Ben Langhinrichs

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September, 2008
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Civility in critiquing the ideas of others is no vice. Rudeness in defending your own ideas is no virtue.


Tue 16 Sep 2008, 12:05 PM
Obviously, the silly season is fully upon us:
He [McCain senior domestic policy adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin] added, though, that McCain — who has struggled to stress his economic credentials this cycle — did have experience dealing with the economy, pointing to his time on the Senate Commerce Committee. Pressed to provide an example of what McCain had accomplished on that committee, Holtz-Eakin said the senator did not have jurisdiction over financial markets — then held up his Blackberry, telling reporters: “He did this.”

“Telecommunications of the United States, the premiere innovation in the past 15 years, comes right through the Commerce Committee. So you’re looking at the miracle that John McCain helped create,” said Holtz-Eakin. “And that’s what he did. He both regulated and de-regulated the industry.”
Now, before any Republican readers breathlessly point it out, I'll readily admit that Senator McCain did not make this statement, it was made by his "senior domestic policy adviser", but it is entertaining given that RIM is obviously not even an American company.  At the very least, I'm sure that Al Gore will enjoy the irony.

Update:  Sure enough, the McCain campaign, which must have had similar visions of Al Gore, quickly repudiated the claim:
Matt McDonald, a top McCain aide, said the candidate "laughed" upon hearing Holtz-Eakin's claim.

"He would not claim to be the inventor of anything, much less the BlackBerry," McDonald said. "This was obviously a boneheaded joke by a staffer," McDonald said. 
Which shows, among other things, why Senator McCain may be wiser than Al Gore, who kept trying to "explain" what he meant as opposed to just dismissing it as a joke from the beginning.

Of course, it is still a bit unclear why Senator McCain's advisor would be cracking jokes at such a serious matter.  I think the McCain people meant something closer to "a boneheaded comment" than "a boneheaded joke", but we can give him the benefit of the doubt.  The bigger question remains, what does Senator McCain plan to do for the economy?  Same question for Senator Obama.  We, the people, need more serious answers and not flippant and idiotic remarks.

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