I’m working from home today, so I can’t take too long on this. But a few things popped up that I wanted to write about, and I’m not going to be able to work until I get ’em off my chest.
1) Maureen Dowd Pwns McCain on the POW Thing
2) Michelle Obama makes my heart go boom.
3) PUMAs scare me.
Read more by clicking “read more.”
Thing one: Maureen Dowd on John McCain: Shut Up About The POW Thing
There was one time, one lone, solitary time, when I sort of agreed with something Ann Coulter said. Not the actual words that dripped out of her pen, mind you, but the point she was trying to make. About a year ago, Ms. Coulter described the 9-11 widows – the Jersey Girls – as:
“self-obsessed women [who] seem genuinely unaware that 9-11 was an attack on our nation and acted like as if the terrorist attack only happened to them. They believe the entire country was required to marinate in their exquisite personal agony. Apparently, denouncing Bush was part of the closure process.”
It was vile, sure, but her ultimate point (as she sort of said on the Today show) was this: because of their status as victims, you couldn’t argue with anything they had to say. And, as a complaint about rhetoric, it holds up. She then went on to completely undermine her own position by basically saying that, just because Cindy Sheehan’s son was killed in Iraq, that’s no reason for Ms. Sheehan to whine on about it so. (In other words, “victims” who disagree with Ann aren’t allowed to share their opinions.)
The point she almost made, however, was valid, and I didn’t realize it until Maureen Dowd pointed it out about John McCain’s POW status. I first noticed this around the time of his anti-Hillary ad, where he accused her of trying to spend a million dollars on a Woodstock museum. Never mind the fact that only old, cranky people who didn’t get laid in the sixties care – his ultimate point was that he missed Woodstock because he was “tied up at the time.” Suppose you were, John. Well done.
It struck me as a little odd, though, and I wasn’t sure why until today. The idea of a rhetorical trump card – the idea that “you can’t argue with me, because I’m a victim” – kind of bothers me, no matter who’s playing it. I personally don’t believe that the 9-11 widows really played the victim card, nor do I think Cindy Sheehan is. I’m not saying you’d ever be able to convince Cindy that going to Iraq was a good idea, but you could, conceivably, say “I’m sorry for your loss, but there’s a greater good…” etc. etc. Also, if you were to start an argument with Cindy Sheehan or the 9-11 widows about economics or health care, it’s doubtful they would ever say “well, you’re wrong because I lost a loved one and that’s that.”
John McCain, though… doesn’t remember how many houses he owns. Fine. His wife’s into real estate, some of the properties he owns are rentals, it’s an understandable gaffe. It’s a little rich of him (no pun intended) to tell us the economy’s peachy and that the Democrats are the ones who are “out of touch” when the vast majority of Americans own (at most) one house, and the fact that he leaves “the money stuff” to his wife does not bode well for our national debt. At the end of the day, however, it says more about McCain being tired after campaigning than it does about his character.
So, when Jay Leno asked him, last night “so, how many houses do you own…” and McCain responded by saying, more or less, “you know, I was a POW, and I didn’t have a kitchen table…” it was a little weird. Also, it was more than a little annoying. The fact that John McCain was a POW has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that he doesn’t know how many houses he owns. And, frankly, the fact that I needed to type the previous sentence makes me want to weep for our national politic. The fact that McCain thinks he can bring up the POW thing every time he’s backed into a corner says a lot more about his character than his ignorance of real estate.
Sure, it was the defining moment of his life, and we owe him a debt of gratitude for his service, and all the things you’re supposed to say about him blah blah di blah, but seriously, if John McCain is ever caught on video cooking and eating a puppy dog in front of a Nazi flag while wearing a prom dress, I’ll bet you a quarter he brings up the POW thing.
Thing Two: Michelle Obama is hot.
Here’s her speech last night. It’s become sort of a cliche to say that she seems “real”, but she does. She has an easy glamour that isn’t contrived or studied, but which seems to come naturally. She has poise, but she’s startlingly familiar, like someone you met long ago, but can’t quite place….
…all right. I have a crush on Michelle Obama.
The kids are cute, too. Skip ahead to the last four minutes or so for what is, pretty much, the most adorable DNC moment evar!!!1!.
Thing three: The PUMA thing.
PUMA stands for “Party Unity, My Ass,” and a “PUMA” is a Democratic Hillary Clinton supporter who’s so pissed off that she didn’t get the nomination that they’re going to vote for John McCain. Most of these PUMAs are, supposedly, women in their 50s and 60s who think they’re never going to see a woman as President and think Obama only got the nomination because he’s a man, and men have it sooooo easy, especially black men who grew up poor in America and with names like Barack Hussein Obama.
Yeah, it doesn’t make much sense to me either.
I honestly think that a lot of these so-called PUMAs are middle-of-the-road types, who appreciated Hillary’s centrism, experience, and working-class appeal. They might think Sen. Obama doesn’t have the experience, they might disagree with him, and honestly, that’s fine. They’re wrong, of course, but that’s fine.
However, if there are any “PUMAs” out there voting for McCain because they’re pissed off that a woman didn’t win, then they should know how very, very stupid they’re being. It’s like they’re vegetarians, and the restaurant just ran out of tofu, so, out of spite, they order the veal.
(I spent like 20 minutes on that metaphor, and it still sucks. Sorry about that.)
All right, back to work. Tonight: Hillary tries to rally the troops, Joe Biden shows us how much ass he kicks, and the Obama girls will sing Christmas carols adorably off-key.