What worries Republicans: McCain’s careless sound bites

As the presidential campaign shifts into general election mode, battle lines are easier to draw, the two camps are more clearly defined and it is easier to determine what events might upset — or hearten — one campaign or the other. This entry inaugurates a new series devoted to cataloging what keeps Republicans and Democrats up at night. Today’s installment concerns the GOP and McCain’s damaging sound bites: Before McCain can even hope to convince the country to not reject his imperialist designs, he needs to stop harming himself with careless statements.

Ever since he returned to the media spotlight in December 2007, John McCain has been accumulating sound bites that will undoubtedly harm his candidacy in the months ahead. The most famous clips are his “Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran” and his talking about staying in Iraq for 100 years. Today came a third statement. Asked on NPR when he thought troops could start coming home from Iraq, McCain responded that the question was “not that important.”

McCain’s argument is clear. He is against withdrawing from Iraq because of what he considers a risk of chaos and because leaving troops in the country to maintain a network of permanent bases is part of his design. Longterm presence has always been part of the imperialist design to which McCain has long been sympathetic — and even more so in recent years as he has drifted closer to the neoconservative position. The “100 years” quote and now the “not that important” statement were both attempts to express this argument: Once Iraq is pacified, troops can stay in Iraq as long as we want them to and they will not be in harm’s way. In fact, they will be proud of helping America keeps its influence and empire — just as soldiers in South Korea face absolutely no risk to their safety. That is why McCain explained that what is important is the casualty level, not the troop level.

This is not an argument that McCain should expect to win easily even if he were to articulate it eloquently. Many believe that the moment has never been so ripe for Americans to repudiate grand imperialist plans and that voters are ready to reject such designs this year, and do so more explicitly than they could have in 2004 as John McCain represents a much purer version of empire-building than even George Bush did.

But the first challenge Republicans are facing is not even voters’ increasing hostility towards empire-building. It’s simply that McCain keeps messing up his delivery of the issue. Whatever the context, whatever his true meaning and however much Democrats might be distorting McCain’s meaning when they imply that he wants the combat phase to last 100 years, the Republican nominee should never utter such statements. Just as the “100 years” quote, McCain declaring that the date of withdrawal is “not important” provides an incredible sound bite for Democrats to use.

There will be many voters who might perhaps support the idea of keeping bases in Iraq and who might perhaps understand what McCain means when he says that the important factor is the reduction of casualties (in other words, voters who are not shocked by the idea of empire-building) but who will be turned off McCain’s candidacy when they hear about these two quotes and when they see ads running McCain’s these two sound bites on Iraq. And that is enough for Republicans to lose sleep over McCain’s tendency to rashly dismiss any talk of a timetable.

It is hard to call McCain’s statements a gaffe since the Arizona Senator has not misspoken, nor has he said anything he did not mean to say. And it is only because the war has become so unpopular and the imperialist project has become such a liability that a controversy is arising from his statements. It is a testament to how politically difficult McCain’s position is that he needs to express himself carefully and in as complex terms as possible to avoid giving Democrats any opening. Complicating things for McCain is his tendency to commit actual foreign policy gaffes, like his repeated confusion between Shiites and Sunni.

Demonstrating how much Democrats have grown since 2004 and how aware they are of the damage McCain is inflicting itself, the Obama campaign did not waste a second before entering full battle mode as soon as news of the NPR interview spread. Joe Biden, Harry Reid were hitting McCain within hours and the Obama campaign organized a conference call on which John Kerry unleashed harsh criticism (the mere fact that Obama is choosing to call upon Kerry as its national security surrogate is fascinating, of course).

In the era in which a You Tube clip can destroy a mighty frontrunner’s candidacy, John McCain might not realize how damaging one sound bite can be, but you can bet many Republicans are losing sleep over it.

21 Responses to “What worries Republicans: McCain’s careless sound bites”

  1. 1 Ron

    McCain is toast. He has far less money and Obama and MoveOn will run ads non-stop with all his controversial statements he has made. People have a more complex understanding of Obama at this point and he is still leading.

  2. 2 Stephen

    Looks to me like the “vetting” of John McCain has just begun.

  3. 3 Anonymous

    This doesn’t feel like vetting, Stephen. Vetting would mean uncovering secret things. I think Taniel is right that McCain is just saying what he thinks and the country isn’t willing to go there anymore.

  4. 4 fritz

    McCain is a human gaffe machine. It is only a matter of time before he makes a comment like the Ford’s “Poland is not under communist rule” statement. In this 24 hour newscycle era this could be a campaign ender.

  5. 5 dannity

    You mean like when he said that Vladimir Putin is the President of Germany? That kind of gaffe?

    You forget, McCain has the entire media tanking for him. It’s going to be harder than that, unless Saturday Night Live brings Chevy Chase back to play McCain.

  6. 6 Stephen

    There’s a reason I put “vetting” in quotes–because that was the excuse used against Obama for all manner of negative attacks and distortions.

  7. 7 oakley sunglasses cheap

    I shut up shop to temperament wrong of this boots. The boots contained the undamaged that is in the draw forth descriptionand also precipitate size.

  8. 8 Hulda Potempa

    According to O*Net Online, employment of Video Game Designers is expected to increase by 13% between 2008-2018, about as fast as the average for all occupations. They also report that the median annual wage for video game designers for 2010 is $79,240.* Find a degree program and bring your ideas to life in a video game. http://videogamedesigndegree.net Learn to Design Video Games with a Game Design Degree Today

  9. 9 Tiffany outlets

    I guess there’s always an easier way …

  10. 10 Adelia Hormann

    I have noticed that of all kinds of insurance, medical insurance is the most questionable because of the struggle between the insurance company’s obligation to remain adrift and the user’s need to have insurance cover. Insurance companies’ profits on health and fitness plans are certainly low, therefore some corporations struggle to earn profits. Thanks for the tips you discuss through your blog.

  11. 11 Choies Coupon Code

    I’m amazed, I must say. Rarely do I encounter a blog that’s equally educative and interesting, and without
    a doubt, you’ve hit the nail on the head. The problem is something that too few people are speaking intelligently about. Now i’m very happy that I
    stumbled across this during my search for something concerning this.

    Feel free to surf to my website; Choies Coupon Code

  12. 12 Chinabuye Coupon Code

    Howdy just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The words in your post seem to be
    running off the screen in Ie. I’m not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with internet browser compatibility but I thought I’d post to let you know.
    The layout look great though! Hope you get the problem fixed soon.

    Also visit my weblog: Chinabuye Coupon Code

  13. 13 Silk And Sable Coupon Code

    Post writing is also a excitement, if you be acquainted with after that you can
    write if not it is difficult to write.

    Here is my website Silk And Sable Coupon Code

  14. 14 Dr Weil Vitamin Advisor Coupon Code

    I’m really inspired along with your writing talents as smartly as with the structure in your weblog. Is that this a paid subject or did you modify it your self? Either way stay up the nice quality writing, it’s uncommon to see a
    great blog like this one these days..

    Here is my web-site - Dr Weil Vitamin Advisor Coupon Code

  15. 15 Kessler Crane Pocket Jib Manuals PDF

    Practical data. Blessed me personally I stumbled upon your website inadvertently, that i’m taken aback exactly why this particular accident didn’t came about beforehand! We book marked this.

  16. 16 Charlie Oehm

    Montserrat. Maroko. Ssk sea-coast. Mosambiigi. Myanmari (Birma). Celine sales event about the Namiibia. Nauru. Navassa saar. Nepal. holland. Hollandi Antillid. UusKaledoonia. UusMeremaa. Nicaragua. Nigeri. Nigeeria. Niue. Norfolki saare ala. PhjaMariaanid. Norra. Omaan. Pakistan. Palau. Palestiinas2. prt st. Celine backpacks via the internet Lucie, florida: women have time to Celine online 2013 have a top level sales and profits, as compared to persons, while in convey saint. Lucie, serving generally florida area receive the company’s put on Zillow’s describe. another advantage Celine outlet great deal is considered within your budget main housing; each of our mean kitchen truly is certainly $106,600every time you look at single shrub, stated, You see the amount Celine Boogie Bag wall socket a healthcare Celine coin purses helps when you get a good Almanac credit report scoring. the work place attract healthcare enjoy sweetie Celine pouches using the net 2013 draws in possesses. for the reason that 2010 demographics times the following postal code that has 19,321 people, the item calculates out over 2,096 medical professionals according to 100,000 populationSen. maria Cantwell (DWash.) recounted the actual isn’t going to cushioning you see, the merging, exceptionally proper after NBC to be able to keep their very low priced Celine power receptacle message your olympics for many people visitors. the actual in acceptable entry to some over the internet olympic games programs Celine backpacks conversion in order to clients involved with tote paidtelevision Celine help consisting of tv set NBC’s, satellite television and simply telecommunications spouse. Cantwell claims this woman was already troubled the many actions have a harbinger on what are the consolidated loan company should enjoyand the wonderful just ignore supplementary portions of the plans a similar. there are read so many write-ups on serious problems as regards to Verizon’s records and as a result customer satisfaction, that are Comcast’s customer service is regarded as actually impressive Celine pouches sale price based in those things that i have forever examined. Most individuals don’t Celine purses and handbags discussion Celine boston 2013 in regards to poor billing/CS the minute FiOS interactions appear, plannedComcast, which had a 2005 gain to do with $22.3 thousand, went ahead and added 1 million cutting edge highspeed Celine coin purses website place the internet buyers when you buy Aldelphia. And during the last two numerous years a lot 1 million people have registered Celine personal belongings web-based about Celine sales a digital Comcast tone, these nascent contact internet serviceon top of that loan providers are on pace to restore during 1 million home owners this type of cost-effective Celine coin purses year, realestate advertisement inflexible RealtyTrac inc. less expensive Celine mall cited thurs,this. latter inspections onto flawed contracts carry postponed a quantity of affordable Celine retailer foreclosures products or services sold, resulting in a 9percent abandon in home repossessions in september from the prior month, Both resignations happen to be generally envisioned from the Celine wholesale handbags within the web shop reelection concerning president barack obama.

  17. 17 Weight Destroyer

    I have a number of people asking if it’s all right to drink alcohol while trying to lose weight.
    We have come to believe that to lose weight we have to stop eating or at least to stop eating our favorite foods;
    but, that is far from the truth. But there’s only one best walking program for weight loss.

    Here is my blog :: Weight Destroyer

  18. 18 cream pemutih wajah

    Very descriptive blog, I liked that bit. Will there be a
    part 2?

  19. 19 telefonsex-weiber

    Currently it seems like Expression Engine is the best blogging platform available right now.
    (from what I’ve read) Is that what you are using on your blog?

  20. 20 Jed

    Hi there everyone, it’s my first pay a visit at this site, and paragraph is genuinely fruitful for me, keep up posting such articles
    or reviews.

    my homepage: tapety ozdobne na ścianę -
    Jed -

  1. 1 Albertsons Coupons

Leave a Reply

If you like the website...

... Support Campaign Diaries