Saturday, February 23, 2008

My God!!! McCain is Ace Rimmer! That's it!!!

McCain can do no wrong. Sorry...McCain can do no wrong? That is what I hear out of the media and conservative, the more rabid ones now - following the NYT story.

What I see mentioned sardonically on many sites questioning McCain just must be true. Or, like Chris Matthews, too many people are in line readying to kiss ass to notice reality.

He can do wrong. He is without flaw. "Gosh, what a guy!" Chris Matthews is still dreaming of fainting into his arms.



Let's step back for a moment from this particular 'misrecollection'. Watching McCain over the last couple days particularly and in general over many years, the guy really has a problem with making blanket and obviously false denials. In fact, the obviousness is often so extreme that it can't be a matter of strategy, at least not in a very thought out sense. In this case, he makes a blanket statement and there's a written record of McCain himself contradicting his statement. You'll notice also yesterday he grandly stated that he'd never spoken with the Times about the story. Then about 30 seconds later a reporter brought up the pretty obvious point that, well ... the article discusses McCain's talk with Bill Keller. And of course McCain quickly backtracks, since clearly what he had just said was completely ridiculous.

You'll also notice, though I'm not sure anyone has really made this point that clearly, that he also claimed that he and his office hadn't tried to prevent the Times from publishing the story. Well, pulling out all the stops and having all these conversations with the Times and hiring Bob Bennett to go toe to toe with them probably counts as trying to stop the story.

Then there's this video ThinkProgress came up with yesterday where McCain tells a New Hampshire townhall meeting that he says: "Everybody says that they’re against the special interests. I’m the only one the special interests don’t give any money to."

It's almost too ridiculous to even try refuting. Needless to say McCain gets tons of money and always has from pretty much all the same special interests that everyone else gets money from.

There's no way of getting around the fact that McCain routinely, almost constantly, issues categorical denials that are demonstrably false. The very volume and clarity of the bogusness of so many of these statements might even be viewed as his best defense.

And then from the campaign trail, even today.

We're sort of surprised no one flagged this till now.

Turns out John McCain is such a scourge of lobbyists everywhere that his senior advisor, GOP lobbyist Charlie Black, is now conducting most of his lobbying work by phone from the Straight Talk Express.

I have to confess that this new detail has vanquished my ability to snark.
Wheeling and dealing, right off of the Straight Talk Express itself. What a guy!

And in such love is the GOP that nothing really matters now, though looking at their last prime choice that is not too hard to believe, but they are just getting too obvious.

The Washington Post’s Michael Gerson, Bush’s former chief speechwriter and someone who seems to take the issue of politics and morality seriously, devoted his latest column to John McCain’s Vicki Iseman controversy. Not surprisingly, the conservative columnists defends the conservative senator against the charges first raised by the NYT.

Most of the argument is about what one would expect, but I was a little surprised to see Gerson give McCain a pass on the adultery charge, even assuming the allegations are accurate.

Even if the accusation of infidelity were true, this kind of past relationship is hardly disqualifying for high office anymore, given a series of more prurient precedents. An affair between adults is a far cry from President Bill Clinton’s exploitation of an intern, which involved not merely a failure of character but also an abuse of power.
This strikes me as wrong on a few levels. Not only is the Lewinsky-Iseman comparison flawed, but Gerson’s argument turns conservative standards on morality on their ear.
Conservatives and the MSM may want to jump on board, but Howard Dean has the best reaction and thinking on this.
Via The National Journal:

Q: This whole matter, actually though, seems in a funny way to be helping Senator McCain, because the conservatives who were so skeptical about him now are rallying around him and saying he is a victim of the liberal New York Times. Isn’t this a development that could actually wind up helping John McCain?

Dean: The conservatives are part of this culture of corruption that the Republicans have brought to Washington. Think of the Scooter Libby problem, the Alberto GonzalesDoug Feith problem. Think of all of the people in the Bush Administration that have had to leave office under a cloud — Randy Cunningham, the Republican congressman. problem, the

Well, now it looks like John McCain is part of the corruption problem in Washington…] Read on…
dday over at Digby’s place adds more:

Any Democrat going on media to talk about this story needs to follow the template of Howard Dean’s comments to the National Journal. They’re brilliant. A taste:

Dean: I have no idea whether the affair story is true or not, and I don’t care. What I do care about is John McCain — and this has been well-documented — is talking all the time about being a reformer and a maverick, and in fact, he has taken thousands of dollars from corporations, ridden on their corporate jets, and then turned around and tried to do favors for them and get projects approved. He has tons of lobbyists on his staff. This is a guy who is very close to the lobbyist community, a guy who has been documented again and again by taking contributions and then doing favors for it. This is not a guy who is a reformer. This is a guy who has been in Washington for 25 years and wants to give us four more years of the same, and I don’t think we need that.

I broke down the interview here.

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