Saturday, May 31, 2008

What's Ambinder Smoking?

Usually I like Marc Ambinder's blog. When it comes to up the minute political news he's been the man, but sometimes--I think in his search to be unbiased--he makes some really weird contradictions. Just take a look at this post about McCain's 'gaffe' (I'm really starting to hate that word) about troop size in Iraq. In it he makes two arguments that completely fall apart:

"Some brigades have returned home, so in some areas of Iraq, US troops have been drawn down to pre-surge levels; but other unit are returning, and while the number of combat troops in Iraq is slowly returning to pre-surge levels but it's not there yet -- not there by 20,000 troops -- and might not be there for a while. In what way is he wrong? Is he wrong because he knows the truth and wants to obscure it? It requires a willful suspension of belief to assume that McCain would lie about the status of the withdrawals, just as it requires a leap of imagination to envision a scenario wherein the Democrats wouldn't have pounced on his error like Tom on Jerry." (Itz mine)

But then later he states:

"Politics abhors a middle ground: either Iraq is getting better or it isn't. McCain has every incentive to maximize the success stories and project forward; Obama has every incentive to maximize the chaos and project forward." (Itz mine)

So if it's to his advantage...why should it require a 'willful suspension of belief" to think that McCain's lying, especially since all his previous 'gaffes' correlate to the idea that the situation in Iraq is getting better? If they were really mistakes, shouldn't some of them go against his 'incentives?' After all, when Obama has made mistakes they have worked against his message--but McCain's mistakes always seem to help him make his argument. Seems to me that Ambinder's denial of this stems from the media's infatuation with the McCain narrative that he's a 'straight shooter' (After all he named his bus the 'straight talk express' right? That's some real Jedi mind trick shiz)

Here another one:

"The question for voters is: the present is almost as unknowable as the future, so whose vision do you trust more? Polls show that less than half of Americans trust McCain and less than half trust Obama. Obama has an advantage on policy -- Americans want troops home soon and consider the Iraq adventure a failure -- , but the advantage disappears when voters are asked to think about who should lead the policy, whatever it turns out to be. That's probably because McCain retains enough of the aura of a straight-talking, tell-it-like-is-is reformer whose words reflect reality."

I'm not sure if he's just selling the public stupid, or he really thinks this is the case. According to his numbers the public just about equally trusts McCain and Obama on Iraq, and the public happens to agree with Obama's message so...they're going to vote for McCain? I mean that just doesn't make any sense.

I know most of the M$M wants to make this thing a horse race, but call it as it is--don't just summon incoherent arguments to plead a case. We have enough of that BS with Hillary.

1 comment:

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