Sunday, July 27, 2008

McCain denies "timetable" remark, proves to be entirely delusional

By Michael J.W. Stickings

So yesterday I wrote about how McCain almost pulled a Maliki in sort of indirectly supporting, or at least being positive with respect to, Obama's 16-month withdrawal proposal. As he said on CNN, in The Situation Room no less: "I think it's a pretty good timetable."

Well, that was Friday, this is Sunday, and in less than 48 hours McCain is in full denial mode -- either that, or his memory has been wiped clean: "I didn't use the word timetable."

Here's his exchange with George Stephanopoulos (via TP):

STEPHANOPOULOS: You shouldn’t have used the word timetable.

MCCAIN: I didn’t use the word timetable. That I did -- if I did…

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, it’s a pretty good timetable.

MCCAIN: Oh, well, look. Anything is a good timetable that is dictated by conditions on the ground. Anything is good.

And there's more:

Later in the interview, McCain claimed he was right in his pre-war prediction that America would be "greeted as liberators." "We were greeted as liberators," McCain insisted...

Thrown off by the converging political consensus around a timetable for withdrawal, McCain can't seem to figure out what his position on Iraq is. First, he denied that the Iraqis wanted the U.S. to leave on a timetable, then he said that Maliki had floated "a pretty good timetable." Defending his shifts today, he claimed, "Anything sounds good to me."

As I put it yesterday, "reality in terms of the ongoing U.S. military presence in Iraq has passed McCain by," and his timetable remark suggested that he was trying to catch up.

But what we are witnessing, I think, is the ongoing unravelling of McCain. Other than patriotic platitudes and the usual warmongering spin, he has nothing left in the tank. However much he can be credited for what he has done in the past -- and, to be fair, he was once genuinely bipartisan on some issues, reaching out to Democrats when it was hardly a Republican thing to do -- he has become, in his desire to become president, a hollow shell, as well as a shill both for the war and for Bush-style Republican politics generally.

I was wrong about something, though. I wrote yesterday that he "isn't entirely delusional." While it is possible that his "timetable" denial is just politics -- perhaps his memory failed him, but it is more likely that denial was deemed to be the best strategy by those advising him -- how are we to explain his "greeted as liberators" remark? Has he become Cheney? Has he come to believe his own lies, the lies of the warmongers? Has the campaign warped his mind? Or, like Bush, has he reached the point where he believes that just saying something makes it true?

Whatever has happened, I think it is now clear, if it wasn't before, that McCain is entirely delusional.

And anything but a man who should be in the White House.

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  • Where does McCain propose a timetable?

    He said the word "timetable" when refering to what Maliki said.

    This goes in the same category as the claim that because the McCain team said they would follow the rules regarding visiting the wounded in military hospitals, that he did the same thing as Obama.

    "Follow the rules" means he would visit and not make it a campaign event.

    Obama chose to skip the visit at the first hint that there was to be no campaigning.


    By Blogger dualdiagnosis, at 3:59 AM  

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