Fans of Get Smart will, of course, recall that the awkwardly impractical “cone of silence” at Control headquarters almost never functioned properly. In fact, the recurring gag’s hilarity came from painfully demonstrating the various ways in which the comically defective technology would inevitably screw up thereby rendering it completely useless.
How fitting then to learn that things apparently weren’t all that much different at the old Saddleback megalo-church yesterday.
As alluded to here previously, the way in which McCain almost preemptively answered a lot of the questions, quite uncharacteristically for him, without hesitation — in fact, before Warren had even finished posing them — does seem to lend some degree of credence to the rumour floated by Andrea Mitchell on Meet the Press this morning that maybe there was some funny business going on with Warren’s “cone of silence” — which, as it turns out, was just an offstage “green room” with no broadcast feed. Whoop-di-doo. They should have kept him in a plexiglass tank where we could keep and eye on him… Or possibly in a booth to one side of the stage. After all, Warren did say before the forum that it was going to be “just like a game show.”
But you know me, I don’t usually subscribe to far fetched conspiracy theories, so the fact that McCain hadn’t even arrived at the Saddleback for about half an hour into the forum and the fact that it was all being broadcast live on the radio doesn’t necessarily mean anything at all. If John McCain’s people, many of whom used be Kark Rove’s operatives, say that he didn’t cheat, then I’m perfectly willing to take his spokesthingees at their word. I mean, it’s not like they’d actually lie about anything, is it? Who ever heard of anything so completely absurd? Morever, John McCain, as we’re repeatedly told, is a man of honour and he would certainly never lie, despite what Ann Coulter says. Who listens to that lunatic crank anyway? Oh, yeah… half the Blogging Tories. Well, never mind that.
Okay, seriously… I really doubt McCain “cheated” and even if he did, well big deal. It’s not like just about any sentient person couldn’t have seen most of those questions coming in one form or another from a mile away. Given the broad outlines of the “themes” had been sketched out for the candidates beforehand, it wouldn’t take much imagination to fill in the details. Besides, both these guys (and their teams) are pros at “debate” preparation and trying to figure out what possible questions the politicos might conceivably ask of them in all likelihood. And really, what difference would it really make in the end? Stylistic differences aside, the two candidates’ positions on issues like abortion, judicial appointments, stem cell research, etc. are what ultimately defined them in the eyes of evangelicals, who were supposedly the primary audience.
I do have one rather dumb hypothetical question though. Seeing as McCain was running late for whatever reason, what do you think would have happened if he’d lost the backstage coin toss and had been slated to go first? Something to think about.
Update: Hang on a second. If McCain wasn’t there, how could they conduct the coin toss? Silly me. I don’t know why I didn’t think of that in the first place before asking the previous hypothetical question. I’m sure there’s some great, totally convincing explanation for that too.
Update2: More tests of your faith here. This time, about McCain’s heartfelt “cross in the sand” story that may or may not be genuine, but in any case, as TBogg notes, is a heckuva lot better than the one McCain was telling the boys down at the VFW.