Answers to Jack Cafferty’s ponderings…

20 08 2008

In some kind of rambling commentary posted on CNN’s CNNPolitics.com site Tuesday (8/19) CNN commentator Jack Cafferty gave his take on McCain’s appearance at the Saddleback Forum last Saturday. Cafferty, I’d suspect disappointed in Barrack Obama’s performance, seemed to want to take out some of his frustrations on John McCain, and in his typical Bush bashing fashion tried to make a few points of comparison. Perhaps he misunderstood, or perhaps it was just sour grapes, but it’s obvious that he has some deep seeded need to try to tear down republicans, and took the opportunity to go after McCain.

That Jack holds a certain bias I doubt that he would even disagree. After all, his forte is to puff and blow and create and cause consternation among republicans in general, and the Bush Administration in specific. Though a good bit of what Jack Cafferty has to say should most of the time be taken with a grain of salt, here I thought appropriate that just in case he might need the obvious pointed out to him, I’d take his commentary and see if I could maybe shine a little light on things for him. What follows is his commentary, with some response from me in bold (if I may be so bold, lol):

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It occurs to me that John McCain is as intellectually shallow as our current president. When asked what his Christian faith means to him, his answer was a one-liner. “It means I’m saved and forgiven.” Great scholars have wrestled with the meaning of faith for centuries. McCain then retold a story we’ve all heard a hundred times about a guard in Vietnam drawing a cross in the sand. Jack, that’s what Christianity IS. It’s John 3:16. I’m shocked that you don’t realize that Jack. Just because you’ve heard his “cross in the sand” story a hundred times doesn’t make it any less valid, for its part of his walk in faith. Great scholars HAVE wrestled with the meaning of Christianity for centuries, and do you know the answers that they have come up with? That it means “I’m saved and forgiven.”

Asked about his greatest moral failure, he cited his first marriage, which ended in divorce. While saying it was his greatest moral failing, he offered nothing in the way of explanation. Why not? Perhaps because he wasn’t asked that question, even though the answer is self evident to most anyone. That statement alone shows the depth of his morals. Not that he cheated, or lied, or anything else, it’s that he failed his vows. Seriously, you don’t understand that?

Throughout the evening, McCain chose to recite portions of his stump speech as answers to the questions he was being asked. Why? He has lived 71 years. Surely he has some thoughts on what it all means that go beyond canned answers culled from the same speech he delivers every day. Jack, his answers are his answers, yesterday, today, tomorrow, the next day. Is he supposed to make up new stuff or change something each and every time? Was this the format to expound at length on things? No. Methinks some of you in the media have come to expect something ‘new’ each time a candidate opens their mouth. Maybe that comes from many of them changing their positions with the wind. And when you make a living on “soundbites” I can see your problem, but like you said, he’s been around a while. I’d imagine he’s figured a lot of things out by now. He does seem open to change, however, when the new comes along, but then again y’all seem to find fault in that too.  

He was asked “if evil exists.” His response was to repeat for the umpteenth time that Osama bin Laden is a bad man and he will pursue him to “the gates of hell.” That was it….  Well, then let me clarify it for you since you didn’t understand. YES, he believes evil exists, and he believe Osama bin Laden is a personification of evil and worthy of fighting. He needed say no more.

One after another, McCain’s answers were shallow, simplistic, and trite. He showed the same intellectual curiosity that George Bush has — virtually none. I myself am curious about your intellectual curiosity and capacity Jack. You call George Bush simplistic, but fail to understand what he has truly done for not only America, but the world. Your views (and other) seem to want to make some extremely complicated things simple, and some simple things complicated. You have little understanding of the threats we faced (STILL face) and want to measure intent and consequences with some tangible thing, which here is impossible. Most of it is in the realm of what could be or might have been.

You misunderstand (or mischaracterize) the intent of administration actions meant to keep us safe and secure in our homes. You play games with words with intent to scare people into thinking that Bush is doing something to them, instead of for them. Where is this “litany” of broken laws and promises, and cloaked secrecy and how does it affect Joe Average? Isn’t there STILL a check and balance called the Supreme Court to hold all that in balance? I don’t see where they’ve been any blank check for this administration. How do we, as American’s, suffer? Any more than we already suffered in line at the MVB? And where is our international reputation in shambles? Seems to me France, Germany, Italy, and others have elected PRO-American leader for a change, so just where is our reputation worse that it has always been. Venezuela? Iran? Cuba?

Americans want straight answers Jack, not opinions mired in myths and theories. No double speak and political correct gibberish. Say what you will, but John McCain is a straight talker. Americans, we like that. That all seems to have gone over your head Jack. Maybe it’s you who is the shallow one.

Where are John McCain’s writings exploring the vexing moral issues of our time? Where are his position papers setting forth his careful consideration of foreign policy, the welfare state, education, America’s moral responsibility in the world, etc., etc., etc.? I would think in the Congressional Record. I’d believe there is more tangible proof of his beliefs and views there than in all Obama’s writing put together. I believe his record is set in stone for all to see there.

John McCain graduated 894th in a class of 899 at the Naval Academy at Annapolis. His father and grandfather were four star admirals in the Navy. Some have suggested that might have played a role in McCain being admitted. His academic record was awful. And it shows over and over again whenever McCain is called upon to think on his feet. Now Jack, you can criticize members of our Service Academies if you want to, but in my opinion the one that is in last place is far superior than most of the rest of us. Somebody must be first, somebody must be last. How does that exclude John McCain from anything? Especially in light of his long time public service? Just his having been there, however, gives him far more qualification as Commander In Chief than Barack Obama will ever have. MOST people that get into our Service Academies get in via somebody. His father and grandfather being an admiral should count for something to you, too. It’s telling that it doesn’t. My IQ was measured at 142. My academic record in college? Awful.

He no longer allows reporters unfettered access to him aboard the “Straight Talk Express” for a reason. He simply makes too many mistakes. Unless he’s reciting talking points or reading from notes or a TelePrompTer, John McCain is lost. He can drop bon mots at a bowling alley or diner — short glib responses that get a chuckle, but beyond that McCain gets in over his head very quickly. Jack, seriously, can you blame him? Every mistake is reported as some sign of senility, or lack of understanding or such. The Press seems to go to some length to report and expound on each. Obama’s mistakes, which there seems to me to be more of and much bigger in nature, tend to be ignored, or explained away due to tiredness from campaigning or such. And that TelePrompTer comment, GET REAL! Obama is far more dependant on one than McCain. Please don’t insult the American public with comments such as that. They’re just…rude. As far as his answers at Saddleback, he was sharp as a tack.

I am sick and tired of the president of the United States embarrassing me….  Then you need to do some self evaluation there my friend. It far more YOU than HIM.

George Bush’s record as a student, military man, businessman and leader of the free world is one of constant failure. And the part that troubles me most is he seems content with himself. A Yale Graduate with a Masters Degree from Harvard? I’d take being a failure like that as a student. He was selected as a “Bonesman” at Yale, and from what little I know of that they only select the “Cream of the Crop” and people expected to go places and do things in life. Apparently correct in that too, it would seem. As a military man he was allowed to train and fly Jet Fighters, and our military doesn’t allow dummies to fly their aircraft, much less their Jet fighters, so that speaks well of Mr. Bush. And the fact that he flew MORE than the required hours in less time speaks well, too. Nothing much wrong with that record… unless you’re trying to say that serving in the Air National Guard like thousands of others is somehow less than honorable. If that’s the case there are a whole bunch of people out there that would like to explain otherwise to you. The National Guard was no “out” from having to go to Vietnam as many went, served, and died for their county there.

I, for the life of me, don’t see the failure that you see Jack. That we sit here in America and haven’t suffered another terrible terror attack speaks well for his leadership as President, for that has been his focus. You may quibble with his sending us into Iraq, but at the time the whole free world was good to go. Everybody had the same Intel as he. No, we didn’t find the hoard of WMD’s that we thought were there. Do you seriously think he’d sent us in knowing they weren’t? I think he could have come up with a better excuse than one that he knew he couldn’t prove in the end. But what we DID find in Iraq was the capability to still make those weapons. The Scientists, the labs, the command and control, AND all the necessary ingredients, all still available to him. Jack did you trust Saddam Hussein? Given his history and spoken desires, do you really believe he would have not provided one at first opportunity to do harm to us, Israel, or one of the moderate Arab nations he so despised? What would have happened Jack if he would have sent one against Israel and killed thousands? Perhaps World War 3? Perhaps a Nuclear retaliation from Israel, killing maybe millions? Again Jack, did you trust Saddam Hussein? George Bush did not. Perhaps saving countless lives.

I thank God that George Bush isn’t some wishy washy person unable to stand by his beliefs and lacking in self assurance. Most call that self confidence a trait of leadership.

He will leave office with the country $10 trillion in debt, fighting two wars, our international reputation in shambles, our government cloaked in secrecy and suspicion that his entire presidency has been a litany of broken laws and promises, our citizens’ faith in our own country ripped to shreds. Yet Bush goes bumbling along, grinning and spewing moronic one-liners, as though nobody understands what a colossal failure he has been. Yes the country is $10 trillion in debt. No dispute about that. Two wars, several hurricanes, floods, fires, and an out of control congress I guess you can easily ignore, but I can’t. George Bush entered office with some big plans for using the surplus that Bill Clinton and a republican controlled congress left him. Plans for educating the disadvantaged so they could move up into the mainstream of life, fighting AIDS (which he pumped far more money into the fight than ever), fixing healthcare and Social Security. Sadly 9-11 came and plans changed. He didn’t get the luxury of peace and prosperity that he thought he’d have. I’d bet’cha if he could he’d change it all back, but that isn’t possible is it? Sadly, too, is the fact that faith in our country has been ripped to shreds by people like you Jack Cafferty, who make a living tearing things down instead of building them up.  When did all this tearing down begin? Election time, 2003-04.

I fear to the depth of my being that John McCain is just like him. I’d think that would be unfounded. That the two of them have tussled quit often over policy should alleviate any of those fears. Jack, my fear is that Barack Obama is the complete opposite.

-Al

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