Two things that are worth commenting on, but not worth their own posts. First, yet another lie from the McCain campaign:
“The campaign Friday launched a 30-second Spanish-language television ad charging that Democrat Barack Obama and his Senate colleagues torpedoed meaningful changes in immigration laws.
“The press reports that their efforts were ‘poison pills’ that made immigration reform fail,” the ad charges. “The result: No guest worker program. No path to citizenship. No secure borders. No reform. Is that being on our side? Obama and his congressional allies ready to block immigration reform, but not ready to lead.”
Why that’s wrong: Media accounts cited two votes as effectively killing immigration reform last year – and Obama was on the same side as McCain in both.”
McClatchy helpfully provides links to both votes: 1, 2. Just for the heck of it, I went looking for analyses of the bill’s failure at the time. They don’t mention any amendments by Obama. They do, however, say things like this:
“It was a victory for Republican conservatives who strongly criticized the bill’s provisions that would have established pathways to lawful status for many of the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants. They were aided by talk radio and TV hosts who repeatedly attacked the bill and urged listeners to flood Congress with calls, faxes and e-mails.”
“There’s plenty of blame to go around. Blame George W. Bush, a president whose self-inflicted wounds have left him too politically incapacitated to deliver his own party. Blame Republicans like Jim DeMint of South Carolina, John Cornyn of Texas and Jeff Sessions of Alabama, senators more focused on generating sound bites and 30-second attack ads than on solving the nation’s immigration problems. And blame Democratic senators such as James Webb of Virginia, who ducked the hard vote while hiding behind a phony compromise proposal that had no chance. Although it was Republican senators who bear primary responsibility for killing off immigration reform, all of them conspired to reinforce and justify the public’s disdain for politics as usual.”
But, oddly enough, Senator Obama’s name does not come up.
(2) The Obama campaign pointed out in a (mediocre) ad that McCain doesn’t know how to use a computer and can’t send an email. Jonah Goldberg has an explanation:
“Well, I guess it depends on what you mean by “extraordinary.” The reason he doesn’t send email is that he can’t use a keyboard because of the relentless beatings he received from the Viet Cong in service to our country.”
This won’t work. For one thing, a variety of press reports claim that McCain uses a Blackberry, so he can’t be wholly incapable of using a keyboard. (John Cole has pictures.) For another, Jonah Goldberg might not realize this, but there are a lot of products out there that are designed to allow people with disabilities to use computers. For people with motor disabilities, or just a desire to avoid carpal tunnel syndrome, speech recognition software can be a godsend. It’s not hard, it doesn’t involve using your hands, and we know that McCain can speak perfectly well.
If McCain were an ordinary private individual, I might wonder whether finding out about this and then setting it up would be too great an obstacle to getting on line. But McCain has a personal staff whose job it is to figure things like this out. So: no, Jonah, I don’t think we can put this down to his experience as a POW.
UPDATE: Wait a minute: the Viet Cong? Does Jonah Goldberg think that John McCain was imprisoned by the Viet Cong?
h/t k at ObWi and Rand Careaga at the Monthly.