And The Winner Is… McCain

If tonights debate had to be summed up in one phrase only one comes to mind:

“What a disaster”

When even Republican bloggers are referring to tonight’s debate as “nothing but Republican water-carrying” you know something has gone off-track. This wasn’t so much a debate as an extended lesson in right-wing personality attack politics, nearly all of which was directed squarely at Barack Obama. From carping on lapel pins to obsessing over Wright the moderators seemed more interested in gossip than any of the, you know, issues. From Andrew Sullivan:

No questions on the environment, none on terror, none on interrogation, none on torture, none on education, none on spending, none on healthcare, none on Iran … but four separate questions in the first hour about a lapel-pin, Bitter-gate, Wright-gate and Ayers. I’m all for keeping candidates on their toes. But this was ridiculous.

They might as well have moved the entire thing to Fox News, it would have been a better fit. You could practically feel yourself getting dumber just watching.

But, as I said, the real winner of this “debate” is John McCain. I hope he had an intern keeping notes because tonight’s performance was practically made to be a case-example for the right wing playbook come this fall. Again, Andrew Sullivan:

[…] one of the worst media performances I can remember – petty, shallow, process-obsessed, trivial where substantive, and utterly divorced from the actual issues that Americans want to talk about. At the end of the debate, it appeared that the crowd was actually heckling Gibson. “The crowd is turning on me!” complained Gibson. He has no idea. But he will soon enough.

I’m with Atrios, it’s time to complain.

Main ABC switchboard: +1 (212) 456-7777

Better yet, complain with your dollars. Who knows, we may not have to. As Avinash Tyagi states in the comments section over at Donklephant there’s a good chance, though not certainty, that this might be a net positive for Sen. Obama.

I think Obama might get a net benefit from this, people are ticked at the debate and what they percieve as an MSM assault on Obama, I would not be surprised if Hillary overreached and came off as being mean and Obama actually got a bump in money and even support in the polls, I think the boos are telling.

If I come off as a particularly defensive (and ticked) Obama supporter tonight I apologize. There’s only so much any self-respecting liberal can take, and tonight’s “debate” crossed that threshold by leaps and bounds.

It’s time for a shot and a beer, g’night.

(edited by DrGail)

5 Responses to “And The Winner Is… McCain”

  1. Bostondreams says:

    Hell of a good point. I never thought I would see the day when I would agree with Jonah ‘the walking Godwin Alert’ Goldberg. What a travesty. And of course our friend Taylor is gleeful.

  2. In some ways I’m hopeful that this sort of nonsense just isn’t going to work this year. I’m hopeful that people aren’t willing to be dragged down to this level. Things have just got too bad in this country. I think all Obama has to do is keep on with what he said at one point in tonight’s debate (I’m paraphrasing off the top of my head so…) “The idea that I should be responsible for the things that everyone I know says or does is ridiculous.” And that is it you know with Ayers, Wright, Rezco.. It’s all about people he knows. And then with “bitter” it’s all about taking one thing he said and taking it wildly out context. He has to keep talking about the issues – I am hopeful that this year people will respond to that. That he has the core likability to make that work combined with the hard times in the country and the sickness of 8 years of Bush…

  3. Dynamic says:

    And check out this miserable coverage:

    We expect this sort of shoddy crap from Gibson and his ilk, but I would like to see better from the NYT.

    This is an excellent opportunity to write to your local paper, to the NYT, and to ABC, and let them know that we’re sick of this shit – and highlight it by bringing up the truly massive story of the decade, that the VP and our highest officials met in a secret conclave to specifically condone torture. It is up to us to make sure that story receives every bit of light it deserves.

  4. Kathy says:

    I did not see the debate, but after skimming through the mountains of outrage of ABC’s conduct of same, I think this might work to Obama’s advantage. Any sense that Obama did not handle the questions as well as he could have are probably overcome by the sense that Stephanopoulos and Gibson made asses of themselves and treated both candidates and their audience as if they were complete idiots.

  5. It’s possible, but I’m not even going to begin to try to predict at this point.

    Less than a week to go and it still feels as though the worst has yet to come.


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