McCain Gives Away His Last Trump Card
As reported on CNN yesterday, after denying the Iraqis actually called for withdrawal even though they did, Senator McCain is now conceding that a 16-month timetable for withdrawal is “pretty good”, so long as we remain flexible about keeping troops there if the situation deterioriates. You might recognize that position, because it’s the same as Senator Obama’s.
Recently, John McCain has conceded the need for more troops in Afghanistan, even if it means delaying routine troop redeployments to Iraq. Again, this is a long-held view of Senator Obama’s.
And while McCain may be opposed to talking to Iran and North Korea, the Bush Administration isn’t, and has made notable progress on North Korea’s nuclear program. Again, talking without limiting yourself is the kind of approach Obama has put forth.
Do you see a pattern?
My sister did. Today, upset over McCain’s mistakes and recent policy shifts, she says she just may vote for Obama to make sure McCain got the message about how stupid he’s been acting lately.
John McCain has based his entire campaign around his experience. In true John Kerry fashion, McCain has allowed himself to flip-flop on issues and speak incoherently on issues that are not his strong suit. But he always comes back to experience. When he’s not talking about his POW status, he’s talking about his two decades of experiencing the nation’s national security crises. He asks us to trust him based on this record, that it shows he would be a capable commander-in-chief. And he tells us Obama can’t be trusted based on his lack of national experience.
We all want and expect that with experience comes sound judgment, partly on the belief that experience allows you to know what works and what doesn’t when a crisis occurs. But one thing John Kerry and John McCain have forgotten is that one can have sound judgment without long experience, and that experience is simply not a substitute for judgment. If you flunk chemistry three times in college, that doesn’t mean you can put on your resume “three semesters of chemistry experience”, after all.
And now McCain is conceding that fight, even if he doesn’t know it yet.
After admitting he isn’t strong on the economy and centering his campaign around national security and experience, he’s desperately trying to make the debate about the past (who supported or opposed the surge tactic) rather than the future (fixing the economy and ending the war in Iraq).
But what does it say about the value of experience that he is slowly adopting and mimicking the key points of Obama’s foreign policy? If a guy with a lifetime of national security experience is accepting or conceding to the judgment of someone without any, you’re saying experience doesn’t matter, that only judgment matters.
And once you’ve done that, I can guarantee you, most Americans will not quibble about one tactic or another in the Iraq war. They’ll see who supported getting us in, who supports getting us out; they’ll see who wants to fix the economy and whose advisers call us “whiners”; they’ll see who wants to move American in a new direction, and who has no fundamental belief about our direction; and they’ll see who has remained the most consistent in their judgment.
In a campaign where judgment matters, flip-floppers need not apply.