If this isn't the stupidest political story in my politically-aware lifetime (since 1973-74, let's say), it's only because the standards for public political stupidity have been set so high in that period.
In South Carolina, John McCain was taking questions and was asked about Iran. He answered (video is here):
That old, eh, that old Beach Boys song, Bomb Iran. Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran ...
It's not at Imus/nappy-headed-hos-levels yet, but this "story" has actually been widely reported. A Google News search for the terms McCain, Iran and "Beach Boys" produces almost 300 hits as I type this in. Some are humorous (though look at the puritanical quote from the schoolmarmish spokeswoman of some Iranian-American complaint group in the item itself). But many are quite po-faced or hysterical.
And now the nadir (it's not the guy at "or" who calls this "McCain's Imus moment") ... MoveOn.org has put together an anti-McCain ad that is even funnier unintentionally than McCain's (very funny) joke was intentionally and is soliciting money for it. AP reports that they are gonna spend $100,000. Here's the money quote not from the ad itself:
"At a tense moment, when cooler heads in his own party and many retired military leaders are calling on the president to negotiate with Iran, Senator McCain's outburst isn't merely inappropriate, it's dangerous," Eli Pariser, executive director of MoveOn.org Political Action, said Friday.
Far be it for me to tell MoveOn.org how to spend its money wisely. In fact, I'm generally all for their spending their money foolishly. But isn't there anything better they could do than try to make a public issue out of an impromptu joke? Burn the money to light up a dark room filled with Che Guevara icons, so the faithful can do their devotional exercises before His real presence? Or give it to Planned Parenthood to kill a few hundred more partially-born babies while there's still time?
Of all the asinine, stupid things the MSM has ever picked up and the Loony Left (and Paleocon Right) have tried to make an issue ... I mean, wasn't a willingness to speak off the cuff one of the reasons the MSM so loved McCain in 2000? Did Ronald Reagan actually "outlaw the Soviet Union and commence bombing within five minutes"? Can people even joke against their own public image any more? Remember when McCain appeared on "Saturday Night Live" and did one of its funniest skits ever -- the McCain sings Streisand ad? Didn't everyone think that was great at the time (according to that account the SNL live-audience gave him "roaring laughter" and I remember seeing clips of it on heavy rotation on the political shows for the next week.¹ Is there a person with two brain cells to rub together who thinks McCain singing a famous song's "hook" makes him more likely to do something bad or proves he takes that something bad lightly? Here was McCain's response:
"Please, I was talking to some of my old veterans friends," he told reporters in Las Vegas. "My response is, Lighten up and get a life."
Asked if his joke was insensitive, McCain said: "Insensitive to what? The Iranians?"
Now, McCain may be willing to do "something bad" if "using force against Iran" be "something bad," but that basic fact already was well known. Who the colorful was asking whether the joke was "insensitive"? Are we now back to Jean-Francois Le Querrie saying that sensitivity is a relevant criterion for judging foreign policy. As for "taking lightly," it is a fact about war veterans or others who often deal with blood and gore as part of their jobs that one very common practice of handling their experience is to use gallows or sick humor in an "in-group" situation. (Remember THE ILIAD? That was awesome. Remember the scene in THE MAIN EVENT when all the fighters at camp start talking about broken noses and cuts at the dinner table while solitary-little-girl Barbra gets progressively sickened? That would have been awesome if the movie was better.) It doesn't refer at all to ...
I am already letting this "controversy" draw me into its cave. Taking this way too seriously. Reactions like MoveOn's do not deserve to be argued with. Or as McCain himself put it:
"Get a life."
¹ Reading that WorldNetDaily article now ... there's even "homophobia" (quotes intentional) in McCain's script for that sketch and ... gasp ... joking in another sketch about setting up the police state that Chimpy McBushitleretardespotheocrat obviously planned. But McCain got away with that, and in 2002. Consider this the leatest evidence the MSM has turned on him.