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January 28, 2008


There are times I worry about McCain being the Republican candidate, and then he goes and says or does something that makes me worry a little less.

Recent statements include admitting he doesn't really know much about economics (most people don't but if you are running for President it might not be best to admit it) and that the American people wouldn't have a problem with the US staying in Iraq for 100 years, as long as no Americans are being killed.

These can become killers for him in a general campaign. Plus an ad showing him and Bush having a party while New Orleans was suffering from Katrina wouldn't help him any either.

I think his positives, particularly among independents would go down quickly during the general election.

I think his positives, particularly among independents would go down quickly during the general election.

that really depends on whether or not the press bothers pointing out his negatives. it's only very recently that they've been giving him any scrutiny at all.

I used to think better of McCain also. His giggly-sneer is starting to really grate on me.

Our guys are walking around those streets, and are unable to shoot back until somebody shoots one of their friends in the face. If they do shoot back at an ‘extremist’ among his family, they are court-martialed. It is the biggest waste of US combat capability I can think of in our nation’s history. And what are they accomplishing? Delaying the eventual power struggle between the Iran-Shia faction and the Saudi-Sunni faction until Bush leaves office and it’s someone else’s problem? McCain sounds like he wants to do this forever.

I was chewing the fat with a British infantryman last week and expressed my thanks for the sacrifices the Brits have made. His response:

“Time to pull up and let ‘em get on with it.”

Right on Sergeant.

Keep an isolated airbase of two for when recess ends. And just leave.

It all depends onn how the press covers him. If the press covers Clintonas the ruthless political operator and McCAin as thhe Straighht Talker, then McCain has an excellent chance of winnning. TThe reason will be not thhe his approval rating is high, but that herr DISAPPROVAL rating is bothh hhigh and solid. With 48%of the voters predisposed to vote for someone else, Clinton doesn't have much room to grow support.

McCain's approval rating is 74%. he can lose an awful lot of support annd still win the elelction. Especially if yo factor in the effects of the electoral college.

It really stuns me that my fellow Democrats woud even consider nominating a candidate with a 48% disapproval rating, a bad relationship with thhe press, no ability to inspire new voters, no personal appeal outside thhe base, and a proven track record of being unable to defuse the Slime Machine, given that we have a candidate that doesnn't have those problems.

And the Hillary supporters think the Obamaiacs are suckers for hope annd illusions! It's the Clintionistas that live in a dream world: they seem to think that all of Hillary's problems will jjust evaporate in the forcefield of their desire to have her be our candidate.

Bottom line: even if the press begins to covr McCAin accurately, he has a long way to fall before Hillary will be electable against him.

I still wanna kick Romney in the junk for dragging in the WWII analogy.

Recent statements ... that the American people wouldn't have a problem with the US staying in Iraq for 100 years, as long as no Americans are being killed.

These can become killers for him in a general campaign.

They'll be killers if the Dem, most notably Hillary, is willing to run against McCain on a promise to get out of Iraq. Since I suspect instead she'll be hoping to equivocate in order to "keep options open," I suspect McCain might get away with this lunacy.

Dismal thought.

John McCain also claims during his microphone time that he knows exactly how to capture Osama Bin Laden and that he will do so.

NOW he tells us. Shouldn't he be confiding this knowledge to the White House and the military?

No doubt, when in a pinch, Romney will counter with video of himself sharing a platter of couscous with Bin Laden in a cave as he talks him into showing up for surrender at a precinct on the lower east side.

Maybe McCain and Clinton will run on the same ticket against Barack Obama.

I used to think better of McCain.

That's the key thing... this isn't new. He's been everything but a maverick or a straight shooter, especially as he's hitched his star to the Bush machine.

I used to think better of McCain.

Me too. But that was before I gave him much thought. He's been an abomination since 2000.

I hoped McCain would beat Bush in 2000. He's still one of the two people (with Romney) I hope wins the GOP nomination, for non-tactical reasons. (Which I want more depends on whether Iraq or torture is foremost in my mind; my preferences for the GOP nomination don't strike me as something it's really urgent to sort out.)

But he had his loathsome moments well before 2000. For instance:

"Earlier this month, at a Republican Senate fund-raiser, McCain told a downright nasty joke making fun of Janet Reno, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chelsea Clinton.

The fact that McCain had made the tasteless joke was reported in major newspapers, as was the vain attempt by his press secretary to initially deny what McCain had done. But in several major newspapers, the joke itself was kept a secret. When McCain subsequently apologized to President Clinton, the Washington Post, in its personality section, noted the apology but said the joke "was too vicious to print." (...)

Though no tape of McCain's quip has yet emerged, this is what he reportedly said:

"Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly?
Because her father is Janet Reno.""


I was watching his appearance in Sun City live on CNN when he said he was "..happy to be here in South Carolina". He is senile.

It is always surprising to a citizen of a non-military obsessed country how much deference the americans give to veterans only on account of the fact that they served.

Merely a side point about the old game of hide and seek--we used to say a variation of "ally ally all home free", meaning everyone could now come out of their hiding places without fear of being caught. I have also seen "all in free". I wonder where "income free" came in?

it took me years and years to learn what the real hide n seek phrase was... i think the kids on my block said "olly olly oxen free"

dn1021: I think it's about coming in. The 'income' (outgo, cash flow, etc.) aspect was not part of any games I played, but when I spelled it out, lo and behold, there it was. (It didn't look right as two words, somehow.)

it took me years and years to learn what the real hide n seek phrase was... i think the kids on my block said "olly olly oxen free"

I remember this version also.

Well Hilzoy, I'm afraid you just aren't aboard the Straight Talk Express.

It is depressing to see McCain pander and distort like this to win the nomination. GWB really has wrecked the Republican party. McCain definitely has his strengths, and I'd still vote for him over Hillary - but certainly not because of Iraq, or without holding my nose at his conduct over the past several years.

And from the Kingston Trio:

Time to let the rain fall without the help of man. Time to let the trees grow tall. Now, if they only can.
Time to let our children live in a land that's free. Ally, ally, ally, ally, oxen free.

Time to blow the smoke away and look at the sky again. Time to let our friends know we'd like to begin again.
Time to send a message across the land and sea. Ally, ally, ally, ally, oxen free.

Strong and weak, mild and meek, no more hide and seek.
Time to see the fairness of a children's game. Time for men to stop and learn to do the same.
Time to make our minds up that the world at last will be. Ally, ally, ally, ally, oxen free.

dn1021: I believe it's a corruption of "All ye, all ye, in come free," as in "come in free."

Okay, here goes. I have never understood his argument that there is something particularly bad about a public announcement for withdrawal. The gist of what I think about it is this: it sounds bad on surface, sure, but if you compare it, but if you compare it to the alternatives in an actual situation where you'd have to deliberate on this sort of thing, I just don't see it as being that much worse than its alternatives. When this consideration is on the table, it's a sure sign you are sunk anyway.

The comparison to Germany is telling. Of course, there's no comparison, because we did not "wait out" the Nazis. The Allies vanquished the Nazis and reconstructed Germany. This is what I take the usual plan of war to be: to beat your enemies, so that when you do withdraw, there are no tactical considerations remaining whatsoever. That is, it ought not matter, because there ought not be any enemies around take advantage of your public disclosure. Or, rather, in this case, it ought to be that the Iraqi army is in such command of the situation that it doesn't really matter whether we announce our timetable.

But if this is not going to be the case, then one way or the other -- publicly or privately -- you are going to be withdrawing and leaving your enemies behind. The only argument I see is that we might be able to do a little bit better in the meanwhile if we do not disclose our intentions. But even that is not certain and depends on what strategy the opposition takes.

But even if we do not disclose our intentions at the highest levels of our government, how realistic is it to think that we can actually withdraw without signaling our intentions to for some time beforehand? I just don't see how we're going to move 150,000 people out of Iraq without people on the ground realizing it. Sure, there might be no announcement from Bush. And -- since our perspective as Americans on this war is from what our government and media tell us and not from what we ourselves see on the ground -- it makes sense that Americans might not realize a withdrawal is happening until they are told of it. But is it really credible to think that Iraqis will not?

We are unlikely simply disappear in the middle of the night, and even if we did, we would have to plan for a long while in order to do just that! And that would involve a great deal of preparation that at least many Iraqis (the government if no one else) would be privvy to! A timetable can only be private for so long. To oppose public timetables (since, for such a large undertaking there's really no such thing) is to oppose any timetables at all.

I would be fine, just from the point of view of coherence, to argue that we shouldn't have any timetables, because we should wait until we win definitively, but if that is not going to be the argument, then to object to a public withdrawal seems like an argument against something that would be inevitable anyway. What exactly is the alternative?

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