is McCain confused, stupid or just an asshole?
August 1, 2008 4 Comments
The McCain camp launched its first Swift Boat-style negative attack of the season this past week. The Republicans are going all out in their attempts to paint Obama as unpatriotic and unfit to serve because of a cancelled visit to a military hospital:
The attacks are part of a newly aggressive McCain operation whose aim is to portray the Democratic presidential candidate as a craven politician more interested in his image than in ailing soldiers, a senior McCain adviser said. They come despite repeated pledges by the Republican that he will never question his rival’s patriotism.
The essence of McCain’s allegation is that Obama planned to take a media entourage, including television cameras, to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany during his week-long foreign trip, and that he canceled the visit when he learned he could not do so. “I know that, according to reports, that he wanted to bring media people and cameras and his campaign staffers,” McCain said Monday night on CNN’s “Larry King Live.”
But the allegations are not true and this time around the press is actually doing its job.
In fact, there is no evidence that he planned to take anyone to the American hospital other than a military adviser, whose status as a campaign staff member sparked last-minute concern among Pentagon officials that the visit would be an improper political event.
Technically, Obama canceled the trip for political reasons – he didn’t want the visit to be paid for by the campaign because he didn’t want it perceived as a campaign visit. It is certainly a political decision (because visiting injured troops is really never wrong), but it is a political decision from a good place.
But it is not the ugly political reason McCain is making it out to be. Which makes McCain’s attack a lie, which unlike in 2004, the voters now seem in no mood for. It makes him look like an asshole who just has nothing to offer so he has to try and kneecap the popular kid.
Luckily, the Obama folk have some experience dealing with this sort of bullshit and trickery. So in that sense, maybe we were wrong and the Clinton Campaign was good for something after all.
Now, it’s certainly a possibility that McCain either doesn’t understand the difference or is simply confusing them (a la Sunnis and Shias or imaginary borders between Pakistan and Iraq), but even if that’s the best case scenario, is that really the guy we want running the country anyway?