Saturday, April 28, 2007

McCain the weak and inarticulate

This Daily Show segment exemplifies why John McCain will not be elected president. If he cannot hold up in a debate with Jon Stewart, how will he fare against a Democratic candidate?

Stewart: Here's the thing that I'm trying to say. When they attack people who disagree with their policy, they attack them in that they don't understand that there's a real threat out there. I'm saying to you, the American people... they know there's a real threat out there, they felt like Iraq lessened our ability to lessen that threat... they're trying to follow us home anyway!

McCain: The war was terribly mismanaged. Look, we are where we are now. Can we give this strategy a chance?

How utterly weak, McCain's retort. For one, he seems to agree with Stewart, blames the administration, and then blithely says "we are where we are now," (which he will repeat MANY times throughout the interview).

Stewart: If the architects that built the house without any doors or windows don't admit that that's the house they built, can continue to say that 'no, it's your fault for not being able to see into it...'

McCain: I was the most severe critic of that architect.

Again, essentially vindicating Stewart's argument, but supplying no serious rebuttal or intellectual alternative argument. How about: President Bush has admitted the mistakes the administratin made, he had a press conference with Tony Blair in fact. That's just one possible reply, but there are many others.

Stewart: They say that asking for a timetable or criticizing the president is not supporting the troops - explain to me why that is supporting the troops less than extending their tours of duty from 12 to 15 months, putting them in stop loss, and not having Walter Reed up to snuff.

McCain: All I can say is that if you talk to these young men and women who are fighting, they'll tell you they think it's a worthwhile cause, and that they're fighting for freedom (boos)

That's all he can say? How about: 1) Who is 'they?' 2) The criticism among the right is not nearly as much about how Democrats are not supporting the troops. The criticism of the timetable is two fold - Firstly, that it will signal to the enemy our intent to leave, and when we plan to leave. Secondly, there is virtually no precedent for the Congress to attempt to manage a war itself, overruling the Generals, and the President (Commander in Chief).

Stewart: What's less supportive to the good people who believe they're fighting a great cause, is to not give them a strategy that makes their success possible. Adding 10,000 people to quell Baghdad - adding 350,000, and maybe you'll have a shot.

McCain: (Once again) We are where we are.

Here, McCain does not even point out Stewart's inaccurate description of the troop surge as '10,000.' The surge will eventually yield two to three times that number. Furthermore, McCain did not even call out Stewart on the fact that of course Stewart and the Democrats would not support 350,000 troops, nor would it be logical. Is Stewart a General? How does he know the number of troops it will take to quell the violence?

If John McCain somehow manages to win the Republican nomination, it will not be due to his efforts. If he wins the nomination, he will be carried by the weakness of his opponents, by the idea of John McCain, and by his biography. But he won't win the nomination.

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