Many folks in the corporate media ain't so bright. Josh Marshall flags this post by Mark Halperin in which Halperin hails the "three-fer" McCain got by showing himself to be more aggressive than the war-mongers in the Whitehouse. As he writes:
The Vladimir Putin-backed conflict with Georgia was a three-fer for John McCain: it reminded voters how dangerous the world is, allowed the Republican nominee to distance himself from the more accomodationist Bush Administration and let him reinforce his maverick image.
On what planet is this a good thing? Look, Americans don't want a dangerous world. They don't want to be scared. They want to go about their little lives and do all their little things, and I'm totally fine with that. Whatever makes people happy. And hey, they're not dumb and if there's something to be scared about, they want a cure, not more scare talk. And they sure as hell don't want eternal war. As it is, they're sooooo over the misadventures in the middle-east and their concern for securing oil is pretty much limited to griping about the price at the pump. And no, more war won't solve that.
And really, the end of the Cold War really happened at a pretty good time, as America is no longer filled with victims of the Great Depression and heroes of WWII. More and more, the show's being run by the people who tripped acid in the 60's and snorted coke in the 70's and 80's. Generation X'ers are now advising our future presidents and running political campaigns. When we want a good scare, we go to Six Flags. And while 9/11 changed things quite a bit, even that scare has worn off as we now realize it was an isolated attack and not the beginning of a new wave of domestic attacks.
And so, no, it doesn't help McCain that Russia is trying to reclaim its former glory. Even McCain is just trying to do his best impression of the elder warriors who saved us from the Nazis and Communists. But it comes off a little weak when we recall that his best claim to being the Warrior-in-Chief was being tortured in a disgraceful war that we never should have been involved in. And it's even worse once you realize that McCain is part of the cabal that weakened us enough that Russia really doesn't have to worry about what we think.
Now, that isn't to say that this is a complete loss for McCain. No, it's obvious from Halperin's admiration that there is a group of people who are looking for a little fear mongering from their president: The Bored Media. People who lack real problems or excitement and prefer a little war to jazz up their too-perfect lives and give folks a reason to pay attention to the news. Apparently, this world is only here for their personal amusement; the rest of us are just their audience. But as far as the average voter is considered, it'd really be best for McCain if nobody heard about any of this. The media might still admire a tough president, but the rest of us prefer a smart one.
BTW, wouldn't Halperin's little ditty have made much more sense as parody?