Monday, June 30, 2008

You gotta be kidding me

Well I guess we won't be seeing Wes Clark in the VP slot after all.

What Clark actually said:

Bob Schieffer: General-could I just interrupt you-I have to say, Barack Obama has not had any of those experiences either nor has he ridden in a fighter plane and gotten shot down.

General Wesley Clark: I don't think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president...

-- Face the Nation (CBS), 6/29/08

What did he do? He said something that no rational being could dispute -- that the things McCain did 40 years ago, and that at least several hundred of other men did, do not perforce make him or any of them qualified for the highest office in the land. What he did not do is in any way impugn McCain's service or patriotism. Which, of course, means that the MSM was of a single voice in saying that he impugned McCain's service and patriotism.

The performance of the MSM in this whole episode is such a stunning affirmation of every negative stereotype of the stunning, omigawd stoopidity that has defined the MSM since the 90s.

What Clark said is a textbook Kinsley gaffe (that is, an accidental truth). The skills that make a good POW, or even a good pilot don't necessarily map to POTUSness. (We know that being a questionable fighter jock is associated with being the Worst President Ever, but it isn't worth getting into whether McCain's skills 40 years ago were any better.)

Anyway, we now know three things: (1) the MSM has learned precisely nothing; (2) the MSM is still very much McCain's base, and (3) if ever he was, Wes Clark is no longer on the short list for the veep slot.

Only the third item is newsworthy.


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