The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Monday, January 07, 2008

The "Memory Hole" President

Sigh. It's been an incredibly annoying week already in campaign coverage. But it would be interesting to understand the chicken-or-egg issue of bounces, comebacks, and all that other stuff. The MSM has been playing drama queen all along, and while early primary wins are obviously going to fuel interest in and support for candidates, it's tough to imagine how much of that is generated by breathless pseudo-journalistic pipe dreams (e.g., "He's like a black JFK!" or "He's from Arkansas-- and he's a comeback kid, too!"). But instead of going off on a tear, I'll just say that nothing's changed in the loathsome role of major news outlets in covering presidential campaigns.

On the Republican side, the press has been a bit more fickle than usual. They wrote McCain off pretty early in favor of Giuliani and his now-infamous "[Noun] [verb] 9/11" strategy. Of course, he turned out to be an authoritarian crook. Romney was treated pretty well for a while there, but doesn't seem to be getting much press at all these days-- much less effusive, hero-worship press. Fred Thompson got some great press until he started appearing in public. Huckabee makes for great copy, but still doesn't seem to be taken very seriously in terms of policy (and thank heaven for that, from the asinine "flat tax" to his complete lack of even basic foreign policy knowledge).

Most recently, John McCain is getting a big second look-- and astonishingly positive press, considering how nuts he appears to be. Then there's the fact that his foreign policy appears to be based largely on the American public being pretty stupid and having no attention span. Clueless, arrogant, and condescending. No wonder Lieberman likes him so much.

According to presidential candidate John McCain, only the handling of the Iraq war was a mistake -- not the war itself.

"It's not American presence that bothers the American people, it's American causalities," said McCain in an interview with Tim Russert on NBC's "Meet The Press" on Sunday. (. . .)

"What I believe we can achieve is a reduction in casualties to the point where the Iraqis are doing the fighting and dying [and] we're supporting them," McCain said.

He said it would be "hard to say" how many U.S. troops would need to stay in Iraq, but assured that they would be "out of harm's way."

When Russert asked him if, like Bush, McCain would have supported the Iraq war even if no weapons of mass destruction were believed present in Iraq, McCain seemed to dismiss the question as irrelevant.

"If frogs had wings ... we can talk about lots of hypotheticals," he said. "The point is if we had done it right, you and I wouldn't even be discussing it now."

Strange, given that McCain's entire premise is a hypothetical. Even stranger, his opinion of "doing it right" is apparently "admitting Iraq was the enemy of Iran, Afghanistan, and Al Qaeda, had no WMDs, and no connection with 9/11-- but invading them anyway." And he's the one heaping scorn on those who question his batshit crazy ideas.