As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Monday, March 24, 2008

A McCain Moment

Brit Hume opened up a gap so wide you can drive a truck through it.

This week, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) repeatedly and falsely claimed that Iran was training al Qaeda in Iraq. Ignoring the fact that McCain made the error at least three separate times, Fox News’s Brit Hume dismissed the mistake today as simply “a blip” and “a senior moment.”

This is of course not true, unless McSame characteristically has senior moments multiple times in exactly the same way, playing into a long-held wish to attack Iran by conflating them with Al Qaeda. That's a McCain moment, but I don't know how senior it is.

Still, if you want to talk about how old and unstable McCain is, I am happy to have that conversation out in public. Why, the New York Times obliged with two McCain moments from the recent past.

What Mr. McCain almost never mentions are two extraordinary moments in his political past that are at odds with the candidate of the present: His discussions in 2001 with Democrats about leaving the Republican Party, and his conversations in 2004 with Senator John Kerry about becoming Mr. Kerry’s running mate on the Democratic presidential ticket.

There are wildly divergent versions of both episodes, depending on whether Democrats or Mr. McCain and his advisers are telling the story. The Democrats, including Mr. Kerry, say that not only did Mr. McCain express interest but that it was his camp that initially reached out to them. Mr. McCain and his aides counter that in both cases the Democrats were the suitors and Mr. McCain the unwilling bride.

These were either "senior moments" from a old codger who forgot his own actions, or "McCain moments" from an old coot who is desperate to be relevant and will veer wildly from one ideological stance to the other. This neat Flash animation from the DNC, showing McCain's contradictory statements on Iraq over the years, is another example.

I'm happy to talk about McCain moments. It seems like the only constant for this unstable, grumpy old man is his love of lobbyist money:

Republican presidential candidate John McCain has condemned the influence of "special interest lobbyists," yet dozens of lobbyists have political and financial ties to his presidential campaign — particularly from telecommunications companies, an industry he helps oversee in the Senate.

Of the 66 current or former lobbyists working for the Arizona senator or raising money for his presidential campaign, 23 have lobbied for telecommunications companies in the past decade, Senate lobbying disclosures show.

If McCain gets in the White House, we're all going to have to learn how to make our phones untappable.

UPDATE: Another McCain moment: He can't use a computer.

It's inexcusable in the modern age to have a President unable to use new technology. It's also like saying you can't use a typewriter. I could see this popping up over and over throughout the election. McCain: For a clock blinking 12:00 permanently on the White House VCR.

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