Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Romney bitch-slaps McCain... Good for him...

Let it be known that John Brown is not a fan of Mitt Romney. That being said, I find John McCain's crock of shit misrepresentations of Romney's position on the war in Iraq a perfect example of all that is wrong about American political discourse and campaigning.

I recently explained my distaste for McCain's pre-Florida efforts to paint Romney as a "cutter and runner" who favored timetables for troop pullbacks. McCain, who loves to claim he's all about "straight talk" twisted words like pretzels in order to lock down a victory in the sunshine state. It was a repulsive bit of politicking that did absolutely nothing to explain, clarify, amplify or improve the Republican nomination process or the country. It was disgusting.

The Republican debate at the Reagan Library featured a prolonged exchange between Romney and McCain over the "timetable" argument.

Romney bitch-slapped McCain. Romney clarified his position, explained the context of the comments made over a year ago and even called McCain on the right-before-Florida timing of the attacks.

McCain's responses were weak and desperate. He refused to yield an inch and continued to repeat his accusations. Mitt Romney called his bullshit and lit into McCain, asking how Johnny Boy became the expert on Mitt's own positions.

I originally thought that this detour into nonsense on the part of the Straight Talk Express might come back to bite McCain's ass in a general election. Based on my viewing of the debate, his gamble with outright dishonesty is already haunting him. McCain looked silly. That silliness was exacerbated by his lack of grace, his non-sequitir comments about Romney's money and his unwillingness to back away from his own misstatements.

Way to squander your momentum, McCain.

Wrapping up the debate:

Winner: Romney
Loser: McCain
No change: Huckabee
No significance: Paul


Technorati Tags: Tags: Furl Tags:


  1. Good analysis. McCain cannot win against Democrats. Here is a good article indicating why:

  2. John,

    I finally saw that debate on Youtube.

    You're right and most of the media folks who concurred are right that McCain is sliming Romney's position.

    Having said that, the context for his take on Romney's position is that he knows, as I do, as all of the people who advocate timetables know, that the timetables were being used as leverage for pull-out. It obscured a more honest discussion about what to do because it was meant to put pressure on both the Iraqi government (and, probably inadvertantly, the American troops) to get political agreements accomplished more quickly than they actually could be accomplished. And that is the context for McCain saying that, "The right answer was no."

    What McCain is saying, "Stop giving those fuckin' liberals the leverage they need to cut the knees off on our troops."

    And given an adversarial political process, John, where Democrats decided to leverage than engage more honestly, and given what you know is my position on this war, I think McCain is right that when asked about timetables, knowing that they're meant to leverage, the answer is no and you don't give Democrats a hammer to pound you and the Iraqi government over the fuckin' head when the Iraqi government can't deliver what the American government can't even deliver, which is resolution on deep-seated differences between ethnic groups on some kind of governing arrangement, especially with the Americans holding the Sword of Damocles over the whole situation. Americans can't do it with no other country holding any such sword over our heads. And there is no fuckin' way in the world that we would ever stand for doing it if any other country tried. And for good reason. Because the decisions from our country are our decisions to make and not the decisions of other countries to make for us. And the Iraqis feel the same way, which is why those timetables and their position for leverage in this process was, rightly, resented by the Iraqi government and Iraqi people, which wondered if America, Democrats or Republicans, were ever going to mean it they said that they fought this war so that Iraqis could determine their own fate.

    Everyone understands the stakes involved and the intentions by Democrats with those timetables.

    But they were/are bad policy, I believe. The resentment by the Iraqi government and Iraqi people against those timetables and the politics around those timetables should have really been the issue that concerned us most, if we were being honest that what we really were concerned about what Iraqis running their own affairs. But, of course, as always, that was not our real concern. Our real concern was determining the outcome before the process had even gotten underway, as is our constant tendency, which is why the whole fuckin' world, rightly, thinks we're a bunch of self-centered jackasses, which they happen to be right about, too often, as it turns out.

    We're dicks. The Iraqis know it. The rest of the world know it. And we sit around our cynical little democratic process and say, "Why does everyone hate us so much?" when the obvious truth is because we're fuckin' dicks and we always have to get our way, no matter how much it fucks things up. And then we can't take responsibility for that and never have the decency to just say, "We're sorry." We want to hear it from everyone else. But what's fucking America up, right now, is that while we want others to take responsibility, we never want to. And those timetables, as much as the war itself, confirmed this tendency and reason for Iraqis and the world to mistrust Americans' intentions, and for good reason.

    McCain is sliming Romney in this exchange, I agree. But I do think there is a larger issue here that the liberal commentators, like Jeffrey Toobin, that I heard responding to this situation are ignoring because the truth is that it isn't President Bush who has been the only dick in this whole affair. It's been all of us.

    And McCain was saying to Romney, "Stop giving them the hammer to hang over our fuckin' heads, you fuckin' nimrod." And I think he's right about that, even as Romney is clearly taking a different position than McCain is implying. It's complicated. It's the propanganda side of politics that dominates as long as honest discussion does not take place. And as long as Democrats pull shit like using those timetables to leverage their way out of this war, honest discussion will get distorted.

    It's about fuckin' time we sat down and had an honest fuckin' discussion about this war and cut this bullshit out. I think Obama and McCain are the two best people to do that in the Presidential race.

    Now the questions are, will they do it? Will we let them? And will we expect honesty from them and from ourselves as we have that discussion?

    We've got 9 1/2 months to see.

    I certainly fuckin' hope so.

  3. P.S. Will I ever learn to edit before I post. Goddamn, I'm a fuckin' mess:).