December 19, 2007

"He stood by what he knew was right."

John McCain's new ad:



Not many candidates are talking about Iraq these days, are they?

ADDED: McCain is also eschewing the holiday theme. No Christmas tree (or cross) in the background for him.

37 comments:

The Drill SGT said...

McCain had a great response back a couple of years ago when he was arguing both against Rumsfeld and the anti-war folks. He said the road to victory required more troops, not a pull out.

reporters asked him about the impact of his unpopular position on his presidential prospects. his reply is a great reason to vote for him.

I'd rather win the war, than win the Presidency

Meade said...

It'll never work. Where's the floating in the background subliminal cross? The smarmy smile? He didn't even bother to god bless me. I'm voting for Jimmy Carter.

Fen said...

And I would vote for him - hell, I'd even campaign for him, if not for:

1) McCain-Feingold limits on free speech.

2) Pushing amnesty without securing the border as promised.

Roger said...

Fen: add to your least the S and L thing. The trouble with mavericks is they are mavericks.

vet66 said...

I disagree with McCain on several issues such as the two enumerated above. I have written him regarding both. His response to this fellow Arizonan was "I get it!"

Why I would voete for him is his wisdom gained while incarcerated in the "Hanoi Hilton" for many years. He is a Patriot and an American first and foremost. He embodies the virtues inherent in Duty! Honor! Country!

He has his head on straight and his eyes looking forward beyond himself. For that, his abilities and determination are indisputable. His opponents ensconced in either party are pretenders the throne.

What a great slogan to run on: I'd rather win the war than win the Presidency!" Thanks drill sgt for reminding us of that.

Zeb Quinn said...

Not many candidates are talking about Iraq these days, are they?

I say it'll be back on center stage for the general election.

Roger said...

Zeb Quinn: in what context do you think it will be back? Just curious.

rhhardin said...

The surge is working because of what went before it, so it's not obvious that McCain was right about the need for more troops.

It's a war of moves and responses, and ways beyond where things have gotten.

Just the local intelligence capability and alliances picked up over five years is of enormous value.

Al Qaeda screwed up badly, after playing the media for years with the atrocity of the day ; the locals got very tired of it. And now they're with you when you move in and hold.

That is, it's not obvious that Bush isn't considerably more right than McCain.

Too bad we can't have Cheney as a choice.

Zeb Quinn said...

in what context do you think it will be back? Just curious.

It's going to be discussed. For one thing, I try to imagine those televised debates where the candidates aren't asked what they intend to do about Iraq, and I just can't feature it.

Peter said...

One of the problems with Democrats is that, because they have no core principles, they tend to focus on biography rather than political philosophy or policies. Hillary's the first woman; Barack's the first black; John is the son of a poor miller's apprentice...etc.

On the other hand, one of the main problems with Republicans is that they can't ever get beyond their beliefs to see the big picture: one candidate's qualifications for the presidency, regardless of whether they agree with him in every way.

Newsflash: YOU WILL NEVER, EVER AGREE WITH SOMEBODY ON EVERY LITTLE POLICY ISSUE IN THE WORLD. Moreover, you can't foresee what will be the biggest issues and challenges in the next four years. Plus, presidents execute laws, they don't make them.

Thus, the most important thing to look for is not who agrees with you on every little issue, but the PERSON most likely to be a good president: the most honest, the most principled, and the least likely to hide who they are. You know McCain will act with integrity rather than Clintonian poll-chasing to do what he thinks is right.

Who else can you say this of with any certainty? Obama, perhaps, but he's still too young to tell. The repeated Republican rejection of McCain is a real tragedy -- a Harry Reid-like ambition to sell out our best instincts and surrender to our worst.

Zeb Quinn said...

Heck, we probably won't have to wait for the general election. The anti-war elements will likely be on full display at the 2008 Democrat national convention. Especially if Hillary is the nominee. 1968 anyone?

Joshua said...

One of the problems with Democrats is that, because they have no core principles, they tend to focus on biography rather than political philosophy or policies.

One of the problems with Republicans is that they say really dumb stuff like this.

vet66 said...

Joshua;

Thanks for making the point!

jeweejewish said...

Ann said...


And "jeweejewish" -- you are a banned commenter. Get the hell out and don't come back. You are in bad faith.


That's so adorable.

Not as good as "get thee to a nunnery," or for you Trekkies "You are not of the body!!!!"

But adorable...

Anyway, I have no idea why Ann thinks I'm in bad faith. I haven't said word one about anal sex....

Fen said...

The repeated Republican rejection of McCain is a real tragedy -- a Harry Reid-like ambition to sell out our best instincts and surrender to our worst.

I understand your point, and made the same argument many years ago. But border security is not a minor disagreement for me - I left the GOP because of it and am not coming back until the fence is complete. No more broken promises or bait and switch [1986].

I'm tired of voting for the lesser of two evils and then getting shafted. The only way to get the message across is to boycott them. If that means Hillary is in for 8 years, so be it.

Pastor_Jeff said...

Fen,

Don't punish America because you're mad at McCain. I'm extremely displeased with him over a number of issues, but think what you're saying, man!

Slim999 said...

Quoting Earlier Commenter: " ... His response to this fellow Arizonan was "I get it!""

This is just political B effin S. It's not even a non-denial denial.

What does that mean? "I get it."

I'll tell you what it means. "You won't vote for me because I'm against free speech. I get it."

McCain hasn't submitted any bills in the Senate to REPEAL McCain-Feingold, now has he. So, he gets THAT!

Never, ever vote for someone who wants to be President of this country who has defiled the Bill of Rights.

Period.

McCain didn't learn a GD thing in the Hanoi Hilton except maybe how their system might be implemented here to silence the people.

Lifelong Republican here: I'm voting for Hillary if McCain is the Republican candidate.

hdhouse said...

If anyone thinks he can be elected by agreeing with Bush on Iraq, long haul.....ohmygod where has his mind gone?

Peter said...

Joshua,


Jesse Jackson said that Bill Clinton had no principles, that he was "appetite all the way down." James Carville and Stan Greenberg said that Democrats "appear to lack direction, conviction, values, advocacy, or a larger public purpose."

I'm not sure who James Carville and Jesse Jackson are, but according to Joshua's logic, they must be Republicans to say something so dumb.

What did Democrats "stand for" in 2006? "Getting out of Iraq" is not a core principle, it's a position. "Standing up to Bush" is not a philosophy, it's a strategy. And "stem-cell research" is not a fundamental idea about the role of government in society and its relationship to the individual, it's an emotive appeal to a marginal fringe issue.

The biggest challenge facing the Democrats in the next few years is the fact that George Bush won't be around anymore. Their "philosophy" for 7 years has been to wait for Bush to articulate his position, and then oppose it. Stimulus, response.

knoxwhirled said...

That is, it's not obvious that Bush isn't considerably more right than McCain.

I think it's pretty obvious! McCain was right all along. Don't get me wrong-- I give Bush props for weathering the criticism and the polls and not giving up on our military. But I don't think you can defend the strategic decision to go with Rumsfeld's pared-down army.

On *my* part, it is a case of "hindsight is 20-20" ... I have no clue how to run a war! But I give McCain enough credit to assume he knows what he's talking about, and he said from the start it was a flawed strategy.

jeff said...

"McCain didn't learn a GD thing in the Hanoi Hilton except maybe how their system might be implemented here to silence the people."

I think anyone, Republican or Democrat, might consider leaving that alone. Pretty despicable thing to say.

Joshua said...

Peter,

At first you appeared to be talking about Democratic voters. Now you appear to be talking about a few particular Democrats. Which is it?

Their "philosophy" for 7 years has been to wait for Bush to articulate his position, and then oppose it.

That must be why the AUMF was filibustered. Oh wait. Or maybe the medicare prescription drug benefit. Oh, no, that doesn't work either. No Child Left Behind? Shoot.

If you were a Democrat, one might guess that you're just mindlessly repeating a partisan talking point.

vet66 said...

Almost as despicable as Hanoi Jane
Fonda sitting on an AA gun with John McCain being tortured in the glorified "Tiger Cage" at the nearby Hanoi Hilton.

Pathetic!

Roost on the Moon said...

What did Democrats "stand for" in 2006? "Getting out of Iraq" is not a core principle, it's a position. "Standing up to Bush" is not a philosophy, it's a strategy. And "stem-cell research" is not a fundamental idea about the role of government in society and its relationship to the individual, it's an emotive appeal to a marginal fringe issue.

What are the great uniting principles of the Republican Party?

The rhetoric is all about the small government, sacredness of life and "freedom", but actions speak louder than words, and there is clearly not a coherent political or moral philosophy behind the goals of today's GOP.

What is consistent is the motivation of it's voters: fear of Sha'ria, of Mexican invasion, of Terrorist attacks, and of "Secularism".

It isn't the party of Freedom or Life. It certainly isn't the party of small government.

It's the party of Fear and Nostalgia.

Peter said...

Joshua, I'm talking about the Democratic Party, best represented by its leaders.

Individual Democrats, like all people, certainly have core convictions and political philosophies. But the party as a whole has nothing. This is not something I'm imagining -- the party has been struggling openly with this problem since 1972. My gosh, that was the whole point of the Howard Dean moment.

After the 2004 elections, in which John Kerry couldn't seem to take a single strong stand on any core issues besides symbolically referring to his past military service, Democrats in Congress passed out copies of "Don't Think of an Elephant" by George Lakoff. That book, essentially, says that Democrats shouldn't worry about ideas -- they should just frame their positions better. Jonathan Chait has repeadly written that politicians don't need philosophies, and that ideas don't matter.

The official party platform says this: "We seek: 1) Honest Leadership & Open Government, 2) Real Security, 3) Energy Independence, 4) Economic Prosperity & Educational Excellence, 5) A Healthcare System that Works for Everyone, and 6) Retirement Security."

This is utterly insipid. EVERYBODY wants these things, we just disagree on how to achieve them. If there were people arguing FOR dishonest government, unaffordable healthcare, and "unreal" security, then these would make sense as a platform. They aren't philosophies, they are attitudes. Although they may help Democrats feel morally superior by imagining that Republicans are out there in a smoke-filled room somewhere, plotting like Mr. Burns ways to hurt old people, sick people, and puppies.

As for "mindlessly repeating partisan talking points," I guess I'm doing it unwittingly. I'm not a Republican and never have been; I'm a disillusioned Clinton '96/Gore '00 voter desperately waiting for the Democrats to drop the Dean/Pelosi/Reid demagogic idiocy and return to the Roosevelt/Kennedy tradition that created America's middle class. I'm not saying anything that prominent Democratic leaders haven't been saying for decades.

Simon said...

Peter said...
"Democrats in Congress passed out copies of "Don't Think of an Elephant" by George Lakoff. That book, essentially, says that Democrats shouldn't worry about ideas -- they should just frame their positions better. "

I don't think that's quite true - my recollection (and it's been several years since I read it) is that Lakoff's thesis is that Democrats should learn to frame their ideas and policies more effectively, not that they shouldn't have strong positions. He's concerned with the packaging not the substance.

Peter said...

Roast, I agree with you. This is why Democrats are usually frustrated because their leaders are so squishy and make any clear stands on anything, and Republicans are usually frustrated because their leaders don't live up to their rhetoric.

Republicans have clear philosophies, but then sell out when they're in power. Democrats have nothing to sell out in the first place. I'm not sure which is worse; they both piss me off.

I don't identify with Republicans, so I don't feel betrayed by them like I do with the Democrats, whom I see as my natural home -- were they to ever drop the short-term psychological salve of postmodern identity politics, quit labelling everybody into little groups, and get back to looking out for the interests of ALL Americans.

Let me just say that it's very ineffective when Democrats point out how Republicans don't live up to their own ideology -- it both highlights how Democrats don't have their own, as well as implies that Democrats, on some level, agree that Republican ideology deserves to be upheld. Like when Pelosi, Reid, Murtha, and Biden used to argue for more troops in Iraq, and then did a U-turn as soon as Bush announced the surge.

Peter said...

CORRECTION: I don't think Murtha ever argued for more troops, but Pelosi, Reid, and Biden did, along with Kerry, at various points from 2004-2006.

Fen said...

It's the party of Fear and Nostalgia

Cute little strawman you've built. By your logic, I guess Churchill was Germanophobic.

Roost on the Moon said...

Peter,

The "Democrats don't have an ideology" is an old saw, and there is some truth to it, especially when they were the minority party and playing defense.

But I wasn't pointing out that the Republicans don't live up to their ideology. I'm not criticizing them for not accomplishing their goals or not being true to their principles.

I'm making a symmetrical charge here: that they don't have an ideology. Fewer mexicans, continued war, ban abortion, prevent gay marriage, never raise taxes, shadowy executive power.

The goals of today's Republican party don't cohere; they form a hodgepodge of issues that you can get people scared/fighting-mad about. The "principles" are so often violated because they're just an ad hoc lash around the big angry mess.

And, now more than any time in my life, the Democrats do seem to offer some coherence. They're mostly united on tackling the actual problem of rising health care costs and a disappearing middle class. They're for fiscal responsibility, and will raise your taxes to achieve it. Their foreign policy could coherently be described as an attempt to gracefully transition from a single-superpower era to a globalized one. They even have buzzwords for this 'underneath' stuff; sustainability and responsibility. _______________________________
Holy Buckets, Fen! You win the Junior Debate Club yellow ribbon. Enough already.

(...and you know why your ribbon isn't blue? Because I wasn't mis-characterizing an argument in order demonstrate its invalidity. Which is what that term means. It isn't just something you say when you disagree with someone's worldview.)

Fen said...

No. You wrongly equate identifying radical Islam as a threat & taking responsible measures to adapt to and counter it as "fear". Its a cheap shot, trying to marginalize those you disagree with, implying their positions are grounded in emotional weakness.

You might as well claim the Global Warming crowd is afraid of the climate. Its just as silly.

Roost on the Moon said...

"No."

No what? I wasn't critiquing an argument... ugh. Never mind. You don't need to understand why, Fen, just please, stop saying "straw man".

That a legitimate threat from Radical Islam (to use your confused and useless term) exists is quite beside the point that the GOP has exaggerated the extent of the threat for politcal gain.

You may believe they haven't. In fact I know you do. From your posts here, I've got a pretty good idea of how you conceive of the threat.

If we don't "fight them over there", they will (and the "they" is Radical Islam, now) attack us on our shores, which would lead to us living under Islamic Law. This is what you believe.

I take great comfort from the fact that such a view is so obviously absurd.

rcocean said...

I'm tempted to say McCain would make a fine head of DoD. But then I remember what an egotistical, backstabbing, MSM sellout he is. He doesn't play well with others; unless its Joe Lieberman, Ted Kennedy, or the NY Times.

Fen said...

Roost: Fen, just please, stop saying "straw man".

Stop using them and I will.

beside the point that the GOP has exaggerated the extent of the threat for politcal gain.

"No" again. That wasn't your intitial point. You said: What is consistent is the motivation of it's [GOP] voters: fear of Sha'ria... of Terrorist attacks.

You've crafted a strawman to distort your opponent's position. When called on it, you run away into ad hom.

Roost: I take great comfort from the fact that such a view is so obviously absurd.

That means nothing, coming from a partisan shill who doesn't even understand opposition opinion well enough to present it fairly. Hell, you're not even honest enough to distinguish between Mexicans and illegal immigrants. Are your arguments really so weak that you must resort to such deceit?

Keep stroking your strawmen, its all ya got.

rhhardin said...

It's a Christmas theme eschewed. I don't think holiday theme means anything beyond the color of the stuffed bears offered for sale.

Roost on the Moon said...

I thought "This is what you believe" might be going a little far, but it really turned out well. You're priceless, Fen.

Fen said...

Where did I speak to what I believe?

Moving up from strawmen to non sequiturs, I see.