September 12, 2008

So What Are the Odds That the Hateful Left Will Stop Falling into These Jabs?

Justin Katz

What a wonderful thing is the Internet, on which a few minutes of catch-up browsing can bring both smear and counterpoint. RIFuture has the smear:

Do you really think we will grow our IT and ET economies with a president [McCain] who doesn't even understand how to use a computer?

And Jonah Goldberg has the explanation:

The reason he doesn't send email is that he can't use a keyboard because of the relentless beatings he received from the Viet Cong. From the Boston Globe (March 4, 2000):
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.

Thank goodness for Obama's politics of change! Used to be candidates would investigate and weigh the possibility of the "oh" sound of a political backfire.

(And, by the way, could anything be more emblematic of the chill-inducing thought processes of the Left than Matt's apparent belief that the New Economy, the world of High Tech, the Marketplace of Innovation cannot possibly operate and advance in the absence of a "with it" president? One could argue that such a president could know just enough to do some real harm to the industry.)


After multiple distractions, I've finally worked my way down the Corner to find Victor Davis Hanson's summation of the point that I meant to convey:

The problem with all this, as we saw with the lipstick quote and small-town mayor sneers, is twofold. Obama's original charm for many was his Olympian other-worldliness and easy cool post-politics. Now he seems no different from, or nastier than most, any other candidate. (You saw another sort of that disconnect between divinity and reality when he chose a plastic Greek temple and outdoor stadium throng to deliver pedestrian wonkish points about spending priorities). In his defense, his thousands in media are doing him a disservice, and turning off the electorate in daily buffonish partianship.

Also, his recent attacks against an 'old fish' and 'lipsticked pig', and those of his supporters, come off as ageist and sexist and that can't go well with a lot of voters. Yes, he is registering new voters, but since 2004, millions, to match them, have gone into their sixties and are "evolving," as they say, in their views. Some may well identify with a feisty older McCain in the way middle America does with Palin. And when you add up the daily outbursts of disdain and condescension from Hollywood celebs, unhinged pundits, Biden's daily fare, and the sneers of lower-tier Democratic politicians, the image is one of furor and panic, not calm governance. Another 2 weeks of this and I think millions are going to keep quiet, say they are "undecided," but privately conclude that they have had enough of all this bias, and simply won't vote for any more of Obamania.

Begin with the assumption that most Americans do not keep up with bloggers' and politicos' hour-by-hour pace. You've got one side making deliberately offensive comments (see also, "cocky wacko") while trying to sell the politics of rising above and the other side pointing out that a little moderation of rhetoric might be in order.

Whether Obama wins or loses, the output of the American Left is likely to be intolerably toxic. Of course, if he loses, at least that toxicity won't have a man in the White House.


As Will says in the comments: "Checkmate." This 2000 story comes via Jonah Goldberg again:

McCain himself was convinced early on that the Internet had to play a critical role in the campaign. Time and again it allowed him to leverage his money and his organization. "In the Virginia primary," McCain told me, "we needed a lot of petitions signed to get on the ballot. We had the form available to download off the Internet and got 17,000 signatures with very little trouble." ...

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.

Look, I haven't quizzed McCain on his Internet savvy, but he's clearly got enough background with the technology to counter the substantive claims made in Obama's ad, and the fact that his personal usage is affected by POW injuries tarnishes with a streak of manure the high-saturation, halo-effect image of Obama as the New Politician. See, that's the thing with thinking your candidate is "inevitable"; every hunk of lead can begin to look like the silver bullet that's going to off the pointless competition.

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.

I saw more hateful crap relating to 9-11 on RIF than I thought was possible.It was not from the bloggers,but in the comments section.
I think Jerzyk needs to quiet down with his rant about "haters" until he starts being honest with himself about what stays up on his blog versus what is dumped.Recently Crowley dumped a remark that was sexually derogatory about another commentor-I don't know what it was,but okay,maybe it was really offensive.No more offensive than the garbage spewed out by WOW,Idiot Conservative,and SoKrates alleging 9-11 was a job engineered by the US Government and those nasty joooos from Israel.Sorry,I meant "zionists"-there is an alleged difference,but in the minds of those posters it's a way of having deniability about being Jew haters.Like Rod Driver.

Posted by: joe bernstein at September 12, 2008 7:34 PM

I wonder how Mitt Romney does with a computer.

P.S. Or Karl Rove.

Posted by: Monique at September 12, 2008 7:34 PM

Joe's right, RIF has been particularly salty as of late. The unabashed sexism that's been unleashed over there since Palin's nomination is so far beyond the pale even for Jerzyk. What I want to know is if Cindy Fogarty (whose smiling grill I see every time I wander over to RI's Sewer) agrees with the vile sexist remarks being spewed on a site where her name and image are so prominently displayed?

Posted by: jd at September 12, 2008 7:55 PM

you all are HILARIOUS!!!


1) you discovered sexism! it's about time!

2) the reason that john mccain can't use the internet is because he's CHOSEN not to. many, many, many disabled people in our great nation and in our world have taken advantage of software in order for their disability - no matter how great - to work with the Internet.

3) but, my answer in #2 isn't really important, because the reality is that when John McCain answered the question this year, he said that he finally figured out how to turn on a computer this year and that his daughter is teaching him to understand the Internet and how to send emails.

4) So the point is, my primordial brethren, is that John McCain doesn't GET the internet. it's not that he can't USE the internet. he just - in his own words - didn't UNDERSTAND it.

and they call this place a THINK TANK?????


stay off the right wing blogs and stick with the original ideas that actually brought people like me over here.

or you will lose your credibility. fast.

Posted by: Matt Jerzyk at September 12, 2008 8:36 PM

Watch Internet guru Larry Lessig analyze the McCain campaign since - you know - this campaign is about ideas, right?

Posted by: Matt Jerzyk at September 12, 2008 8:42 PM

My link to Youtube video of Lessig didn't work so here is the URL:

Also, for your Internet "scholar" out there, listen to what John McCain said about his computer skills:

For a "think tank" who constantly harangues poor people and people of color for "playing victim" it is a surprise that you would do the same --- not only for your VP (enough already!) but NOW for your president as well???

oh, how the world turns!!

what next?

May Day on AnchorRising???

Posted by: Matt Jerzyk at September 12, 2008 8:46 PM

Actually, Matt, you've rewarded my efforts. It's been a week or so since you last mouthed off about our losing credibility.

Now if only I could get you to learn how to write the html for italics so that you could cease with the CAPS FOR EMPHASIS AND EXCESSIVE PUNCTUATION!!!!!!

Readers will notice, by the way, that you either missed or ignored the entirely separate question of whether this Obama attack risks political backfire. (Or maybe the multiple posts confirm your fear.)

Posted by: Justin Katz at September 12, 2008 8:52 PM

So really, be honest, who spends any time at the RIFutureless website, besides those who believe in Entitlements, who yearn for the public-teet, who fear & lack independance, who demand to be cared for, who are full of ideas on how employers should treat employees but who never themselves employ employees?

Is it not like spending time at a day-care center with a bunch of crying infants crapping their diapers, waiting for someone to feed them, clothe them and clean up after them?

Posted by: George Elbow at September 12, 2008 8:59 PM

I think Matt and his ilk are worried.
To quote Yoda: "You will be. You will be."

Justin, thanks for picking up on Jonah's Goldberg's article. I'd noticed it before myself, as well. I just can't wait until McCain releases his return volley. Notwithstanding Sen. McCain's serious injuries in the service of his country, which have rendered him unable to use a keyboard, how many senators reply to their constituents e-mail personally? Isn't that what their STAFFS are for?

On a related note -- forgiving yet again another obvious gaffe by the Obama campaign for the moment -- the commercial itself is completely lame and counterproductive for these reasons:

Who is this commercial actually supposed to appeal to? One presumes that Barack Obama has the iPhone, Blackberry, Myspace, and Facebook trendy tech-savvy crowd more or less in his pocket (if they vote).

However, quite a few people over 40, and most people over 60 are functional, if not complete computer illiterates. Obama has just managed to insult an entire block of middle-aged and older voters! And, as it turns out, they are the demographic most likely to vote on Election Day!

How can this get any better for us!?

Posted by: Will at September 12, 2008 9:17 PM
How can this get any better for us!?

If Obama makes reference to the email thing during a debate... especially if McCain resists the justified outrage and humbly — I'm picturing a mildly awkward embarrassment in his face — notes that he has difficulty typing, because of some "crippling injuries I sustained long ago."

Posted by: Justin Katz at September 12, 2008 9:22 PM

Such a victim! That John McCain!

I am just shocked that you all can say with a straight face that you advocate for a president who doesn't understand IT or the Internet for that matter and a vice-president who doesn't know the Bush doctrine.

You must really want to see a fast end to the American empire!!!

But, actually, I am more interested in hearing what you think of McCain's IT package and Lessig's critique of it (assuming of course that YOU ALL know how to use the Internet).

Posted by: Matt Jerzyk at September 12, 2008 9:26 PM

Hey Matt-I notice you did a "drive-by" on what I mentioned about the comments on RIF.I guess you have no answer,or you think it is "beneath" you to give one.Or maybe you agree with them,but somehow I find that hard to believe.

Posted by: joe bernstein at September 12, 2008 9:31 PM


Jonah Goldberg has also mentioned over at The Corner:

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.

By the way, what was Obama doing in 1982? If his autobiography is to be believed -- marijuana, cocaine, and alcohol. Have a nice day.

Posted by: Will at September 12, 2008 9:41 PM

Absolutely mind blowing that Matt actually believes that a President who is not knowledgeable about IT or an internet user will have an adverse affect on the growth of tech-related jobs.

Yes Matt; be proud of identifying that important detail and confident in that will sway a lot of undecided voters.

Mind blowing. If that's what you got, then Will is right. CHECKMATE.

Posted by: msteven at September 12, 2008 10:55 PM

Does McCain have enough digital dexterity to flip the victim card himself?
Just curious.

Posted by: rhody at September 13, 2008 4:15 AM

Senator McCain probably know nothing about applying bituminous product to a dirt surface, either. That doesn't mean our highways are going to immediately fall into disrepair. Ditto for the dozens of other things about which both Senator McCain and Senator Obama know little or nothing.

What matters, Matt J, is that Senator McCain recognizes the importance of these matters and will bring in the appropriate experts as necessary to advise and implement.

Posted by: Monique at September 13, 2008 8:06 AM


Let me see if I understand your point:

McCain is not qualified to be president because he doesn't know how to use the internet and he doesn't understand IT?

Is that really different than RIFutureless heros like Patrick "I struggle with basic math" Crowley telling the world how employees should be paid and treated when he doesn't know the first thing about employing people?

When you and your ilk start your own businesses and create real, sustainable, productive jobs that actually employ people, then perhaps you can give credible advice on such matters as pay, benefits and working conditions.

Until such time, wouldn't you agree that you and your flock will be nothing more than the Entitlement-minded leeches that you are, "working" tirelessly to get by in life by riding on the backs of others.

Posted by: George Elbow at September 13, 2008 9:29 AM

Take it easy on Matt-he's going to be in law practice any day now,and he will get to employ process servers,and paralegals,etc.and drive up the costs of goods and services with lawsuits.
Most lawyers are productive the way a cough can be "productive".

Posted by: joe bernstein at September 13, 2008 10:18 AM

I'm in IT and I don't understand all of IT. I can rebuild a laptop or a printer, but I can't program a Cisco router. Doesn't mean I'm incompetent. I doubt Matt could FIND a Cisco router.

And looking at RIFuture, I doubt their webmaster understand basic web programming, either. I love how the site is still set up for the ancient 800x600 format, is divided in two with copious ad space on the right (guess nobody wanted to buy the site for what Matt was selling it for) and the comment section on the left get so squished during conversations that you can only get 4-5 words across before it wraps back on itself. Painful to read and embarrassingly easy to resolve.

Now that's some IT understanding there.

Posted by: Greg at September 13, 2008 12:42 PM

Such a victim! That John McCain!

The difference, though I'm sure you won't pass on the opportunity to completely miss it, is that John McCain is a REAL victim of the atrocities committed against him, unlike the perceived victims that populate the roles of the Democrat Party. Would you use that same phrase to describe a rape victim or maybe a murder victim? There are real victims out there, please don't confuse them with whiney-ass liberals that fake victimization in order to promote an agenda.

Posted by: bobc at September 13, 2008 3:11 PM

Umm, is it just me, or is everyone missing the fact that Meg Whitman, CEO of e-Bay thought John McCain's election was so important that she stepped down from e-Bay to be co-chair of his entire campaign?

And does anyone besides Matt "What About Bob (Barr, that is)" Jerzyk think this is even an issue?

Posted by: Anthony at September 13, 2008 6:34 PM

Matt Jerzyk is SO concerned about Ron Paul and Bob Barr.Does something sound fishy there?Hillary Clinton voters in Michigan and Florida got disenfranchised.He was ok with that.
I didn't care because I liked Hillary even less than Obama.
Matt is Obama's most energetic supporter among local bloggers-why would he give a damn about what passes for fairness in the Republican party?
BTW I think Biden was a great choice-he got only 9000 DEMOCRATS to vote for him.

Posted by: joe bernstein at September 14, 2008 8:43 AM

>>Absolutely mind blowing that Matt actually believes that a President who is not knowledgeable about IT or an internet user will have an adverse affect on the growth of tech-related jobs.

Ah, let's see.

The Internet only exists because of DARPA / Pentagon creation of same.

Only later did it become available to the public, upon the foundation of which entrepreneurs built the Internet we know today (those entrepreneurs greatly aided by the Reagan era lowered tax rates - particularly capital gains reductions, which fostered the availability of venture capital).

Obama wants to gut the defense budget (cuts which will inevitably "trickle down" to the defense subcontractor industry on Aquidneck Island, which is effectively the only tech industry in Rhode Island).

Obama wants to massively raise taxes, including capital gains taxes, which will greatly diminish (if not dry up) the availability of investment capital for tech start-ups.

So if one cares about the Internet and/or the American tech industry (which will increasingly face external competition from China and India), then NOT supporting Obama is a no-brainer.

That John McCain doesn't concern himself with "should I use Firefox or Explorer?" or could care less about surfing for the latest YouTube video is a complete red herring of an argument.

In 2000 the Naomi Wolf advised Al Gore made a "point" of parading around with a Blackberry strapped to his belt. That didn't stop him from being an idiot (before or since), nor did it win him the election.

Posted by: Tom W at September 14, 2008 11:15 AM

I hope Obama continues to run on the "if you don't use the Internet, your stupid" attacks. If that's the best thing they can attack McCain about, he's in good shape.

I can see senior citizens in Ohio and blue collar workers in Michigan turning out to vote for Barack Obama because McCain doesn't use a computer. NOT.

Posted by: Anthony at September 14, 2008 1:15 PM
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