McBushed! Viagra and us whiners

I am so tired of the faux outrage by the left and the right. The liberals progressives have been up in arms about the New Yorker cover because they feel the right will pull (obscure movie reference here) a Doctor Kornbluth (Eugene Levy) from Splash! when he sprayed water on Madison (Daryl Hannah) and she became the mermaid. “I was right! BEHOLD the” [fill-in the right-wing smear here]!

That’s not even what I wanted to talk about today. See, their madness is working. I’m distracted.

This is Part II of my homage to Keith Olbermann’s Bushed! where we look at the lies and scandals of the Bush administration. Instead, we are looking at the campaign … ‘slips’ from John McCain. We continue with a look back to only last week with ‘Gates’ 3 and 4.

Viagra-gate

This just sounds ridiculous. I am not making fun of a 71-year old man who may or may not need some help, if you will.

Carly Fiorina, former Hewlett-Packard CEO and current ‘Victory Chairman’ of the RNC, spoke a little off-message, to hilarious results. The oft-named running mate for McCain, Fiorina was speaking with reporters at the St. Regis Hotel when she uttered the following:

“A real, live example, which I’ve been hearing a lot about from women: There are many health insurance plans that will cover Viagra but won’t cover birth-control medication. Those women would like a choice.”

Talk about hearing a pin drop. Moderator, Dave Cook of the Christian Science Monitor said, “I don’t know where I go after that.”

That wasn’t the funny part, even though a self-described pro-life woman – acting as a surrogate for the presumptive Republican presidential nominee – with her name on the list of possible running mates – and Victory Chairperson for the RNC – talked about Viagra AND birth control and why the latter isn’t covered by health insurance – is pretty darn funny.

No, the funny part was McCain’s reaction when he was asked about this by a reporter on his campaign bus. He squirmed like I’ve never seen a politician squirm.

I like how CBS News (one of my sources for Viagra-Gate) really softened the discomfort felt by McCain. The article says he ‘dodged’ and ‘resisted’ before answering – “”I certainly do not want to discuss that issue.”

Meanwhile ABC News had the following: “Appearing speechless, McCain paused for eight seconds before answering.”

Really? Where’s the mention of the squirming? If Barack Obama had reacted like that, we would be hearing it for months.

Furthermore, this issue has already fallen by the wayside (and maybe it should have) but we still are hearing about Wesley Clark’s comments about McCain’s military service not being a qualification for president.

It’s even difficult to find news services (not the blogosphere) that mentioned the squirming. Most just picked up the campaign’s official statement saying that “he doesn’t support mandates, including any for Viagra.”

Whiner-gate

Former Senator Phil Gramm is John McCain’s economic advisor. He is a vice chairman of UBS Investment Bank and lobbied Congress on their behalf. Depending on who you speak to, you get varying degrees of his involvement in the subprime mortgage crisis.

Regardless, Gramm sat down for an interview last week with the Washington Times, a highly conservative newspaper. During which, Gramm provided some priceless jewels as he described Americans.

“You’ve heard of mental depression; this is a mental recession.”

“We may have a recession; we haven’t had one yet.”

The ‘We’ to which Gramm could be referring may very well be himself and his ‘elite crowd’ since he has his nice government pension and his vice chairman salary and bonus.

I, on the other hand, have watched my department shrink to only a handful of employees. We have also swelled in on-shore and off-shore consultants. Constantly, I wonder if my job would be next and where would I go since so many other companies are doing the same thing. I have watched gas prices nearly triple during this administration. Also skyrocketing are food, electricity, and fuel charges on all services. Anything that is involved in my day-to-day life has increased.

So, Gramm must be talking about his little cocoon of elites. He further went on to say:

“We have sort of become a nation of whiners. You just hear this constant whining, complaining about a loss of competitiveness, America in decline.”

He also blamed the media as the right seems to enjoy doing.

“Misery sells newspapers. Thank God the economy is not as bad as you read in the newspaper every day.”

My neighbors just left their home, Mr. Gramm. They just picked up one night and left. Their last act was to destroy the mailbox in front of their home. I didn’t have to read that in the paper. I drive past it every day.

Gramm spent some time trying to tap dance from his comments.

“I didn’t claim to be representing anyone except myself.”

In other words, unless the surrogate says Mr. [candidate] says this, we should never attribute their words to the candidates. Does this apply when Gramm is discussing the economy and is the candidate’s economic advisor?

Then he tried to reposition the ‘whiner’ comment from Americans to our leaders.

“The whiners are the leaders. Hell, the American people are victims, but it didn’t quite come out that way in the story. What we need is more leadership and less whining.”

What we need, Mr. Gramm, is more honest leadership and less BS.

McCain then tried to put out this fire.

“Phil Gramm does not speak for me. I speak for me.”

I love this comment. I would support it since so many surrogates are out of control on both sides.

The problem is distancing yourself from your surrogates but holding your opponent responsible for their surrogates’ words and not acknowledging the denouncement. It doesn’t work both ways, Senator.

Since there are only 2 candidates and 24 hours in a day and many news companies, it is clear that the media does love the surrogates. More points of view. More chance of slip-ups. Just remember, if the surrogates were true to a message and consistently flawless, they’d probably be a candidate.

Then again, based on McCain’s long list of misspeaks, maybe not.

What’s even more amazing is how many of the right-wing pundits (like Sean Hannity) have jumped on this and called the American people ‘whiners’. Good thing Gramm is a Republican or Hannity would have had to spew some faux outrage about that very same ‘whiner’ comment.

Now am I just being ‘bitter’ or am I just ‘whining’?

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One response to “McBushed! Viagra and us whiners

  1. Excellent post … you’re right on about Gramm. I’m still shaking my head on that one.