Thursday, July 31, 2008

Shorter Ignatius: When McCain Does Bad Things, That Isn't the *Real* McCain

Over at CogBlog the other day, Nick Beaudrot pointed out that McCain was lying about why Obama didn't visit wounded soldiers at a U.S. base in Germany. (A conclusion shared by much of the MSM, by the way.)

I couldn't resist responding, "But it's a straight-talking, mavericky lie. The poor guy's only saying things like this because that's what you've got to do to win elections in America; he didn't really mean it."

Today's David Ignatius column is exactly the sort of thing I was parodying in that response. Titled "McCain's True Voice," Ignatius takes a time trip back to McCain's "remarkable" 1999 autobiography, Faith of My Fathers, quoting and describing as much of the book as he could squeeze into one op-ed column, and concluding that that was the 'real' McCain, while the one we've seen in this campaign...well, let me just quote Ignatius:
What's damaging the McCain campaign now, I suspect, is that this fiercely independent man is trying to please other people -- especially a Republican leadership that doesn't really trust him. He should give that up and be the person whose voice shines through the pages of his life story.
Oh, gimme a break. When you see that someone you thought you knew turns out to be a two-faced fraud, the question that Ignatius is answering here - whether the face you liked better is the con man's real face - isn't the right question, and even considering it just sets you up to be conned again. The only question is, how long are you going to believe that either face is real?

For easy reference, here's Steve Benen's invaluable list of McCain flip-flops. He's documented 72 of them now. There ought to be some joke here about virgins and flipflops, but damned if I can come up with anything worth sharing.

Update: Kevin Drum points out that WaPo reporters Juliet Eilperin and Robert Barnes take the same line this morning:
As Election Day nears, McCain's campaign is adopting the aggressive, take-no-prisoners style of Karl Rove, the GOP operative who engineered victories for President Bush....But the sharp-edged approach is being orchestrated for an unpredictable candidate who often chafes at delivering the campaign's message of the day. It is that freewheeling style that has made him popular with voters and cemented his reputation for candor and straight talk.
Apparently the Cossacks don't work for the Czar, at least not in the eyes of these reporters. Poor John McCain - this straight-talking maverick has been kidnapped and brainwashed by a ruthless team of campaign operatives. It's like Patty Hearst all over again. If only someone could rescue him!

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