Newsweek's Anna Quindlen, usually a rather wimpy go-along-to-get-along columnist, gets it right (and minces no words) on McCain's dysfunctional relationship with the Internet:
When the Republican candidate described himself earlier this year as a computer illiterate who had never gone online, it just made him look odd. And old. Of course, that's not fair. Both my father and my mother-in-law are somewhat older than McCain (although indubitably young at heart), and both of them have been using e-mail for years. While only one in three Americans over the age of 65 goes online, surveys of McCain's peer group—older, white, well educated—find the number rises to three out of four. Almost half of Americans say they've used the Internet, e-mail or text messaging to follow this presidential election. It's as though the senator had been invited to a massive rally of tens of millions of voters, and was reluctant to attend because getting there might be a bit of a hassle.
But McCain's explanation, that he depended on aides and his wife to show him what's in cyberspace, didn't only make him seem behind the curve. It made him seem Out of It. And that's important, because Out of It is what Americans cannot afford in a president at this moment. OOI describes too many of our leaders, in business and industry as well as politics. It means that manufacturing executives don't get ahead of the curve of consumer desires, that government-agency heads are often blind to how their policies really work for ordinary people, and that political figures can be insensible to undercurrents because they are always sailing over the mainstream.
The central question:
The terrorists have laptops in their hideouts. Can America afford to have a leader who is just learning how to use one?