Saturday, September 13, 2008

Obama disses McCain's adaptive strategies

Obama has an ad out dissing McCain for not being able to send an email:

Now, some people are interpreting this purely as making fun of McCain for the injuries inflicted on him in the Hanoi Hilton, leaving him with impaired use of his arms and hands.

It could just as easily be interpreted as dissing McCain's choice of how to adapt to his disability.

For some people, adaptive equipment, and the Occupational Therapy required to use it, makes sense. For some, it doesn't. This is a choice people make based on their support network, their particular limitations and skills, and their personal preferences.

Some blind people choose to use guide dogs, others choose white canes. People with amputations make choices about prosthetics or other adaptive equipment. People with speech deficits may choose to use adaptive equipment or to undergo intensive speech therapy to help them to communicate better.

These are all decisions that people with disabilities make daily.

Dissing McCain's choice of how to deal with his injuries is just another sign of how Obama and his handlers don't understand the lives of ordinary people. They don't get that there is no "one size fits all" way to adapt to life with a disability.

McCain allows his wife, who has the manual skill, to be the one at the keyboard. That's the adaptive strategy he chose. And like many other people, McCain also tends to avoid email because of the security breach risks. So, for a combination of security, personal, and physical reasons, McCain chooses to leave the digital manipulation of digital technology to the people close to him. Is this not a valid choice? According to Obama, no.

PS: The reference to McCain "not understanding economics" is a deliberate out-of-context quote. McCain has made the following statements: "The issue of economics is not something I’ve understood as well as I should." and "I'm going to be honest: I know a lot less about economics than I do about military and foreign policy issues. I still need to be educated." In other words, he was setting a goal to improve his understanding of a particular aspect of his skill set. He showed the capacity to assess his abilities and set goals to improve them. Unlike Obama, who simply needs to show up and the waters will recede and the earth will heal, much like at the end of "The Lion King" when Simba just stands on the rock and the rain starts falling and the gazelle return to the savanah. Note to Obama: It's just a movie! And a kids' movie at that. Real life doesn't work that way. You can't just stand on the White House lawn and expect the cosmos to fall into place around you. Which evidently he does.

PPS: I love what Scrapple Face did with it:


Anonymous said...

Bulls**t! When John McCain returned to the US, he went through intense physical therapy and eventually began flying again. If his injuries couldn't stop him from flying a jet, they shouldn't stop him from sending an e-mail.

Nope, I'm afraid this is just one more sad attempt by the McCain campaign to play the victim card.

Christina Dunigan said...

anon, you don't use a keyboard to fly a plane.

You don't know much about physiology, physical therapy, occupational therapy, or physical rehabilitation in general if you think regaining one set of GROSS MOTOR SKILLS means that you also regain an entirely different set of FINE MOTOR SKILLS.

You might just as well say that the ability to drive a car means that you can also play the saxophone.

Anonymous said...

Some of the comments I've read about McCain is not that he *cannot* type, but that it is painful for him to do so (which would be understandable if he had, for example, had his hands repeatedly hit or even broken). One comment made it sound like he also was more of a hunt-and-peck typist. As someone who types quite a bit, it is very frustrating to see someone laboriously typing in that way, and I would rather type for my husband (even if he had full use of his hands) than sit there and watch him hunt and peck.

As a pharmacy tech, I saw numerous people who had crippling arthritis. But they all drove themselves to the pharmacy. Being able to wrap your arthritic hands around a steering wheel and a gear shift is quite a bit different from being able to dexteriously move individual fingers up and down on a keyboard. Your anonymous commenter is quite ignorant, isn't s/he?

How many people in the world do you know who can no longer type, play the piano (or some other instrument), or do needlework or other similar things? But just because they can't use their fingers like they used to doesn't mean they have no bodily control whatsoever.

Thanks for your blog that is so educational for these ignorant people! :-)

Christina Dunigan said...

It's only educational to those willing to have a free exchange of ideas and information.

Anonymous said...

So true!

Btw, I just watched the videos (poor internet connection before), and gotta say I love the parody one. I hope the original blows up in Obama's face. First of all, who cares if he doesn't email? It's not a high priority for me -- I'd assume that staffers normally take care of all such business anyway -- it's just not a relevant point as to whether or not McCain can effectively govern this country. I'd rather have somebody who couldn't send an email but does have knowledge and experience and, yes, age to give him wisdom, than someone who is up on all the latest gadgetry but doesn't know jack about anything.

Secondly, and I think this is going to be more damaging to the Obama-Biden campaign, is the fact that so many people do realize that McCain was beaten as a POW, and will find out that his difficulties with typing are a direct result of his service to our country, and Obama will end up with egg on his face. I expect to see this commercial materially altered or else pulled altogether before too long, from the backlash it will receive.

Bob Dole was injured in battle, and cannot use his right arm normally. At least Bill Clinton had a bit more class than Obama, and didn't suggest that his permanent injury from serving his country disqualified him from serving as Commander in Chief.

I don't have a TV (by choice), so get my news from the internet, and really appreciate all of this stuff you've got on this blog, which I check constantly. Sometimes when I go to my mom's I'll watch stuff she's got taped; but for the most part, I read internet news and listen to some talk radio, so I hadn't had a chance to see this idiotic commercial. I hope Obama rues the day that "he approved this message."


John said...

As a good friend reminded me, just how many company CEOs handle their own e-mail? I've heard that Bush doesn't do it anymore. He has a bit more to do than respond to e-mails!