LITTLE WEIRD STUFFS:
1) The economy of the past eight years: you would never know there was a devastating attack on the financial center of the country seven years ago, that all stock trading and transportation was shut down for a week, and that this alone could have plunged the country (and therefore the world) into a depression had it not been handled carefully and wisely. Then there were two wars. John McCain should not be ashamed to talk about them and how we have managed to wage them without spending anywhere near the proportion of GDP spent in WWII.
2) The mopey-faced conclusion of the Fox News dudes and dudesses is that Obama has won all three debates, due, as much as anything, to his presidential-looking calm and coolness. I'm not sure I agree on that. I found him smug and smirky (not as bad as Gore eight years ago, but worse than Kerry four years ago), aloof, and BORING.
"Calm" is one way to put it -- I think it's something more disturbing than that. I'd call it sangfroid. It might have more to do with this, from Jim Geraghty:
To make a long story short, Obama doesn't endorse terrorism, he doesn't endorse Wright/Pfleger racism and America bashing, he doesn't endorse Rezko fraud, he doesn't endorse ACORN election-stealing and bank-busting. He doesn't really wish any harm to infants struggling for life after botched abortions.
I think it was Dean Barnett who noted that Obama likes to think of himself as a bridge-builder... To be a bridge-builder, you have to stand in between two opposing groups. You can't pass judgment, or denounce, or conclude that one side has crossed the line. You have to ignore the provocations of a side, urge people to forget past wrongdoing, and convince wary and hurt combatants take leaps of faith in trusting the other.
If you can really build a bridge between two groups that hate each other, God bless you. It's one of the world's toughest tasks.
But sometimes, both sides aren't equally at fault. Some folks deserve to be judged and denounced. Sometimes, provocations can't be ignored, past wrongdoings shouldn't be forgotten, and leaps of faith are exercises in naivete. Sometimes, you just can't build a bridge with someone.
In Ayers, as well as Wright, Rezko, and the ACORN shenanigans, we see that Obama repeatedly tolerates the intolerable. He's the opposite of quick to judge; he refuses to judge until long after it would do any good. Long after everybody else has figured out the character of his associates, Obama is left lamenting, "This is not the Jeremiah Wright I knew" or "This is not the Tony Rezko I knew" or "This is not the Jim Johnson I knew." And on and on. Obama is always giving people with well-established track records the benefit of the doubt, often to his own detriment; as President, he'll bring that same judgment to decisions that affect the country.
If you want to build a bridge with Iran, you can't denounce Ahmadinejad. If you want to improve relations with Venezuela, you can't put the spotlight on human rights abuses. If you want a successful summit with Syria, you have to pretend they weren't building a nuclear reactor on that site Israel bombed.
William Ayers is one mislaid wire away from being Timothy McVeigh, and remembered as one of America's most bloodthirsty terrorists and unforgivable traitors. There's no indication that Ayers' history of building bombs that claimed lives caused Obama a moment's hesitation.
That's what their relationship teaches us.
But he doesn't really mind any of it either.
As he floats along on the candy-floss river of messianic momentum, Obama just doesn't give a crap who's on the boat with him as long as it takes him where he wants to go.
Under the circumstances, it's easy to look calm. And cool. Very, very cool. Sangfroid.
3) Sometimes it's stunning which tidbits of homework McCain either hasn't done, or can't call up when the crunch comes. That's how Obama gets away with the usual gaggle of bald-faced lies. Here's a tasty selection:
--No connection with ACORN beyond legal representation on one case.
--Not implicated in approval of Ayers' murderous radicalism.
--Did not vote in favor of raising taxes on those earning over $42K.
--Did not launch his political career in Bill Ayers' livingroom.
--"Ten years ago [Ayers] and I served on a school reform board." Their active collaboration began no later than 1995, possibly much earlier, and continued until 2004, through a succession of board memberships.
--100% of McCain ads have been negative.
--Did not support the deliberate infanticide-by-neglect of children born alive after failed abortions. [This is the LIE OF THE NIGHT. Every word he uttered about his record on this issue was a demonstrable lie.]
There were probably others. I wasn't writing them down.
This is someting else you can get good at if you're calm. And cool.
4) Cool-guy euphemisms:
--Ayers engaged in "despicable acts" with a "radical domestic-- group."
translation: he planned and carried out terrorist bombings of public buildings and private homes which killed people -- one planned bombing did not occur because the bomb-makers accidentally blew themselves up -- their target was a military dance, with many civilians, and the death toll would have exceeded the Oklahoma City bombing.
--Ayers' bombings took place "forty years ago, when I was 8 years old"
translation: this makes it sound like Ayers is a mellowed old dude who is no longer a threat to anyone. If you believe this, read what the guy has been up to in the last forty minutes, in pursuit of destroying young minds and perverting the education system beyond recognition, in the name of revolution. Start here.
5) Joe the Plumber.
[No, not that guy on the right, from Whitby, Ontario.]
By far the best thing to come out of this debate is the elevation of yet another normal guy (in addition to the Palins) to the national spotlight. Joe Wurzelbacher is an Ohio plumber who dared to suggest that perhaps the Emperor Obama's tax plan had no clothes -- at least not for him, as he had worked hard and was hoping to buy his own business, a move that would thrust him into Obama's category of rich people who will see their taxes raised.
Obama was all sympathy for poor Joe, and assured him it wasn't personal -- "It's not that I want to punish your success; I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you that they've got a chance to success, too. I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody."
Marx couldn't have said it better. Joe was not amused.
This guy on the right.
God love ya, Joe. Welcome to your 15 minutes.