Saturday, May 03, 2008

Steve Benen on John McCain.

Remember, according to McCain and his media allies, his strength is foreign policy and the military.

For those keeping score at home, just recently, McCain has been confused about whether the U.S. can maintain a long-term presence in Iraq; confused about the source of violence in Iraq; confused about Iran’s relationship with al Qaeda; confused about the difference between Sunni and Shi’ia; confused about Gen. Petraeus’ responsibilities in Iraq; and confused about what transpired during the Maliki government’s recent offensive in Basra.

Worse, this isn’t a new phenomenon. As recently as November 2006, McCain couldn’t answer a reporter’s question about his own opinions on the war without reading prepared notes on national television. As recently as March 2007, McCain was embarrassing himself by insisting that Gen. Petraeus travels around Baghdad “in a non-armed Humvee” (a comment that military leaders literally laughed at, and which CNN’s Michael Ware responded to by saying McCain’s credibility “has now been left out hanging to dry.”)

I think any intellectually honest person would agree that if all of this happened to Barack Obama, he’d be laughed off the presidential stage, and the media would relentlessly insist that he was clueless and unqualified to be commander in chief during a war.

And then there’s McCain, who’ll pay no price whatsoever for having no idea what he’s talking about.

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