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BOW Award for this Week.

Time to give away this week's BOW (Buffoon Of the Week) Award.  Unlike last week, which seemed to be filled with acts of buffoonery, this week was a bit quiet.  And in fact, I'd like to start by acknowledging an act of political courage that deserves some sincere recognition.  

Back in February, Mark McKinnon, a member of John McCain's media team who also worked for George Bush's campaigns, stated that if Barack Obama wound up being the Democratic Presidential nominee, he (McKinnon) would quit McCain's campaign rather than be part of an effort to attack Obama.  Here's what he said at the time:

"I would simply be uncomfortable being in a campaign that would be inevitably attacking Barack Obama. I think it would be uncomfortable for me, and I think it would be bad for the McCain campaign."

This week, amazingly, McKinnon made good on his promise.  He announced that he would be leaving the McCain campaign, though he stated that he would still be an "informal advisor" to the presumptive GOP nominee.  A political operative who takes a principled stand and then follows through on it.  How refreshing.

A few people have recommended that Hillary Clinton be given this week's award for her awkward statement yesterday, in which she raised the 1968 assasination of Robert Kennedy, seeming to imply that she was remaining in the Democratic race just in case something terrible happens to Barack Obama.  Thing is, I really don't believe that's what she was saying.  Look, I'm an Obama supporter, and though I've liked Hillary Clinton for a long time, I feel that she has run a disappointing and at times ethically compromised campaign.  But this time I think she's getting a bum rap.  She was answering questions about why she remains in the race, and pointed out that campaigns in the past  have run into June.  She made the same point nearly word for word in March, and no one batted an eye.  With the health problems of Ted Kennedy fresh in everyone's mind, this time the comment seemed more jarring, but to suggest that she's hoping for a tragedy is, in my opinion, unfair and unfounded.

I posted about McCain's pastor problem yesterday, so I won't bring that up again.  But that doesn't eliminate McCain from BOW Award consideration!  No, sir!  This week, John McCain voted against the new GI Bill that passed the Senate by a veto-proof 75-22 margin.  Clinton and Obama voted for the bill, as did 29 of McCain's fellow Republicans.  The central provision of the bill provides for vastly expanded educational benefits for soldiers returning from overseas and leaving the armed forces.  It seems to me, and to three quarters of the Senate, a fitting reward for the men and women who are risking their lives in a war that John McCain supports.  But though McCain is willing to spend hundreds of billions of dollars to wage an immoral, illegal war, he felt that the extra educational funding for veterans was too much.  Unbelievable.  But that's not all.  The Bush Administration and the bill's opponents also feared that by making life after the armed services too attractive to American soldiers, it might undermine recruiting efforts.  That's right, guys.  You wouldn't want to make veterans' lives too easy.  Best to treat them like crap and keep them in line.

House Democrats nearly won the award this week for something so stupid it's almost embarrassing to write about.  The House and Senate passed a farm bill this week, again by veto-proof majorities.  (I guess when the President's approval rating is down around 28% you start to hear the phrase "veto-proof majority" a bit more often....)  Bush promptly vetoed the bill and the House voted to override.  But it turns out that the Democrats in the House passed the wrong version of the bill and sent it to the White House.  They had to have a re-vote on the "right" bill and restart the process.  Pretty embarrassing there, folks.  No wonder Congressional approval ratings are even lower than W's.

But today's winner is, believe it or not, even worse than that.  The account of what happened comes largely from a Media Matters talking point that was picked up by www.crooksandliars.com.  After it was made public that Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy had been diagnosed with a brain tumor, there was an outpouring of sympathy and well-wishes for the Senator, from the left and the right.  Senate Republicans were commendably gracious in wishing Kennedy a speedy recovery, and many of them spoke of how great a legislator Kennedy has been during his 46 years in the U.S. Senate.  They made a point as well, of saying that he is also a fine person, who repeatedly reaches across party lines on personal and professional matters alike.  Cal Thomas, one of the most conservative columnists in America wrote a moving piece about his close friendship with Kennedy.  Everyone in the country, it seems, has been united in wishing Senator Kennedy the best.

And then there's conservative radio talk show host Michael Savage, who responded to the news of Kennedy's illness this way:  (Again, the quote comes from Media Matters and is repeated on crooksandliars)

"Following the announcement that Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) has been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, nationally syndicated radio host Michael Savage opened his May 20 show by interspersing audio of Kennedy singing “Ay Jalisco No Te Rajes” with clips of news reporters discussing Kennedy’s diagnosis and audio from the 1990 film Kindergarten Cop in which Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character says, “It’s not a tumor.” Later, Savage played the Dead Kennedys song “California Über Alles” after stating: “The poor guy’s been suffering for years, you know? Unfairly he’s been accused of alcoholism, but we see now that it was something much more deep-seated. And so, to cut this out in some respect for Ted Kennedy, here’s a tune coming at you from the Dead Kennedys. Go ahead and play it, please."

And so, for his mind-boggling insensitivity, this week's BOW Award goes to syndicated radio talk-show host Michael Savage.  Take a BOW there, Michael.  And then please, taking a flying leap off the nearest cliff.


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 24th, 2008 10:09 pm (UTC)
This week's winner was too easy. :) I mean, if you wanted to hand the BOW out to a RW radio talk person...they'd win every week (see Rush Limbaugh's comments this week as just one example. :)) And, if you gave out a 'Bonehead of the Week' award, then Senator Clinton probably would've won that...

"She made the same point nearly word for word in March, and no one batted an eye."

It is interesting that no one jumped on this before (I think this is the 4th time she's mentioned it - I guess 4th times the charm). I think one problem that this raised might be that as we were getting closer to reconciliation, despite the small number of Clinton supporters who are banding together to claim victimization and thievery over a 'man stealing' the nomination from 'them', we now have even more entrenched feelings and any discussion between the two groups just got a tad bit harder. In the end I think they will come together, but this didn't make it any easier.

I'm not a member of an organized party, I'm a Democrat.... M. Twain
May. 25th, 2008 05:29 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it may be that radio talk hosts are too easy a target. Last week a friends posted a comment asking me why W hadn't won a BOW yet, and I responded much the same way. Too easy.

Then again, if you want to read a response from the right, go to the wordpress version of my blog -- http://davidbcoe.wordpress.com
This guy didn't like this post at all.
May. 26th, 2008 05:56 pm (UTC)
A bit more 'strident' over there than on LJ eh? :)

Yes, the first thought of many RW 'bloggers' is to mash all people who have a liberal point of view as "commies" or some other label that is immediately understandable to their own group. He probably should've stuck completely to the substance of your post and left the ad hominem out of it.

I was watching Fox News Watch on Saturday. They were discussing the media coverage of Kennedy's illness. Jim Peterson declared that he was upset that since the media didn't use the word "Chappaquiddick" in every sentence of their coverage that the media was biased.

They have hated everything Kennedy has stood for for so long they just can't be human on these things. This wasn't about a rehashing of his entire life but about current events. That some in the media said some nice things about his record doesn't mean they have to 'balance' that with the negative just to appease those who dislike Kennedy.

I suspect the poster on your blog was a fan of RW talk radio. Not sure if he'd ever get your point.
May. 26th, 2008 06:34 pm (UTC)
You're probably right about the first guy. Turns out the second was a Democrat!
May. 26th, 2008 07:24 pm (UTC)
Yes, the Ned guy....seemed a bit too quick to pull the "Soviet" button....

And yes, not all Democrats agree. Go figure! :)

May. 25th, 2008 05:01 pm (UTC)
Savage has a LOT of skeletons in his closet. A lot of his hatred towards homosexuals is self-directed. He's also just a stupefying idiot.

But this is one time I disagree with you. I think HRC deserves the award for her insensitivity. We know Savage aka Michael Weiner, is a narrow-minded, intolerant little self-hating twerp. Nothing new there. But what HRC said shocked everyone.
May. 25th, 2008 05:32 pm (UTC)
I really don't think Hillary's comment was meant in a vicious or devious way. She's campaigning 20 hours a day, she's been doing it for 18 months and she's exhausted. She used a line she'd used before and this time it backfired on her. But I really don't think her intent was evil.

As I point out in the comment above, if you're interested in a view from the right on this post, go to my other blog site where I post the same content: http://davidbcoe.wordpress.com
and read the comments.
May. 26th, 2008 12:03 am (UTC)
I quite agree she didn't mean it in a vicious way, but the damage it caused to her campaign and her reputation is so extraordinary that I believe it, above all else, qualifies her for the BOW award over Mr. Weiner.

You see, Weiner is ALWAYS a narrow-minded, intolerant racist, and he spews his hate-mongering diatribes (and gives us valuable psychological insight into his own self-loathing as a result) on a nightly basis. Disgusting, yes, but nothing new since he as no reputation to soil. His screaming rants against Jews, homosexuals, women, minorities, Liberals, the Constitution, freedom of speech, civil liberties, our brave men and women fighting overseas, religion, and democracy are not news...or new.

HRC, on the other hand, said something INCREDIBLY stupid for a woman of her poise and intelligence and bearing. These are all qualities, I may add, Mr. Weiner never had to begin with.
May. 26th, 2008 06:39 pm (UTC)
Hmmm. A new BOW Award metric -- buffoonery relative to expected intelligence. That really raises the bar for W and Cheney and Rush and the clowns at Faux News. They'd have to do something unbelievably stupid to earn the award. Like, for instance, mistake an elderly hunting partner for a pheasant and shoot him in the face. Or so misinterpret military intelligence as to launch a war on wholly invalid grounds. Think they're up to it....?
May. 26th, 2008 07:27 pm (UTC)
You could just give them all a Lifetime Achievement BOW and retire them from future competitions...

Unlikely that any of them would sit around for 7 minutes after the US was attacked or for 4 days after a Hurricane hit a major US city (and then blanch when the same thing happened in Burma) or commit war crimes or sumpthin'.... Was going to say bomb Iran, but that would send them directly to the Hall of Fame...
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )


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