The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


National Security

McCain VFW Speech Hits Obama's Iraq War Judgment

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) speaks during the Veterans of Foreign Wars national convention August 18, 2008 in Orlando, Florida. (Matt Stroshane/Getty Images)

By Perry Bacon, Jr.
ORLANDO -- John McCain criticized Barack Obama's "judgment" and "shifting positions" on Iraq in a speech here this morning, repeating a familiar attack on the senator from Illinois for opposing an increase in troops in Iraq that has helped reduce violence there.

"The surge has succeeded and yet Senator Obama still cannot quite bring himself to admit his own failure in judgment," McCain a crowd of several thousand attending the annual convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. "Nor has he been willing to heed the guidance of General Petraeus, or to listen to our troops on the ground when they say, as they have said to me on my trips to Iraq, 'Let us win, just let us win.' Instead, Senator Obama commits the greater error of insisting that even in hindsight, even in hindsight, he would oppose the surge."

He added, "both candidates in this election pledge to end this war and bring our troops home. The great difference, the great difference is that I intend to win it first."

McCain defines winning as an Iraq government capable of protecting itself and its people, and says it would a mistake to leave "before al-Qaeda in Iraq is defeated and before a competent, trained and capable Iraqi security force is in place and operating effectively." He opposes setting any timetable for troop withdrawal there, in contrast to Obama's pledge to remove all combat troops from Iraq in his first two years as president.

McCain's argument about judgment on foreign policy comes as the race for the White House is taking a familiar turn: the GOP nominee is touting his credentials on foreign relations, while the Democrat is increasingly focused on jobs, health care and other pocketbook issues.

McCain repeated his tough talk about Russia's conflict with Georgia, saying "there will be no place among G-8 nations, or in the WTO, for a modern Russia that acts at times like the old Soviet Union. The Cold War is over, the Soviet empire is gone, and neither one is missed."

He cast the situation as a reason to elect him, saying, "in matters of national security, good judgment will be at a premium in the term of the next president."

Posted at 11:24 AM ET on Aug 18, 2008  | Category:  National Security
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Posted by: jenna | August 20, 2008 1:56 AM

Where's the surge against gang crime in the USA? The surge for jobs? The surge for health care? How about a surge here at home fighting for us instead of for some in Iraq?

Posted by: R Matlock | August 19, 2008 10:32 PM

How many more times is he gonna use that line? McCain - 100% recycled Bush!
I'm John McBush and I'm about to die.

Posted by: Adam | August 19, 2008 4:04 PM

IF mccains judgement is so good, why did he start clammoring to attack iraq right after 9/11?

If his judgment was truly good, he wouldn't have voted for the war in the first place. This whole surge business is nonsense. there's more to this war than the surge - but mccain is trying to reframe it. He exercised poor judgment in voting for an unnecessary war. Sorry john, you blew it.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 19, 2008 8:19 AM

Rich Davis had the nerve to call out Andrea Mitchell because she told the truth. Mccain did get the answers while Obama was on stage. Theres no way Mccain or his campaign would pass up an opportuntity too when there candidate is lousy at talking and giving speeches. He didn't cheat, yeah right. This is the same Rick Davis that wouldn't let Andrea Mitchell get a word in edge wise during and interview. Mccain and his camp stinks.

Posted by: Brandon | August 19, 2008 1:17 AM

Right Wing have the mature attitude. Right Wing conservatives are a joke. The Mccain campaign is a joke. Britney spears and Paris Hilton ad calling Obama a celebrity because old jackass Mccain can't energize his base. That wasn't enough, he was help out with the questions before the faith forum is a mature act. Rich Warren is a liar too, he said They placed Mccain in a cone of silence and Mccain wasn't even in the building. Give me a break, If anybody believes Mccain or his staff didn't listen to the questions before hand and breif Mccain about it are complete idiots and are proberly cheaters and liars themselves. This is what you can expect from a Mccain presidency. Drama and stupidity

Posted by: Anonymous | August 19, 2008 1:13 AM

Unless Mccain is lying again when he said if Iraqi's asked us to leave we should then he needs to shut up about winning in Iraq. What is there to win when Bush and the Prime minister of Iraq agreed to a time horizon timetable to get out of Iraq. The prime minister agreed with Obama's position for a time table. Mccain is still insisting that the surge was a success. If we had listen to Obama we wouldn't be in Iraq to have a surge. Now that 4,000 + American troops are dead and a trillion dollars spent we still haven't capture Osama Bin Laden who killed 3,000 Americans. For Mccain to insist that we stay in Iraq with no time table or yes a time table depending on which lie we want to take as his position he doesn't have a good judgement. 6 years into a war with no end there shouldn't be a Osama Bin Laden in existence anymore. What part of were not safer or more productive because of our invasion in Iraq don't Mccain understand? Why does the media continue to let Mccain tell all kinds of lies, gaffes, it just ridiculous. This is what you guys went to college for, this is what you guys call real journalism. Mccain and his campaign is a joke. Mccain is a liar, cheat and a theif. He lied about his positions, He cheated at the faith forum with Rick Warren, and he stole the cross story from another story from a soldier at war, and he stole his speech from Wikipedia. This is not including his repeated gaffes and mistakes. Give me a break about Mccain, he's an old jackass and eveybody including the media is helping him out and doing a disservice to the American people when you do.

Posted by: Amy | August 19, 2008 1:07 AM


Only rarely does someone surface with qualifications as well as insights and a delivery that stimulate thinking. Even more rarely does an individual stimulate the very personal mental articulation of self observation.

Bacevich deserves as broad an audience as can be exposed to his thoughtful analysis.

Posted by: PacificGatePost | August 19, 2008 12:36 AM

And McCain wants to use the blood, wounded and dead bodies of our military...for his political gain.

Posted by: michael4 | August 18, 2008 11:51 PM

Obama lies handed the keys to the White House over to McCain.Its about time Obamas wheels fell off .What a phony Obama is.McCain showed him the door in the debate Saturday.Sen. McCain stay the course your on and you will win the election.You collected many conservitives in the debate.Choose a conservitive VP and you will collect the rest.

Posted by: Imarkex | August 18, 2008 11:17 PM

You can really tell that no one has a clue. Left wing libs resort to name calling and personal cut downs. Right wingers have the mature attitude and stick to topics. That's why I stick to the right, gentlemen do not wage war through bumper stickers. Leave your opinions at the polls.

US Navy Vet.

Posted by: Sparky | August 18, 2008 10:37 PM

Hmmmmmmmmmm.....McCain spouts venomous lies as is the Republican parties TRADITION....

I can't wait to see the response camp McCain will give to the trouncing that Keith Olbermann gave GRAMPY MCSAME this evening on MSNBC....It was to die for....A TRUE SLAP IN THE FACE TO THE SENILITY THAT IS PROPORTED BY MCCAIN daily....

What Kills Me The Most is McCain saying this......

"I waited until a more responsible bill which is now a law came forth..."

He says this as though he supported or even voted for for this new GI Bill that has become a law

What foul liar...He never even voted for this bill as a matter of fact McCain hasn't voted on anything in regards to Iraq this year. Let's not forget this He has voted 95% of the time w/ Bush...McCain/Bush are conjoined by the crap can pass into crap....


A McCain TV ad says Obama "voted against funding our troops." He did, once. Every other time he voted in favor.
The McCain campaign is running a TV ad attacking Obama with statements that are literally true but paint an incomplete picture.

It says he "voted against funding our troops." He did – exactly once. Obama cast at least 10 votes for war-funding bills before voting against one last year, after Bush vetoed a version that contained a date for withdrawal from Iraq.

It says he "hasn't been to Iraq for years." He was headed there at the time the ad was released, however, and had been there in 2006.

It says he "never held a single hearing on Afghanistan." It was the full Senate Foreign Relations Committee, not Obama's subcommittee, that had the hearings on this global hot spot, and Obama attended one of those. Over the same time period, McCain himself attended none of the Afghanistan hearings held by the Armed Services Committee on which he serves.

Sen. John McCain's campaign released the 30-second TV spot "Troop Funding" July 18 and said it would run on national cable television and in unspecified "key states."

McCain Ad:
"Troop Funding"

Announcer: Barack Obama never held a single Senate hearing on Afghanistan. He hasn't been to Iraq in years.

He voted against funding our troops.

Positions that helped him win his nomination. Now Obama is changing to help himself become president. John McCain has always supported our troops and the surge that's working. McCain. Country first.

McCain: I'm John McCain and I approve this message."Against Funding Our Troops"

The claim that Obama "voted against funding our troops" is true. He did, once, last year. But that's hardly the whole story.

Prior to the sole 2007 vote cited by the McCain campaign as justification for this ad, Obama voted for all war-funding bills that had come before the Senate since 2005, when he was sworn in. So did all other Senate Democrats, except for a few absences. As recently as April 2007, Obama voted in favor of funding U.S. troops again, but this time Democrats added a non-binding call to withdraw them from Iraq. McCain (who was absent for the vote) urged the president to veto that funding measure, because of the withdrawal language. President Bush did veto it, and McCain applauded Bush's veto. Based on those facts, it would be literally true to say that "McCain urged a veto of funding for our troops." But that would be oversimplified to the point of being seriously misleading, which is exactly the problem with McCain's ad.

Furthermore, by saying that "John McCain has always supported our troops," the ad insinuates that Obama doesn't. But funding a war and supporting troops are not necessarily the same thing. If they were, we'd reiterate our point above, that both men expressed a willingness to see a war-funding bill killed unless it met their conditions.

For the record, here are Obama's votes in favor of war funding bills. We count 10 votes on five separate measures.

Obama's Votes for Troop Funding

Within four months of being sworn in as a U.S. senator, Obama – in lock-step with fellow Senate Democrats – began a string of votes in favor of war-funding bills.

2005: Obama voted for Senate passage (Vote 109, April 21) of an emergency supplemental appropriations bill, which passed 99 to 0. He also voted for the final House-Senate compromise version of the same legislation (Vote 117, May 10), which passed 100 to 0.

Later that year additional war funds were contained in the regular Pentagon appropriations bill. Obama voted for the Senate version (Vote 254, Oct. 7), which passed 97 to 0 and also for the final compromise (Vote 366, Dec. 21), which passed 93 to 0.

2006: Obama supported another emergency supplemental appropriations bill, which included war funding and much else, voting for a cloture motion to end debate and schedule a vote (Vote 103, May 2). The measure passed 92 to 4, with four Democrats opposed for reasons other than war funding. He then voted for Senate passage (Vote 112, May 4). The bill was approved by a vote of 77 to 21, with only Republican opposed, and finally, Obama voted for the final House-Senate compromise version (Vote 117, June 15), which passed 98 to 1, with a single Republican voting against it.

Later in 2006, Obama supported the regular Pentagon appropriations bill, which included $50 billion in "contingency funding" intended for the first six months of war funding. He voted for Senate passage of that bill (Vote 239, Sept. 7), which passed 98 to 0, and also for the House-Senate compromise version (Vote 261, Sept. 29) which passed 100 to 0.

2007: Obama's final vote for troop funding (Vote 147, April 26) was for an emergency supplemental appropriation that also included a call for withdrawal from Iraq. Obama issued a news release at the time, saying: "We must fund our troops. But we owe them something more. ... With my vote today, I am saying to the President that enough is enough." The measure passed 51 to 46 and was vetoed.

As for the other part of the sentence in the ad, which says McCain has always supported "the surge that's working," we won't get into deciding whether the surge is a success or not. But it is true that McCain has supported it from the beginning. Again, by implication, the ad tells us that Obama did not. That's a clean hit – he didn't.

But the ad is false in implying Obama is "changing" his view of the surge "to help himself become president." Obama recently has expressed support for the troops involved in the surge, saying, for instance, at a February presidential debate, that "it is indisputable that we've seen violence reduced in Iraq. And that's a credit to our brave men and women in uniform." He said something similar to ABC's "Nightline" this week, though he added that the decrease in violence wasn't entirely due to the surge. That's not a change of position, however. As Obama told "Nightline," he still would have opposed the surge from the beginning.

The McCain ad contains other literal truths that also fall short of giving a complete picture.

Afghanistan Hearings

The ad starts by saying Obama "never held a single Senate hearing on Afghanistan," which is literally true. Obama, who is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's subcommittee on European Affairs, hasn't held any Afghanistan hearings. The full Senate Foreign Relations Committee, however, has held three hearings on Afghanistan during the past two years, and Obama attended one of them.

McCain's ad fails to mention that his own record is no better. Although he's the highest ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, he missed all seven of the hearings that his panel held on Afghanistan during the same two years, according to (We looked through the transcripts of the hearings from Federal News Service to confirm ABC's report, and we found statements that showed McCain was not present at two of the hearings, statements from other senators speaking on McCain's behalf at two more hearings, and no mention of McCain whatsoever at the other three.)

It's a sad reality that candidates running for president in our political system generally have to neglect their day jobs to a huge degree, and that's no less true of McCain than it is of Obama. For example, McCain was absent from the Senate on the day Obama was voting for the war-funding bill that contained exit language that McCain opposed. McCain was in South Carolina on day two of a four-day presidential campaign "announcement tour" that also took him to New Hampshire, Iowa, Nevada and home to Arizona.

That's right Nation McCain continues to proport this lie that he somehow in another world has always been their for the troops. he has voted against any real help for the veterans again and again and again...AND THE BILL THAT BUSH SIGNED INTO LAW MCSHAME OPPOSED IN mAY AND DID NOT VOTE ON IT LAST MONTH WHEN IT WAS PASSED....

What a scumbag and liar mcCain is

Posted by: need4trth | August 18, 2008 10:32 PM

I understand how troops feel about war in Iraq but I don't really care too much about what they said. They are under the stress of war and are therefore naturally biased against it.

Posted by: pete | August 18, 2008 10:20 PM

Did the surge work? I don't know; it may have helped, but it hasn't brought home any soldiers, nor moved us any closer to the end of combat there.

When making questions of judgement, McCain needs to check himself, often and immediately. I don't believe he has the capacity to make sound judgements anymore. Did he ever? Yes, but nothing positive in recent years.

How can people back this candidate?

Posted by: Susan | August 18, 2008 9:51 PM

Get Out Your VISA cards AMERICA -- McCain thinks he can "win" Iraq!

John McCain, married to a filthy-rich heiress, a guy who owns like eleven houses throughout the world and doesn't pay taxes on them, has decided that His Big Thing is that he's gonna spend OUR money to "win" in Iraq.

"Republican John McCain, addressing fellow veterans of foreign wars in Orlando today, is telling them that both he and Democratic rival Barack Obama plan to bring U.S. forces home from the war in Iraq - "the great difference is that I intend to win it first.''

Let's see, the world's lone superpower, the country that spends 50% of the world's military budgets combined, has just spent more years trying to "win" in Iraq than it took to win World War Two.

But McCain can do it. He knows he can do it. The different will be "HIM" at the helm! What kind of monumental, psychopathically monstrous EGO does this man have?

He's not willing to spend his own (his wife's, actually) money to do this. He doesn't even pay taxes on his own vacation dacha in LaJolla California.

But he'll spend ours.

How much? It doesn'et matter. All that matters is that he "wins".

Because he lost in Vietnam. Boy did he lose. And now, like the basket case that he is from being being one of the victims of Vietnam (not his fault, but come on, the guy must have some serious PTSD-like issues), he wants us to write him a blank check so he can fight his inner war demons.

I suggest instead that we give him a blank check for a really good psychiatrist.

And while we're at it, why don't we spend our money, instead, on getting really good psychiatric help for ALL our veterans? Both of Vietnam and Iraq?

Right now our veterans are committing suicide at an astounding rate. They're becoming homeless at a terrible rate. And what does McCain want to do? Rather than take care of them, he wants to make MORE of them.

More victims of war. More deaths, more injuries, more homeless, suicidal men from our country to litter our streets and doorways like ghosts.

To McCain, human lives are almost as worthless as money itself. Heck, his vision of the world is so skewed that he thinks someone who makes 4.8 million a year is "middle class". Money is cheap. Money in his case is free. Need money? Marry a rich girl! It's easy! Then you have money to burn!

Just like the United States has money to burn for his little ego-trip of "winning" an unwinnable war, a war that was a war-crime from the very get-go.

"There will be more wars" he warns us. Well, of course there will be, if he's president! He's got some issues to be worked out!

And as far as money? Here's a nice list of what our money spend in Iraq could have bought instead. Things like a Prius for every American (very practical, considering the gas we would have saved). Two iPhones for every person on earth (yes, absurd, but that's the point). Everybody in Orlando Florida could own their very own A-10 Thunderbolt attack jet! Or hey, we could have desalinized enough seawater so all Africans could drink safely until 10,000 AD.

But no. McCain would have us all get out our wallets and hand him all our credit cards so that he can work out his inner demons.

McCain is a nut. Enough is enough, the guy is 71 years old and he acts like a spoiled seven year old.

Posted by: InkyinOHIO | August 18, 2008 9:51 PM

I as a veteran and a father of three soldiers, two who have served in Iraq, one wounded and having a sister in-law along with many friends currently in Iraq will say this about
about what McCain had to say.

Here are facts for you to share.

Active military currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan are currently donating to Obama’s campaign compared to McCain by 6 to 1.

McCain Refused to Support Sen. Jim Webb"s and Chuck Hagel"s new GI Bill.
In February 2006, McCain voted against an amendment that would have provided for at least $19 billion for military health facilities, paid for by eliminating tax cuts for the wealthiest earners.
McCain voted against a 2006 Democratic amendment that would have provided $2.8 billion to increase veterans" medical care. .
McCain Voted Against Establishing $1 Billion Trust Fund to Provide Improvements to Military and Veterans" Health Facilities McCain Chooses Corporations Over Veterans, Voting Against Adding $1.5 billion to Veterans" Medical Services in 2007 Budget by Closing Corporate Tax Loopholes
McCain Voted Against Mandatory Funding of $6.9 Billion in 2007 Budget and $104 Billion Over Five Years for Veterans' Health Care. McCain voted against the Webb amendment calling for adequate troop rest between deployments.
McCain one of only 13 Senators to vote against $430 million for Medical Services for the Department of Veteran Affairs for outpatient care and treatment for veterans.
McCain voted against an amendment offered by Senator Dodd that called for an additional $322 million for safety equipment for troops in Iraq.
McCain voted against increasing the amount available for medical care for veterans by $650 million.
McCain supported the interests of the Disabled American Veterans 20 percent in 2006.
McCain supported the interests of the Disabled American Veterans 25 percent in 2005.
In 2006 Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America gave Senator McCain a grade of D.
Obama voted for the Webb/Hagel GI Bill
2006 Senator Obama supported the interests of the Disabled American Veterans 80 percent in 2006.
2006 In 2006 Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America gave Senator Obama a grade of B+.
2006 Senator Obama sponsored or co-sponsored 12 percent of the legislation favored by the Retired Enlisted Association in 2006.
2005 Senator Obama supported the interests of the Disabled American Veterans 92 percent in 2005.
John McCain may be a veteran in name but he has forgotten the golden rule, never leave your troops behind.

Posted by: rl5614 | August 18, 2008 9:25 PM

"With less than three months to go before the election, a lot of people are still trying to square Sen. Obama's varying positions on the surge in Iraq. First, he opposed the surge and confidently predicted that it would fail. Then he tried to prevent funding for the troops who carried out the surge," McCain said."

Actually, Senator Obama's position on the surge in Iraq has been consistent for more than 3 months and moreover we would not be in the position we find ourselves in Iraq if Senator Obama's position and judgement from the gate not to engage in a war in Iraq but rather focus on our real enemy, the one who actually attacked us from Afghanistan, had been followed in the first place.

It is also interesting that in retrospect, Senator McCain has been consistent in saying he would have supported a war in Iraq even knowing that there were no WMD's in Iraq.

And I find it ironic, that Senator McCain says he will get Osama bin Laden and knows how to do that despite the fact that he has done everything but that since 2003. Indeed, Senator McCain was not even talking about Afghanistan or Osama bin Laden prior to the last two months whereas it has been Senator Obama's focus for the last 6 years.

Thus, who is Senator McCain to question Senator Obama position or judgement on this issue?

This would be my direct response if I was Senator Obama.

It is time for Senator Obama to put aside all of his "respect" for Senator McCain and instead cut his opponent's heart out which is the apparent strategy that Senator McCain is already following.

Posted by: Caryl S. Foster | August 18, 2008 9:18 PM

"With less than three months to go before the election, a lot of people are still trying to square Sen. Obama's varying positions on the surge in Iraq. First, he opposed the surge and confidently predicted that it would fail. Then he tried to prevent funding for the troops who carried out the surge," McCain said."

Actually, Senator Obama's position on the surge in Iraq has been consistent for more than 3 months and moreover we would not be in the position we find ourselves in Iraq if Senator Obama's position and judgement from the gate not to engage in a war in Iraq but rather focus on our real enemy, the one who actually attacked us from Afghanistan, had been followed in the first place.

It is also interesting that in retrospect, Senator McCain has been consistent in saying he would have supported a war in Iraq even knowing that there were no WMD's in Iraq.

And I find it ironic, that Senator McCain says he will get Osama bin Laden and knows how to do that despite the fact that he has done everything but that since 2003.

Indeed, Senator McCain was not even talking about Afghanistan or Osama bin Laden prior to the last two months whereas it has been Senator Obama's focus for the last 6 years.

Thus, who is Senator McCain to question Senator Obama position or judgement on this issue?

This would be my direct response if I was Senator Obama.

It is time for Senator Obama to put aside all of his "respect" for Senator McCain and instead cut his opponent's heart out which is the apparent strategy that Senator McCain is already following.

Posted by: Caryl S. Foster | August 18, 2008 9:13 PM

Why is the MSM media not asking McCain about why he keeps making the following claims:

"I know how to win wars..."

"I know how to catch Bin Laden...I will follow him to the gates of hell..."

If McCain knows how to do these things then why does he not share his knowledge with Bush? Is he being selfish? Why would he hold back such critical knowledge? Is it for political reasons or is he just flat out lying?

Posted by: HouseNegro | August 18, 2008 8:36 PM

like complaining about Obama on economic issues when there is already a nightmare in progress. Bush created the nightmare that is Iraq as well, especially showcased with the inability of the U.S. to do much more than what it is doing now. Disaster... but to suggest Obama would like to see it further erode is ridiculous.

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | August 18, 2008 7:29 PM

Having survived being a prisoner of war in Vietnam, wouldn't that make McCain less likely to send soldiers into harms way? With the entire world marching by the millions, begging the USA to stay out of Iraq, how could McCain have agreed with a president who was obviously manipulating the intelligence, the press, the country into a war of choice. Look at the great republican leader who did his time in Vietnam, Chuck Hagel, he was against the war from day one, was a constant critic and did everything in his power to keep our military out of this war. Now look at John McCain, a strong supporter of this war from the beginning... and chances are, if my 11 year old knew there were no WMD's in Iraq, John McCain knew there were no WMD'S in Iraq.

People should think long and hard about electing a man who knows the horrors of war first hand who would vote to send any anyone into that nightmare. John McCain, I don't know what makes him tick but I do not think he is operating from an emotionally stable place. He forgets important names, places, wars, he lies straight faced when asked about his stand on important issues. He promised to run a clean campaign and it's in the sewer by June.

I fear this is a very dangerous man. I have a cousin in Iraq, he is begging me to work for Obama. Most of our military in Iraq support Obama. Let's help undo what this 'vet', this man who knew better, the man who knew exactly where these soldiers were going, the man who voted against the bill giving Vets help in college, voted against giving vets better access to medical care, he voted yes to torture and he voted against Sen. Webb's bill limiting tour of duty in Iraq with a 12 month break between tours... it's okay with McCain that soldiers going back to Iraq for 3 and 4 tours.

Something is very wrong with this man (McCain). We made one catastrophic choice for the presidency (Bush), we can't afford to make that same mistake twice.

Posted by: Audrey Beck | August 18, 2008 7:24 PM

What would be the point of Obama 'wanting Iraq to fail' ??? the sound bite? that is just stupid. Why is McCain - Mr Honorable - being such a jerk? Has he really bought the Rove-speak hook, line and sinker? Does he really believe because Obama disagrees with him that he is unpatriotic? that he wants the war in Iraq to fail? that he wants our troops in a route? Is that why he isn't spitting on the Corsi book? Apparently he personally dislikes Obama so much he doesn't care what he says, but he still wants to be the guy in the white hat. I say,'white hat? what white hat?'

Posted by: Kay P Tempe AZ | August 18, 2008 6:47 PM

In the Republican world, htere is no such thing as political opponent. Opposition is sedition. They have demonstrated over the last 30 years that they might be able to win (or steal) an election but they sure can't govern. In fact, their ideology precludes good and effective government. The more they screw it up, the better.

Bush/Cheney/McCain. No More Years!!

Posted by: thebob.bob | August 18, 2008 6:24 PM

Try this link to the Huffington Post

Thank you, mwcscc.

Posted by: ikea1 | August 18, 2008 6:22 PM

In 2003 McCain said Iraq would be a cake walk, then he opposed Bush’s strategy after he saw everyone was against it, then supported the surge after everyone seemed to think it was working. Don’t let him take credit for some perceived accomplishments in Iraq, and absolutely don’t let him use this perception to set us back in Afghanistan or run our country into the ground over the next four years.

Here's some "straight-talk" friends:

Posted by: Agent Orange | August 18, 2008 6:01 PM

Posted by: mwcscc | August 18, 2008 5:34 PM

Does WaPo have an article about the fact that Pastor Warren and John McCain lied about being in "the cone of silence"? I can't find it.

Posted by: ikea1 | August 18, 2008 5:24 PM

my main concern with Senator McCain is that he has proposed that we have 'boots-on-the-ground' as peace-keepers in South Ossetia. This could lead to Russian troops killing an American, and the situation could quickly spiral into a very hot war. McCain's age, and its attendening liabilities, may lead him into making a mistake that could lead to thermo-nuclear war.

Posted by: JakeD | August 18, 2008 5:01 PM

It is outrageous that McCain is going about saying that Obama is willing to lose the Iraq war in order to win the presidency. I believe this is slander and that McCain should be held accountable. He is a mean old man on the verge of senility, and I am scared to even think of his being elected president. He is a war monger, and knows nothing about fighting a war. He says he knows how to win a war; where did he learn that? He was never a general commanding troops. He very nearly flunked out of the Naval Academy; he was a playboy when he began his service in the Navy; he was unfaithful to his wife
(I wonder what his present wife thought when he said he was sorry about his failed first marriage. He probably had her permission, as she is desperate to live in the White House).Well, she bought a husband, maybe she can buy an election.
When I think of him crawling back to hugs and kisses from Bush after he was treated so badly in 2000, it makes me sick. Some people really do anything to get elected!!

Posted by: beccajo | August 18, 2008 4:16 PM

With Mccains failed judgement, we have lost 4,000 + troops, spent a trillion dollars and still have another war in Afganistan and Pakistan were more Americans have died and will continue to, and more money spent, now our economy is in shambles, and with Russia and Georgia going on because of Mccains' support of Bush we are in a bad situation. Our military can't do everything nor should they have to if they had a president like Obama that will use his brains before his military. Send that old Warmonger back to the senate where he can continue another 5 years and still don't understand economics.

Posted by: Greg | August 18, 2008 4:03 PM


Posted by: DEBROAH | August 18, 2008 3:59 PM


Posted by: Anonymous | August 18, 2008 3:52 PM

In an odd way it benefits Obama if McCain can't get off the "the surge is winning, and I created the surge" argument. He is so self centered that he finds it incredulous that Obama won't fall at his feet and be impressed with McCain's superior idea. It is that kind of self righteousness that can seal his fate as someone who finds it impossible to look to the future and see anything but more war and "military solutions."

Frankly, his presumptuous assumption of the Presidential bully pulpit for his sabre rattling at Russia on the problem in Georgia is, to me at least, a pretty scary preview of how he would operate as President. He is a loose cannon with a short temper and a very small bag of alternatives seem to be all he has to play with: rattle sabers, shout and condemn, and go to war at any price in any place at any time.

That is a scary repeat of Bush's mentality and a very narrow and dangerous view of world affairs.

Posted by: mwcscc | August 18, 2008 3:40 PM

Funny how the troops are lending more money to the Obama campaign. They dont want the nut job McCain in the whitehouse either. We will be fighting wars all over the war. If this guy gets elected I am moving to Canada. I wont feel safe here.

Posted by: WarMonger | August 18, 2008 3:30 PM

To put it bluntly, McCain's trigger happy and a little unstable. His own GOP Senate colleagues are scared about him having his finger on the button:

McCain: Senile or Dumb?

Posted by: Johnny Rotten | August 18, 2008 3:12 PM

"The surge" has very little to do with the reduced violence in Iraq. The lowered violence has come about from ethnic cleansing and the fact that we've been PAYING the Sunni & Shiite warloards not to shot at us and each other.
What's going to happen when we quit paying them off? These people have been fighting with each other for over 1300 years, we could stay there for 100 years (like McCain want's to) and when we leave they would STILL fight with each other.

McCain is dumber than a bag of rocks!

Posted by: BoBo1981 | August 18, 2008 2:24 PM

Like the rest of the MSM, the Post buys the Bush-McCain assertion that the surge reduced violence. The statistical level of violence in Iraq is lower, in large part, because Baghdad, which has 25 percent of the nation's population, is now divided almost entirely into walled, ethnically-cleansed Shia-only and Sunni-only neighborhoods. As an Iraqi journalist for the Guardian (UK) recently reported, it's impossible to move from one neighborhood to the next without encountering checkpoints manned by militiamen ready to put bullets through the heads of anybody of the wrong religious persuasion. Sure, that ultimately results in fewer killings, but it also makes it impossible for the economy and anything resembling a civil society to function.

Posted by: Patrick | August 18, 2008 2:17 PM

McCain is such a dumbarse and he's depending on the voters being dumbarses too.

McCain voted YES to pre-emptivley invade Iraq and then he followed up that foreign policy blunder by saying that he would vote YES to pre-emptively invade Iraq again if he had the opportunity.
What kind of judgement is that?!?!

McCain has lost his mind. Vote for him at your own risk and the risk of millions of more possibly dead Americans.
Think long & hard before you vote for this lunatic (McCain) and put my family and yours in more danger than Bush and Cheney already have!

Posted by: Lounge Act | August 18, 2008 2:17 PM

How about McCain's personal judgment?
Pro life in politics. Murder Inc. in business?
"“McCain’s personal fortune traces back to organized crime in Arizona.”

Posted by: Corruption Anon | August 18, 2008 1:52 PM

....Strange, this article found on the "Conservative Voice"...Feb 2008

McCain, Politically Opportunistic Liar
February 04, 2008 01:00 PM EST

Some of John McCain's alleged conservatism is real, but hardly all of it.

It has been revealed that McCain publicly proclaimed the conservative position on issues, but quietly cooperated with the liberals on them.

It also has been revealed, by John Fund of The Wall Street Journal, that McCain privately dismissed Justice Samuel Alito, Jr. as a person who "wears his conservatism on his sleeve" and not McCain's idea of what a United States Supreme Court Justice should be.

It got worse: McCain lied about it instead of admitting it.

McCain's a liar.

It's sad, but true.

Ann Coulter just said so too.

Ann, January 30, 2008: "...McCain lies a lot...."

Ann elaborated:

"Recently, McCain responded to Mitt Romney's statement that he understood the economy based on his many years in the private sector by claiming Romney had said a military career is not a 'real job.'

"McCain's neurotic boast that he is the only Republican who supported the surge is beginning to sound as insane as Bill Clinton's claim to being the 'first black president' -- although less insulting to blacks. As with the Clintons, you find yourself looking up such tedious facts as this, which ran a week after Bush announced the surge:

'On the morning of Bush's address, Romney endorsed a troop surge.' -- The National Journal, Jan. 13, 2007

"And yet for the 4 billionth time, at the Jan. 5, 2008, Republican debate, McCain bragged about his own raw courage in supporting the surge despite (apocryphal) Republican attacks, saying: 'I said at the time that Gen. Petraeus and his strategy must be employed, and I was criticized by Republicans at that time. And that was a low point, but I stuck to it. I didn't change.'

"A review of contemporaneous news stories about the surge clearly demonstrates that the only Republicans who were so much as 'skeptical' of the surge consisted of a few oddball liberal Republicans such as Sens. Gordon Smith, Norm Coleman and Olympia Snowe.

"They certainly weren't attacking McCain, their standard-bearer in liberal Republicanism. But even if they were, it was a 'low point' for McCain being 'criticized' by the likes of Olympia Snowe?"

Ann warned, "like the Democrats, McCain thinks if he simply says something over and over again, he can make people believe it's true. Thus again at the South Carolina debate on Jan. 10, McCain was proclaiming that he was 'the only one on this stage' who supported the surge."

It's a big problem that the much of the media is helping McCain peddle his lies, and a bigger one that McCain became the kind of candidate he's supposed to despise.

Ann did not allow McCain to get away even with his political analysis lies.


"Mr. Straight Talk ...announced...: 'One of the reasons why I won in New Hampshire is because I went there and told them the truth.' That and the fact that Democrats were allowed to vote in the Republican primary.

"Even in the Florida primary, allegedly limited to Republicans, McCain lost among Republicans. (Seventeen percent of the Republican primary voters in Florida called themselves 'Independents.')

Ann asked the obvious question, "... why would any Republican vote for McCain?," and warned: "At least under President Hillary, Republicans in Congress would know that they're supposed to fight back. When President McCain proposes the same ideas -- tax hikes, liberal judges and Social Security for illegals -- Republicans in Congress will support 'our' president ...."

Even more importantly, as stated, McCain's true attitude toward Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr. recently became public and McCain is lying about it!

Wendy Long, Judicial Confirmation Network General Counsel, in a Bench Memo title "He Said It" at National Review Online:

"It is incontrovertible. Multiple sources confirm that they remember it the same way. And they are not John Fund's source, as Novak reports.

"Maybe McCain forgot. Other people didn't. They, and many Americans, are genuinely concerned about this issue. As my post on Alito testimony reflects, this was indeed an issue in his confirmation. That Alito was purportedly a 'conservative ideologue' was a myth cooked up by liberal antagonists trying to bring down his nomination. Which is why so many people from across the political spectrum who knew then-Judge Alito came forward to refute it.

"McCain, long after the fact, repeated what the Ted Kennedy / Moveon / People for the American Way crowd said about Alito. We don't know what to make of it, because it's as outlandish as if McCain had said, 'As President, I will not send a man to the moon, because the moon wears its green cheese on its sleeve.'

"It makes no sense. But he said it. Whether he remembers the specific comment or not, he did say it. So we need to try to understand it, or at least get some pretty detailed commitments from Senator McCain going forward. I hope he, and others, will understand why this is necessary. A President who confuses adherence to judicial restraint with conservative political decisions is very confused about how to select judges. It is one thing to vote for, and even praise, judges some other chief executive has picked (especially when it would be political suicide not to). It is another to discern good Supreme Court appointments. Just ask Ronald Reagan, or George Bush (pere or fils, take your pick)."

A man of McCain's age forgetting such a remark might seem plausible, as Mrs. Long indicated, but a reliable source said that McCain is furious that Mr. Fund discovered what he had said and opted to lie.

McCain owes Americans the truth and Justice Alito an apology.

Mrs. Long's post on Alito testimony, aptly titled "McCain and Alito: 'conservatism on his sleeve'...not": "Senator John McCain, as recently reported and discussed here and on The Corner, has said privately that he would not appoint jurists like Justice Samuel Alito, because he 'wears his conservatism on his sleeve.'

"To refresh recollections: many of Justice Alito's former law clerks, fellow Article III judges, and others — a good number of whom were liberal Democrats — testified during his Senate confirmation to the exact opposite proposition: that Justice Alito did not wear any political ideology or convictions 'on his sleeve.'

"Just a sampling of that testimony:'Katherine L. Pringle (former law clerk, 'committed and active Democrat'): 'I learned in my year with Judge Alito that his approach to judging is not about personal ideology or ambition, but about hard work and devotion to law and justice. . . . Judge Alito did not, in my experience, ever treat a case as a platform for a personal agenda or ambition. Rather, his decisions are limited to the issue at hand. They demonstrate an effort to interpret honestly, and faithfully apply, the law to the parties that seek justice before him . . . .'

'Jack White (former law clerk, member of the NAACP and the ACLU): 'Working for Judge Alito, I saw in him an abiding loyalty to a fair judicial process as opposed to an enslaved inclination toward a political or personal ideology. . . . What I found most intriguing and particularly exceptional about Judge Alito’s judicial decision-making process was the conspicuous absence of personal predilections. . . . After a year of working closely with the judge on cases concerning a wide variety of legal issues, I left New Jersey not knowing Judge Alito’s personal beliefs on any of them. The reason I did not know Judge Alito’s personal beliefs was that the jurist’s ideology was never an issue in any case he considered while I was in his chambers. In fact, it is never an issue in any case. My fellow former co-clerks have agreed and communicated this notion in a letter we provided to this committee.'

'Judge Edward Becker (Third Circuit Court of Appeals): 'The Sam Alito that I have sat with for fifteen years is not an ideologue. He is not a movement person. He is a real judge, deciding each case on the facts and the law, not on his personal views whatever they may be. . . . Sam is said to have certain ideological views, expressed in some twenty-year-old memos. Whatever these views may have been, his judging does not reflect them. . . . Sam is faithful to his judicial oath.'

'The Honorable Anthony Scirica (Chief Judge, Third Circuit Court of Appeals): 'Judge Alito approaches each case with an open mind, and determines the proper application of the relevant law to the facts. He has a deep respect for precedent. His reasoning is scrupulous and meticulous. He does not reach out to decide issues not presented in the case. His personal views, whatever they might be, do not jeopardize the independence of his legal reasoning or his capacity to approach each issue with an open mind.'

'Mr. Stephen L. Tober (Chairman, American Bar Association): 'The Standing Committee has unanimously concluded that Judge Alito is 'Well Qualified' to serve as Associate Justice on the United States Supreme Court. His integrity, professional competence, and judicial temperament are indeed found to be of the highest standing.

'Judge Alito is an individual who, we believe, sees majesty in the law, respects it, and remains a dedicated student of it to this day.'

'Charles Fried (Former United States Solicitor General, who worked with Justice Alito in that office from the latter part of 1984 until he left the office at the end of 1985): 'Alito was highly respected. Nor do I recall anyone bothering to mention that he had any particular political coloration. In preparation for this testimony I have checked my recollection with several alumni of the office from that time and they confirm what I report here.'"

Don't count on McCain apologizing now, however.

As McCain admitted after the 2000 presidential campaign, he deceived and pandered to South Carolinians because he was desperate to win the primary.

If Justice Alito ever gets that apology, it will be AFTER McCain's figures telling the truth will not hurt his political prospects.

Pray that Justice Alito gets that apology (for McCain's sake, not Justice Alito's sake).

....As said before from McCain's Campaign Staff...

..."the candidate does not speak for the camapign"

If the RNC/GOP rank and file conservatives don't trust him......his OWN party....then why should we "My Friends"

Posted by: AlexP1 | August 18, 2008 11:50 AM

McCain is too tactical. He thinks that troops alone can win. He hopes for a return to the Cold War where there is a well-defined 'bad guy' and you can continue to waste money on unneeded weapons systems. He likes those toys. He gest to play John Wayne.

I am sorry that he has never shown signs fo some realistic strategic vision. He appears incapable of integrating military, diplomatic and economic efforts. Instead, he focuses on the soldiers and individual aircraft. He is not commander-in-chief material.

Posted by: TWstroud | August 18, 2008 11:42 AM

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