Friday, September 5, 2008

What David Brooks does not mention

Having seen the latest episode of "News Hour with Jim Lehrer" I watched with particular interest two particular highlights of this news and talk show. One of them was a debate between a GOP pollster and that of a Democrat, and of course Mark Sheilds and David Brooks. The GOP pollster wasted no time gushing over the "change" McCain would bring to Washington and the Democrat, on the other hand, was trying to discuss what issues mattered most.

What David Brooks could accomplish was to count McCain's accomplishments as a "maverick" on the fingers of one hand. In a 25 year history, that doesn't sound like much of a track record for a maverick.

Continuing on, "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" was on for a Friday night Special. Well, it seems the GOP nominee for president doesn't much sound like he would bring "Change to Washington" if he sounds like he is plagiarizing GW's 2000 nominating convention speech. When Stewart played soundbites of Comedy Central's own version of "McCain's biography" McCain was seeing flip flopping on Iraq, about perceiving no difficulties in our taking out a brutal regime, years later, we always knew there would be difficulties... One cam certainly hope that McCain did not just happen to watch that particular segment or that could be a real embarrassment. Especially when he bases his entire premise of why he would be a better Commander in Chief when it comes to Iraq. Well, that would be all right if he didn't change his mind on the subject as often as Senator Kerry was accused to have done by 2004. We perceive no difficulties... We had always anticipated the difficulties... So, McCain on the campaign trail forgets McCain of 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and even 2008. He likes to harp on "the surge." How much "the surge" proved to be a success. But how long did it take for McCain of say 2002 to recognize that by 2005 we had a serious problem in Iraq? Only slightly less time than GW from 2003 and on the campaign trail was trying to paint a rosy picture about Iraq, "We're turning the corner." And only agreeing to a "surge" when the American body count reached staggering proportions. The point about McCain was that he wasn't bucking the party or going against GW when say Cheney argued that the insurgents were in their last throes. ...some years later... Or when Rumsfeld argued that democracies were messy. ...some years later... Or even when now Sec. of State Condi Rice was telling us all about the birthpangs of democracy. ...some years later. McCain did begin describing "whack a mole" as a military strategy being employed by the Pentagon under Rumsfeld of chasing insurgents and terrorists around the Iraqi countryside. Only after he expressed his frustration, then and only then did he call for a surge. How long did it take for GW to pay attention? At least another few months and up to a year. If McCain was so "right," at the time then it wasn't the "defeatocrats" who can be blamed for why the surge didn't take place in a timely manner, it was GW himself. GW managed to cost a lot more American lives by delaying the surge. So, if the Democrats were skeptical about the merits of such a strategy, I surely could not blame them. But McCain would rather blame Obama. Obama is the only person in the Senate who just "wouldn't support the troops." Obama was the only one who wanted to cut off funding. Actually, Obama was only one of many Democrats who sought to bring an end to the war. Only
one of many Democrats who sought to force a cut off of funding in order to bring the war to a close. And McCain was one of many Republicans who filibustered or blocked any such Dem efforts. In short, McCain wasn't prepared to buck his party when it came to Iraq or to go against GW. Even when Americans polled began to increasingly turn against the war. McCain was "right" about the surge even when he acted like a weathervane to keep himself aligned with shifting GW positions. So, given his past video filed comments how right was he?

It was kind of funny to watch McCain literally aping GW in quite telling sound bites that variated only a little from what GW himself had said. A "change agent" if you can't tell the difference between GW and McCain? How about that. A change agent if McCain doesn't employ an original thought in his own nominating speech? So here would be a suggestion for the Dems populating HBO, link this blog and send it on to the Dem National HQ. Obama could simply ressurect the same video files that compare GW and McCain. That would be a great campaign ad, wouldn't it?

It also puts a real question mark on Sarah Palin's own talking points on McCain. McCain flipping and flopping on Iraq entirely in tune with the GW administration and their surrogates. If he could do that in the Senate, then what position will he take on Iraq tommorrow that only undercuts what he said previously? Make that McCain a "maverick" who bucks his own previous positions. Yep, that is what Brooks missed.


Dogwalkmusings said...

Well, it stands to reason. One bucks one's own positions when it's the only way to win.

The New Arch Druid's take on the news said...

And here Bay Views was putting such a lauding note on a McCain presidency. So, I had to ask, exactly what principles does McCain have or if he acts entirely on political expediency? Bet, Herb may not like getting that as an e-mail. But if so, he can e-mail me with a response or come visit my blog here.