Contrarian that I am...No, really - that's the opening of his column today.
That's how our favorite knee-jerk neocon sees himself. Contrarian.
Epic fail right there, dude.
I stand athwart the rush of conservative ship-jumpers of every stripe -- neo (Ken Adelman), moderate (Colin Powell), genetic/ironic (Christopher Buckley) and socialist/atheist (Christopher Hitchens) -- yelling "Stop!" I shall have no part of this motley crew. I will go down with the McCain ship. I'd rather lose an election than lose my bearings.Good for you, Chucko. So, what are those bearings?
McCain the "erratic" is a cheap Obama talking point. The 40-year record testifies to McCain the stalwart.Wonder if Steve Benen's list of McCain flipflops during this campaign season has broken into three figures yet. (I think Benen stopped maintaining that list a few months ago, when he became the Washington Monthly blogger-in-residence. But if it hadn't been for that, the list would go well beyond the 76 flipflops listed there. As Benen pointed out just yesterday, McCain's reversed himself five times on his balanced-budget promise. He started off saying he would balance the budget by 2013, then he wouldn't, then he would, then wouldn't, then would, now wouldn't.)
McCain, the stalwart. Yeppers.
McCain's critics are offended that he raised the issue of William Ayers. What's astonishing is that Obama was himself not offended by William Ayers.If we're going to dive into that well, McCain's not offended by Gordon Liddy, who was willing to firebomb buildings and assassinate people for Richard Nixon.
But the real criticism of McCain here was his attempt to make the election turn on such trivia, rather than our current economic tsunami, or Iraq and national security, or global warming, or health care. At this point, nobody's got any doubt as to which candidate is more focused on the issues that will make a difference in Americans' lives.
Who do you want answering that phone at 3 a.m.? A man who's been cramming on these issues for the past year, who's never had to make an executive decision affecting so much as a city, let alone the world?...Or do you want a man who is the most prepared, most knowledgeable, most serious foreign policy thinker in the United States Senate?
McCain's such a well-prepared, deep thinker on foreign policy that he was advocating invading Iraq in the fall of 2001, despite knowing little about it, and despite its lack of connection to the then-recent attacks on America. He thought we'd be greeted as liberators, and that the Iraq war would be quick and easy.
There's little indication that McCain has more than a cartoon view of the world, that his understanding goes much deeper than "Og smash!" He's the sort of guy who'd have been willing to commit troops to Georgia, even as we barely had enough desperately overworked, overstretched troops to cover our commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Krauthammer identifies Georgia as a test that McCain passed and Obama flunked, but Obama recognized the limits of our military power, while McCain was oblivious to them. Seems like a slamdunk to me - the other way.
And no, Chucko, the Surge still hasn't worked. We knew we could reduce violence temporarily by throwing troops at the problem, but eventually we'd have to reduce our commitment. The whole point was to create a window for political reconciliation, which our man Maliki has been adamantly opposed to, knowing we've got his back. The conflicts are still there. The 'success' of the Surge has merely obligated us to keep 150,000 troops in Iraq until doomsday to keep the lid on things. That's not success. Sorry, Charlie.