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Posts Tagged ‘Karl Trollve’

Welcome to what we hope is the first in many roundtable discussions about the goings on in the hilarious world of American politics. While a few of our contributors are indisposed for this first installment, 4 of Bandit Pulpit’s most obnoxious personalities are here to give you the business concerning John McCain’s decision to suspend his campaign as the mushroom cloud that is our economy continues to cast a shadow over Wall Street and Main Street.

With that being said, heeeeeeerrrrrrrrrreeeeeee we go!

Karl Trollve

It’s brilliant! True grit and leadership! It’s “country first!” Mac’s the only candidate in this election who really knows the economy! It’s a game-changer!

It’s a ploy! A stunt! The man’s in over his head and wants to dive deeper! Barney Frank is right — he’s trying to swoop in and take credit for something that’s already getting done! Of course he wants to cancel the debate — the economy is the last thing McCain wants to talk about — not just ever, but especially right now! It’s Sarah Palin times 10!

Phew. Ol’ Karl’s head is spinning. The McCain “suspension” (I use the quotes because he still gets wall-to-wall coverage without having to spend a dime on campaign ads; he’s off the trail but very visible; he’s not running but right in your face; on and on) is all the above things and more. This is the ultimate test of the spin-doctors and opinion-peddlers. May the shrewdest and most cunning win!

This is Karl politics, and it makes me proud. Don’t wage the war on facts and objectivity — the battle is to be fought and won in the realm of perceptions. Who looks and acts presidential? How does this feel? (Oh, and don’t forget: Who would you rather have a beer with? I know that might seem irrelevant in our current crisis, but trust me — it’s the ultimate presidential litmus test, even when your guy says he doesn’t actually drink.)

I’d be inclined to admit it’s a dangerous gambit to lay your fate upon the perceptions of the masses. Because, remember, the people are dumb. But that’s the brilliance of Karl politics — the more transparently cynical and can’t-pass-the-smell-test a ploy is, the better chance it has of leaving the populace drooling over themselves and begging for more.

John McCain, The Original Maverick. The Conquering Economic Hero. Cue “Hail to the Chief.”

Rofl Blitzer

McCain suggesting that presidential campaigning be suspended is just another gimmick dressed up as “putting country first.” I’m putting this move in the same category as picking Sarah Palin as his running mate. It is political theater. Nothing more than a stunt designed to dupe voters into thinking McCain is some über-patriot who will sacrifice whatever is necessary for our amber waves of grain and purple mountain majesties.

My opinion is that McCain sees himself sliding in the polls and, suspending campaigning “for the good of the country” is the easiest way to stop the bleeding. Points to Obama for calling McCain on this say boldly saying “we can do both.” I would much rather support a candidate who can handle multiple things at once rather than someone who can only focus on one serious issue at a time.

David zomGergen

Surreal. It’s the only word I can think of. I have a hard time imagining John McCain “rushing” anywhere, let alone to save the economy. One can only wonder if history will look back and say “If not for John McCain the United States would have been helpless to resist the coming destruction of their financial markets.” It somehow falls short of “If not for Superman the world would surely have fallen into chaos at the hands of the evil Brainiac.”

I write this in the wake of David Letterman’s 2 night tirade on McCain canceling his appearance, a fair amount of clever comparative editing on behalf of the Daily Show, and a lot of general reflection on the news coverage regarding the financial crisis.

For me the most adequate point came from Letterman’s scathing critique. In short: If you have to leave the campaign trail to tend to important Washington business, fine. You leave your VP in charge and you leave your campaign running. The notion that you suspend your campaign and delay debates (through which the American people will arguably get their first glimpse at pseudo-unfiltered dialog on the issues upon which you will be ELECTED)…strikes me as absurd and disrespectful to the American people and to the democratic process.

Let’s have a little less political theater and a little more content. This nation IS in a crisis no doubt, on many fronts. That they need leadership is beyond question. In light of that we need information, we need direction, vision, and intelligent dialog regarding those issue which will define the next 4 years and much farther beyond, NOT another press conference of political posturing with LOTS of talk and LITTLE meaning.

Rush Limblog

This whole “suspending the campaign” move reeks. Every move the McCain campaign insists is genuine is just the opposite. All McCain and his advisers want to do is derail the news cycle that continues to expose his deficiencies as a candidate when it comes to the economy. The same policies and pleas for deregulation that McCain has been calling for have gotten us into this mess… Go ahead and add that on top of the fact that an advocacy group run by Rick Davis (McCain’s campaign manager) called Homeownership Alliance has been collecting lobbying fees from Freddie Mac since 2005, and you have a campaign disaster… But you see, this disaster is all self-inflicted. McCain is the one who insisted that the fundamentals of our economy are still strong, that deregulation is the only way, and that Obama’s thin connections to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are worthy of attack while insisting that his campaign manager has no ties to either company.

The same goes for you too, Johnny Mac.

The same goes for you too, Johnny Mac.

McCain wanted to slow down this campaign and postpone the debate because he knows that he would get torn apart and his numbers would continue to plummet… Regardless of the fact that the debate is supposed to center on foreign policy and national security, it is inevitable that the economy would be brought up. There is NO reason for McCain to go to Washington during the bailout negotiations other than to skip out on the debate and artificially boost his already horrible economic credentials. Even tonight, reports are coming out that McCain is sabotaging the negotiations with the help of the Bush administration, hoping to draw them out so he can have a reason to not debate Barack Obama on the issues. The fact is that McCain cannot win on the issues… The only chance he has to win is to continue to distract this country from his disastrous flaws and shortcomings; use dirty tactics like THIS or THIS or THIS (proof positive that McCain is a total d-bag); or hope that white America is still scared by brown skin and funny sounding names.

Suspend the campaign? Fine by me… Just don’t expect us to buy that this is anything but a bailout for your campaign.

A Rofl Blitzer Production

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Your opinion is completely irrelevant. So’s mine. And your neighbor’s, and your grandmother’s. And your schmuck friends who fancy themselves politically and informationally superior because they majored in PoliSci and read blogs all day.

Don’t believe me? Head on over to RealClearPolitics or any other nonpartisan political op-ed aggregator. Look over the day’s offerings.

Try this: Read all the pieces whose headlines appear pro-(your candidate). How do you feel? Great, right? Now read all the columns supporting the other guy. Life sucks, doesn’t it? Step away from the cliff.

(This is also a great experiment for investigating the short-term effects of bipolar disorder.)

Contrasting opinions – political ones, especially – can certainly set the head to spinning. You start to wonder how one person can be so convinced of this or that position, while elsewhere the very opposite mindset has so equally strong an advocate. Indeed, sometimes compelling cases are to be made for both sides. Excuse me while I lapse into violent, convulsing fits of anxiety and befuddlement.

True, not everyone is vulnerable to the persuasive forces of argumentation. (These hardliners live on both ends of the spectrum. We’ll take everyone to task, regardless of ideology. But don’t blame us if the balance starts to tilt in one direction.) There is undoubtedly a comfort in going through life gifted with unflinching clarity and conviction. But this can come at a price – the more invested in one position a person becomes, the harder to shift from that stance. And as the evidence mounts, those who’ve dug their heels in the deepest look all the more foolish for their stubbornness. Toss in the world’s strongest dose of executive and military authority, and now we’re not just shaking our heads in detached, knowing pity – we’re ducking for cover and wondering whether it’s time to kiss our asses goodbye.

All this is to say that, for us, political opinion isn’t good enough. Talking points aren’t good enough. Campaigns, pundits, The Fourth Estate – they cannot be relied upon to deliver straight, unfiltered information. More importantly, we know that they can in fact be relied upon to be either the source of or conduit for misinformation, deception, distractions or outright lies. We subscribe to the crazy notion that no one, of any political stripe, should tolerate that.

But to be honest, this puts us in a potentially awkward position. See, our job here at Bandit Pulpit will be to wallow our way through the crap and misdirections being bandied about this election season and give you something akin to sensible, fact-based analysis and …

(wait for it …)

… opinion.

Whoops.

While plenty of things (Sarah Palin’s meandering stance on the Bridge to Nowhere, just to take an example) are subject to that inconvenient thing called fact-based scrutiny, still others live in that gray zone where – shudder – opinion is about the only alternative to playing the he-said-she-said game.

Example: Was Barack Obama really slyly calling Sarah Palin a pig when he used the older-than-John-McCain “lipstick on a pig” metaphor to compare McCain’s proposals to Bush’s record? Ultimately, only Barrack Obama knows the answer to that. But can we opine (hey, that rhymes with “porcine”) that only the most conspiracy-minded shit-stirrers would go down that road, given how asinine the argument is on its face. (John McCain used the same metaphor about a Hillary Clinton proposal once; Obama had not mentioned Palin at all in the speech at that point; it’s a damn colloquialism; and so on.) Not to mention the fact that the McCain ad crying foul on this “insult” went so far as to identify the out-of-context Obama quote as “Obama on Palin,” and then use a months-old Katie Couric remark about sexism during Hillary Clinton’s campaign to imply that Couric was castigating Obama for his alleged sexism in “the Campaign” – which reasonable people might foolishly assume meant “this Current Campaign, the One Going On Right Now.”

So things like Pig-gate may not be 100% cut and dried. But can we offer a reasonable fact-and-opinion-based analysis of this kind of scenario in the interest of calling out BS where it rears its stinky, fly-infested head? You betcha. (Say this last line with a charming Wasilla accent. And watch America’s heart melt.)

We’ll try to check in every so often with some of the more eggregious crap-peddling being offered under the veneer of “political analysis.” (Notice how that second word carries such a more authoritative air than “opinion”? Any dumbass can have an opinion. But only experts – who you should listen to – can offer analysis.) It should be fun. Having to swallow your own vomit for lack of a proper recepticle usually is.

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