Friday, May 16, 2008

Brer McCain's briar patch

John McCain tells the NRA convention he would "welcome a debate" with Barack Obama about national security. Obama's offer to meet "unconditionally" with Iran is "reckless," McCain says.

"Americans have every reason to doubt [Obama's] strength, determination and judgment," says McCain.

By attacking McCain in the context of Bush's "appeasement" remark, Obama has thrown Brer Rabbit into the briar patch -- national security is McCain's strong suit.

Obama evidently has learned nothing from John Kerry's experience in 2004 -- or from George McGovern's experience in 1972. No matter how unpopular or unsuccessful the war, American voters in wartime prefer a hawkish commander-in-chief.

Voters are clearly weary of the war in Iraq, but given the choice between victory and surrender, Americans will always vote for victory.

UPDATE: Via NECN, video of McCain on Iraq:

From the prepared text of McCain's remarks:
Senator Obama would meet unconditionally with some of the world's worst dictators and state sponsors of terrorists. I would not add to the prestige of those who support violent extremists or seek to destroy our allies. . . .
Senator Obama has said, if elected, he will withdraw Americans from Iraq quickly no matter what the situation on the ground is and no matter what U.S. military commanders advise. But if we withdraw prematurely from Iraq, al Qaeda in Iraq will survive, proclaim victory and continue to provoke sectarian tensions that, while they have been subdued by the success of the surge, still exist, and are ripe for provocation by al Qaeda. Civil war in Iraq could easily descend into genocide, and destabilize the entire region as neighboring powers come to the aid of their favored factions. A reckless and premature withdrawal would be a terrible defeat for our security interests and our values.
Extra material was obviously added to this speech after the prepared text was sent onto PR Newswire.

UPDATE II: Ben Smith of the Politico quotes a statement from Obama's spokesman:
What's reckless is continuing the Bush-McCain foreign policy that has cost us thousands of lives and a trillion dollars in Iraq, strengthened Iran, enabled Hamas to take Gaza, took our eye off al Qaeda, failed to capture Osama bin Laden, failed to finish the job in Afghanistan, and left us less safe and less respected in the world. No amount of utterly predictable fear-mongering and tough talk can change the fact that John McCain is running to continue the most disastrous foreign policy in recent American history.
Notice the phrase "Bush-McCain foreign policy." The Obama campaign clearly wants this election to be a referendum on the Bush administration.

UPDATE III: Republican Rep. Tom Davis calls Bush "radioactive" for GOP congressional candidates this fall. This very much recalls the situation that faced Al Gore in 2000, when Bill Clinton's image had been so sullied by the Lewinsky affair.

1 comment:

  1. Contrast Obama's remarks with Clinton's recent "I'll Nuke Iran" comments... The Dems have missed the mark in their quest for the Rock Star Messiah.