Thursday, March 20, 2008

McCain Continues Bush Practice Of Creating His Own Reality

The Washington Post's Fact Checker is busy correcting the ongoing "gaffe" by Senator John McCain in which he ties Iran to Al Qaeda in Iraq. I believe the newest permutation to this story demonstrates a disturbing tendency by the McCain campaign which echoes two unique traits by the Bush administration that proved in combination to have disastrous effects. Those traits are the insistence that the world recognize a reality which is wholly of their own creation and the inability to ever admit error.

The Fact Checker takes note of a "fact check sheet" distributed by the McCain campaign which attempts to provide proof that Iran is supporting Al Qaeda in Iraq and the Taliban in Afghanistan. The Fact Checker reports that the Senators top foreign policy advisor, Randy Scheunemann, is mounting a spirited defense of McCain's "gaffe". Rather than admitting that the Senator misspoke or being a bit confused as he repeated the "gaffe" over the course of several days, Scheunemann has provided several references which, according to the McCain campaign, verify that McCain was correct all along.

First off, I've evidently adhered to the wrong definition of the term "gaffe" for nigh on half a century now. I always thought a gaffe was something which was a one time occurrence, immediately recognizable for being embarrassing and not liable to be repeated by the person who had made the gaffe. I mean, if a gaffe can be ongoing over an extended period of time could we just take it to some horrible extreme and declare that slavery was a gaffe? If that is the case I think the entire Bush administration could be labeled a gaffe. Just one huge, embarrassing, deadly, ugly, expensive gaffe... But I digress!

A cursory examination of the "evidence" (tonight is a big quote mark night here at The Workday Liberal) provided by the McCain campaign serves to demonstrate their willingness to twist the meaning of the reports they cite to suit their own purposes. Make no mistake about this, the purpose of the McCain campaign's fact check sheet is hardly to provide an accurate assessment of the situation to the American electorate. They cite a report from a think tank who is explicitly calling for war with Iran. They also reference a partisan tabloid. Their coup de grace is provided by lifting portions of a military briefing out of context. The briefing they take out of context actually proves that any contacts between Iran and Al Qaeda in Iraq are entirely incidental. It would be like the McCain campaign trying to prove that Canada was responsible for 9/11, because a few of the hijackers crossed the U.S. Canadian border to get here.

I can not help but wonder if this is intended to be a clever ploy which sends the signal to the Republican base and big monied defense contractors that their man and his team are willing to make up facts, twist the intelligence, create their own realities and scare up false alarms in order to tweak the Iranians.

Is the nation really ready for another four years of that hairbrained type of leadership? Please please PLEASE let the answer to that rhetorical question be a resounding no...

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