John McCain should be taken at his word. He just gave a major speech in which he unveiled his "new" idea for how to fix health care in America (which is actually just recycled Bush policy). To prove he knows what he is talking about, I challenge him to be the first to voluntarily do what he is asking all Americans to do: give up his employer-based health care, and purchase his own health insurance on the open market as a private American citizen.
Archive of Articles for April, 2008
[Note: Due to everyone else blathering about it, I am going to write this column without once mentioning Barack Obama or Reverend Jeremiah Wright. I am also going to break this blog's motto and escape reality-based politics for one day. Hope you don't mind.]
I invite you to enter an alternate reality with me. [...]
Sure, it's more fun for them to bloviate endlessly about the next upcoming "do or die" primary, but the fact of the matter is that none of the remaining primaries (absent a total meltdown by Hillary or Barack) is going to decide much of anything -- which everyone in the media is fully aware of. They know nothing's going to be decided by the remaining races, but much like an addict struggling to put down the crack pipe, they keep going back for one more refreshing hit. Look at how much mileage they got out of the non-story: "Pennsylvania votes exactly as everyone expected them to," for instance.
It was a telling sign that neither Democratic candidate saw fit to visit Punxsutawney before the Pennsylvania primary. Nobody wanted the press to remember Bill Murray's Groundhog Day in any way, shape or form. But even without stump speeches next to Punxsutawney Phil, it's hard not to think of living the same day over and over and over again when looking ahead to the nine contests that remain. Because nothing much is likely to be decided by them.
Because while all the attention for the past three months has been on each state contest as it happens -- complete with numerical projections galore about the pledged delegates from each primary -- everyone has been largely ignoring the real "numbers story" to be told: the superdelegates.
It's rare (in an election year) that the opposition hands you an issue that is just begging to be exploited politically. Democrats shouldn't drop the ball on this one, and should use it as an enormous lever in the Senate to get the bill actually passed. Overturning a Bush veto would reap all kinds of rewards in November, and Democrats would be fools to pass this chance up.
It doesn't look like the numbers will change much at this point, at least not until the wee hours of the morning. The last 7% of the votes will trickle in, but it's looking like Hillary may be able to claim exactly what everyone was saying she needed to viably stay in the race for now -- a double-digit win in Pennsylvania. People who predicted a win for her of around 200,000 voters turned out to be amazingly accurate.
It's been a long six weeks since we last played this game, and I'm just relieved that in the intervening time, the media and both campaigns had enough time to accurately identify and portray the relative positions of each candidate on a range of important issues on which they have honest differences; issues that everyday Americans actually care about as being relevant to their lives.
Ha! (Belated) April Fool!
I must admit, I was kind of surprised at the ferocity of the response, myself. Because I actually expected exactly what happened during the first hour of the debate -- shallowness and insipid "gotcha" questions. This is, after all, the mainstream media we are talking about. Did anyone really think it was suddenly going to morph into PBS on debate night?
In any case, Charlie Gibson asked the question of both of them, and when neither gave a clear answer, pressed them on it. Because the debate was held in Philadelphia, "the Constitution" was some sort of weird thematic "hook" that ABC was pushing, and Gibson tried to use this in an elitist smartest-kid-in-the-class way. The only problem, he got his facts massively wrong. On two levels. The stupidity he displayed was of monumental proportions. Here is his question: