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ABC’s Tapper Asks John McCain! For Advice on Picking a VP

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ABC’s This Week continued its head first descent towards a new low in absurdity when it allowed Jake Tapper to host and invited Sen. John McCain to be the feature guest.  The highlight of the interview was Tapper asking McCain what advice he’d give Mitt Romney on picking a Vice President to run with him.  Really.

Now, an ordinary person watching this might for a fraction of a second wonder if Tapper had mistakenly assumed he was hosting SNL.   But realizing this is Jake, she would conclude Tapper probably meant it as a serious question.  And because this is John McCain, the man who believes he deserves to be taken seriously even though when his judgment was on the line, he picked the silliest, least prepared and least self-aware person in our lifetimes to be his VP choice.

But Jake is there to  tell John he’s a Serious Person, because if not, it means Jake is not a Serious Person, and so with total seriousness, John explained to Tapper that one should pick someone who was qualified and ready to take over the roll of President and Commander and Chief.  Like Sarah.

This is the point where you calmly get up, walk over to the sock draw for things to throw at the tv, and then come back to hurl the entire collection.  Don’t throw the drawer.

A sensible host would have wondered, given one of the worst examples of political judgment ever, whether what McCain had to say about US wars (he’s against losing them, no matter the price or however unjustified), the economy (doesn’t have a clue) and Israel (he’s against offending the Israeli government, no matter how much Netanyahu undermines Israel’s standing and security) was equally ridiculous.  But no, we had to listen to the man who favored starting and perpetuating an unjustified war that killed tens/hundreds of thousands for no good reason then complain that under the current President, US relations with the Israeli government were the worst they’ve been.

The correct response should be, My God, let’s hope so.

When faced with a bullying, messianic war monger who has undertaken an inhumane campaign of apartheid against an occupied people and whose blundering may get the US in yet another war it doesn’t need, shut off access to the world’s fourth largest oil producer, and possibly tank the economy again, disagreeing with that regime would be signs of a sensible foreign policy . . . but these are not suggestions we’re likely to hear on ABC or its competitors.

So we turn for some hope of sanity to watch another VP, Joe Biden, interviewed on NBC’s MTP, to remind us that the Obama/Biden team has just launched its reelection campaign on the theme that no matter how bad it is now, it could be worse.  Joe made news by announcing that he thinks it’s okay for men to marry men, women to marry women, etc, if they love each other and are prepared to make a commitment.  Sensible enough, so why isn’t he calling out the President of the United States for his non-sensical “evolving,” especially since it seems likely that Joe was deliberately sent out by the Obama team to put Joe’s (and not Barack’s) toe in the water and deflect from his ENDA dive.  Doesn’t anyone get that this approach merely reinforces opinions of  the President’s moral cowardice?

So if the purpose of the 2012 election is primarily to keep American from getting much worse faster, but just to slow down the descent, then is their hope for progress in the future?  Consider this:

Also in the interview, Biden revealed a not very closely held secret: He’s staying on the Democratic ticket as Obama’s running mate.

“There’s no way out,” he joked. “I mean, they’ve already printed Obama-Biden” campaign materials.

Biden said he was not annoyed by speculation that he might be replaced on the ticket by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Asked which of those two is more likely to run for president in 2016, Biden said, “I think we may run as a team. I’m only joking, obviously. I don’t know whether I’m gonna run. And Hillary doesn’t know whether she’s gonna run.”

Now there’s something to look forward to.  If we’re still here in 2016, we get to choose between Clintonian Corporatism and Wars on Terror and Welfare (now equated with entitlements) and the man who represented Delaware corporations for decades and who was Obama’s negotiator to get a grand bargain with the GOPers who want to dismantle the New Deal.  If you think this through, unless you think 20 years of Rubinism and financial engineering to move wealth from the middle class to the 0.1% are good things, Joe Biden just gave a very good argument for letting the Obama/Biden team lose now, wiping the slate clean for 2016.

And the argument against? The alternative is awful too.

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John has been writing for Firedoglake since 2006 or so, on whatever interests him. He has a law degree, worked as legal counsel and energy policy adviser for a state energy agency for 20 years and then as a consultant on electricity systems and markets. He's now retired, living in Massachusetts.

You can follow John on twitter: @JohnChandley