27 February 2008

Led by children?

Does it seem to you that we are a nation of ninth graders? Or at least a nation led by a bunch of ninth graders.

Or maybe I'm not being fair to ninth graders.

While those running for the highest office in the land, and their surrogates, have provided dozens of examples in the past few weeks of "nah-nah-nah-nah nah-nah" politics, all you really have to do is go back 24 hours to have more of it than you can really stomach.

Today the low-brow commentary involved John McCain and Barack Obama, as McCain jumped on a slight misstatement made by Obama on an awkwardly worded hypothetical question by MSNBC's Tim Russert. (Click the link above for the full back-and-forth between McCain and Obama). About the only thing missing here is a "he started it" or a "see you after school dude" comment.

McCain's sarcastic rant against Obama came just 24 hours after the Arizona senator apologized to Obama for comments made by some moron radio host in Cincinnati who was a "warm-up act" at a McCain rally yesterday.

We also had the much-publicized nonsense about Louis Farrakhan's support for Obama and Obama's rejection of that support.

In this case, it's Russert who seemed bent on continuing to ram a question down Obama's throat when he'd already answered it. And of course Hillary Clinton chimed in with her "teacher, teacher, I have a better answer" response.

Which of course followed the whole Obama-in-Somali-dress episode, and the Three Faces of Hillary act which we commented on yesterday.

While criticizing your opponent is what political debate is all about, it seems we are incapable as a society of discussing the issues on an adult level.

One side is always looking to smear the other, or trip up the opponent rather than convincing people that they have the better plan.

The media seems to think its only purpose is to play "gotcha" or to make outrageous comments of their own, like Chelsea Clinton is being "pimped out" because she wants to help her mom win the election or Hillary's entire political career is based on sympathy for her having to endure the Lewinsky affair.

In the days before the 24-hour noise networks any newsperson making either statement would have been shown the door immediately. Now such inappropriateness seems to be cultivated by those networks.

The sad reality is we haven't even made it through February yet. There's still eight months to go and you have to wonder just how ridiculous it will get.

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