Wesley Clark is Getting Screwed

I don’t care much for Wes Clark, and I am not going to bother trying to explain why, because every time I do it just pisses off those people who like Wes Clark more, but he is getting boned right now by the media. I am watching MSNBC right now and Andrea Mitchell is crapping all over him, and the Obama campaign denounced his remark (for a campaign that promised to fight back, they sure are turning into a bunch ofwimps. Pretty pathetic.), but all the guy did was respond to a question from Bob Schieffer:

SCHIEFFER: Can I just interrupt you? I have to say, Barack Obama hasn’t had any of these experiences either, nor has he ridden in a fighter plane and gotten shot down.

CLARK: I don’t think getting in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to become president.

That is some weak bullshit, acting like Clark was out there spearheading an attack. I watched that yesterday and didn’t think anything of it. Hell, I even blogged about Lieberman’s appearance and didn’t even mention Clark, it was so inconsequential. It wasn’t even really directed at McCain, but more of an attempt at correcting Schieffer.

Ahh, the McCain mancrush. Get used to it though- liberal media and all that. And man, did Dday nail that when he said to “Get Ready For The Mother Of All Hissy Fits.”

So much for not talking about this crap, although in my defense, this was hardly an attack and not what I was talking about. Oh, and new category for this mancrush.

*** Update ***

WTF? Did Sully watch the same god damned show I did? And I hate Wes Clark.

120 replies
  1. 1
    Face says:

    McCane. The guy’s north of 7 decades. It’ll be McRascal before he’s 4 years done.

  2. 2
    Cols714 says:

    I don’t know what Obama is supposed to do. The media was going to play this out 24/7 and defend McCain and act like Clark attacked McCain’s record without playing the actual tape and showing the context and all that.

    I think Obama should be fighting back more, but in this media environment, everything said by Obama (and Democrats) gets put into the worst possible connotation while Republicans and McCain can get away with saying practically anything.

    It sucks, but I think it’s the main reason why Democrats are so unwilling to fight back. The media pundits hate them, and will do everything possible to make it look good for the Republicans.

  3. 3
    Cain says:

    We should have Clark’s back. If Obama won’t stand up for it, the rest of us should. This is utter bullshit. Shame on the Obama campaign as well for not sticking up for him. I partially understand as it will drag the Obama campaign from it’s message and they’ll be discussing this crap for ever if he got involved. This stuff over Clark will last a week.

    CNN can go fuck itself. There’s a reason I don’t watch any of the cable news channel. If I want to sprayed with bullshit, I’d go to a farm.

    cain

  4. 4
    El Cid says:

    Follow it up.

    Don’t stop the transcript there. Here’s how Schieffer did it, and this takes out Schieffer’s actual pouting and stammering:

    Transcript

    Bob Schieffer: Well you, you went so far as to say that you thought John McCain was, quote, and these are your words, “untested and untried,” And I must say I, I had to read that twice, because you’re talking about somebody who was a prisoner of war. He was a squadron commander of the largest squadron in the Navy. He’s been on the Senate Armed Services Committee for lo these many years. How can you say that John McCain is un- untested and untried? General?

    GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: Because in the matters of national security policy making, it’s a matter of understanding risk. It’s a matter of gauging your opponents, and it’s a matter of being held accountable. John McCain’s never done any of that in his official positions. I certainly honor his service as a prisoner of war. He was a hero to me and to hundreds of thousands and millions of others in Armed Forces as a prisoner of war. He has been a voice on the Senate Armed Services Committee, and he has traveled all over the world. But he hasn’t held executive responsibility. That large squadron in Air- in the Navy that he commanded, it wasn’t a wartime squadron. He hasn’t been there and ordered the bombs to fall. He hasn’t seen what it’s like when diplomats come in and say, ‘I don’t know whether we’re going to be able to get this point through or not. Do you want to take the risk? What about your reputation? How do we handle it-‘

    Bob Schieffer: Well-

    GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: ‘ -it publicly.’ He hasn’t made those calls, Bob.

    Bob Schieffer: Well, well, General, maybe-

    GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: So-

    Bob Schieffer: Could I just interrupt you. If-

    GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: Sure.

    Bob Schieffer: I have to say, Barack Obama has not had any of those experiences either, nor has he ridden in a fighter plane and gotten shot down. I mean-

    GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: Well, I don’t think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be President.

    Bob Schieffer: Really?!

    Schieffer’s rotten performance is the most pathetic, frightened deliberate mis-interpretation I’ve heard a non-rightwingnut grown man speak on TV in a loooong time.

  5. 5
    NR says:

    Pathetic is right. Obama caved in to the Beltway blowhards who worship the ground that McCain walks on.

    For the first time, I am really worried about Obama’s chances in this election. He isn’t playing to win, he is playing not to lose, and there is no surer path to defeat than that.

    I may have to tune out of politics for a while. It’s too depressing to watch Obama piss away an election that by all accounts he should win in a walk.

  6. 6
    El Cid says:

    Lessons learned:

    Riding in a fighter plane in Vietnam & getting shot down = QUALIFIES U FOR PREZNIT IF U –> REPUBLICAN.

    Riding in a motorboat on a Vietnam & getting shot multiple times = NOT QUALIFIES U FOR PREZNIT IF U –> DEMOCRAT + U LOOK FRENCH TRAITOR. PURPLE BANDAIDZ!!!!

  7. 7
    Xenos says:

    Well, Sully has now called for a landslide viotory for Obama, so we all know what that means…

  8. 8
    Napoleon says:

    For the first time, I am really worried about Obama’s chances in this election. He isn’t playing to win, he is playing not to lose, and there is no surer path to defeat than that.

    I am convinced that is exactly what cost both Kerry and Gore their elections. They did the exact same thing.

  9. 9
    The Moar You Know says:

    Goddamit, attack through surrogates is how the game is played. Obama knows this. Why kneecap Clark when he’s got a good message?

    I was hoping for a new Democratic politics. Well, I certainly have a new kind of candidate but it looks as though he’s hellbent on losing the time-honored way of all Democratic candidates; the Dem goes out looking noble by heaping praise galore on their opponent, while the Gooper shovels dirt onto the Dem candidacy’s grave.

    Fuck. If we can’t win this election we don’t deserve to win another one again. Ever.

  10. 10
    Cols714 says:

    I know we get pissed at Democrats for this stuff, but we really should be pissed at the media. Obama wasn’t responding to the correctly posted transcript, he was responding to the media narrative built around a false premise. What was he supposed to do?

  11. 11
    Svensker says:

    Is Obama trying to become Dukakis here? WTH is going on? I thought we had a guy who was fucking tired of all this shit and wasn’t going to take it anymore.

    Tom Daschle with a weird name is not what we’re looking for.

    Oh, and Bob and the rest of them can go sit on a fire ant hill in nylon underpants.

  12. 12
    Delia says:

    Oh my, I think I shall have an attack of the vapors. After all, every manly man who has ever been taken prisoner by our evil enemies and been tortured is obviously eminently qualified to lead our Great Nation, and this cannot ever be questioned. Particularly if the Manly Man in question is a gooper, even if he’s a number one loose cannon, and the person doing the questioning is a Democrat, even if a retired general. It goes against all the rules.

  13. 13
    Cain says:

    I am convinced that is exactly what cost both Kerry and Gore their elections. They did the exact same thing.

    I wonder who the fuck is advising them? Rahm Emmanuel? If it is, the campaign is over.

    By that logic, I suppose every person in Gitmo is an acceptable candidate for president of the U.S. or the country of origin.

    cain

  14. 14
    cleek says:

    something has happened to Obama in the last couple of weeks. i’m not liking it. not at all.

  15. 15
    Wilfred says:

    I can’t help but feel this over-reaction against Clark comes from Repub/media fear that Obama was considering him as VP. What better way to undermine that choice, which I think would have been excellent, than by sabotaging the guy right out of the blocks.

    The Repubs were terrified of Clark, now Obama has erased his name from the list. Strange goings on.

  16. 16
    4tehlulz says:

    Has anyone seen Bob Shrum lately?

  17. 17
    OriGuy says:

    Over at Kos, SusanG has a diary that mentions the McCain response:

    The McCain campaign quickly trotted out retired Admiral Leighton “Snuffy” Smith (no, not kidding on nickname) to blast away at Clark, according to CNN:

    “If Barack Obama wants to question John McCain’s service to his country, he should have the guts to do it himself and not hide behind his campaign surrogates,” Smith said.
    Needless to say, stating that McCain has had no executive responsibility and that getting shot out of the sky is not a presidential qualification is not the equivalent of questioning McCain’s service to country, no matter how horrified Admiral Snuffy wants to play it.

    and someone noted: “Did a surrogate just attack a candidate for having a surrogate speak for them?”

  18. 18
    NR says:

    I wonder who the fuck is advising them? Rahm Emmanuel? If it is, the campaign is over.

    I think that the exact thing I was afraid was going to happen is happening – the campaign saw their early leads in the polls and became too cautious.

    They are not going to win by running a cautious campaign. If people want a “safe” choice, they will vote for McCain. Obama needs to give them a compelling alternative, and running a standard (i.e., lukewarm and weak) Democratic campaign is not the way to do that.

  19. 19
    smiley says:

    If I could get in the way-back machine, I would advise Clack to instead of saying this

    …and getting shot down is a qualification to be President.

    Say this

    ..and getting shot down does not necessarily and uniquely qualify him to be President.

  20. 20
    Delia says:

    something has happened to Obama in the last couple of weeks. i’m not liking it. not at all.

    Yep. He may have picked a bad time to eschew pubic financing and then go all triangulatey on us.

  21. 21
    Cain says:

    something has happened to Obama in the last couple of weeks. i’m not liking it. not at all.

    I’m with you man, and I’m a big fan of his. He’s been less than stellar the past couple of weeks. I realize he’s got a lot of shit being thrown at him and he’s trying to reduce the damage, but goddam it he needs to go on the attack, if you pussyfoot this shit nothing is going to happen. I suppose being black or half black you’re a bit nervous whether people have your back or not.

    cain

    cain

  22. 22
    Paul L. says:

    Of course this was outrageous in 2004.

    I don’t think getting in a fighter plane [Swiftboat] and getting shot down [at] is a qualification to become president.

    When Will The Left Flip Flop Again On Military Service?

  23. 23
    Cain says:

    Yep. He may have picked a bad time to eschew pubic financing and then go all triangulatey on us.

    Yeah.. I ain’t given any money till I see some action. (boy I suppose that could be taken the wrong way? I hope CNN quotes me)

    cain

  24. 24
    smiley says:

    What happened to the not in my first blockquote?

    something has happened to Obama in the last couple of weeks. i’m not liking it. not at all.

    2 words: general election

  25. 25
    cleek says:

    2 words: general election

    three more words: enthusiasm level, decreasing

  26. 26
    Neo says:

    Wesley Clark, super genius.

    He’s going a great job of getting Republicans and others who really don’t like McCain all that much to get a chance to really embrace him over an experience for which Obama has no equal.

    I’ll assume that Wes Clark will be relegated to one of those low level staff positions from which all the Obama gaffes seem to emanate.

  27. 27
    Tsulagi says:

    I like Shieffer, but that was a fairly stupid comment that immediately led to Clark’s reply. Close call, but think I’ll have to side with Clark that getting shot down shouldn’t be a litmus test for becoming president.

    Didn’t see that Face the Nation show, but did watch a clip of the entire Shieffer/Clark exchange. Don’t think what Clark said anytime during the interview rises to the level of an attack on McCain’s service. McCain has made experience an issue in national security matters claiming he’s qualified, Obama isn’t. Clark was simply stating McCain’s military service alone didn’t qualify him to make sound policy decisions.

    Yep, great response from the Obama campaign. How very Democratic Party of them. I’d take Wes Clark in a heartbeat over Obama.

  28. 28
    Zifnab says:

    Riding in a fighter plane in Vietnam & getting shot down = QUALIFIES U FOR PREZNIT IF U —> REPUBLICAN.

    Riding in a motorboat on a Vietnam & getting shot multiple times = NOT QUALIFIES U FOR PREZNIT IF U —> DEMOCRAT + U LOOK FRENCH TRAITOR. PURPLE BANDAIDZ!

    Obviously, John Kerry was unfit for service because he was too close to water. My four day harmonious time cube has informed me that math goes west, not to pick up copper, and you don’t vote for a Presidential Candidate who is too close to water.

    Look at George Bush. He’s from Texas. There’s no water in Texas. John McCain? Arizona. No water there. Barack Obama? He’s from Chicago, a port city. Kerry? Massachusetts. Omg, so much water.

    Why this isn’t crystal clear to you is beyond me. PRESIDENT + WATER = BAD PRESIDENT. What brought down Nixon? Watergate. Remember when Jimmy Carter got too close to that rabbit in his row boat? End of the Presidency, right there.

    Lesson learned.

  29. 29
    nightjar says:

    I don’t think getting in a fighter plane [Swiftboat] and getting shot down [at] is a qualification to become president

    Yea, I remember that, and also every wingnut taking head pontificate in loud unison that Kerry making a big deal of his military service made it peachy for them to criticize it.

    And they did with vim and vigor, and the media response was well, have at it, and we’ll provide a round the clock venue to mock Kerry’s service to air your opinions lies because It’s our job to vet the dem candidate thoroughly.

    And then came the Swiftboater’s who accused Kerry of everything from causing his own wounds to hijacking the entire naval chain of command to nominate and award himself several medals. All without presenting a single shred of evidence other than thirty five year old memories and a long held grievance at Kerry for his actions AFTER his service.

    And the media response was well, it’s our job to give you a month of wall to wall airtime to air your opinions lies because er.. well, it’s our job to, and we won’t ask you for hard evidence until you’ve said your Lies ad nauseum on the nations airwaves for a solid month.

    Fuck the Media, Fuck Republicans, Fuck MCcsame.

  30. 30
    Doug H. (Fausto no more) says:

    Yep, great response from the Obama campaign. How very Democratic Party of them. I’d take Wes Clark in a heartbeat over Obama.

    Which is why Clark is the nominee instead of Obama. Er, wait-

    Clark may have had a point, but he utterly botched it with that soundbyte. Remember the old sage about never having a second chance to make a first impression? Clark just made his first impression, good luck trying to make the argument of ‘Well, that’s not what he really meant!’ in the ensuing maelstrom. Best damage control Obama could do would be to sweep it under the rug and let the news cycle run its course.

    tl;dr: Will it play in Peoria?

  31. 31
    cleek says:

    BTW GOP, DIAF. KTHXBYE

  32. 32
    cleek says:

    Remember the old sage about never having a second chance to make a first impression?

    Clark has been making this exact point for the past three months.

  33. 33
    GSD says:

    Well, now that Obama has the nomination wrapped up it’s time to bring Shrum on board for his 10th loss.

    Run to the middle, duck and cover and worship the media moron’s conventional wisdom at all costs.

    -GSD

  34. 34
    myiq2xu says:

    Obama today:

    For those who have fought under the flag of this nation – for the young veterans I meet when I visit Walter Reed; for those like John McCain who have endured physical torment in service to our country – no further proof of such sacrifice is necessary.

    So Obama agrees with Hillary?

  35. 35
    4tehlulz says:

    Remember the media outrage over those Purple Heart Band-Aids?

    Me neither.

  36. 36
    liberal says:

    El Cid wrote,

    Schieffer’s rotten performance is the most pathetic, frightened deliberate mis-interpretation I’ve heard a non-rightwingnut grown man speak on TV in a loooong time.

    He himself might not be explicitly rightwingnut, but he’s got right-wing connections.

  37. 37
    Mary says:

    Yes, and it was largely ignored. But once he said it inartfully enough to gladden the hearts of the manufacturers of fainting couches and clutchproof pearls everywhere, we were off to the races.

  38. 38
    El Cid says:

    Someone please tell me that idiot Paul L. didn’t actually suggest that ‘teh left’ just changed any perspective on military service.

    Acting heroically in a Swift boat does qualify you to NOT be labeled as some anti-American coward, like Republicans think they have the right to do, unless the major news media allow a bunch of lying fraud-bags to do just that.

    John Kerry was qualified to be President for other reasons, such as his policies, unlike McCain, who has nothing but a “Maverick” reputation and a load of sh*tty, harmful right wing policies.

  39. 39

    […] Ya know what? I don’t think that flying a jet, or getting shot down in and of itself qualifies anyone to be president either. I’m of the opinion that one’s shoddy service in the Air National Guard, barely limping through one’s tour, possibly going AWOL, drinking and snorting your way through to the end while your cohort fights and dies halfway around the world is a far superior benchmark of judgment and true grit. Haven’t we learned anything from the last 7 years? […]

  40. 40
    cybergal619 says:

    For the second time in as many weeks, I got the Uh-Oh Scary feeling in the pit of my stomach re Obama’s campaign. First it was FISA and now rejecting, renouncing, whatever Clark’s spot-on comments! WTF?

  41. 41
    John says:

    Yuck. The media says “jump,” and the Obama campaign asks “how high?” Maybe it’s just an unfortunate series of events, but this has been a dispiriting couple of weeks since Obama secured the nomination.

    Fucking Democrats.

  42. 42
    Neo says:

    It’s official .. an Obama spokesman sent out this brief statement as Obama was speaking:

    “As he’s said many times before, Senator Obama honors and respects Senator McCain’s service, and, of course, he rejects yesterday’s statement by General Clark.”

    .. Wes Clark under the bus.

  43. 43
    The Other Steve says:

    Well considering McCain’s running a campaign based on “I’m totally qualified to be President because I was shot down in a plane!”, I can see why the Republicans might be a bit upset with Wesley Clark.

  44. 44
    liberal says:

    nightjar wrote,

    Yea, I remember that, and also every wingnut taking head pontificate in loud unison that Kerry making a big deal of his military service made it peachy for them to criticize it.

    I completely agree. However, there really is a difference.

    Kerry himself, post-war, as a young man, said that at best Vietnam was a mistake. I’m not that familiar with his history, but maybe at some point he actually insinuated that the war was [gasp!] WRONG.

    Now, McCain, OTOH, might have favored restoring trade relations w/ Vietnam at some date, but he’s never (AFAIK) questioned the war itself like that.

    Not that I have a problem with such questioning. But the inner trog in many people doesn’t like it when their country is questioned like that, even if their country really is guilty of moral crime.

    After all, IIRC one thing that motivated a lot of those Swiftboat vets was their lingering resentment at Kerry.

  45. 45
    Garrigus Carraig says:

    Yeah, Obama’s statement is a shame. Maybe he just doesn’t want to go the mat for Clark. But he probably would have done better to tell the press not to hold him responsible for statements originating outside the campaign.

    I admit I don’t know what he’s doing on this and on FISA. Standing up repeatedly and firmly to wingnut nonsense is IMHO a necessary condition for an Obama victory.

  46. 46
    The Other Steve says:

    Wes Clark under the bus.

    Clark’s a good soldier and understands how the game is played.

  47. 47
    John S. says:

    So Obama agrees with Hillary?

    You know it!

    Obama clearly said that McCain has crossed a threshold for being CiC that he himself has not. We can expect to see him featured in a McCain commercial any day now…

  48. 48
    John S. says:

    Someone please tell me that idiot Paul L.

    You can stop right there.

  49. 49
    crw says:

    Standing up repeatedly and firmly to wingnut nonsense is IMHO a necessary condition for an Obama victory.

    Funny, this on the day when Obama gave a speech calling bullshit on the people questioning his patriotism. Clark’s sin wasn’t so much the attack itself as the fact he was waaaay off message and stepped on Obama’s dick. He sucked the oxygen from a news cycle that should have been net positive for Obama.

  50. 50
    Zifnab says:

    Just worth noting, but I don’t think Clark is one of Obama’s dudes. That is to say, he’s a Democrat, but I thought he was in the Clinton camp. Maybe Obama is just refusing to clean up after people he isn’t directly affiliated with. For the time being, “Rally ’round the message” has become a rather central theme of the Obama campaign.

  51. 51
    Tsulagi says:

    Which is why Clark is the nominee instead of Obama. Er, wait-

    Didn’t say Clark was a better political campaigner than Obama, simply that he would make a better president.

    Clark may have had a point, but he utterly botched it with that soundbyte.

    Complete utter bullshit. At no time during the interview did Clark denigrate military service nor McCain’s personal service record.

    You say he “botched it with that soundbyte” hurting Obama? Leading to a feared “maelstrom”? You must be aware of and embrace all Democratic Party traditions.

    OT, what is up with this site? Along with death and taxes, you can count on Democratic capitulation and BJ crashing.

  52. 52
    El Cid says:

    crw makes a really big point. Obama’s likely p***ed off that people are talking about Clark instead of his new speech. Great call.

  53. 53
    Doug H. (Fausto no more) says:

    Complete utter bullshit. At no time during the interview did Clark denigrate military service nor McCain’s personal service record.

    That’s not the point. Clark said something unflattering about McCain’s war record. You might get it, I might get it, but Bob and Irma back home who only know McCain as a presidential candidate and former POW are going ‘Oh no he didn’t.’ You think they’re running to YouTube or Beat The Press to get the full Schieffer-Clark exchange?

    You say he “botched it with that soundbyte” hurting Obama? Leading to a feared “maelstrom”? You must be aware of and embrace all Democratic Party traditions.

    Name me one time when a candidate was able to shift the narrative in a situation such as this.

  54. 54
    D. Mason says:

    Maybe integrity was the price Obama paid for his nomination. Perhaps his integrity was feigned form the start. Who can tell with politicians these days.

  55. 55
    norbizness says:

    I think it’s the “and getting shot down” which is a little gratuitous. Replace it with “making propaganda films for the VC” or something.

  56. 56
    Tsulagi says:

    That’s not the point. Clark said something unflattering about McCain’s war record.

    And that would be?

  57. 57
    Napoleon says:

    Clark said something unflattering about McCain’s war record.

    No he didn’t, and that is the whole point. He simply made the point that it is not relevent to being president. Woldgang Puck is a good chef, and if I happen to make the point that the fact he is a good chef is not relevent to him being president would you claim I said something unflattering about his record as a chef?

  58. 58
    4tehlulz says:

    >>And that would be?

    Something other than “*gulp* May I have some more, sir?”

  59. 59
    D. Mason says:
    That’s not the point. Clark said something unflattering about McCain’s war record.

    And that would be?

    The whole part that fails to suck McCains nuts for what he did back in the day. Duh.

  60. 60
    Mike P says:

    You guys are all upset, but you are forgetting two simple points:

    1) The MSM does not do nuance well (if at all) and
    2) IOKIYAR

  61. 61
    Doug H. (Fausto no more) says:

    And that would be?

    ‘and getting shot down’

    Maybe its just my neighborhood, but the local veterans’ hall still has a POW/MIA flag flying out front.

    Like I said: I get it. Clark got it too. But he took Schieffer’s bait and Went There and you’re just don’t do that.

  62. 62
    Doug H. (Fausto no more) says:

    ‘you just don’t do that’

    One of these days I’m going to invest in a grammar checker.

  63. 63

    Oh c’mon, we know how this game is played.

    “Oh yes, his statement was harsh, but there are *questions*”

    Like McCain crashing four other planes before getting show down
    Like McCain doing all that propaganda for the North Vietnamese..

    Now we just need a “Malkin” to ask whether McCain was really shot down…

    Then the circle will be complete. Not a pretty circle, but a circle.

    At the same time Military service != presidential skills will be completely lost.

  64. 64
    JoyceH says:

    Clark’s a good soldier and understands how the game is played.

    Exactly.

    Personally, I think both Clark and the Obama campaign know exactly what they’re doing.

    Clark said what needed to be said. It needed to be said because the mainstream media is accepting as the default Received Wisdom and Universal Truth that “of COURSE McCain is a foreign policy expert and a great leader! He was a POW, fercryinoutloud!”

    SOMEONE had to say, “That doesn’t even make sense.” But this is the media and their conventional wisdom we’re talking about, and challenging their dogma makes them uncomfortable and angry. The first person who dares to say, “That doesn’t even make sense” is going to be the recipient of a pile-on. So who better to take that first bullet that someone who is NOT a part of the Obama campaign, and is not a member of the ‘always for Obama’ group?

    This is the camel’s nose under the tent, and we need to be back at the camel’s tail pushing as hard as we can, to get the media to take a moment and ask themselves, “Wait a minute – how DOES spending five years in a North Vietnamese cell four decades ago demonstrate foreign policy expertise and the ability to manage a mind-bogglingly large and complex organization?”

  65. 65

    Maybe its just my neighborhood, but the local veterans’ hall still has a POW/MIA flag flying out front.

    Maybe you should look at how McCain has treated those folks who still care about those MIAs.

    Answer: Not very well. Not very well at all.

  66. 66
    JoyceH says:

    Maybe you should look at how McCain has treated those folks who still care about those MIAs.

    Oh, dear lord. Please tell me we’re not going to be listening to Ted Sampley. Before anyone gleefully takes up and passes on some Sampley quotes because they’re thrilled to find a Vietnam Vet McCain critic, for pity’s sake, Google the man first! He’s a lunatic and a con man.

  67. 67
    Tsulagi says:

    Maybe its just my neighborhood, but the local veterans’ hall still has a POW/MIA flag flying out front.

    Oh yeah, I can fully see that. Clark pissed on POW/MIAs when responding to Schieffer’s “but he rode in a fighter and was shot down” with his observation that being shot down doesn’t necessarily qualify someone to make sound policy decisions. Is that POW/MIA connection clearly discerned in the kerning of Clark’s response? Completely missed that

  68. 68
    Wilfred says:

    Fuck McCain and his blowhard self-importance. It’s his insistence on being treated as if he were somebody worthy of reverence that makes him, his campaign and anybody who falls for it deserving of being treated with contempt.

  69. 69

    Oh, dear lord. Please tell me we’re not going to be listening to Ted Sampley. Before anyone gleefully takes up and passes on some Sampley quotes because they’re thrilled to find a Vietnam Vet McCain critic, for pity’s sake, Google the man first! He’s a lunatic and a con man.

    No, he’s not my source, but it is good to double check, thanks.

  70. 70
    Wilfred says:

    The worst part of this War Hero crap is that it perpetuates itself. In 10 or 15 years we’ll be dealing with “I SERVED IN IRAQ and you didn’t” wanking – translation: I served proudly in a stupid, criminal and ugly war so make me President for me to make another stupid, criminal and ugly war, run loop.

  71. 71
    cleek says:

    Then the circle will be complete. Not a pretty circle, but a circle

    much more of this kind of stuff and i’m out of here for good.

  72. 72
    curtadams says:

    I think the line was hilarious (unintentionally) and makes McCain look quite bad. Which is why the Republican noise machine is having the vapors. Fine, have the vapors. It’s a memorable line and the more it’s repeated the more people will remember McCain as the man whose biggest service was, well, getting shot down and captured. Those aren’t the skills people want in the president.

  73. 73

    If going AWOL from your National Guard unit qualifies you for being President then crashing a plane must absolutely qualify you to be Prez.

  74. 74
    KCinDC says:

    It’s like McCain is playing a game of seeing how outrageously hypocritical he can be before anyone in the media (or apparently the Obama campaign) will call him on it: His surrogate for this fake outrage, Bud Day, was in the Swift Boat ads against Kerry.

  75. 75
    cleek says:

    IIRC, Duke Cunningham was the first ace in Vietnam.

    i think i smell a VP!

  76. 76
  77. 77
    jenniebee says:

    Sorry to say it, but this is the Obama who’s been there all along. This is what he was like and what he was doing when the primaries started. And it’s what he’s done all the way up. It’s not just now. He triangulates right, gives great speeches, and takes no stands or risks, and that’s what he’s always done, in every legislature and every campaign he’s been in.

    Not that I’m crazy about Hillary or anything, but if you didn’t think that this was the guy you were rooting for all along… what was it that W said about fool me twice?

  78. 78

    […] Since honorable military service is all you need to qualify for the White House, and gives you the only experience that matters, we may have a VP for McCain. Randall “Duke” Cunningham: […]

  79. 79
    The Moar You Know says:

    Not that I’m crazy about Hillary or anything

    Lie of the year.

  80. 80
    Fledermaus says:

    Yep. He may have picked a bad time to eschew pubic financing and then go all triangulatey on us.

    I was actually considering giving money to a political canidate for the 1st time ever until this FISA business – that reminded me that my money is best given to far better causes.

  81. 81
    mrmobi says:

    Personally, I think both Clark and the Obama campaign know exactly what they’re doing.

    Whatever the reason they have chosen to go after McCain’s service, I think this didn’t work as intended, and Obama now looks disloyal to Clark when he doesn’t at least try to explain that Clark did not denigrate McCain’s service. So his surrogate is being characterized as swift-boating his opponent, and he is being characterized as “throwing Clark under the bus.” Sounds like “strategery” to me. This has not been a good couple of weeks for Obama, who I still strongly support.

    Did the Obama campaign really think they could question McCain’s service without getting pushback from the media, who love McCain? If they did, that’s fucking stupid of them.

    We have an abundance of issues to go after McCain on, some of them, given the current state of our economy, should resonate nicely even with the nuance-impaired (most of whom can do enough math to know they’re being fucked). Why choose this issue?

    What’s next, does Clark apologize for his remarks? This is bullshit, and this campaign is not looking very strong right now.

  82. 82
    bago says:

    The important thing to notice the shock when something contra-factual to the beltway conventional wisdom.

  83. 83
    Howard says:

    Of course Obama wants to put an end to Patriotism as an issue, because Obama is the one who’s patriotism is in question! He conveniently condems questioning patiotism, but where was he when his hatchet men came up with General Betray Us??? Also, why isn’t Iraq, or Afganistan on Obama’s upcoming itinery? Obama knows he can’t compete with McCain on the issue of patriotism, so he’s trying to make it a non issue. Obama has no experience, except to listen to God Damn America for 20 years!

  84. 84
    mrmobi says:

    Obama has no experience, except to listen to God Damn America for 20 years!

    You’re so right Howard(the duck?). Obama has no experience, because he’s a secret muslim/manchurian candidate, and he’s actually only 12 years old.

    And you’re right again about Rev. Wright. He just kept repeating “God Damn America” for 20 years. That is all he ever said. Howard, you are so very, very smart, for a duck.

    John, why do you hate Wesley Clark? Just curious.

  85. 85
    nightjar says:

    Also, why isn’t Iraq, or Afganistan on Obama’s upcoming itinery?

    For security reasons smarty-spoof. He’s stopping there but won’t be advertising it.

  86. 86

    I’m not crazy about Wes Clark, but in solidarity I put this back up, War and John McCain. Reuters liked it well enough to run the headline weekly since it was written and I flat out don’t like McCain.

  87. 87
    Natascha says:

    I was actually considering giving money to a political canidate for the 1st time ever until this FISA business – that reminded me that my money is best given to far better causes.

    Exactly. Why waste money on bringing our troops out of Iraq and preventing war with Iran?

  88. 88
    pinola says:

    I couldn’t stand Wes Clark in 2003 because of his very odd, creepy change in position on the war and some other things I can’t quite recall. Don’t hate ‘im anymore though. You learn to take what you can get, after while.

  89. 89
    pinola says:

    This could be a clever backroom ruse between Obama camp and Clark. Get Clark to raise the issue and let Obama look all ‘above it’ and shit, but it still opens the gates to the discussion of McCain’s military service record. I’m just sayin’

  90. 90
    pinola says:

    Just to clarify: perhaps they’re not really being that clever, but they think that’s what they’re doing.

  91. 91
    pinola says:

    Then also, Obama could put his hand over his heart and talk about how wrong it is to question an opponent’s war record, after all, that’s what was done to Kerry in 2004.

    *sighes from the crowd*

  92. 92

    […] John Cole is incredulous about Andrew Sullivan’s absurdity, if you want a quick overview. […]

  93. 93
    Corner Stone says:

    I don’t know what Obama is supposed to do. The media was going to play this out 24/7 and defend McCain and act like Clark attacked McCain’s record without playing the actual tape and showing the context and all that.

    This sounds awfully like JJC’s bleg and paean to the higher art of blessed “Pragmatism” on the whole FISA debacle.
    Face it. Obama is the personification of pussification.

  94. 94
    Xenos says:

    Of course Obama wants to put an end to Patriotism as an issue, because Obama is the one who’s patriotism is in question! He conveniently condems questioning patiotism, but where was he when his hatchet men came up with General Betray Us???

    Moveon.org are Obama henchmen? Are you fucking kidding? Sure, they support Obama now that he is the Democratic Party nominee, but that was not the case back in September 2007. And the whole point of moveon is that they are independant and self-funding, and not anybody’s ‘henchmen’.

    So bugger off, liar.

  95. 95
    Corner Stone says:

    cleek says:

    something has happened to Obama in the last couple of weeks. i’m not liking it. not at all.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!
    This IS WHO THE FUCK OBAMA IS!
    What’s the matter cleek? Your Kool-Aid Patch wearing off?
    Patch him! Patch him stat!

  96. 96
    Corner Stone says:

    SOMEONE had to say, “That doesn’t even make sense.” But this is the media and their conventional wisdom we’re talking about, and challenging their dogma makes them uncomfortable and angry. The first person who dares to say, “That doesn’t even make sense” is going to be the recipient of a pile-on. So who better to take that first bullet that someone who is NOT a part of the Obama campaign, and is not a member of the ‘always for Obama’ group?

    This is the camel’s nose under the tent, and we need to be back at the camel’s tail pushing as hard as we can, to get the media to take a moment and ask themselves, “Wait a minute – how DOES spending five years in a North Vietnamese cell four decades ago demonstrate foreign policy expertise and the ability to manage a mind-bogglingly large and complex organization?”

    No. It’s not. This is an immunization for McCain. Can you smell the scent of rubber burning in the air? That’s Obama smoking the fucking tires on his bus backing the fook away from Clark as fast as it will go. Ever see the cartoon where the coyote runs out into the clouds past the edge of the cliff and when the smoke clears he’s all by himself out in space, looking down at a hell of a long way?
    That’s Clark after Obama bussed his ass.
    How do you think the next person who raises the tent flap on this will be treated? We’ll never know because it will never happen again from anyone with as much/more credibility than Clark. Sure, some fringer or hanger on may invoke it but the media will ignore him/her and if they don’t then Obama will treat them like a low level staffer and dismiss them.
    Anyone remember how GWB did his thing during the campaigns when one of his surrogates pantsed somebody? Bush was asked about it and he’d shrug his shoulders and smirk a little and say, “Aw shucks, that doesn’t sound like good ole what’s his face would say. I’m not saying it you understand, but good ole what’s his face may be.”
    He never disavowed anyone or anything IIRC. Why did Obama have to get up and play holier than thou here? He didn’t! He bussed Clark for no fookin good reason. He certainly didn’t gain a god damned thing with centrists and he’s once again disappointed his numerical base. Where’s the payoff for this?

  97. 97
    handy says:

    I want to say that I mourn for my country when an obvious BS story like this is causing so much apoplectic outrage, but then my guess is that the only people who are getting off on this are the same dorks who think Al Gore said he invented the Internet and John Kerry got his Purple Heart for shooting himself in the foot.

    So yeah, serious wankery going on with this one.

  98. 98
    Rome Again says:

    Howard said:

    Of course Obama wants to put an end to Patriotism as an issue, because Obama is the one who’s patriotism is in question! He conveniently condems questioning patiotism, but where was he when his hatchet men came up with General Betray Us??? Also, why isn’t Iraq, or Afganistan on Obama’s upcoming itinery? Obama knows he can’t compete with McCain on the issue of patriotism, so he’s trying to make it a non issue. Obama has no experience, except to listen to God Damn America for 20 years!

    Yeah, the guy who can’t differentiate between Sunnis and Shiites has the experience we need.

    Tool.

  99. 99
    Marcel F. Williams says:

    What Obama needed to say was that he felt that both Clark and McCain are war heroes and that he has respect for both men’s service to their country.

    Unfortunately, I suspect that Obama is still infatuated with that Confederate flag lovin’ Jim Webb.

  100. 100

    […] Just a tiny post before bed, but since I’m (on reflection, rightly) getting reamed here for specious political attacks, can I at least pour one on the ground for Wes Clark? I agree with John Cole, he’s getting boned. […]

  101. 101
    Badtux says:

    All that spending 5 years getting tortured as a POW qualifies you for is a lifetime of physical and psychological therapy and a 100% disability rating from the U.S. Navy. None of which I begrudge McCain at all, but they don’t qualify him to be President. The man suffered for his country, but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s been wrong on, well, pretty much everything over the past six years. Suffering doesn’t make you smarter. What brains you got is what you got. And McCain’s brains ain’t been workin’ well lately, what with all his mixups of Sunni and Shia and shit that he’s been gaffing lately.

    – Badtux the Saintly Penguin (yeah right!)

  102. 102
    truth machine says:

    Can I just interrupt you?

    When has Bob Schieffer — or any of his colleagues — ever interrupted anyone to defend Barack Obama?

  103. 103
    truth machine says:

    Of course Obama wants to put an end to Patriotism as an issue, because Obama is the one who’s patriotism is in question!

    To properly frame this: Obama wants to put an end to it as an issue because he’s one who is being attacked on it by traitorous scum like you who have defiled this country. You should thank him for taking it off the table, sparing all of you from the gallows.

  104. 104
    truth machine says:

    Ever see the cartoon where the coyote runs out into the clouds past the edge of the cliff and when the smoke clears he’s all by himself out in space, looking down at a hell of a long way?
    That’s Clark after Obama bussed his ass.
    How do you think the next person who raises the tent flap on this will be treated? We’ll never know because it will never happen again from anyone with as much/more credibility than Clark.

    This is real life, not a cartoon, dipshit. Obama’s campaign weakly dissed Clark and Clark came right back and pretty much repeated what he had said previously. Now is the opportunity for people like Clark — people who aren’t cowards — to make a point of this, despite the lily livers of Obama’s campaign and even Obama himself.

  105. 105
    truth machine says:

    This IS WHO THE FUCK OBAMA IS!

    Indeed it is. But Obama is also the guy who is far more likely than McCain to create an environment where progressives can enact their agenda. People act as if they think there is one guy who runs the entire government himself, and as if that consists of waking up every morning and deciding whether or not the war in Iraq will continue. Obama or McCain winning in November determines whether or not reactionaries and reactionary policies continue to rule. That’s the case no matter how far Obama deviates from perfection or from one’s own political stances (which for many people seem to be the same thing).

  106. 106
    truth machine says:

    where was he when his hatchet men came up with General Betray Us???

    Here’s the thing about criminally hypocritical scum like Howard: If you ask that sort of question of them, no matter how legitimately, of Bush or McCain or any of their brethren, they will attack you a rabid partisan who hates America, or Bush, or whatever. But when they ask it, they don’t care about the answer or the facts. Here we have Obama throwing Wesley Clark under the bus for his perfectly legitimate and accurate comments about McCain, but that isn’t good enough for Howard the Fuck. Not even the fact that Obama directly dissed MoveOn in his speech:

    http://thehill.com/campaign-20.....06-30.html

    But that, like all fact and reason, doesn’t matter to moronic garbage like Howard. These people are indoctrinated cult members, drones set on the mission of protecting the great church of right wing scumitude.

  107. 107
    truth machine says:

    Not that I’m crazy about Hillary or anything

    Then why tell the same lies as those who are?

    what was it that W said about fool me twice?

    Something completely incoherent. Your knowledge about him is as complete and reliable as about Obama.

  108. 108
    truth machine says:

    Personally, I think both Clark and the Obama campaign know exactly what they’re doing.

    How many gallons of koolaid did you drink? Do you think that Bob Schieffer was in on it too?

    The Obama campaign’s response was politically, tactically, and strategically inept. They were doing a lot better when Obama was saying that what matters is judgment, not experience. They need to puncture the myth that McCain is a foreign policy expert, and chiding Clark for attacking McCain’s patriotism when Clark didn’t is not the way to do it. They also need very much to puncture the myth that McCain is a centrist, and deal with this picture that he’s painting of a forward thinker on energy and the environment. And they need, badly, to get the word out on how atrocious McCain is on women’s issues.

  109. 109
    truth machine says:

    But he took Schieffer’s bait and Went There and you’re just don’t do that.

    So what exactly should he have said? I’m going to ask the Obama campaign that tomorrow. I already called them today to note that Obama dissed Clark for no good reason and that he’s creating a lot of disaffection in his core activist support with this and his position on the FISA bill — the woman I spoke to was very nice and said that she’s been hearing the same sort of thing from many others and encouraged me to keep calling with my comments.

  110. 110
    truth machine says:

    I don’t know what Obama is supposed to do.

    He’s supposed to quote Clark lauding McCain’s service, and then say that what someone did 40 years ago doesn’t determine whether they have the judgment it takes to be president.

  111. 111

    It’s fine for me or any of you to take swipes at McCain’s claims to experience from POW and it is true. At the same time Obama needs to be nowhere near it.

    It won’t matter how reasoned or qualified the criticism is, see Clark, it will explode in his face. You should be taking that lesson away with you from the current BS for cripe’s sake. It isn’t a matter of being a pussy, it’s a matter of not being stupid.

    However you want to think about it, somehow McCain has become sacrosanct on this one and ramming your head into a fait accompli won’t gain you ground. Some things just are. Stop and think about Wright’s ‘god damn’ expression, logically it makes perfect sense in relation to Christ, but it ain’t gonna play and it ain’t gonna get explained, it is just poison.

  112. 112

    […] 1, 2008 · No Comments John Cole makes a good point; it is not as if you need to trawl through hours of debate toreconstruct the context. SCHIEFFER: Can I just interrupt you? I have to say, Barack Obama hasn’t had any of these experiences either, nor has he ridden in a fighter plane and gotten shot down. […]

  113. 113
    TenguPhule says:

    Ahh, the McCain mancrush.

    Get your ballpolishers here. Official McCain balls to polish. Hold them in your hands and wipe them off with a cloth. White, round and dimpled. Any hole, anywhere.

  114. 114

    jenniebee, I thought we were talking about Wesley Clark. But thanks for your concern.

  115. 115
    Corner Stone says:

    But Obama is also the guy who is far more likely than McCain to create an environment where progressives can enact their agenda. People act as if they think there is one guy who runs the entire government himself, and as if that consists of waking up every morning and deciding whether or not the war in Iraq will continue.

    What progressive agenda? You mean like bringing FISA up for a vote when they absolutely did not have to? And what makes you think Obama has any intention of allowing any peek at a “progressive” agenda? Have you been watching and listening to the man? Just because he has a D by his name doesn’t mean he’s going to be “far more likely” to do jack shit for progressives.
    And yes, one person does run the government. Dick Cheney. Can you make a coherent arguement that every major policy and decision made during the last 7 years has not been shaped or implemented by the current VP?

  116. 116
    truth machine says:

    You packed an awful lot of stupid in one paragraph, and then capped it off by torpedoing your own argument — unless you really believe that Cheney is more like Obama than he is like McCain. Aside from the obvious fact that a McCain win would result in far more reactionary policies, it would also result in far more reactionaries filling the thousands of positions that it takes to run the federal government.

  117. 117
    Corner Stone says:

    Nice non-rebuttal. What “obvious fact” are you referring to? The fact that *you* said it therefore it must be true?
    Obama has repeatedly discussed appointing Republican’s to Cabinet positions. Who do you think they will hire into leadership roles? Progressive Democrats?
    FISA, Faith based initiatives, praising Reagan, calling the last two term D president a racist….yep, those are all truly progressive ideas.
    Fuck you.

  118. 118
  119. 119
    RH Potfry says:

    I’ve got to agree here. The context of Clark’s statement is critical. And, as I’m pretty sure McCain would admit, getting shot down isn’t a qualification for the presidency.

    But.

    Implying that McCain’s making of an anti-American propaganda film after succumbing to torture is somehow a failure is a pathetically low blow.

  120. 120
    RH Potfry says:

    Sorry, to be clear, that comment about the anti-American propaganda film was directed at John Aravosis’ post yesterday at AmericaBlog.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] 1, 2008 · No Comments John Cole makes a good point; it is not as if you need to trawl through hours of debate toreconstruct the context. SCHIEFFER: Can I just interrupt you? I have to say, Barack Obama hasn’t had any of these experiences either, nor has he ridden in a fighter plane and gotten shot down. […]

  2. […] Just a tiny post before bed, but since I’m (on reflection, rightly) getting reamed here for specious political attacks, can I at least pour one on the ground for Wes Clark? I agree with John Cole, he’s getting boned. […]

  3. […] John Cole is incredulous about Andrew Sullivan’s absurdity, if you want a quick overview. […]

  4. […] Since honorable military service is all you need to qualify for the White House, and gives you the only experience that matters, we may have a VP for McCain. Randall “Duke” Cunningham: […]

  5. […] Ya know what? I don’t think that flying a jet, or getting shot down in and of itself qualifies anyone to be president either. I’m of the opinion that one’s shoddy service in the Air National Guard, barely limping through one’s tour, possibly going AWOL, drinking and snorting your way through to the end while your cohort fights and dies halfway around the world is a far superior benchmark of judgment and true grit. Haven’t we learned anything from the last 7 years? […]

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