idiots (my dad included) to go so far right, or are very-far right people just more attracted to that type of radio? Would my dad be more inclined to vote Democrat if he couldn’t listen to Rush, or would a Rush-free Pops just fill his time swearing at Nancy Pelosi anyways?

  42. 42
    buddhistMonkey says:

    The average life expectancy for an American male is 75 years. John McCain will be 72 years old in August. That means that it’s statistically likely that McCain wouldn’t even finish his first term as President, and that’s not even factoring in his many medical issues. That’s not agism, it’s just a simple fact, and it’s a vitally important one to consider when electing someone to a four-year post in the highest-pressure job in the world.

  43. 43
    Martin says:

    Would my dad be more inclined to vote Democrat if he couldn’t listen to Rush, or would a Rush-free Pops just fill his time swearing at Nancy Pelosi anyways?

    I’d argue that a decent chunk of Rush’s audience wouldn’t vote.

    Rush has a lot of the ‘fucking useless politicians’ set. He does nothing to sell the audience on why the GOP isn’t useless, rather he sells them on why the Dems are useless and dangerous, and turns a non-voter into a voter.

    Asked objectively, most of these folks would probably hate the GOP as much as the Dems if not more.

  44. 44
    Martin says:

    I should add: I’m proud of McCains half-century of service to America and don’t doubt that a President that remembers both 9/11 and Pearl Harbor would keep our national security in mind at all times.

  45. 45
    jibeaux says:

    Punchy, I would best describe the phenomenon as what I have heard called “confirmation theory”, although teh google is not helpful on that score. The idea is essentially that we lean in a certain way on our thinking, and as information comes in, we discard that which does not comport with it, and that which does comport with it, reinforces our belief. So the effect is that the belief is amplified by incoming information (Rush is being extremely categorized as “information” in this scenario), even if the information is contradictory.

  46. 46
    jibeaux says:

    Rush is being extremely loosely categorized

    fail

  47. 47
    jaime says:

    Speaking of code. Apparently the new knock on Obama is that he’s Lazy .

  48. 48
    Brachiator says:

    Dork Says:

    More seriously—anyone else notice that whatever that bump on McCane’s face is, it appears to be growing larger?

    This attempt at humor, like quips about McCain’s arms, should be out of bounds.

    The appearance of McCain’s face is related to surgery that he had for invasive melanoma a few years ago. The details can be found here (Doctor Explains McCain’s Appearance):

    The underlying mid-cheek salivary gland was also removed, in part to remove the lymph nodes inside the gland, and also to protect McCain’s facial nerves from injury.

    This “large incision was necessary to safely remove all cancer with an appropriate margin” and resulted in “a wound requiring sizeable reconstruction,” explained [Dr. Michael ] Hinni.

    On the other hand, stuff about McCain’s age does not bother me as much because the GOP is obviously making a big deal about Obama’s age, i.e., that he is too young to have any necessary experience to be president. Oh, and he’s “exotic.”

  49. 49
    David Hunt says:

    it was a spelling joke, David.

    I hate it when I have to spell these things out.

    Arrrgh! It’s not my day for careful reading. It’s made even worse as I was trying to be all clever and humorous myself.

    And just an hour ago I had a brain fart and was passing off a quote by Franklin as one by Churchill. I got called on that too. I think I’ll go into seclusion and lurk for the rest of the day (no promises).

  50. 50
    Davex99 says:

    My 2 cents:
    It’s wrong to just flat-out say “McCain is too old”. You know in your heart it’s like saying Obama’s too Black. I hope that when I’m McCain’s age, I’m lucid… and that people don’t condescend to me like I’m already gone.

    It’s crucial that we criticize his policies and point out his flip-floppery. Blaming it on his age, however, is low class. Just point out the inconsistencies – people will realize that he’s full of shit. It doesn’t matter why.

    Frankly, it was my impression that Obama won the primary by letting the Clintons say what they wanted and getting out of the way. It got to where I was voting against Clinton as much as I was voting for Obama.

    Take the high road. Please. Among other good comments here, I’m down with Zifnab – stick to the issues. McCain’s muddled incoherence will do a lot of our work for us.

    -dave.

  51. 51
    liberal says:

    Zifnab wrote,

    Democrats lose elections by playing Republican-Lite and trying to stake out middle ground that doesn’t exist.

    Amen.

    Have you read The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation by Drew Westen? I found his psychological theory interesting, but (like a lot of psych stuff) there’s not much to say there in depth. But I really liked his examples of how he thinks liberals should respond on the issues. Really hard hitting and no apologies.

  52. 52

    […] Code? There is no code. McCain himself has said that he is old. It’s pretty darn obvious. No one is trying to hide it. […]

  53. 53
    ThymeZone says:

    It’s wrong to just flat-out say “McCain is too old”. You know in your heart it’s like saying Obama’s too Black

    OMFG, it is the “sexism is as bad as racism” argument all over again. What a total crock of shit.

    When you can show me pictures of people being strung up from trees in America for being too old, then I will concede that you have an argument.

    Otherwise, all due respect, fuck off.

  54. 54
    nightjar says:

    I don’t think numerical age alone is relevant and those who harp on it or make jokes aren’t helping the dem cause. That said, a candidate for the POTUS’s health is a valid issue– Both mental and physical. The fact that MCcain is a 3 time survivor of Melanoma shouldn’t be an issue provided he’s being upfront and honest about his current status.

    Moreover, the fact that he’s 71 YO should not be automatically taken to imply mental deficiencies. His demeanor and cognitive performance over the length of the campaign is something each voter should evaluate for themselves — it’s not necessary or wise for dems to harp on perceived problems. People can judge for themselves, and if there is reason for concern, it should be apparent.

  55. 55
    ThymeZone says:

    People can judge for themselves, and if there is reason for concern, it should be apparent.

    Yes, they can, and there is, and it has been.

  56. 56
    liberal says:

    buddhistMonkey wrote,

    The average life expectancy for an American male is 75 years. John McCain will be 72 years old in August.

    Yeah, but that’s the wrong expectation to use. You want to know the expected lifespan given that the male made it to 72. Which is certainly higher than the expected life span without the conditional.

    I’m not too worried about McCain dying in office. Given his apparent attitude about war, it’s hard to see how any of the potential VPs who would replace him if he terminated would be any more dangerous.

  57. 57
    nightjar says:

    Yes, they can, and there is, and it has been

    I don’t disagree.

  58. 58
    dave says:

    DailyKos has been ham-handed enough to make fun of McCain’s age…and teeth. Much to my disgust.

  59. 59
    Zifnab says:

    When you can show me pictures of people being strung up from trees in America for being too old, then I will concede that you have an argument.

    Soylent Green is PEOPLE!

  60. 60
    Punchy says:

    This attempt at humor, like quips about McCain’s arms, should be out of bounds.

    I’m not sure that was humor. I too have read comments on other blogs, where the authors expressed concern that it did not look healthy. Of course, practicing Long-Distance Doctor should be left to the professionals like Bill Frist.

    It’s wrong to just flat-out say “McCain is too old”. You know in your heart it’s like saying Obama’s too Black.

    Nope. Too old is legit. Old people forget things, they have eyesight issues, they have medical conditions that usually do not arise in someone 23-or-so years younger.

    Old is not the same as Black. One is a real concern, the other crap.

  61. 61
    The Moar You Know says:

    DailyKos has been ham-handed enough to make fun of McCain’s age…and teeth. Much to my disgust.

    Good thing no one cares what you think, Dave.

  62. 62
    Zifnab says:

    This attempt at humor, like quips about McCain’s arms, should be out of bounds.

    Would you say McCain arm jokes are out of bounds or just out of reach? Perhaps he should just learn to shrug them off? Maybe the jokes just don’t carry with the right audience?

    If you’re a war-mongering plutocrat with dreams of sweeping dictatorial power and you know it clap your hands.

    :-p I’ll stop making these jokes when John comes up with a better health care plan.

  63. 63
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    But I really liked his examples of how he thinks liberals should respond on the issues. Really hard hitting and no apologies.

    After the last two elections I’ve come to favor the idea of the fighting liberal. One of our weaknesses is, IMHO, that we feel that soundly reasoned, intellectually coherent policies are sufficient to carry the day by themselves. Sometimes you just need to kick someone in the junk.

  64. 64
    JoyceH says:

    What’s interesting is how touchy the McCain campaign is! They’re insisting that ‘confused’ is Code for ‘old’, but I recall the Obama campaign calling Clinton ‘confused’ about things she’s said. I think in Obama-speak, ‘confused’ is just the polite way to say ‘lying’.

    But I agree that the campaign shouldn’t bring up the age issue; it’s an obvious factor, but let the media debate it – and they will.

    Does anyone else remember the last season of West Wing, when young Congressman Santos ran against the elderly Senator Vennick? Santos’ campaign manager (the incomparable Josh Lyman) cautioned his staff that they must never call Vennick old. “Compliment his energy,” he told them. “Call him spry.”

    Heh. Because of course, ‘spry’ is a word that is only applied to old people.

    So we can call McCain ‘spry’.

  65. 65
    KCinDC says:

    BuddhistMonkey, 72 years is the life expectancy at birth. McCain has already managed not to die during the first almost-72 years of his life. A 72-year-old male in the US has a life expectancy of about 12 years, and around a 15% chance of dying during the next 4 years (the corresponding numbers for a 47-year-old are about 31 years and 2%). And sure he’s had health problems, but he also has much better health care than the average American.

  66. 66
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    Have you seen Moveon’s “Not Alex” ad?
    It’s only about thirty seconds. Talk about hard hitting.

  67. 67
    Kevin says:

    McCain is a crotchety old fart, and that has nothing to do with his age, as far as I’m concerned.

  68. 68
    The Moar You Know says:

    Would you say McCain arm jokes are out of bounds or just out of reach? Perhaps he should just learn to shrug them off? Maybe the jokes just don’t carry with the right audience?

    win, win and fucking win.

    I’d like to see Obama and McCain play a game of hoops. That would be fucking hilarious:

    “Obama shoots…he scores!”
    “McCain just lets the ball roll around. Obama goes to pick it up. He shoots. He scores!”
    Repeat.

  69. 69
    Davex99 says:

    Yikes. This is for Thymezone. Perhaps I was unclear.

    I was trying to describe the concern-trollish BS you see: “I’m not sure America is ready for this Obama fellow…” I was, perhaps naively, thinking of “Racism Lite”.

    It never occurred to me that people wanted to string anybody up for being old. Again, my mistake.

    But I stand by what I said: Just because a man is old, doesn’t mean he is mentally incapacitated. No more than just because Barack is African American does it mean that he can’t represent all Americans. Argue with what comes out of the man’s mouth, not what you prejudicially assume is in his head.

    And “with all due respect”, I wouldn’t demand a body count in the “fight” between sexism and racism. Dumb violent shit abounds.

    -dave.

  70. 70
    Martin says:

    For me the issue isn’t that McCain is old, as such.

    Rather, his experience is old. It’s great that he’s been around and seen things that Obama hasn’t, but are those things relevant? Is Vietnam relevant? Is a war against a semi-conventional opponent as part of the Cold War really relevant to what we have going on now? One of the criticisms of Rice is that she tried to fit everything in the Cold War mold since that’s where her experience is as well. That’s not her age, but her experience not matching what is needed. McCain has that problem in a big way.

    McCain lacks modern experience and seems unwilling to catch up. He is unfamiliar with modern technology and the issues that go with it. He is unfamiliar with modern viewpoints, modern social attitudes, and modern employment/housing/life issues – in part because as you get older the things you do change, but also because he’s a zillionare and house hunting with a 9 figure downpayment is different than house hunting right out of college with a kid in tow or with a GI Bill or worrying about losing your job or your health coverage when you have kids.

    Now, no president can be in touch as well as we need them to be, but clearly some are better than others and some try while others don’t. I don’t care if McCain is 71, but we need a president for 2008, not 1988.

  71. 71
    KCinDC says:

    it’s hard to see how any of the potential VPs who would replace him if he terminated would be any more dangerous

    Well, it’s true that I haven’t heard much talk about Giuliani as a VP, but who knows what would happen under the presidency of 37-year-old exorcist wingnut Bobby Jindal (though admittedly choosing him would make it hard to continue the “exotic” and “inexperienced” criticisms of Obama)?

  72. 72
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    I don’t care if McCain is 71, but we need a president for 2008, not 1988 1968.

    Respectfully.

  73. 73
    b. hussein canuckistani says:

    When you can show me pictures of people being strung up from trees in America for being too old, then I will concede that you have an argument.

    Up here in Canada, we put our elderly on ice floes.

  74. 74
    Sherrell says:

    I’m guessing if this ad is persuasive…this election is gonna be a landslide

    http://bravenewfilms.org/blog/.....-more-wars

  75. 75
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    Old is not the same as Black. One is a real concern, the other crap.

    Good point. What is McCain going to say?

    “I may be old, but you are black. In the morning I shall be…

    um…
    uh…
    younger?
    eh?
    no?

    I’m guessing that the old Churchillian chestnut isn’t going to work in this situation.

  76. 76
    Duros Hussein 62 says:

    …eventually there will be a 72 year old President. Perhaps a Dem. So that really shouldn’t be an issue.

    Key word is “eventually.” Not now. Not yet. Oh and not him.

  77. 77
    4tehlulz says:

    OT, but this should be stopped.

    Tuskegee Airmen to be subject of George Lucas film

    The danger that Jar Jar will appear is just too high to ignore.

  78. 78
    Duros Hussein 62 says:

    “I may be old, but you are black. In the morning I shall be…

    Hopefully, still alive!

    Thank you, good night, everybody!

  79. 79
    Church Lady says:

    I will take this moment to live up to my nom-de-plume and address some of the SERIOUSLY sick denizens of the BJ commentariat:

    Attacking John McCain on any and all issues is absolutely fair game. Making fun of John McCain for scars from cancer surgery and injuries incurred during his stint in the Hanoi Hilton is absolutely disgusting. If you can do that, and not feel bad about it, you must really get a lot of yucks by going over to Walter Reed and making fun of the “cripples”. Shame on you, and you know who you are.

  80. 80
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    I’m old enough to remember the circus that was Reagan’s second term, when Nancy and the staff were actually running things. For me, McCain’s age is an issue. He’s older than Reagan was in 1980, and I think Reagan was in better shape for his age than McCain is.

    It’s not my primary concern, but it’s there.

  81. 81
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    And that concern will not be alleviated by having Mittens or Joementum as veep; if anything, that only heightens it.

  82. 82
    MNPundit says:

    Oh yeah, Will Carrol PB’s injury guru says physically McCain is in fine health. Problems would have to be mental with him.

  83. 83
    Jess says:

    Does anyone else remember the last season of West Wing, when young Congressman Santos ran against the elderly Senator Vennick?

    It’s amazing how much life is imitating art this election cycle. I was watching the last two seasons of WW recently, and I’m noticing that Obama does seem to be playing with the parallels a bit (for example, using U2’s song “Beautiful Day).

  84. 84
    Grampa Go Home says:

    McLame IS old! He was a stunt pilot for the Wright brothers. He graduated last in his class at Tower of Babel High school. His homeroom teacher was Hamurabi. The theme song at his prom was played on log drums. His date was Cleopatra. There are lots of cool old people, but he’s just not one of them.

  85. 85
    Koz says:

    Absolutely. The voters in this country are sovereign, and if they want to vote for Obama because McCain is too old, that’s absolutely their perogative. And in McCain’s case, his perceived age is going to be a the result of how he carries himself more than a number.

    If acts like a Bob Dole-type crank, he’ll lose. But if he shows real engagement with the problems in the world today, he’ll win. Dovetailing with this, I suspect the winner of the election will be the first guy who demonstrates that he really gets it wrt the magnitude of our energy problems and comes up with an appropriate policy response. And on that score, it’s frankly not looking very good for Obama.

  86. 86
    w vincentz says:

    My two pennies…
    McSame should not be targeted for his age. Period.
    His mental deficencies have been apparent for quite a while.
    Should it be mentioned that he graduated in the BOTTOM 1% of his class at Annapolis? Or that his behavior at the Naval Academy was overlooked because both his father and grandfather were four star admirals?
    Sure, Johnnie isn’t quite the frat boy that Georgie has demonstrated both before and after his appointment to the presidency, and it’s certain that Johnnie isn’t nearly as an accomplished dancer. One thing that Johnnie knows is bar-b-q. Yes, Cindy plaragarizes her recipes from the Food Network, and Hershey’s websites. So what? Johnnie would never, repeat, NEVER stoop to that trollip’s behavior.
    Who do you think taught Hillary to do voldka shots on their trip to Germany? Didn’t Hillary show the folks in PA all she learned by downing the crown royal and beer chasers?
    Johnnie’s thoughts (or lack thereof) seem cloudy not due to his age, but rather to the vast amounts of alcohol that have caused brain damage.
    Give a drunk a break, and don’t call him an OLD drunk.
    Cheers! Johnnie!

  87. 87
    Zifnab says:

    Making fun of John McCain for scars from cancer surgery and injuries incurred during his stint in the Hanoi Hilton is absolutely disgusting. If you can do that, and not feel bad about it, you must really get a lot of yucks by going over to Walter Reed and making fun of the “cripples”. Shame on you, and you know who you are.

    When Walter Reed veterans all get together and filibuster the Webb GI Bill or vote to allow the CIA to continue water boarding Gitmo detainees to give false confessions or hire lobbyists and take money from PACs that support Burma military juntas, then I’ll personally go over to that hospital and dance on their war-torn asses.

    McCain voided his rights to pity years ago.

  88. 88
    Church Lady says:

    Zifnab- Why didn’t you use the first sentence – you know, they one where I said it is FAIR to attack McCain on his policies. Oh – didn’t that fit your narrative. Asshole.

  89. 89
    w vincentz says:

    Do church ladies call others “asshole”?

  90. 90
    Church Lady says:

    Even though my halo may get slightly tarnished, when I see one – yes, yes I do.

  91. 91
    chopper says:

    i won’t comment on mcthuselah’s age. that wouldn’t be nice.

    of course, compared to his ideas he’s a spring chicken.

  92. 92
    Cassidy says:

    And I think it’ll fly just about as well as a golf cart full of bricks.

    You’re not using enough C-4.

  93. 93
    grumpy realist says:

    If you don’t want to come across as an old fart, better not refer to political figures nobody outside of American History wonks remember….

    We’re all tiptoeing around the fact that a hell of a lot of politicians are getting pretty far up there in years, along with potential loss of senility etc. (Not to say that all people that old have problems–some of the most aggressive and brilliant businessmen out there right now are in their 70s and 80s.)

    My own feeling is that McCain seems to be clueless enough about economic, financial, and technological reality–who cares if it is due to his age, lack of retraining, or whatever. The fact is, the man isn’t competent to be in charge of the US.

  94. 94
    w vincentz says:

    Church Lady,
    I wasn’t asking for a fuckin’ confession. I’m not a priest, rabbi, nor pastor….though, I DO have a halo.
    (wink)
    Just toss a few more Benjamins in the plate when it comes by and I’m sure everything will be just OK. OK?

  95. 95
    ThymeZone says:

    I wouldn’t demand a body count in the “fight” between sexism and racism.

    Uh huh, when you have one for sexism, let me know. But getting one for lynchings of blacks might be doable.

    Why the latter and not the former? Because when you see a black man strung up from a tree, there is not a lot of ambiguity about why he is hanging there, is there?

    Whereas, half the people in the world are female (more or less) and it would be damned near impossible to ascribe many murdered females to sexism.

    Do you see the grotesquely obvious difference? You might not, being a stupid spoof, but others may, and if so, I win.

  96. 96
    The Other Steve says:

    http://www.lessjobsmorewar.com

    Some funny videos showing mcCain before and after quotes.

  97. 97
    Emma Anne says:

    I’m old enough to remember the circus that was Reagan’s second term, when Nancy and the staff were actually running things. For me, McCain’s age is an issue. He’s older than Reagan was in 1980, and I think Reagan was in better shape for his age than McCain is.

    Grumpy took the words out of my mouth. This is the President we are talking about. Senators can be doddering. Even Supreme Court Justices. The President needs to be fully on top of it. I do not think McCain’s age or health is irrelevant. Not at all.

    However, I also think that, strategically, we don’t need to raise it and look like big meanies. Every time the repubs yell at us for implying he’s old, they remind everyone how old he is. And if that doesn’t do it, watching him try to speak off the cuff will seal the deal.

  98. 98
    Tom in Texas says:

    I wouldn’t trust McCain to drive me to the grocery store.

  99. 99
    handy says:

    All the concern trolling about McSame’s age is frustrating. We’ve had to put up with 7 1/2 years of Rovian rat-fscking bullcrap from the Republicans, and people want to handle St. BBQ’s age with kid gloves. As if that kind of nuanced “oh we’re better than they are” meme is going to get any kind of traction when the media starts writing whatever narrative it decides it wants to write.

    Call me cynical but I’ll take whatever we can get that will put FUD in people’s minds about the OTHER guy for once, because God knows the Democrats have been victim to this for too long.

    I don’t mean to insult people’s sense of their own respectability, but c’mon, people this is politics. And frankly, supposed ageism wrt McCain is not the stuff of soul-selling and compromising. There’s far worse BS issues we could drum about him in going negative.

    Like, for example….

    Wait, on second thought, none of the negatives on McCain are BS, I take that back. Carry on.

  100. 100
    liberal says:

    Koz wrote,

    Dovetailing with this, I suspect the winner of the election will be the first guy who demonstrates that he really gets it wrt the magnitude of our energy problems and comes up with an appropriate policy response. And on that score, it’s frankly not looking very good for Obama.

    LOL!

    After McCain calls for more drilling in US coastal waters. It appears that he’s ignorant that (a) oil is a fungible commodity (b) traded on world markets.

  101. 101
    TenguPhule says:

    I suspect the winner of the election will be the first guy who demonstrates that he really gets it wrt the magnitude of our energy problems and comes up with an appropriate policy response. And on that score, Fuckstain McCain Sucks Donkey Balls.

    Corrected for accuracy.

  102. 102
    Koz says:

    After McCain calls for more drilling in US coastal waters. It appears that he’s ignorant that (a) oil is a fungible commodity (b) traded on world markets.

    That’s the point genius. There’s more buyers than sellers in the world oil market, and our economy is taking the hit for it. Because it’s such a strong pocketbook issue, whoever can establish credibility that they can turn this around will win the election.

    So far Obama is talking about an oil windfall tax. He’s got a long way to go.

  103. 103
    Sherrell says:

    Just a thought…but if John McCain keeps responding to questions about his changing position on key issues with “I don’t know what you’re talking about or I don’t recall ever saying that” doesn’t that open the door to question his age?

  104. 104
    Sherrell says:

    Just a thought…but if John McCain keeps responding to questions about his changing position on key issues with “I don’t know what you’re talking about or I don’t recall ever saying that” doesn’t that open the door to question his age?

  105. 105
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    Just a thought…but if John McCain keeps responding to questions about his changing position on key issues with “I don’t know what you’re talking about or I don’t recall ever saying that” doesn’t that open the door to question his age?

    No, that only affirms his status as a Republican.

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