I don't object to the idea behind Obama's latest ad. Computer literacy of a Presidential candidate is a legitimate issue:
Obama spokesman Dan Pfeiffer said the campaign was not making an issue of the 72-year-old McCain's age, but the time he's spent in Washington.But don't the Dems claim to be compassionate? And don't they insist they're cognizant of objective reality (unlike neo-cons like me)?. Because the ad, and its cheerleaders, are insulting and wrong:
"Our economy wouldn't survive without the Internet, and cyber-security continues to represent one our most serious national security threats," Pfeiffer said. "It's extraordinary that someone who wants to be our president and our commander in chief doesn't know how to send an e-mail."
- Boston Globe, March 4, 2000: "McCain's severe war injuries prevent him from combing his hair, typing on a keyboard, or tying his shoes."
- Slate, February 11, 2000: "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."
- Forbes, May 29, 2000: "In certain ways, McCain was a natural Web candidate. Chairman of the Senate Telecommunications Subcommittee and regarded as the U.S. Senate's savviest technologist, McCain is an inveterate devotee of email. His nightly ritual is to read his email together with his wife, Cindy. The injuries he incurred as a Vietnam POW make it painful for McCain to type. Instead, he dictates responses that his wife types on a laptop. "She's a whiz on the keyboard, and I'm so laborious," McCain admits."
- New York Times interview, July 11, 2008: "Q: What websites if any do you look at regularly?
Mr. McCain: Brooke and Mark show me Drudge, obviously, everybody watches, for better or for worse, Drudge. 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.
Q: Do you use a blackberry or email?
Mr. McCain: No
Mark Salter: He uses a BlackBerry, just ours.
Mr. McCain: I use the Blackberry, but I don’t e-mail, I’ve never felt the particular need to e-mail. I read e-mails all the time, but the communications that I have with my friends and staff are oral and done with my cell phone. I have the luxury of being in contact with them literally all the time. We now have a phone on the plane that is usable on the plane, so I just never really felt a need to do it. But I do -- could I just say, really -- I understand the impact of blogs on American politics today and political campaigns. I understand that. And I understand that something appears on one blog, can ricochet all around and get into the evening news, the front page of The New York Times. So, I do pay attention to the blogs. And I am not in any way unappreciative of the impact that they have on entire campaigns and world opinion."
All of this is well known--except to the Obama campaign. As National Review's Mark Steyn observes:
It's extraordinary that someone who wants to be our president and our commander in chief knows how to send an e-mail ...but not how to do a five-minute Google search.As Ace of Spades says:
What you are now seeing is Obama's performance in aRemember this the next time someone says Republicans are dumb.
Are you reassured? Are you looking forward to the cool judgment and steady wisdom of President Barack Obama in a true crisis?
Headline on the LA Times Top of the Ticket blog:
Oops, Obama ad mocks McCain's inability to send e-mail. Trouble is, he can't due to tortured fingersSimilarly, see Jake Tapper on ABC's blog:
Assuredly McCain isn't comfortable talking about this -- and the McCain campaign discouraged me from writing about this -- but the reason the aged Arizonan doesn't use a computer or send email is because of his war wounds.MORE & MORE:
I realize some of the nastier liberals in the blogosphere will see this as McCain once again "playing the POW card," but it's simply a fact: typing on a regular keyboard for any sustained period of time bothers McCain physically.
He can type, he occasionally does type, but in general the injuries he sustained as a POW -- ones that make it impossible for him to raise his arms high enough to comb his hair -- mean that small tasks make his shoulders ache, so he tries to avoid any repetitive exercise.
Jonah Goldberg on The Corner:
Hilarious. The Boston Globe is fact-checking itself on the keyboard thing, to Obama's favor.MORE3:
OBH in comments:
No need to fact-check when you don't believe in the concept of facts themselves.(via The Corner, Instapundit, Anchor Rising, MaxedOutMama, Right Wing News, Commentary)