Old habits die hard, I suppose
July 2, 2008 3 Comments
So the McCain people continue to freak out over Gen. Wesley Clark’s continued refusal to back down from his statements about McCain’s war experience as a proof he can lead:
Despite criticism from Republicans, Clark declined to back down in an interview Tuesday morning with ABC. “The experience that he had as a fighter pilot isn’t the same as having been at the highest levels of the military and having to make … life or death decisions about national, strategic issues,” he said.
Asked whether he felt he owed McCain an apology, Clark responded, “I’m very sorry that this has distracted from the message of patriotism that Sen. Obama wants to put out.” [...]
“I think that you can always cite a candidate’s service in the armed forces as a testimony to his character and his courage. But I don’t think early service justifies moving away from looking at a candidate’s judgment,” he replied.
McCain wants blood, of course:
“I think the time has come for Sen. Obama to not just repudiate Gen. Clark, but to cut him loose,” McCain said en route to Colombia.
One ally of the Republican presidential contender accused Obama of “winking and nodding” when he should be condemning Clark and his comments. “This is now about Obama, not Wesley Clark,” added Orson Swindle on a conference call with reporters organized by the McCain’s campaign.
Swindle, a retired colonel and – like McCain – prisoner of war in Vietnam, added that Obama should tell his surrogates to “knock this crap off.”
It should be pointed out though that Wesley Clark was a Clinton supporter who only became an Obama surrogate after she dropped out and I am not even sure if he has an official role at all in the campaign.
It should also be pointed out that Obama has been extremely complimentary about John McCain’s service in Vietnam.
I also can’t think of any other incidents in which Obama surrogates have taken a shot at Johnny Mac’s military service, which actually isn’t relevant anymore as the world and “war” are completely different than when Mac was fighting “the gooks” that he will always hate (his words, from 2000), despite our normalized relations and the passage of more than 35 years since the Vietnam war.
Sure, it’s almost understandable considering his background, but still, is that really the kind of world view we need with his finger on the button?
However, what is more unfortunate is that Clinton supporters are not yet up to speed on this whole ‘new politics’ thing. Their failure to understand it is why they lost and the sooner they realize it (and stop blaming sexism), the better off everyone will be. There is a new sheriff in town and this personal attack shit is not going to fly anymore – no matter how accurate it is.
And it is another reason Obama should not cozy up to the Clintons any more than necessary. Arm’s length, Barry. Arm’s length.
I’m just saying.
But back to Clark. McCain’s folks called on top lapdog Lindsey Graham, who immediately went out and pulled a Scalia (“using logic that contradicts even itself”):
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., rebutted Clark’s claim by arguing that McCain’s years as a prisoner of war and the mistreatment he endured made him uniquely qualified to lead the campaign in the Senate to ban the use of torture in the interrogation of detainees in the war on terror.
“Nobody could have taken the floor and spoken about detainee policy” the same way, Graham added.
See, here’s where I am confused: didn’t McCain cave to what the President want on that bill? Isn’t that an issue on which he flip-flopped, ignoring his own history as a prisoner of war?
So he’s uniquely qualified to lead because he gave in and we still torture?