McCain's Foreign Policy "Qualifications"

Matt Yglesias writes:

McCain doesn't need daily [foreign policy] talking points. But the reason he doesn't need daily talking points isn't that he can talk about national security issues with fluency and skill without them. Lacking daily talking points, he's repeatedly confused Sunni and Shiite, repeatedly forgotten that Czechoslovakia doesn't exist, changed his position on Afghanistan twice in 24 hours, etc. In short, he's made a ton of gaffes just as you would expect from an underprepared candidate. But he's allowed to get away with a lack of adequate preparation because, in the mind of the press, his years in captivity decades ago are adequate demonstration that he understands national security issues even though there's no real basis for that view.

(Emphasis supplied.) Wes Clark spoke at Netroots Nation last night and said about his now infamous remarks about McCain:

[O]n CBS' Face the Nation, he remarked that McCain's time as a POW did not serve as a qualification for the White House.

"There is just no other way to say it," said Clark. "Someone said to me 'This is a playbook operation by the right wing freak machine, the great freak show where they take a statement, distort it, blast it out of context and make it personal. They are so good at it they did all three steps in three hours and you fought back and I'm grateful for you from the bottom of my heart.'"

The connection between Yglesias' complaint about the Media's fawning over McCain's foreign policy prowess based on his POW history and the treatment Clark received from DEMOCRATS is direct. Unless and until Democrats stop being afraid to stand up for themselves when they tell the truth, Republicans like McCain will always get a free Media pass. Time to learn this lesson. Past time.

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

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    And the one who didn't fight back? (5.00 / 7) (#4)
    by Anne on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 12:28:05 PM EST
    Who should have come out swinging?  Obama himself - he just went right along with the right-wing's plan to neutralize Clark - a man with extensive military and foreign policy cred, who could have been a strong advocate for him, and in that three hours Clark talks about, he became persona non grata to the Obama campaign.

    I find no comfort in that.

    Who was Clark thanking? (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by ruffian on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 12:30:13 PM EST
    you fought back and I'm grateful for you from the bottom of my heart.'"

    My recollection about most of  the netroots was that they thought he made a huge mistake, and said so. There were exceptions, so maybe he was looking someone in the eye when he said that.

    Clark fought back. (none / 0) (#6)
    by LarryInNYC on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 12:32:19 PM EST
    The comment you excerpted is part of what someone said to Clark about the episode.

    Your memory is faulty (none / 0) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 12:33:25 PM EST
    The blogs strenuously defended Clark.

    One notaboe exception was (none / 0) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 12:34:22 PM EST
    Bob Somerby whose sophistry on the issue was hypocritical and unintelligent.

    I had a heated e-mail exchange with him on it.


    Heh (none / 0) (#24)
    by Steve M on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 12:44:27 PM EST
    I so rarely disagree with Bob, but I have to take your side on this one.  I'm sure it hurts to hear it.

    what really bothered me about it (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 12:50:29 PM EST
    was here is Bob Somerby, whose life work is defending Al Gore from such things condoning that which he has fought against for years.

    The argument about Gore could have been reduced to the terms Somerby chose for Clark. Frankly, it was incredibly obtuse of Bob to not even recognize what he was doing.

    I assume Bob does not like Clark. His personal feelings get in the way of his analysis a lot. See him on Joe Wilson for instance.


    I totally (none / 0) (#91)
    by Jackson Hunter on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 02:11:21 PM EST
    agree with you BTD, I'm not sure what the Hell Bob was thinking on that one.  There couldn't have been a more perfect example of Media sophistry on the whole Clark "controversy" and somehow he didn't see it, or willfully ignored it.



    well Somerby has his own pathology (none / 0) (#138)
    by Salo on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 03:20:38 PM EST
    he may even be exhibiting a Democratic pathology that makes every General suspect.

    well Somerby has his own pathology (none / 0) (#139)
    by Salo on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 03:20:44 PM EST
    he may even be exhibiting a Democratic pathology that makes every General suspect.

    I stand corrected all the way around (none / 0) (#17)
    by ruffian on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 12:41:17 PM EST
    Faulty reading and faulty memory.  I will go back to my day job now.

    Naps are good, too. (none / 0) (#99)
    by oldpro on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 02:25:34 PM EST
    Some days we're just not 'hitting on all cylinders.'  Happens to everyone.

    You could try chocolate, too.

    Right before the nap.

    Coffee after.


    Perception v. Reality (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by dianem on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 12:34:41 PM EST
    Which matters more to winning an election? Gore was honest, but he was spun successfully as a liar, so he lost the election because he wasn't trustworthy. Kerry was smart and consistent and brave, but he lose because he was perceived (with a lot of help from the right) as a flip-flopper who lied to get his metals, and an elitist who was unsympathetic to middle class needs.  McCain is perceived as a "maverick" "straight-talker". So... does the left have the ability to change this? So far, no. Obama is rapidly earning the label of a bit of an elitist who doesn't have a lot of substance. Does the left have the ability to change this? We'll find out in the fall, when the right chooses their attack strategy (if they already haven't) and starts the machine running.

    Here's the thing.... (5.00 / 1) (#108)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 02:47:55 PM EST
    We can only do so much to help them - the candidates themselves need to be more responsive and tougher about taking these slander campaigns on at the very minute they start.  Wes Clark did not apologize for his remarks.  That was smart on his part.  It is OKAY to say "No, I disagree" in simple straight-forward terms - but too many Dems want to explain and talk and talk and talk - and I find myself often watching them wondering why they can't be direct, firm and unapologetic.  The Republicans are NEVER apologetic - ever - and the reality is that that telegraphs strength and is often wrongly interpreted as "character" and integrity.  Sadly though it does often show that the Republicans are more gutsy than Dems and that is a killer for us every time.

    Wes Clark would be a great President (5.00 / 1) (#154)
    by dianem on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 03:38:05 PM EST
    And before anybody pipes in... I KNOW he didn't run, so he couldn't be elected. But I saw him in a stump speech a while back and I've never been so inspired by a candidate. He's amazing. I don't know why so many people dismiss him. Maybe he's just too moderate for a military candidate.

    This seems to be Gen. Clark redux. (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 12:38:16 PM EST
    Sen. McCain seems to have brain cramp on details but his many years in the U.S. Senate, to me, give him a better basis for claiming foreign policy than Sen. Obama has.  Although, according to today's NYT, Sen. Obama has 300 advisors getting him ready for his trip overseas.

    The question is really whose judgment do you trust to implement your view of what the U.S. should do, and their I think Sen. Obama has the advantage.  

    300 advisors (5.00 / 3) (#51)
    by nycstray on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 01:14:13 PM EST
    doesn't that seem excessive for a trip overseas? How many advisers will he need on FP when he's President?

    I'll take the 300 advisors that Obama has... (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by wasabi on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 01:36:53 PM EST
    I prefer a President to have as many independent voices advising him as possible.  Sure beats the current leader's reliance on just one, his higher father...
    Oh, and his "gut".

    Oh please (none / 0) (#175)
    by MichaelGale on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 04:30:12 PM EST
    300 hundred advisors is over kill.  If that is published, it just validates that he does not know what he is doing or is unsure of himself. Silly release of info if that is the case.

    Jeebus.....even the Pope does not have 300 hundred advisors on an international trip.


    You are swalling GOP spin (5.00 / 1) (#180)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 05:09:18 PM EST
    Take a look at the NY Times article....It is 300 advisers overall on foreign policy; more of a netwwork of advisors who report up the chain to Obama's immediate advisers....

    It seems like a pretty taut and efficient organziation....Like how we would like to the Department of State run.


    Good Work (5.00 / 1) (#183)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 05:33:33 PM EST
    Overcompensation is in order to match the overcompensation McSame's has had to do because he is a moron. I prefer education and information from experts to a relentless repeating of war stories that seem to change with each telling.

    Sounds like a smart move to me. But I guess you prefer the god/gut approach cloaked in a cod piece flight suit with lots of patriotic banners.


    Yeah, But the Pope is the Pope (none / 0) (#177)
    by daring grace on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 04:41:31 PM EST
    If you are now or have ever been Roman Catholic you know he requires NO advisors. He is IT.

    I support Obama's candidacy, but in no way have I ever believed he is infallible.

    In other words, I like Obama, but he ain't no pope.


    It is not 300 advisors for the trip (none / 0) (#179)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 05:07:04 PM EST
    That is a distortion.....

    It is an overall network on foreign policy, funnled through a failry defined organziation to top aides....

    Did you read the NY Times article?  


    I'm trying to imagine how one would (none / 0) (#190)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 05:48:37 PM EST
    digest the advice of 300 people.  

    Before Larry disses me, yes, my grammar (none / 0) (#14)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 12:39:03 PM EST
    was faulty in that comment.

    Are you inferring. . . (none / 0) (#15)
    by LarryInNYC on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 12:40:41 PM EST
    that I'm some kind of grammar police?

    Ha. I still don't have the distinction in mind. (none / 0) (#19)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 12:42:05 PM EST
    Ah. (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by LarryInNYC on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 12:48:01 PM EST
    You can infer something from information you know.  The information itself can never infer something -- inference is the mental act of drawing conclusions from facts.

    Information can imply something, as can people.  That is, the information can provide you the opportunity to draw an inference if you want.

    The fact that I care about the difference implies I don't have much of a life.  If you reach that conclusion, you have inferred that I don't have much of a life.  If you then say to someone else "That guy Larry threw a sprocket when I used 'infer' instead of 'imply'" you are then implying to them that I don't have much of a life.  They may choose to infer that or, if they also care abnormally about the difference, they may infer that I'm actually a very cool guy.


    I long ago inferred (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 12:51:17 PM EST
    that none of us have much of a life.

    That none of us HAS (none / 0) (#94)
    by MsExPat on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 02:16:00 PM EST
    much of a life may be a mistaken inference on your part.

    What does it imply that your are so (none / 0) (#34)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 12:54:49 PM EST
    damn funny before noon PDT?

    "there" not "their" (none / 0) (#18)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 12:41:31 PM EST
    "foreign policy experience" (none / 0) (#21)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 12:42:49 PM EST
    Tighten up (none / 0) (#25)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 12:44:46 PM EST
    but dontcha get to tight (5.00 / 0) (#52)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 01:14:47 PM EST
    The comment is like (none / 0) (#22)
    by LarryInNYC on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 12:43:19 PM EST
    Oakland.  There's not "their" there.

    That, sir, is an insult. (none / 0) (#26)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 12:46:12 PM EST
    It may well be. . . (none / 0) (#35)
    by LarryInNYC on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 12:55:44 PM EST
    but you'll need to take it up with Gertrude Stein.

    Whom you have ripped off. (none / 0) (#36)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 12:56:26 PM EST
    That was an homage. (none / 0) (#37)
    by LarryInNYC on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 12:57:21 PM EST
    And I want to be clear about that in a very real, and legally binding, sense.

    I have the perfect opera for you. (5.00 / 0) (#47)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 01:08:41 PM EST
    Music by Virgil Thomson, libretto by Gertrude Stein:    
    The Mother of us All
    : NYT review

    Horrible, IMO (none / 0) (#184)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 05:36:23 PM EST
    I saw it, and was bored to tears. I prefer to read gertrude stein without the sound portion, that way I can turn the pages rather than have to listen to the same sentence repeated 20 times, to a silly tune.

    I also saw it and dragged a non-opera (none / 0) (#189)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 05:47:31 PM EST
    afficionado friend along.  Boy, was I embarrassed.  When I later asked my sister, who is a professional musician, if she had ever seen the opera she sd. yes, a college production; and she didn't care to ever see it again.  

    I Love Opera (none / 0) (#191)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 05:54:38 PM EST
    At least some of them, but this was pop music that should have been buried with VT. But in all honesty I do not like anything Virgil Thompson wrote, save for his music for Orson Welles' McBeth.

    It maybe that some of his other film scores did not bother me, but I can't remember.


    Actually (none / 0) (#192)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 05:56:31 PM EST
    I was with a non musician artist crowd. They did not seem to cringe as much as me. Ignorance is bliss, I guess.

    It would have been heresy not to like (none / 0) (#193)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 06:03:43 PM EST
    Thomson's Alleluia back in the day.  Not sure if college choirs still sing that on tour, or, actually, if they even have choirs now or go on tour.

    OK (none / 0) (#195)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 06:15:55 PM EST
    Forgot about that one, I sang it as well..eons ago.  But still not a fan.

    You can show respect without granting the point (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by hitchhiker on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 02:10:16 PM EST
    Look, my husband sustained a spinal cord injury in 2001.  He's the most freakin' courageous person I know, but he's not qualified to run the NIH or be the Surgeon General.  

    McCain is in same position, and it shouldn't be that hard to suggest analogies like the one I just gave to show it.

    My spousal unit would be insulted if people tried to hand him jobs he doesn't have training for just because he got hurt; McCain loses a little of my respect for trading on his imprisonment in this way.

    But I do respect him.  From watching it for the last 7 years, I can tell you that being relentlessly sick, disabled, and helpless is not something everybody could endure -- especially, as with both McCain and my husband-- there is no guarantee whatsoever that you're going to ever be "normal" again.  Whatever else McCain is, he's one tough-minded human being.

    Our job is to remember and honor that.  It does in fact qualify him, imo, for some of the tasks of the presidency.  But foreign policy expertise is not one of them, and it's also our job to keep asking pointed questions about his current positions and plans for our future policy.

    can you find one statement from (5.00 / 3) (#98)
    by TimNCGuy on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 02:22:01 PM EST
    the McCain campaign where they have ever suggested that his time as a POW BY ITSELF qualifies him to be commander in chief?  It's rather disingenuous for people to keep making this charge.  And despite talk to the contrary, that is what Gen Wes Clark was trying to put out into the public and that is how the press and McCain supporters took it initially.

    He has never made such a claim.  He has claimed that he showed strength, character, courage and patriotism through that and that those are qualities a president should posses.

    But, when he talks about foreign poilicy and military experience he is talking about his entire record which includes his many years in the senate working on foreign policy and military issues.


    What is disingenuous (5.00 / 0) (#112)
    by flyerhawk on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 02:51:27 PM EST
    is your attempt to argue that McCain doesn't use his POW time as his foreign policy bonafides simply because he doesn't literally say "My time as a POW makes me ready to be President".

    i'm not sure how to make this any more plain (none / 0) (#197)
    by TimNCGuy on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 06:47:40 PM EST
    what I said was he doesn't say that being a POW IN AND OF ITSELF qualifies him to be president.  Yes he does include it as one of his qualifications along with the experience he has gained in the senate.  He should include it.  It shows his character, courage and patriotism.

    This is the same as Wes Clark saying being shot down isn't a qualification.  Well McCain never said it was.  That was just the stupid wording of the reporter who was questioning Clark.


    McCain talks about his time as POW (5.00 / 0) (#120)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 03:08:13 PM EST
    all the time...

    When it Pittsburgh for an interview, the reporter asked him what he associated with the City Pittsburgh....and the answer?  The false McCain pander about reciting the names of the members of the Steel Curtain Defense when in Hanoi.....And, even pointing out that McCain had pandered on the point was deemed wrong....

    McCain is in Rudy's noun, verb and 9/11 territory.

    McCain really doesn't have a foreign policy--he just fliesby the seat of his pants and reflexively takes the most belligerant approach.


    There is one thing he (none / 0) (#126)
    by Salo on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 03:13:54 PM EST
    did and that was to coral GOPer's into normalizing relations with Vietnam.

    So he does potentially have a bone fide peace maker credential.

    His son is also over there in the front lines.

    The winning argument is to suggest that mccain does not possess the smarts to fix Iraq.  Transfer bush's dumbness to Mccain that way.


    That's part of it (5.00 / 1) (#134)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 03:18:52 PM EST
    Confusing Sunni v. Shia.

    Czechoslovakia (he's behind the times by more than a decade.)

    His opinion on the disparity in insurance coverage between Viagra and contraception.


    Puhleeze (2.00 / 1) (#201)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 07:41:51 PM EST
    this is the kind of stuff dems do all the time that causes them to loose elections. Neener neener he confused shia and sunni.

    Conservative ideology is what needs to be attacked and discredited. It's not something that Obama can do. You can't be the candidate who embraces conservatism and attacks it at the same time.


    I don't think Obama beats McCain (none / 0) (#132)
    by madamab on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 03:17:41 PM EST
    on National Security/Iraq. He can beat McCain on the economy, though.

    That's what I'd do if I were Obama - stress the economy. No one likes what the Republicans have done to the economy, and McCain has been awful on that issue.

    Right now, Obama is falling into McCain's trap by trying to out-hawk McCain. He needs to pick and choose his battles better.


    He can't run away from the national security (none / 0) (#140)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 03:20:57 PM EST

    Now, is the time for foreign policy.  It is a slow news time, and he will dominate the coverage with good press coverage.

    Starting at the convention, Obama will undoubtedly focus more and more on the Economy.


    Why wait? (5.00 / 1) (#158)
    by pie on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 03:47:18 PM EST
    You guys keep asserting that Obama is going to focus on X number of issues by a specific time frame.

    Instead, we get more of the same.

    It's a pattern.  A boring, non-substantive one.


    He has focused on the economy (5.00 / 0) (#165)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 03:56:06 PM EST
    Went on a two week tour on economy issues...

    He does talk about it all the time....some of it is covered by the press...and many simply do not pay attention to what is covered....


    Before The Convention Is The Best Time (5.00 / 0) (#166)
    by daring grace on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 03:59:39 PM EST
    to go to Iraq and Afghanistan. Certainly, after the convention, he'll be too busy stumping through the states for votes.

    There's plenty of time after that (and still before the convention) to address domestic policy specifically.


    Uh huh. (5.00 / 1) (#168)
    by pie on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 04:05:09 PM EST
    There's plenty of time after that (and still before the convention) to address domestic policy specifically.

    If he had a plan, he'd be putting it out there.

    She did.  All the time.


    MKS Answered This Above #165 (5.00 / 1) (#171)
    by daring grace on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 04:21:37 PM EST
    Besides, isn't this off topic as to McCain's foreign policy qualifications?

    MKS gave an answer. (none / 0) (#176)
    by pie on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 04:38:38 PM EST
    McCain has more experience, foreign or otherwise.

    It's up to the the voters to determine if it plays a factor in their decision.

    You guys sure aren't doing it.


    I agree. (none / 0) (#161)
    by madamab on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 03:49:18 PM EST
    I'm still waiting for him to reach out to Hillary's voters.

    [cricket cricket cricket]

    Time to run errands. Later!


    Not run away from them... (none / 0) (#147)
    by madamab on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 03:24:33 PM EST
    but focus on how the Iraq and Afghanistan quagmires are bad for the economy.

    This should be easy for him to do. He is letting McCain dictate the terms of the debate.


    I gave you a 5 for honesty (none / 0) (#123)
    by ghost2 on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 03:11:20 PM EST
    and speaking truth in a non-friendly crowd.  You are absolutely right too.

    It's a (none / 0) (#174)
    by oldpro on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 04:27:38 PM EST
    truth-friendly crowd, tho....

    Also, let's remember, (none / 0) (#129)
    by ghost2 on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 03:14:31 PM EST
    If McCain's time as a POW doesn't qualify him to be CIC, or earn him any points, then Obama's life history, and his time as a 10 year old in Indonesia should not earn him any points either.

    Us liberals want to claim (with Obama) that Obama best foreign policy qualification is living in Indonesia as a child, but McCain's time as a POW, as a soldier, and in the Senate doesn't count??

    That's a pretty classic Orwellian logic if I ever saw one.


    No, Obama's argument is about judgment (5.00 / 1) (#143)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 03:22:43 PM EST
    The old Primary framing is quite thread-bare now.

    it'll haunt the Obama effort (5.00 / 1) (#152)
    by Salo on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 03:35:45 PM EST
    The biography is a huge advantage to McCain if th e battle is fought on those grounds. He's also got a much more complex relationship to Vietnam than Kerry had. He wanted America to be magnamious in defeat. Fortunately Obama has the loyalty of the hip-hop millenial generation and those sorts of details will be missed by most voters and the GO pwill not realize that mccain wasn't exactly a warmonger or sore loser.  

    Biography is McCain's only advantage (5.00 / 1) (#157)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 03:46:00 PM EST
    He is terrible on the economy--trying to out-Republican Bush.

    He has abandoned all his "Maverick" stances....

    McCain is running on his biography--and the Dems had better point out that it is irrelevant--or they will lose.


    McCain's POW story is deep to the bone (none / 0) (#142)
    by wurman on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 03:22:37 PM EST
    American Prospect generalizes it (link)
    His 2000 presidential campaign aired ads highlighting his war record, and even sold posters of McCain from his time in Vietnam, pictured in his flight suit. His current campaign has featured television ads and web videos telling the story of his time in the "Hanoi Hilton, not to mention gimmicks like the "Service to America Tour," a series of visits to places that highlighted his military history.

    Sen. McCain's speech on foreign policy (link):

    In Vietnam, where I formed the closest friendships of my life, some of those friends never came home to the country they loved so well. I detest war. It might not be the worst thing to befall human beings, but it is wretched beyond all description.

    Those who claim we should withdraw from Iraq in order to fight Al Qaeda more effectively elsewhere are making a dangerous mistake.

    I believe a reckless and premature withdrawal would be a terrible defeat for our security interests and our values. Iran will also view our premature withdrawal as a victory . . . .

    I do not argue against withdrawal . . . because I am somehow indifferent to war and the suffering it inflicts . . . .

    I hold my position because I hate war, and I know very well and very personally how grievous its wages are.

    [My underlines]

    I hope you followed his argument as laid out here, excerpted from the totality of his speech.  It is a disguised circular argument.
    'I despise war.'
    'I believe more war in Iraq is necessary.'
    'I hold this position because I hate war.'

    This is a complete & total example of Sen. McCain using his personal experience as a justification for our national foreign policy in a major speech.

    And it's bogus.


    as clark pointed out yes indeed. (none / 0) (#153)
    by Salo on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 03:37:15 PM EST
    yet, Obama should only address McCain's intellectual shalllowness--allowing general staff and retired officers to rip into McCain at every turn.

    I agree with you (none / 0) (#172)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 04:21:44 PM EST
    I'm finding the whole argument in this thread an exercise in illogic and beside-the-point-ism.  And it is not helpful in the least to be blind to McCain's very real appeal to an awful lot of folks in this country.

    To say that he has no real and significant military or foreign policy creds is just idiotic, IMHO.


    An honest question (5.00 / 2) (#100)
    by cmugirl on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 02:25:34 PM EST
    Does Obama really want to go down the road of McCain not knowing the difference between Sunni and Shia when he didn't know that we don't need more Arabic translators in Afghanistan, or when he called for an undivided Jersualem, or when he offered to sit down, without preconditions, with some of the world's worst tyrants in a debate, and then when he addressed AIPAC, he said, "I have no interest in sitting down with our adversaries just for the sake of talking."

    I think he's shown enough political naivete over the course of the campaign (even with his 300+ advisors) to make this kind of questioning a bit riduculous.  I'm not defending McCain's foreign policy stance, by any means, but in the event of a public perception tie, McCain will always win this argument.

    Sunni and Shi'a is Pretty Basic Middle East 101 (5.00 / 0) (#109)
    by daring grace on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 02:48:59 PM EST
    since the Ayatollah Khomeni and the hostage crisis. Maybe everybody doesn't understand the nuances but I do a lot more about the differences and who's who among them a lot more than I do those other things you mentioned.

    And besides, McCain IS supposed to be more experienced, right? Doesn't that give Obama an automatic pass when he makes mistakes at this point? Not that people will say it's okay, but also it's not viewed as his strong suit yet.

    What can the expert McCain argue about his?


    I would argue (5.00 / 1) (#128)
    by cmugirl on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 03:14:17 PM EST
    That knowing we don't need Arab translators in Afghanistan or the state of Israel is pretty basic too for someone who wants the job of POTUS.

    And besides, McCain IS supposed to be more experienced, right? Doesn't that give Obama an automatic pass when he makes mistakes at this point?

    No - it plays into the theme that Obama is "not ready for primetime".  We've just gone through 8 years of someone who needed training wheels on foreign policy and look where that got us.


    Not AS Basic (5.00 / 0) (#156)
    by daring grace on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 03:43:42 PM EST
    was my argument.

    A lot of people I know who are not running for president know the differences between Sunni and Shi'a. I'm not arguing that they're "average" voters, but I'm not usually into gotcha! moments and I was startled that McCain made this mistake in public a couple of times.

    Otherwise, you're right that a person running for POTUS should know those other things. I'm just not sure how hard the voting public is going to be on him for his errors when McCain is making them too. I think a coherent sounding policy matters more in an election than an itemization of facts.

    It's another reason the 300 advisers don't bother me. I don't expect any politician who becomes president to have all the knowledge and depth and breadth of nuance of policy by themselves. The question is the quality of the people they listen to.


    ww2 (none / 0) (#159)
    by Salo on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 03:48:08 PM EST
    We called Bavarians Prussians.  Hanoverians Swabians...who cares?   Only good German is a dead German.

    Or as my German-born aunt sd., (none / 0) (#196)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 06:30:44 PM EST
    anyone would know that with a name like that the woman was Schwabian.

    You forgot the rule. (5.00 / 1) (#131)
    by ghost2 on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 03:17:27 PM EST

    Obama doesn't need to explain why he is qualified.  His time in Indonesia as a 10 year old gives him sufficient foreign policy credentials.  

    And nothing that anyone has ever done is ever going to come close to that!!



    ghost2 - (none / 0) (#137)
    by madamab on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 03:20:17 PM EST
    did you get IOKIYO from me? Or did someone else come up with it too?

    It's been around. (none / 0) (#151)
    by ghost2 on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 03:31:09 PM EST
    Not sure who came up with that first.

    Used to be IOKIYAR.  Now, it's IOKIYAO.  

    Change we can believe in.


    Heh. Indeed. (none / 0) (#155)
    by madamab on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 03:38:46 PM EST
    Unfortunately (none / 0) (#111)
    by madamab on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 02:49:59 PM EST
    you are correct about the perception. McCain's gaffes don't take hold because 1) he is a Media Darling and 2) he is a "known quantity." People are not necessarily going to change their minds about him because of a few slipups here or there.

    If Obama pulls off a victory, it will be because he successfully sells himself as better on the issues than McCain, not because he sells himself as more qualified or having a better character.

    Those approaches are destined to fail.


    Sorry, (5.00 / 1) (#136)
    by ghost2 on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 03:19:57 PM EST
    McCain is no longer the media darling.  He is getting old, and media's got a new flame.  

    Witness the huge coverage that Obama is getting for his foreign trip.  

    If BO or his team screw up, you have 40 so-called journalists (aka: campaign volunteers) that are going to spin and rationalize it.

    You heard it here first.


    I disagree with that viewpoint. (none / 0) (#141)
    by madamab on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 03:22:19 PM EST
    McCain is a Media Darling now and forever. Obama is a flash in the pan.

    I believe that once the Republican attack machine starts to roar, the media will shake its head and tut-tut at how they gave Obama a chance, but he turned out to be a liberal, America-hating elitist after all.


    McCain and foreign diplomacy experience (3.00 / 2) (#59)
    by Prabhata on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 01:25:22 PM EST
    I will let Wikipedia do the heavy lifting:

    Helped by McCain's efforts, in 1995 the U.S. normalized diplomatic relations with Vietnam.[96] McCain was vilified by some POW/MIA activists who believed large numbers of Americans were still held against their will in Southeast Asia; they objected to McCain not sharing their belief and his pushing for Vietnam normalization.[96][97][98]

    Mccai n can make a serious case (none / 0) (#81)
    by Salo on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 01:53:04 PM EST
    that he's actually a peace maker.  essentially he was a large part of the effort to get the US to respect Vietnam.

    It's Ironic that he's not exploiting that ability.

    And he's happy enough to be seen as a war monger.


    FISA vs spine (5.00 / 1) (#110)
    by Prabhata on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 02:49:48 PM EST
    McCain had every reason to hate, but he chose to reach to the Vietnamese regime and work towards normalization of diplomatic exchange.  Unlike Obama who voted for FISA and demonstrated once again no spine (over 100 present votes), McCain went against what was popular.

    it's a genuine substantive argument (none / 0) (#130)
    by Salo on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 03:16:57 PM EST
    But mysteriously he's not used it.  

    If he's smart he'll use his record on vietnam to show he's able to be a peacemaker as well as a Hawk.

    This is at least a substancially critical part of his record on Vietnam.

    je's still likely to lose to Obama based on the IWR stuff though.


    The Vietnam War was long ended (5.00 / 1) (#181)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 05:18:59 PM EST
    So, to call him a "peacemaker" is quite a stretch.....

    As to any potential conflict, McCain consistently has taken the Curtis LeMay belligerant approach.  


    not at all (none / 0) (#198)
    by Salo on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 06:59:34 PM EST
    but it i a digression. I'm amazed they have failed to make an issue about it. Grow an imagination about what they could run.  It's right there.

    Desperation (2.00 / 4) (#7)
    by Prabhata on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 12:32:52 PM EST
    To try to sink McCain to elevate Obama is truly a sign of desperation.  McCain has met with world leaders all over.  I'm not a Republican (I'm independent now) or agree with McCain on most issues, but I would not paint McCain as a lightweight on foreign issues.  The time in the Hanoi Hilton has no bearing on his qualifications, and to try to tie them, like Clark did, is simply offensive.

    Feh. (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by LarryInNYC on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 12:36:46 PM EST
    Clark did not try to "tie them", as you suggest.  He tried to untie them -- his point was the same as yours, that his time as a POW has no bearing on his qualifications.

    I thought the point of defending Clark's (none / 0) (#16)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 12:40:53 PM EST
    earlier remarks was that Clark was solely referring to Sen. McCain riding in a plane that was shot down, not the aftermath, including being a POW, refusing an offer to leave w/o his comrades, being tortured, etc.

    Well (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 12:42:42 PM EST
    Clark's point was that while aLL of it was admirable, NONE of it was QUALIFYING to be President.

    Let me be honest. (5.00 / 1) (#149)
    by ghost2 on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 03:29:08 PM EST
    A lot of these points are superficial.

    You know what I think?? Say McCain was about Obama's age (he looked quite good at that age, quite a hunk), and he just came back from war and prison.  Say it was in Iraq, and he had a similar tough experience that he survived with integrity and courage.

    The media would have fallen all over itself to say the story over and over.  There would have been tremendous excitement.  No one would have been able to compete.  Media would say, Barack who?

    There are reasons it's not like that now.  McCain is older and doesn't have the looks anymore. He is not new anymore.  The story has been told and is no longer fresh.

    Yes, media can be blamed.  But media, despite its grand claims to the contrary, is there only to sell itself.  That's why they loved JFK and Jackie, that's why they loved McCain 2000, that's why they preferred Bush, that's why now they love BO and MO.  The magazine covers and stories of these people outsell (outsold) the competition.  


    and St Barack peed on Clark. (3.50 / 2) (#77)
    by Salo on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 01:50:17 PM EST
    Hee hee... (none / 0) (#114)
    by madamab on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 02:55:15 PM EST
    you make me laugh, Salo.

    That's not how I read your earlier (none / 0) (#23)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 12:43:47 PM EST
    stalwart and persistent defense of Gen. Clark.

    Well (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 12:48:01 PM EST
    I am not sure what you mean but it is certainly true that the hot comment did not discuss McCain's "performance" as a pow - the hot quote was "Getting shot down [SCHIEFFER's WORDS] was not a qualification for being President."

    This was agreed to by everyone.

    The controversy was ridiculous.

    Dems need to say it all the time. John McCain has no strategic experience as a commander or in foreign policy. Of course we all know Obama does not either.  

    The point being neither has an experience advantage. They both are inexperienced (so was Hillary BTW.)


    So was our current president (5.00 / 0) (#89)
    by TChris on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 02:08:37 PM EST
    which says to me that voters aren't all that concerned about experience as a commander in chief or as an author of strategic military policy.

    I'm not sure Sen. McCain's long (none / 0) (#31)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 12:50:59 PM EST
    tenure in the U.S. Senate or long-ago military command experience will serve him well, since he can't remember much of anything.  But, if he could, doesn't that experience count for something for a future President's foreign policy resume?  

    Let's debate whether his Senate record (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 01:00:28 PM EST
    is a sign of judgment and experience.

    I welcome that debate.


    That should be the debate, but I (none / 0) (#43)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 01:04:06 PM EST
    don't read much about it, except that NYT article.  

    And you won't (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 01:07:18 PM EST
    so long as Obama and Dems allow McCain to stay in the POW cocoon.

    Ouch (none / 0) (#107)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 02:40:18 PM EST
    Biden helped to get Rudy out of the 9/11 cocoon with his famous quip about nouns and verbs....

    Do you think expressly pointing out how much McCain relies on his POW experience would help?


    Maybe Biden (none / 0) (#127)
    by madamab on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 03:14:02 PM EST
    can pull a two-fer.

    No, he's too big to fit under the bus (none / 0) (#173)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 04:25:45 PM EST
    Not so sure Obama wants to have to defend (none / 0) (#50)
    by Angel on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 01:11:06 PM EST
    his experience when you get right down to it.  

    he;ll have to (5.00 / 0) (#54)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 01:17:01 PM EST
    whether he wants to or not.

    Go on offense. McCain's Senate experience is marked prominently by his full throated support for the Iraq debacle starting in 1998.


    And they'll say that Obama voted to fund the war (none / 0) (#57)
    by Angel on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 01:23:07 PM EST
    once he got to the senate.  McCain's support for the war is old news and I honestly don't think it is going to make a difference in the election.  People want change but they also want a comfort zone.   Yin and yang.  Who knows what will happen?  Not me.

    Old news then is his experience (5.00 / 2) (#62)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 01:29:35 PM EST
    Frankly, it is rather embarrassing imo to see some of you Clinton supporters bend over backwards to defend McCain's incompetence. It make me think that your world view is totally prompted by Obama hatred.

    You are in an anti-Cult.


    Not defending McCain's incompetence, just (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by Angel on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 01:56:21 PM EST
    saying what I think the voters will say.  Yes, I am a Hillary supporter so call me a cult member if you wish.  And I don't hate anyone.  To say I am ruled by hatred is offensive to me.  

    there is a BIG difference (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by TimNCGuy on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 02:34:24 PM EST
    between saying someone has no experience and saying that the experience they have shows they are incompetant.

    You have been arguing that McCain doesn't have experience.  You should have been arguing that his experience and past performance shows that he is incompetant.  I wouldn't have argued that point with you.  But, you can't say he doesn't have experience.  He has certainly spent much time in the senate working on militart and foreign policy issues.


    According to posters (none / 0) (#167)
    by pie on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 04:00:32 PM EST
    on another old familiar site, some Clinton supporters are still being called racists.

    That's not going to win friends or influence anyone, not that it ever did.

    August approaches, and the rift remains.


    People Against the War (none / 0) (#66)
    by daring grace on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 01:31:40 PM EST
    already know he voted to fund it, and they're mostly with him anyway.

    His voting to continue funding can only work well with the others---esp. when explained in terms of 'supporting the troops' and developing a full strategy for withdrawal.

    But I never try to predict what will happen in politics either. This is just what seems reasonable to me.


    That's the Proper Argument (none / 0) (#63)
    by santarita on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 01:29:42 PM EST
    With all of his military experience and experience in Congress he still supported a President who kept Rumsfeld on even when it was clear to even a mildly interested citizen with access only to news accounts that Rumsfeld was presiding over a debacle of an occupation.  There is no doubt that he's qualified and that he has more experience than Obama.  But he still blew it by supporting Bush.  The fact that the Iraq occupation has taken so long is failure not success.   And it is  Bush's failure and his failure by extension.  

    The fact that the media is allowed to frame the contest as war hero vs rookie means that the Dems have not sufficiently shifted the focus to the right questions.  


    What qualifies him? (none / 0) (#70)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 01:39:18 PM EST
    What experience are you referring to?

    Senatorial Experience in General and Military ... (none / 0) (#97)
    by santarita on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 02:19:48 PM EST

    He is a citizen and he is over the age of 35 , so legally he is qualified to become President.  So am I.  

    I assume then that we are talking more in the sense of bona fide occupational qualifications.  For the position of President of a country that commands a large military with sophisticated weapons is one of the largest and most important countries in the world, BFOQ should entail high degree of intelligence and experience in government at high levels.  Senatorial experience would qualify as such experience, in my opinion.  And significant experience in the military is also relevant experience.  Are  his military and senatorial experience sufficient but not absolutely necessary qualifications?  No.  obviously not because Bush was President without the same C.V.  He may be qualified by virtue of his experience in both the Senate and in the military but that doesn't mean that he is the best candidate.  By way of analogy, the CEO of a failed bank may be qualified by virtue of his experience to be CEO of another bank but do I want him to be CEO of my bank?


    Well, Hell.... (none / 0) (#104)
    by oldpro on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 02:37:36 PM EST
    so was everybody but Eisenhower (as a commander)...foreignpolicywise, Bush 41 had one of the best resumes, Bush 43 one of the worst.  Obama's is not much better.

    No doubt that rather extensive foreign policy experience partly accounts for Bush 41's reluctance to invade Iraq...among other things of consequence.

    Neither Obama nor McCain give me confidence re the caution and modesty required to stay out of trouble in foreign lands.  Self confidence is one thing, hubris another.

    Worrisome to me.

    If Clark is persona non grata, who WOULD Obama listen to?


    There is a big NY Times article (5.00 / 0) (#113)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 02:53:02 PM EST
    today about Obama's foreign policy advisers.  It is a highly organized structure that includes about 300 people.

    The closest advisers:   Dr. Susan Rice, Anthony Lake and probably Pultizer Prize winner Samantha Power (after the election--if Obama wins).

    Dennis Ross (Clinton and Bush I envoy) Mideast Affairs.

    Biden is helping and looks to be Secretary of State if not VP.

    Obama has proven to be the better forward looking thinker (he got it right on the decision to invade Iraq, shortchanging Afghanistan, coddling Pakistan, striking within Pakistan if needed, and timelines for withdrawal--which Bush has today accepted in principle.)

    McCain is the always the fighter pilot--flying by the seat of his pants, giving nary a thought for tomorrow.  McCain is reactive; Obama, proactive, as hackneyed as that phrase may be.  


    And, negotiating with Iran (none / 0) (#115)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 02:57:03 PM EST
    Obama was right and ahead of the curve in negotiating with Iran.....Clark can articulate the issues extremely well with respect to Iran.

    Heck, even I got this one right (none / 0) (#122)
    by nycstray on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 03:09:29 PM EST
    he got it right on the decision to invade Iraq, shortchanging Afghanistan . . . .

    Many, many didn't; McCain didn't (none / 0) (#146)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 03:23:55 PM EST
    Ditto...but we (none / 0) (#162)
    by oldpro on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 03:49:40 PM EST
    didn't have to 'lay it on the line' in the national spotlight by voting in the US senate.  Talk is cheap and we could 'afford to be wrong.'  Wouldn't have cost us a lot if we had been...no personal or professional life, anyway.

    I didn't favor Iraq I...didn't favor helping Afghans fight the Russians or helping the Iraqis fight the Iranians.  It has all proved to lead to even messier nightmares for us.

    How to resolve it all now?  I don't pretend to know the answer to that one...but energy independence has to be a major factor or else we're stuck.


    fine "untie them" (none / 0) (#44)
    by TimNCGuy on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 01:05:08 PM EST
    but what McCain has left for foreign policy experience even with nothing from his Vietnam era experience still far outweighs any experience Obama has.

    McCain is experienced (5.00 / 0) (#45)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 01:06:45 PM EST
    and war mongering us into a disastrous Debacle in Iraq. McCain was the intellectual architect in the Senate of the most disastrous foreign policy action of the last 50 years.

    By all means, let's discuss McCain's record in the Senate. I am eager to do so.


    it's quite possible (none / 0) (#55)
    by TimNCGuy on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 01:17:22 PM EST
    that had rummy and bush actually "prosecuted" the war correctly it wouldn't have been the disaster that it is now and we would have been out of there long before now.  And, as I recall McCain has always said that rumsfeld & bush completely screwed up the prosecution of this war.

    Whether going to war was right or wrong, public support for the war was strong when it started and would likely have remained strong if the administration had fought it the right way.


    Your recall wrong (none / 0) (#60)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 01:27:23 PM EST
    McCain was an unabashed cheerleader of Bush and Rummy until the middle of 2004.

    He said nothing about the "Right way" when he needed to.

    You are masking sh*t up, even if I accepted your nonsensical premise that there was a "right way" to do the Iraq Debacle.

    I take it you are also a big believer in Joe Lieberman?


    A separate point (5.00 / 0) (#72)
    by Steve M on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 01:41:37 PM EST
    I think it is important to distinguish McCain's "do it the right way" position from the Democrats who criticized Bush for not listening to Shinseki and sending enough troops, or even someone like Colin Powell who believes in overwhelming force but also in limited, well-defined objectives.

    In every war our country has fought in living memory, we've had a faction that called for "doing it the right way," meaning expanding and escalating the conflict.  In Vietnam, there were plenty of advocates for a scorched-earth approach that would have expanded the war across the region.  In Korea, there were those (like MacArthur!) who wanted desperately to take the fight to China.  Even in WWII, we have the "betrayal at Yalta" crazies who think we should have turned right around after defeating Germany and declared war on the Soviet Union as well.

    I think it's clear that McCain is an heir to the latter tradition.  In fact, I seem to recall reading that in the late 90s, it was McCain and not Bush who the PNAC-style neocons were hoping to elect.  This is why it's impossible to take these people seriously when they talk about victory, because the definition of victory can always be expanded further still.  The chances of avoiding war with Iran in a McCain Administration would surely be quite small.


    McCain is definitely (none / 0) (#116)
    by madamab on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 02:58:20 PM EST
    a neo-con. They are the ones that wanted Iraq because they were so upset about the fact that America lost in Vietnam.

    However, I would think that a new and better Democratic Congress would make sure McCain was unable to prosecute any more wars. Cut off the funding and he can't do squat.

    Besides, unlike Iraq, the American people have shown a marked lack of enthusiasm for bombing Iran.


    Maybe (5.00 / 0) (#118)
    by Steve M on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 03:01:41 PM EST
    Recall, however, that even Bill Clinton did a heck of a lot of bombing without asking Congress for permission (or funding) first.

    I also think a "better Democratic Congress" is a very "hopey" thing to wish for, unfortunately.  If they show this much deference to Bush's bully pulpit, they're not likely to show much backbone to any other Republican President.


    I know, Steve M, (none / 0) (#124)
    by madamab on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 03:12:19 PM EST
    but Obama supporters are not the only ones who can hope.

    Especially if HRC is Senate Majority Leader. :-)


    Um...get real.... (5.00 / 1) (#163)
    by oldpro on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 03:52:42 PM EST
    Hillary isn't going to be Senate Majority Leader any time soon.

    She won't be. (5.00 / 0) (#164)
    by ghost2 on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 03:52:50 PM EST
    Remember, Ted Kennedy is quite influential, and he hasn't been ML either.  Personally, I think ML is a job herding cats.  Difficult, and thankless.  Hillary can just be a junior senator and get a whole lot done, and she has.

    But Ted Kennedy is (none / 0) (#178)
    by MichaelGale on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 05:00:00 PM EST
    76 years old!



    And the hawks who wanted JFK (none / 0) (#182)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 05:24:51 PM EST
    to launch a first strike against and to invade Cuba....The JFK approach at the time seemed quite mushy and weak--but it was the right approach....

    The Curtis LeMay approach would have meant a nuclear war.


    Excellent point. And Sen. McCain, (none / 0) (#202)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 07:44:52 PM EST
    a veteran and victim of Vietnam War should know better.

    It's quite possible ??? (none / 0) (#65)
    by wasabi on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 01:31:00 PM EST
    And what gives you that impression?  Name one time in history where an invading force into an islamic country was greeted as liberators and everyone held hands and sang kumbaya.

    If we would have installed Chalabi as in the original Pentagon plan, would that have been a success?  I think not.


    The pivot from Afghanistan to Iraq was . . . (none / 0) (#105)
    by wurman on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 02:39:09 PM EST
    . . . on the instant, a strategic, geo-political, & ethical blunder of historic magnitude.

    And it was recognized as such by anyone who ever studied history, military history, or the rising & falling of empires.

    The only beneficiaries of the Bu$hInc military maneuver into Iraq are Feldmarshal Wilhelm von Leeb, Generalfeldmarshall Fedor von Bock, Generalfeldmarshal Gerd von Rundstedt, & Adolph Hitler.
    [You may now invoke Godwin's Law]

    At some point, when the Iraq quagmire is no long quagging US troops, the historians will remove the 4 German names from their books as the most stupid strategists ever to inhabit planet Earth & instead they'll list:

    George W. Bu$h, Donald Rumsfeld, Gen. H. Hugh Shelton, Gen. William Wallace, & Gen. Tommy R. Franks.


    If only we could add (5.00 / 1) (#119)
    by madamab on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 03:07:51 PM EST
    asterisks to Rummy and Bush's names:

    ***Currently serving time in the Hague for war crimes.

    I am dreaming, I know, but it's Friday and I'm allowed. :-)


    McCain has experienCES (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by samtaylor2 on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 01:50:51 PM EST
    That does not equal knowledge or the ability to to the right thing (or even the wrong thing intelligently)

    In that case. . . (none / 0) (#102)
    by LarryInNYC on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 02:34:10 PM EST
    even with nothing from his Vietnam era experience

    you now agree with Clark, et al, that McCain's POW experience has no bearing on his Presidential qualifications.

    You also introduce a new argument, that McCain's been in the Senate longer than Obama.  That is unquestionably true.  Nonetheless McCain has developed an aggressive, strutting George Bush cod-piece approach to foreign affairs.  Obama is better.


    While some people may. . . (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by LarryInNYC on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 12:49:29 PM EST
    have argued on the narrower point (that Clark meant only the act of getting shot down), I think Clark actually meant the whole experience -- that being a POW is not, itself, any kind of qualification for being President.

    Of course that's what Clark wanted us (none / 0) (#33)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 12:52:56 PM EST
    to infer, but, it seemed to me BTD was arguing earlier we should stick to what Clark sd.:  being shot down while riding in a plane is not a qualification to be POTUS.  Yes, it is a really silly argument, similar to:  but, Obama DID campaign in FL.

    right, (3.00 / 2) (#48)
    by TimNCGuy on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 01:09:40 PM EST
    we should stick to what someone "literally" said, because that is how everyone treated anything any other politician or surrogate has said throughout this campaign.

    • Fairytale
    • Jesse Jackson won in SC too
    • It took LBJ to get civil right enacted into law
    • Voting for Obama would be a roll of the dice
      etc, etc, etc, etc

    That is done and over (none / 0) (#117)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 02:59:25 PM EST
    Why hang onto it?

    I've met with lawyers... (none / 0) (#49)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 01:10:17 PM EST
    ..."all over"--does that make a lawyer or even an expert on the law?  Nope, it sure as heck doesn't.  JSM3 has no claim to being a expert on foreign policy.  In fact, his statements have shown him to be pretty clueless about the World and the people who live in it.

    is your argument (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by TimNCGuy on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 01:23:10 PM EST
    that since Obama has no foreign policy experience that we must also point out that we don't think McCain does either?  You certainly aren't trying to convince people that Obama has MORE than McCain.

    And, if you want to talk about McCain's statement about Czechoslovakia.  Then I would expect the other side to counter on why Obama thinks the US has 58 states, lived in Chicago right on one of the great lakes and still thinks there is a great lake in Oregon and is under the impression that Arkasas is closer to KY than Illinois is.


    Give it a rest... (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 01:37:02 PM EST
    ...your constant Obama bashing bores me.  This post is about McCains foreign policy experience.  Please stay on topic.

    It's true that Obama gets a pass from the.... (none / 0) (#1)
    by Maria Garcia on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 12:23:50 PM EST
    media, but this is so different from the pass that all Republicans get. If Obama can somehow transfer some of his "darling" status to the rest of the Democratic party then maybe we will see a change in media coverage. But I'm not holding my breath.

    Dead on. (none / 0) (#2)
    by Faust on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 12:24:11 PM EST
    nuff said.

    Thank you, and right on. (none / 0) (#3)
    by LarryInNYC on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 12:28:03 PM EST
    I'm sure that McCain's experience as a prisoner of war was horrifying for him.  But the fact is that his entire experience "winning wars" (as he's put it) is getting shot down in combat (after crashing four other planes in training).

    It's hard to believe he can get away with the statement "I know how to win wars."  Based on his experience, what he knows how to do is crash planes, and not much more.

    I'm pretty sure he's not just (4.25 / 4) (#40)
    by TimNCGuy on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 01:01:14 PM EST
    talking about his POW experience.  It might also have something to do with all the years he has served in the senate.  And, maybe because he opposed both Bush and Rumsfeld on how they were running this war and supported the surge when no one else did.

    I'm not seeing how bringing this up helps Obama when his entire experience with foreign policy is his speech in 2002 opposing the war and the fact that he lived in Indonesia when he was a child.


    Please support this statement (5.00 / 2) (#42)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 01:03:19 PM EST
    "And, maybe because he opposed both Bush and Rumsfeld on how they were running this war and supported the surge when no one else did."

    From 2003 to 2005, McCain gave full throated support for Bush and Rumsfeld. He is lying just as Joe Lieberman lied about this in 2006.

    You can be for McCain as you clearly are, but you can not come here and tell falsehoods on his behalf.


    McCain on Rumsfeld and the Debacle (5.00 / 0) (#53)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 01:16:04 PM EST
    The war started in March 2003 and prior to the war, the testimony of Eric Shinseki on the number of troop needed in a post war Iraq was aggressively attacked by the bush administration. McCain said NOTHING critical then. In fact, he agreed with Rumsfeld.

    nly after the disaster unfolded did McCain decide to speak up. According to the WaPo blog:

    As he gets closer to the Republican nomination, John McCain has been trying to balance his unqualified support for the Iraq war by reminding audiences that he was also a tough critic of the way it was managed until President Bush finally changed strategies a year ago. In recent weeks, McCain has gone so far as to tell audiences that he was "the only one" who called for then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's resignation.

    The only trick is he never did, at least not publicly. The senator from Arizona was a tough critic of Rumsfeld and more than once declared that he had no confidence in the Pentagon chief in the two years before Bush finally dumped him in November 2006. But even as he was criticizing Rumsfeld, McCain typically stopped short of calling for the defense secretary to step down on the grounds that it was up to the president to decide who served in his

    . . . At the heart of McCain's case against Rumsfeld was the failure to send more troops to Iraq from the start. In 2004, McCain estimated that an additional 100,000 troops were needed to pacify the country. Ultimately, he became one of the biggest proponents of Bush's decision in January 2007 to send what would become an additional 30,000 troops. . .. Democrats plan to try to wrap Iraq around McCain's neck regardless of the nuance, pointing to any number of optimistic statements of his own that later proved unfounded.

    McCain is a liar.


    What is your point? (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by Slado on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 01:44:41 PM EST
    I struggling to figure out what you're arguing.   McCain supported, supports and will continue to support the Iraq war.   He was right about troops levels in 2004, now and in the future.

    This is not an issue.  And why is he a liar exactly?

    The point of this thread is Demcrats are trying to equalize the experience of McCain and Obama.  At least I assume that's what they're doing becuase surely no one would try to argue that Obama has more experience would they?

    Obama does not when the foriegn policy or Commander in Cheif arguement.   He wins several other arguements (age being the biggest one in my view) and should stick with them.

    Dems should leave this one alone.


    He was WRONG about troop levels (5.00 / 0) (#88)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 02:05:06 PM EST
    for the first 2 years of the war, according to his own statements.

    And he pretends he was not.

    That is his lie.

    What part of that do you NOT understand.


    Well ... (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by Inky on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 01:21:55 PM EST
    Here's an article from December 14, 2004, which takes issue with your framing of McCain's dates of full-throated support.

    In an interview with the Associated Press news agency, Mr McCain was asked whether he was confident in the secretary's leadership.

    He said he remembered responding to a similar question recently: "I said no. My answer is still no. No confidence," he said, according to the agency.

    Mr McCain said he believed a further 80,000 army personnel and 20,000 to 30,000 more marines were needed to secure Iraq.

    "I have strenuously argued for larger troop numbers in Iraq, including the right kind of troops - linguists, special forces, civil affairs, etc.," Mr McCain said.

    "There are very strong differences of opinion between myself and Secretary Rumsfeld on that issue."

    But Mr McCain refused to say whether Mr Rumsfeld constituted a liability to the Bush administration.


    Last week, Mr Rumsfeld was publicly grilled by troops who alleged they used scrap metal to armour vehicles.

    The row prompted new calls for his resignation from long-time opponents, including senior Democratic congresswoman Nancy Pelosi.

    This is not the first time Mr McCain has spoken plainly of his disquiet about Pentagon policy under Mr Rumsfeld, but his remarks underline that there is unease in Republican ranks too ...

    Today is McCain supporter day (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 01:32:39 PM EST
    Your own article damns your sophistry. DECEMBER 2004.

    The war began in March 2003. Eric Shinseki testified in early 2003. Where was McCain? He is a liar.


    I'm not a McCain supporter ... (5.00 / 2) (#76)
    by Inky on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 01:49:37 PM EST
    And I do not plan to vote for him in November. But the article I quoted also pointed out that McCain had criticised Rumsfeld previously. It seemed to me that Tim made three points:

    1. that McCain was a repeated critic of Bush's and Rumsfeld's handling of the war, which seems indisputable. Sure, he wasn't opposed to the war from the get-go, and his criticism of Bush was certainly muted because of his own presidential ambitions, but he certainly did oppose the execution of the war,

    2. that McCain pushed for the surge, which, according to many analysts, has been successful in stemming the violence and weakening Sadr's army,

    3. that any claim that McCain may have made to suggest that his time spent as a POW boosted his national security credentials is no more ludicrous than Obama's own statement that his time spent in Indonesia from ages 5-11 conferred upon him foreign policy credentials.

    I simply agree with these points.

    How convenient that the "previously" (3.00 / 2) (#87)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 02:04:01 PM EST
    is not expressly stated. Find the previously. Let me tell you what it was previously, Abu Ghraib.

    If you do not know what you are talking about, stop making assertions.

    McCain LIES when he says he has been against the Bush/Rumsfeld strategy throughout. That is  a lie.


    Did McCain EVER (5.00 / 1) (#121)
    by jondee on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 03:09:06 PM EST
    publicly (or even privatly) question the wmd meme? Or did he, as I recall, do his damndest to be the best little unwavering campaign-of-lies echo chamber he could possibly be.

    And dont even try to bring up that "everybody believed it" crap; there were analysts within the CIA who didnt even believe it.

    Yes, Im calling him a liar, too. Or dosnt it count if you just repeat other peoples dastardly lies?


    A simple google search supports (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by Slado on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 01:28:28 PM EST
    that statement BTD.  He was referring to McCains long call for more troops on the ground and his criticism of the handling of ther war after it started.

    I don't beleive my fellow blogger was trying to say he didn't support the war.  Of course he supported the war but he correctly felt that we didn't put enough troops on the ground and called for a surge like increase in troops long before Patreaus actually did it.

    McCain calls for more troops

    McCain calls for more troops

    McCain criticizes Bush

    It is insane to say McCain isn't qualified to be commander in cheif.  If democrats want this fight it is a supreme loser.  To quote our current president "Bring it on"   McCain will run circle around Obama in a debate on this subject.   Obama needs to stick to domestic and popular democratic themes and conceed the CIC argument to McCain because it's all he's got.  Trying to go after him on this only makes it more relevant then it already is.  

    Kerry lost this argument to Bush when he had a legitimate one.  Obama has no argument so he should leave it alone.    

    Dems need to stop drinking the koolaid.

    McCain criticizes Pentagon in 2004


    It does not support it (5.00 / 0) (#64)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 01:30:48 PM EST
    Your OWN comment makes my case. In summer 2004 is when McCain began his criticism of Bush and Rumsfeld.

    15 months AFTER the war. Where was he in March 2003?


    Defend your statement of liar (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by Slado on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 01:50:36 PM EST
    What is he lying about?  Are you trying to argue that only someone against the war in the first place can be against the tactics?  Your arguement makes no sense.

    He lies when he claims (none / 0) (#86)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 02:01:49 PM EST
    he criticized the Rumsfeld strategy throughout.

    That is a blatant lie. He did not.


    what Rumsfeld strategy? (3.00 / 1) (#148)
    by Salo on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 03:26:10 PM EST
    you asked for that.

    Rummy was locked into repeating the Guderian Manstein plan:  Drive like crazy with 100,000 men in tanks and AFVs to one point and don't stop.

    See what happened to Germany in the end of course.


    That's just not a lie (none / 0) (#92)
    by Slado on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 02:12:00 PM EST
    For it to be not a lie for you he would have had to be against the plan for the invasion from the begining and go on record publicly?

    He came out in opposition to the handling of the war in 2004 way before any other republican.  How is that not being his own man and showing judgement.

    I think you set an unrealistic level of requirements for a politician to make a simple statement.

    Also this whole arguement is rather unimportant since McCain is the more qualified to be commander in Cheif no matter how anyone chooses to slice it.

    The real question is Obama qualified enough.  If the electorate thinks he is he'll win.  Trying to drag down McCain isn't going to make people think Obama is more qualified.    

    Here is where we really disagree.  You think Obama should go on the offensive against McCain's one true strenght.  I disagree.  He should focus on his natural democratic strenghts and simply try to pass the commander in Cheif test.

    IMHO going on the offensive will only show hos less qualified he is then McCain.


    "He came out in opposition (none / 0) (#145)
    by jondee on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 03:23:17 PM EST
    to the handling of the war before any other Republican" is another load of whooey.

    Obama isn't making the argument (none / 0) (#74)
    by Salo on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 01:48:13 PM EST
    No use attacking Slado on this until Obama shifts his own position on McCain's qualifiications.

    Personally I liked Clark's point and we should have a candidate willing to make the winning argument:

    Mccain is not intellectually gifted enough to run a a war as a cinc.


    actually I'm not FOR McCain. (4.40 / 5) (#82)
    by TimNCGuy on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 01:56:05 PM EST
    But I'm also not FOR Obama.

    My opinion is:

    McCain is qualified to be president, but I don't agree with him on policy.

    Obama isn't qualified to be president.

    It leaves me in a bad position on what to do in November


    You seem to agree with him (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 02:00:05 PM EST
    on staying the course in Iraq and with his lies that he argued for the RIGHT WAY to do the Iraq Debacle when it mattered.

    Stick to the facts,. because you have been spouting falsehoods in this thread about McCain's record on Iraq.


    i don't agree with him (5.00 / 3) (#93)
    by TimNCGuy on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 02:13:52 PM EST
    on his policy for Iraq in the future at all.  But, I also don't agree that his foreign policy experience can be dismissed.  I also disagree with you about whether his time as a POW did or did not prove that he has character and strength.  And that character and strength are two qulities (qualifications) that voters look for in a president.

    And, I think a few other posters have popped up press articles showing that you are wrong when you said that he agreed fully with Bush from 2003 - 2005 on Iraq.

    The fact that McCain didn't voice opposition at the START of the war doesn't negate the fact that he voiced opposition and did so earlier than you give him credit for.

    The majority of the country didn't voice opposition to the war at the start of it.


    They just (5.00 / 3) (#95)
    by Slado on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 02:17:22 PM EST
    aren't falsehoods.  You have interpreted McCain's words in a way to create your own precieved falsehoods.

    McCain states quite simply...


    that he was for the surge early.  He was right about the surge.  That's his argument.  Obama was against it and he was wrong.  That's the next part of the argument.


    TimNCGuy (5.00 / 0) (#185)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 05:37:04 PM EST
    You distort Obama's argument about his foreign policy qualifications--you recite talking points from the Primary.

    Recent events have proven Obama right about:

      1.  Negotiating with Iran.
      2.  Timetables for withdrawal from Iraq--both Mailik and now Bush agree.
      3.  Striking within Pakistan if needed.
      4.  Send troops to Afghanistan from Iraq.  Obama says 2 brigades and McCain says the next day "me too but I'll send 3."

    McCain responds to issues ad hoc--McCain's campaign is a cult of personality centered on his time as a POW....Mostly accepted by the press.

    Obama has consistently attempted to look over the horizon....



    More ad hoc policy from McCain (none / 0) (#186)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 05:42:57 PM EST
    As BTD has pointed out, McCain did not argue for more troops until well after the invasion.....Where was he before?  By McCain's own reasoning, he made the wrong call by not supporting Shinseki.

    And his call for sending more troops to Afghanistan is pure ad hoc.   McCain has no strategy.  He plays off his biography, and as Yglesias points out, this allows him to get lazy and fail to prepare....

    McCain's only plan is to be "tough" and act "with honor."  Just bromides.  No plan.


    I can't control. . . (none / 0) (#71)
    by LarryInNYC on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 01:41:20 PM EST
    I'm pretty sure he's not just talking about his POW experience

    what you choose to infer from McCain's statements.  I believe that his reference to "knowing how to win wars" is clearly intended to stress his actual military experience.  But his military experience does not include winning any wars.  If he had any civilian experience in warfare (DoD, etc) it would be perfectly fair to count that.  But he doesn't.

    Colin Powell could make this claim, but not McCain.  It's balderdash.  If we decide to defeat our enemies using kamikaze tactics, McCain might be the guy to go to.  Otherwise he's got nothing.


    Maybe he won some war games (5.00 / 1) (#200)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 07:40:21 PM EST
    at the War College on Potomac Island?

    Clark is the only one (none / 0) (#75)
    by Salo on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 01:49:18 PM EST
    alive who has won a war: Against the Serbs no less.

    Powell simply stopped his war when the Iraqi resistance was stiffening.  


    Hm? (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by Steve M on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 02:01:32 PM EST
    We accomplished everything in the Gulf War that we sought to accomplish.  The reason we didn't "continue on to Baghdad" is not that Iraqi resistance was stiffening, but because we had promised the Arab nations in advance, in order to win their support for the war, that we would stop at that point.

    In addition (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by Jackson Hunter on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 02:17:58 PM EST
    the PR aspect of it was getting really ugly, the war was so lopsided in one direction that it was like Ahnold beating up one of Jerry's kids.  Cheney (back when he had some element of intelligence and sanity) laid out the case well in '94 on the whole "on to Bagdhad!" bs, eerily predicting what has happened would happen if we toppled Saddam back then.



    War is supposed to be unfair. (none / 0) (#135)
    by Salo on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 03:19:11 PM EST
    The more unfair to less likely you are to lose men. All that happened though is that Powell stopped th eshooting right as the Iraqis were finding their guts.

    The war was paused. (none / 0) (#133)
    by Salo on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 03:18:18 PM EST
    It was a massive failure that we are still living with.

    just reread it. (none / 0) (#150)
    by Salo on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 03:29:45 PM EST
    Something else was going on, I think.  They did expect Saddam to fall in a coup. They were also facing revolts by local populations that could have got seriously complex.   Just as they have now.  Don't read my comments to mean we should have entered Baghdad.

    Overall that war was as much a cock up as this one. Although they are more or less the same damned war.


    what he is talking about (none / 0) (#80)
    by TimNCGuy on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 01:51:27 PM EST
    is his position that we should have sent in more troops at the beginning of Iraq.  And, he is also touting the "surge" he recommended since it is widely accepted now to have worked when all thopponents said it wouldn't.  In fact, the issue of the "surge" has worried Obama enough to cause him to scrub his own website of all his earlier opposition to it.

    Not at the "beginning" (none / 0) (#187)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 05:45:05 PM EST
    Much, much later.

    At the beginning, McCain was parroting the Cheney line about being greeted as liberators.


    I saw today (none / 0) (#106)
    by flyerhawk on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 02:39:52 PM EST
    on my elevator's news blurb channel that Mccain hasn't attended a Senate Armed Services Cmtte meeting on Afghanistan in over 2 years.

    Can someone enumerate John McCain's foreign policy experience?  I would like to know what he has specifically done in this arena?  Is it simply because he is a Senator on the Armed Services Committee?  That's it?

    Here's a starting point: (none / 0) (#125)
    by nycstray on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 03:13:18 PM EST
    Now compare to his competitor (none / 0) (#160)
    by Slado on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 03:49:08 PM EST
    Have his committees grown?! (none / 0) (#169)
    by nycstray on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 04:06:00 PM EST
    I don't recall him being on that many . . .

    hmmm . . . . (none / 0) (#170)
    by nycstray on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 04:11:43 PM EST
    his Senate site doesn't match his resume

    I haven't looked to check (none / 0) (#203)
    by oldpro on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 08:27:50 PM EST
    your statement re resume vs. website but in answer to your question above about 'have his committees grown?'...the answer is yes, of course.

    Senators change committees over time, as their interests change, their states' major needs/issues change and as their seniority gives them clout to switch to committees they prefer.  

    So, a senator may list on a resume ALL the committees (and subcommittees) he has ever been a member of...not all would be current and perhaps not listed on a website unless they were current.


    Cheney and Rumsfeld (none / 0) (#188)
    by MKS on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 05:46:52 PM EST
    had good resumes too.  

    But go for more of the same experience....

    Give it up.....


    It's utterly stunning (none / 0) (#199)
    by Salo on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 07:01:21 PM EST
    that Flyerhawk is so opinionated and needs to ask about this stuff.

    Hopefully the reume issue won't weigh tooo heavy on the voter' minds.


    One easy one was normalization with Vietnam. (none / 0) (#144)
    by Salo on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 03:23:01 PM EST
    That'll be overlooked of course.  One thing that makes me pause on these issues about McCain is that he actually does have substancial policy/personal virtues.

    Of course he needs to have all those virtues scrubbed or dented by us if we hope to win.


    So they aren't so dissimilar (none / 0) (#194)
    by fctchekr on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 06:15:49 PM EST
    Neither one has much REAL foreign policy experience, and they both will have traveled on taxpayer dough to make us think different. Where's the air bag?