I put Middle Earth Journal in hiatus in May of 2008 and moved to Newshoggers.
I temporarily reopened Middle Earth Journal when Newshoggers shut it's doors but I was invited to Participate at The Moderate Voice so Middle Earth Journal is once again in hiatus.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Shelf Life

Many beer drinkers applauded Budweiser when they started putting "born on" dates on their bottles of beer so you would know what the expected shelf life would be when you bought it. That might seem like a good idea, but some Republicans are probably not very thrilled that certain "Democratic operatives" are releasing some advertisements pointing out that Republican presidential candidate John McCain is Older Than Velcro.
Called "Younger than McCain", the website is being run by Steve Rosenthal, a former political director at the AFL-CIO and executive director of America Coming Together, a massive soft money effort organized around the 2004 presidential race. Rosenthal is now a partner in The Organizing Group.

The current content amounts to a 90-second video listing the things younger than McCain -- a list that includes the Golden Gate Bridge, plutonium, Coke in a can and Velcro among many, many other things.

What do you think? Cheap shot? I've already heard GOP supporters saying that McCain's age is off limits as a campaign issue, since we're not supposed to talk about Obama's race or Clinton's gender. But is this a valid correlation? The fact is, there's nothing inherent to being female or African American which would hinder one's ability to function as the Commander in Chief. But how about advanced age?

Look... I love my mom dearly. She's a wonderful woman who still leads a quite active life, donating her time at a local elementary school, Meals on Wheels and plays golf once in a while when the weather allows. But we also had to recently help move her out of her home of more than half a century and into an apartment in an assisted residence community. She simply has far too many "senior moments" to put it kindly. While there are many things she can still do, I wouldn't put the woman in charge of a deli slicer today, to say nothing of the nuclear launch codes. She is four years older than John McCain.

Now, different people age at different rates. This clearly does not disqualify Senator McCain from running. But by the same token, it is a fact of life that such slides in mental acuity can and do happen for some people, so observing John McCain out on the campaign trail in these terms certainly seems both valid and required. This expert on Middle Eastern affairs has already confused his Sunni and Shiites on several occasions and apparently thought that Purim is the Jewish Halloween. In terms of electability in the fall this is also something to be considered. At some point we're going to have a series of nationally televised debates between McCain and (very likely) Obama. Having the young, dashing 48 year old Senator from Illinois standing a few feet from the (by then) 72 year old McCain might not be the visual image his supporters are hoping for.