On the political front, there has been an absolute embarrasment of riches in the ‘John McCain Proves to be Wildly Unqualified to be President’ field of stories this week. Kathy’s got the goods. My favorites of the vast multitude:
- McCain has proven to be entirely unknowledgeable about economics. Actually, that does a mild disservice to people who are unknowledgeable about things. Firstly, he actually uttered the sentence “You can’t get over the fact that historically when you raise people’s taxes, revenue goes down. Every time we cut capital gains taxes, there has been an increase in revenues.” As Ezra points out in the above link, the second half of that sentence just shows ignorance. The first half, however, is so blatantly false that it is either a bald-faced lie, or it shows such deliberate desire not to know the truth, that the phrase ‘out-and-out con job’ is the only thing that comes to mind.
- Given that divinely absurd two-fer, are we at all surprised to learn the McCain campaign wildly overstated the level of support for their economic “program” espoused by 300 economists? It turns out that “far from embracing McCain’s economic plan, many were unfamiliar with — or downright opposed to — key details.” Glad to see that conservative economists are as willing as their other conservative brethren to simply sign off on something without actually knowing any of the details of what they are signing for.
- John McCain thinks that Social Security, probably the single most successful government social program of the last 100 years, is “a disgrace.” Well, to be fair, it’s not the program itself that’s a disgrace, just the way that it’s funded. You know, the way that it’s been funding ever since its inception. For instance, did you know that, according to Sherlock McCain, “Americans have got to understand that we are paying present-day retirees with the taxes paid by young workers in America today”? How shocking! It’s almost as if John McCain has (or, at least, had) no idea how this massive government program actually works!
- Finally, McCain, showing that trademark Grandpa Simpson-level tin ear, said of increased U.S. shipment of cigarettes to Iran: “Maybe that’s a way of killing ’em.” I’m not too worked up about this one, because he was trying to tell a joke. It ended up being stupid, and vaguely incendiary, but frankly much less harmful than any number of things said by any number of warmongering nutjobs in the last few months. So I’m willing to let this one slide, relatively speaking…