Republican John McCain pushed back on Wednesday against Democratic criticism that he misstated when the troop buildup ordered by President Bush began, saying elements were put in place before Bush announced the strategy in early 2007.
He told reporters during an unscheduled stop in a super market that, what the Bush administration calls “the surge” was actually “made up of a number of components,” some of which began before the president’s order for more troops.
It’s all a matter of semantics, he suggested.***
Democrats jumped on his comments. They said McCain’s remarks showed he was out of touch, because the rebellion of U.S.-backed Sunni sheiks against al-Qaida terrorists in Iraq’s Anbar province was under way well before Bush announced in January 2007 his decision to send 30,000 additional U.S. troops to Iraq.
McCain asserted he knew that and didn’t commit a gaffe. “A surge is really a counterinsurgency made up of a number of components. … I’m not sure people understand that `surge’ is part of a counterinsurgency.”
Using these rules, why don’t we just retroactively define anything positive as the surge and credit the McMaverick. Got a raise at work? Thank the surge and John McCain. Hit the lottery- John McCain can tell you how it is related to the surge.
*** Update ***
Feh. Hilzoy was there first and did it better.
*** Update #2 ***
Best title for a blog post this year.