Friday, September 5, 2008

Dunces on Parade

Okay, which is the less intelligent of these two things:

1. Driving toward the Capitol with a cache of weapons and stopping to ask police for directions:

The man stopped to ask police for directions near the Capitol building at about 11 a.m. EDT Friday, at the intersection of 2nd and Independence Avenue Southeast, according to Capitol Police spokeswoman Sgt. Kimberly Schneider.

The officer responding noticed a rifle case on the car seat and inspected the jeep, discovering the IED, rifle and ammunition. A canine unit was enlisted to help.

"They've all been rendered safe right now because they're in the custody of Capitol Police," Schneider told reporters at a briefing Friday.

The officer took the unidentified man into custody; the vehicle is still being searched.


2. Writing an article for Salon--I am not making this up--in which you complain that John McCain's speech last night was nothing but empty rhetoric with the word "change" thrown in a lot:

Of course, his handlers may well have felt that they didn't need to craft a speech telling us what the maverick actually intends to do as president because -- as Rick Davis admitted the other day -- they think this election is about cultural divisions rather than issues. Evidently they also believe that if McCain simply says the word "change" often enough, he can pilfer the Democratic theme. [Emphasis added--EM.]

Perhaps those tactics will win over voters with short attention spans, but at least some people are likely to ask what McCain means when he talks about change. The problem is not that he lacks credentials as a critic of both his own party's corrupt culture and Washington's broader pathologies, but that he has abandoned so much of what once marked him out as different.

Shorn of the boilerplate conservative clich├ęs like charter schools, the real subjects of McCain's speech were attitude and character rather than programs.

Writer Joe Conason might want to reflect on the wisdom of writing an opinion piece where you could swap out the names of the candidates and parties without changing the veracity of the whole thing. I don't know about the rest of you, but when I think of empty speeches with the word "change" thrown in a lot, John McCain's name isn't exactly the first one that comes to mind.

Though I'd be inclined myself to vote for example number one as the more brainless activity, I must admit that unintelligent criminals are hardly a new phenomenon. It's been pretty amazing these last few days to see the reckless extent to which members of the media tear aside the mask of placid objectivity and replace it with the slavering scowl of rabid partisanship; as a group activity, I think the level of unintelligent reflection and choice demonstrated by this folly on the part of the mainstream media doesn't fall far short of the sort displayed by the person bent on destruction who thinks to pack guns and an IED but forgets to bring along a map.

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