Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Losing wars and campaigns

Time blogger Joe Klein applies the label "meltdown" to some recent McCain comments. He quotes McCain:
This is a clear choice that the American people have. I had the courage and the judgment to say I would rather lose a political campaign than lose a war. It seems to me that Obama would rather lose a war in order to win a political campaign.
He then comments:
This is the ninth presidential campaign I've covered. I can't remember a more scurrilous statement by a major party candidate. It smacks of desperation. It renews questions about whether McCain has the right temperament for the presidency. How sad.
That's a "scurrilous statement"? There is a great deal of pacifist rhetoric out there on the left. Anyone who terms the war "illegal" is implying that America should cease and desist, not win. Does Obama think like this? I hope not, but too many of his political allies do think like this to call the charge "scurrilous."

McCain's statement might be regarded as incoherent, however. What would it mean to choose losing the election over losing the war? Does that mean winning the war in some sense? I guess he means he would rather stick to expressing his convictions about winning the war than win the election. In practice, that could actually mean losing the war. How did we end up with candidates like McCain and Obama?

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

(Hat Tip: Memeorandum)

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