Saturday, August 30, 2008

"John McCain was wrong"

By now, most of us have seen, read or pored over Joe Biden’s excellent speech. And in hammering home the major differences between McSame and Obama when it comes to major decisions, Biden hit on a theme that could be absolutely devastating to McCain over the next few months.

John McCain was wrong.

The beauty of this is that (1) it is accurate, (2) it puts McCain on the defensive, (3) it is simple to repeat and (4) can be applied equally to domestic and foreign policy matters. There are a number of different frames to use with respect to McCain – and while many are good, they also haven’t stuck. This is partially due to the faux image that McCain has spent years building up virtually unchallenged by the corporate media (thankfully that is starting to change a bit recently). But it is also due to the fact that it isn’t always easy to find something that sticks well.

The “McSame” theme is probably one of the closest so far, but even that hasn’t been exploited as much as many of us would like – especially considering the fact that Bush has one of the worst approval ratings, the worst record of anyone I can remember and McCain has voted with Bush more than pretty much any Senator (that is, when he actually shows up to vote).

Biden mostly talked about McCain being wrong and Obama being right when it came to Iraq and other foreign policy matters, which sadly is necessary because of the major gap between reality and people’s perception of McCain’s “experience”. Take a look at how well it went over:

Should we trust John McCain's judgment when he said only three years ago, "Afghanistan--we don't read about it anymore because it's succeeded"? Or should we trust Barack Obama, who more than a year ago called for sending two additional combat brigades to Afghanistan?

The fact is, al-Qaida and the Taliban--the people who actually attacked us on 9/11--have regrouped in those mountains between Afghanistan and Pakistan and are plotting new attacks. And the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff echoed Barack's call for more troops.

John McCain was wrong. Barack Obama was right.

Should we trust John McCain's judgment when he rejected talking with Iran and then asked: What is there to talk about? Or Barack Obama, who said we must talk and make it clear to Iran that its conduct must change.

Now, after seven years of denial, even the Bush administration recognizes that we should talk to Iran, because that's the best way to advance our security.

Again, John McCain was wrong. Barack Obama was right.

Should we trust John McCain's judgment when he says there can be no timelines to draw down our troops from Iraq--that we must stay indefinitely? Or should we listen to Barack Obama, who says shift responsibility to the Iraqis and set a time to bring our combat troops home?

Now, after six long years, the Bush administration and the Iraqi government are on the verge of setting a date to bring our troops home.

John McCain was wrong. Barack Obama was right.

Again and again, on the most important national security issues of our time, John McCain was wrong, and Barack Obama was proven right.

But it doesn’t stop there – not by a long shot.

  • When it comes to the economy, the McCain campaign thinks it is all in people’s heads. John McCain is wrong;

  • When it came to the Gulf Coast and Hurricane Katrina, McCain said he would have done whatever he could. He could have boarded Air Force One with Bush after celebrating his birthday, but he didn’t. Regarding Katrina, John McCain was wrong;

  • When it came to supporting veterans and providing the troops with rest, armor and equipment, he consistently voted against the troops. When it came to really supporting our veterans and troops, John McCain is wrong;

  • When it comes to women’s issues – equal pay, respect, privacy, medical decisions, McCain has been and is wrong;

  • When it comes to the decisions on changing the course of this country – a course that the vast majority of people think we are on the “wrong path” - John McCain is wrong;

  • When it comes to understanding the plight of millions of Americans who have no healthcare coverage, his campaign says that it is not true since anyone can go to the emergency room (ignoring any preventative care, of course). On this too, John McCain is wrong;

  • When it comes to matters of diplomacy, McCain think that attacking foreign diplomats and threatening other countries is the best course of action. John McCain is wrong;

When it comes to understanding the difference between Sunnis and Shiites, when it comes to tax cuts for Big Oil vs. hard working middle class Americans, when it comes to offshore drilling having immediate benefits (or any tangible benefit for at least a decade), when it comes to energy independence, torture, or even owning up to his own words he may have said one day, one week, one month or one year ago, John McCain is and was wrong.

Wrong on policy matters. Wrong on factual matters. Wrong on diplomatic matters.

Wrong for this country.

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