The debate analysis in the media is rampant with contest analogies of war, baseball, boxing, football; you name it. Any testosterone contest imaginable is fair game. Nora Ephron noted, "we watched Obama miss opportunity after opportunity to score a knockout punch -- as the men in the room tended to put it." Exactly, as the men in the room put it. We're not talking gentlemen here. We're just talking men. The he-man, tough guy, or "smokin' Joe", as Chris Matthews jokingly alluded to in a post debate discussion on his MSNBC Hardball program.
Matthews had interviewed Rep. Chip Pickering who compared McCain to "Joe Frazier" in defending McCain's uncongenial inability to even look at Obama. Pickering kept repeating the word fight in describing what McCain was doing and finally questioned that Matthews should understand all this, having a show called Hardball. Later Matthews talked with Pat Buckhannon who was full of boxing analogies, also using fight a lot, saying McCain was tough and much more heartfelt than cerebral.
A tough heartfelt un-cerebral boxer?
Rachel Maddow on The Rachel Maddow Show (what, no sports analogy?) talked to Rep. Trent Franks, who practically attributed the yet to be agreed upon bailout plan to McCain. On his campaign time-out, he flew into Washington like Superman and saved the day when he stopped by to talk to the dissenting House Republicans before making his all important photo op with the prez. Not only was McCain proclaimed debate winner by his campaign hours before the debate started, but he's also been declared our country's savior by House Republicans (go figure), having single-handedly steered us to a great bailout plan, avoiding economic disaster, days before the plan has been written, let alone agreed to. McCain is truly a god.
But I have to admit McCain did come off as the man while Obama came off as the gentleman. McCain kept saying he's no miss congeniality. Why didn't he say mister congeniality?
What's that all about? Is there something wrong with being congenial? Not manly enough? What is this guy, some kind of warmongering, uncivilized, crude, short tempered muscle head? Ah, yeah. He is.
In fact, this was actually one of the debating points that Obama called McCain out on; his tough-guy stance (a football term) to refuse to even talk to other countries, like North Korea or Iran, without first getting them to agree on certain U.S. demands. Preconditions, as McCain called it. Obama went on to explain how this very policy of preconditions, under Bush, has caused both North Korea and Iran to become more of a threat with increasing weapons buildups ever since Bush imposed this policy, with McCain's obviously very adamant support.
Hello? We're not playing ball here. We're electing a president. Analogies suck. They never fully apply. Anyway, shouldn't you always try to talk to people first before giving them ultimatums? Oh, sorry. Only a gentleman would do that.
And McCain's no gentleman.