John McCain has decided that he must destroy his candidacy in order to save it... Trading straight talk for a forked tongue may be beneath him. It may be insulting to the intelligence of the considerate voter. It may be the wrong way to conduct politics. However, when one considers the short memory of the electorate, it may be a smart strategic move.
Once upon a time, Mitt Romney said that he thought it would probably make sense if Iraqi and US leaders discussed various objectives and set timetables for those goals. He seemed to think that was a good way of measuring the success of our military adventures in Iraq and believed that a goal-oriented approach involving both parties was logical.
He also mentioned that those discussions should be kept between the US and Iraq. He made it clear that kind of high-level planning wasn't something to share with the rest of the world.
If you revisit Romney's comments, it's not really 100% clear if he thought the goals established via consultation should serve as a litmus test for continued US involvement or not. One might infer that a complete inability on the part of the Iraq to meat objectives could lead to a US pullout, I suppose. In other words, you could argue that Romney was saying that there could be circumstances that might justify a US withdrawal under fairly extreme conditions.
That doesn't sound too crazy to me. "If things turn out to be an utter failure and we're dealing with complete incompetents, we might want to cut our losses" seems like a fairly reasonable argument. The idea of trying to set mutual goals and a schedule for them seems less than zany, too.
The engineer of the Straight Talk Express says, "Bullshit".
Romney used the word "timetable". Thus, according to John McCain, he is clearly of one mind with those on the left who would've started pulling out troops right as GWB and Patreus initiated the surge. The idea of having a schedule and the possibility of a troop withdrawal, regardless of circumstances, is tantamount to abandoning our troops. The very idea of ANYTHING leading the US to walk away from Iraq emboldens our enemies.
According to McCain, Mitt Romney is--and remember, this is the ultimate insult in R-Primaryland--LIBERAL.
A few observations...
John McCain is completely full of shit. Romney may have stopped short of McCain's apparent belief that US troops will forever wander the streets of Baghdad, but MR obviously hasn't embraced the position of those who really oppose the war. Even Rudy911 understood that Romney wasn't waving a white flag.
John McCain is lying about being a straight shooter. He's spinning Romney's comments as ferociously as possible in order to take care of business in Florida. It isn't straight talk, it's straight crap. What makes it worse? He knows it.
McCain is the closest thing the Republicans have to a "change" candidate. He's shown a willingness to cross party lines when he thinks it's the right thing to do, at least occasionally. He's carefully cultivated a "maverick" persona which helps him with independent voters. He's got that whole "straight talk" thing that creates an aura of honesty and integrity around him.
I disagree with McCain on many things, but I'm willing to admit he has his strong points. Much of the McCain attraction for many voters is his apparent willingness to be honest and direct--even when it isn't necessarily convenient. If he has an ace in the hole, that's it.
He pisses on that strength when he does things like this. He decreases his credibility among the people he's going to need in his corner if he should ever get to the general election.
McCain has decided that his Straight Talk Express must take a detour into the bullshit land of proving you've earned ultra-conservative stripes if you want to make it past primary season. He might be right. He might not stand a chance of being the R nominee if he doesn't tone down the "straight talk" in favor of a slightly more true-to-the-base tone. He probably feels as if he has to do something to combat the "liberal" albatross Romney's trying to hang on his neck.
John McCain has decided that he must destroy his candidacy in order to save it.
It might be working Florida. As I write this (results have just started rolling in), he has a 2% lead over Romney.
Trading straight talk for a forked tongue may be beneath him. It may be insulting to the intelligence of the considerate voter. It may be the wrong way to conduct politics. However, when one considers the short memory of the electorate, it may be a smart strategic move.
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