Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Minority Report tech in real life...

Well, it's pretty damn close...

Perceptive Pixel

Hat tip: Andrew Sullivan

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Clark's comments

I'll take it for granted that you, dear reader, have seen the whole firestorm about Gen. Wesley Clark's comments about John McCain. If you have not, you can catch up here, among other places.

Clark, a man I admire deeply, has run aground on the shoals of political naivete. He's out of his element playing in politics, and I think he proves it. There's nothing really wrong with what he says, as long as it's seen/heard in the full context of the questions he was asked and his full reply. But if you grab a line or two, it sure sounds really bad, and a lot of voters only listen to a line or two. Saying that "I don't think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification
to be president," well, that just sounds insulting. But when you learn that he picked up the verbiage Bob Scheiffer used in the question, and hear him go on to explain that he views McCain as a hero and a courageous man, but he's concerned about McCain's lack of executive experience -- well, then the comment makes quite a bit of sense, and doesn't really come off all that mean-spirited.

But it was an amatuerish mistake by Clark, and is the perfect sort of coal to stoke the furnaces of fake outrage. Now Obama has to distance himself from Clark and those comments to cool this down, and it puts the nominee in the strange position of essentially having to say, yeah, getting shot down and tortured DOES qualify McCain to be President.

Which probably isn't the outcome Clark wanted.

For what it's worth, I think McCain's POW episode says a great deal about his character and mettle, and that probably matters to voters. On the other hand, I don't think his military service provided a great deal of executive experience, and I don't think it necessarily endowed the man with good foreign policy judgment, as McCain's votes in the Senate and bone-headed comments re:Iraq attest.