Barack Obama’s official campaign site, over which Obama’s staff exercises editorial control, seems to welcome propaganda to the effect that John McCain has Alzheimer’s disease–along with jokes about Alzheimer’s Disease. One such entry linked a YouTube video that plays a song about an old mother with silvery hair in an old rocking chair while citing “evidence” that McCain is senile. We might argue that any legal adult who votes for the phony smile and empty suit over McCain shows evidence of mental deterioration, but we digress. Here is a blog entry at My.BarackObama.com that will probably disappear when it appears at this site and at Free Republic, but we downloaded the entire page so screen shots will be available through Election Day. (It is standard practice for the Obama campaign to sanction postings of this nature until they become Internet-wide embarrassments, whereupon they get thrown under the bus.)
Let’s pretend that McCain’s right and that this was a way of bringing his age up. What exactly is it that makes it a cheap shot? Is McCain trying to tell us that he’s not really frackin’ old? Are we not allowed to talk about it? Because, seriously folks, it’s not like this isn’t an issue. Age is the one immutable* characteristic that is actually relevant. McCain’s what, 71 now, right? He’ll be 72 before he takes office and that means that if he gets elected and reelected he’ll be 80 when he leaves office. He can’t tell us his mind’s going to be all there in eight years. He can’t tell us it’ll be all there in four years. He just can’t. He can’t know that. He’s really old. Old people start to deteriorate. They get Alzheimer’s. They get Parkinson’s. They get dementia. They get just generally more forgetful and less capable. It doesn’t happen to everybody. I’m sure he takes care of himself, and he’s probably starting off a little sharper than most people and he can afford to be blunted a bit by age, but folks, that doesn’t mean anything. My grandfather started out sharp as a tack and stayed that way till his early seventies and then went into a decline that made falling stars look lethargic. But that might not happen to McCain. I’m not saying it will or it won’t because I don’t know. And neither does he. And neither does America.
Just as age is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s Disease, cocaine use is a risk factor for permanent brain damage. It doesn’t happen to every cokehead but, if Obama’s people want to stick with their “old people get Alzheimer’s Disease,” we can use Obama’s prior cocaine use (“blow” in “Dreams From My Father”) to answer them in kind and with compound interest. In fact, noting that Obama’s people started this, we should finish it by using exactly this approach.