I've only dipped into the reporting on the last presidential debate a little bit, and I must admit I've slacked off on my Election Attention in general the last few days (hey, it was my birthday - that takes some effort and planning!) But one thing that seems abundantly clear is that most people really have their minds made up already. And what people (candidates, supporters, campaign workers) say amongst themselves is pretty thoroughly different from what they say when they're in a debate or anything remotely official or bipartisan.
I mean - "palling around with terrorists"? Are you kidding me? Evidently not, because it's come up over and over. And when asked to defend her statements at her one and only sort-of press conference (an unannounced, unplanned-for visit to the press corps at the back of a plane for a few minutes), She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named said, and I quote:
Oof. That syntax. Whoops, that's one of those elite words, isn't it? Sorry about that. I meant "That way of putting words together that has nothing to do with sentences, complete ideas, or answering the f*cking question."
“It is, though, about the economy about creating jobs and about resource development and energy independence here. It comes down to one ticket’s proposal that can be trusted, and another ticket’s proposal to deal with some of these issues and maybe questioning the truthfulness and the intention there. I think it’s very relevant there.”
And I'm not even going to get into the Obama as Antichrist lobby.
But then at the debate, not only was there no suggestion at all that he might be a Winged Messenger of the Devil ready to bring on the End of Time, there wasn't even any mention of Obama's alleged Weather Underground side. Might it be that McCain didn't want to have the notion killed by being publicly humiliated with the truth of the matter? That being, that Obama served on a couple boards with a middle-aged guy who was once - 40 years ago - involved with a very popular movement opposing a very unpopular war, albeit in an extremist way. They worked together, barely, on matters of local Chicago policy, having to do with juvenile reform programs, and education initiatives. Radical things like that.
The answer to my hypothetical question would appear to be: Yes. Because if they'd dealt with these questions at the debate, then McCain (well, the RNC in this case) would have had a harder time selling jewels like this to the public.
But let's face it - the reverse is true too. Obama could have brought up the Ayers factor himself, and the deceit involved in the GOP's references to it, but he didn't. He won't come right out and call McCain old and out of touch during the debates either, though he doesn't hold back in his campaign appearances and some of his ads (and some of his supporters' blogs go right down the "dottering old fool" path.)
And while we're on it: since when is the assertion that the Weathermen were a 'terrorist organization' and nothing more, with no historical context discussed, something that we should just accept blindly?
Yeah, that whole blind acceptance thing rubs me the wrong way in general.