Let’s Mock the Cripple

The Onion‘s greatest book, Our Dumb Century, is a fake retrospective of 100 years of front pages of a fake newspaper. The Onion is imagined to have historically been a far-right newspaper, and one if its attacks against President Franklin Roosevelt supposedly was, “Why does our joyless President never dance?” The joke, of course, is that only a clueless, cruel, or both campaign would use a serious physical disability as an attempt to score campaign points.

The Obama campaign proves that life imitates art — or at least that their campaign imitates satire.

First, the disability

The Corner on National Review Online
McCain gets emotional at the mention of military families needing food stamps or veterans lacking health care. The outrage comes from inside: McCain’s severe war injuries prevent him from combing his hair, typing on a keyboard, or tying his shoes. Friends marvel at McCain’s encyclopedic knowledge of sports. He’s an avid fan – Ted Williams is his hero – but he can’t raise his arm above his shoulder to throw a baseball.

And now, the joke:

No wonder Obama has panicked.

10 thoughts on “Let’s Mock the Cripple”

  1. Ebert’s summary is great. 🙂

    McCain also reads politics, realclearpolitics, and drudge, according to the New York Times [1].

    Presumably he is using some sort of assistance device or (more likely, especially considering that he travels every day) has someone do the physical tasks for him so he can enjoy the end-result.

    [1] http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/13/us/politics/13text-mccain.html?_r=4&oref=slogin&pagewanted=print&oref=slogin&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

  2. The quote about McCain’s disability is from a Boston Globe article in 2000. It is not a recent contrivance.

    There are a number of articles on the internet that speak of the help he gets for computer use.

  3. Certainly no mention of the McCain claims Obama wanted to teach sex ed to kids in kindergarten here.

    I remember a far different McCain years ago. One who would have been able to tear asunder Obama’s record and personality without resorting to such lies.

    The continuing embarrassment that is Sarah Palin’s myth of competence and maverick status will continue unchallenged since segments of the media foolishly attacked her personally over her teenage daughter.

    Makes me wish for Romney or Jindal….

  4. To clarify what I am sure will be a rejoinder; anyone who finds teaching K-6 kids about inappropriate touching “sex ed” of the sort that ad is implying has as big a problem with the truth.

    Obama’s attack of McCain for not e-mailing is dumb in so many ways!

    But, for McCain to commit himself to the sort of lies and 3/4 lies he has lately in ads and statements is a far greater mistake.

    Chuck Spinney, close collaborator of John Boyd, explains why.

    http://jamesfallows.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/09/larger_strategic_issues.php#more

  5. Eddie

    In any kind of comparison of lies and personal attacks between the parties, the unremitting high pressure stream of sewage that greeted the announcement of Sarah Palin’s candidacy makes any appeal to decency from any Democrat laughable.

    However, after the Clinton years it is nice to read that a Democrat thinks that telling lies is a bad thing. The Democrat talking points in those days were that everybody does it and that lying is no big deal.

  6. Spinney’s comment is humorous, as (a) it is the second mainstream OODA article I’ve seen and (b) it is the one that is isolated from objective markers of reality.

    See also Michael Barone’s “McCain flies his campaign past Obama” [1,2]

    As purpleslog mentioned, Obama is on a ’tilt.’ If he’s actually receiving Spinney’s sort of justifications for that tilt, good. Obama should not be President. [3]

    I don’t get why, if Obama thinks sexed in kindergarten is a good idea, he doesn’t say so. (I mean, for a reason outside of political expedience). Eddie points out that a certain degree of sex ed may decrease incidence of unreported abuse (at the unstated price of increasing the incidence of false reports, especially in physically intimate cultures such as hispanics). That’s a valid political position, with real pluses and minuses. The McCain ad implies that sex ed in kindergarten is bad all cases. The response of Obama apologists, such as Eddie, is to deny that such a debate has or can take place.

    While of course I use my blog to express my opinions, Eddie’s accusation of bias here is unfounded, as the very next post on the blog criticizes Palin’s Obama-like cult of personality [4].

    Mark in Texas makes a good analogy to the 1990s. The Democratic Party has seemingly learned nothing from either to Republicans ’90s personal attacks against Bill and Hillary.

    [1] http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/09/mccain_flies_his_campaign_past.html
    [2] http://hgworld.blogspot.com/2008/09/mccain-and-ooda-loop.html
    [3] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2008/04/06/why-i-support-john-mccain.html
    [4] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2008/09/12/good-girl.html

  7. From the article that ElamBend cited:

    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.

    McCain suffers a physical disability, and so has to rely on a combination of assistive labor (such as his wife) and assitive capital (a blackberry, which he can use without moving his arms much) to perform otherwise basic tasks.

    The Obama’s Camp attack on McCain’s disability is bizarre. I can never recall a Republican campaign making this much light of a physical challenge suffered by a candidate, and how that candidate overcomes it.

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