Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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July 29, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

CAMPAIGN WATCHING....National Review editor Rich Lowry comments on John McCain's ad claiming that Barack Obama refused to visit wounded troops during his visit to Germany:

I buy the basic Obama defense of his decision not to visit Landstuhl. I don't think he was deliberately snubbing wounded troops. So I think the McCain ad is unfair, but it hits on a key vulnerability of Obama — the sense that he's above-it-all and entirely too grand for his own good.

Shorter Lowry: Yeah, he was lying, but that just makes the ad even more awesome!

OK, now I'm being unfair. But considering how scurrilous this accusation was, couldn't Lowry muster up just a slightly stronger condemnation than "but it makes a good point anyway"?

Kevin Drum 2:31 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (96)

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Comments

First!

Posted by: Get a life! on July 29, 2008 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

Lowry just takes it for granted that one shouldn't let facts get in the way of a good smear.

Posted by: MattF on July 29, 2008 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

The ad will sell to people who are looking for a fig leaf to hide their racism behind.

Expect a lot of folks to couch their politics in code. Obama is fair game for anything that comes up. He can't be defeated any other way.

Posted by: Everyman on July 29, 2008 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

. . . the sense that he's above-it-all and entirely too grand for his own good.

Funny, that's how I've viewed Rich Lowry for years. He's the kind of partisan hack who never lets reality get in the way of a good (in his opinion) line.

Posted by: Lifelong Dem on July 29, 2008 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

If you really want winger scum, try RedState. Erik Erikson was arguing that it doesn't matter if the email going around alleging Obama dissed troops in Iraq is false -- esp now that the soldier who wrote it has recanted -- because it OUGHT to be true.

Of course, they had some reporter from Texas on Hardball last night saying the same thing about the McCain ad. "So what if it is wrong, it works because Obama is forced to explain it and when you are explaining you are losing."

Wonder if they would feel the same way if the shoe was on the other foot and Obama was running ads that claimed that McCain voted for the war for political reasons and to suck up to GWB? Imagine the screams of the "elite" media then.

Posted by: Teresa on July 29, 2008 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

...entirely too grand for his own good

Racist, racist, racist.

Posted by: Bob M on July 29, 2008 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

I'm no fan of Lowry's by a long shot, but I didn't actually take it the way you did, Kevin. The message I got was, "this ad is dishonest--but it is effective because it attacks one of Obama's perceived vulnerabilities".

Which is actually a valid observation, although not a particularly deep one. The ad was effective until the media started calling McCain on it, and still is to the extent that it remains unchallenged. That says nothing at all about whether or not it was dishonest ir dishonorable--which pretty much everyone except the 28-percenters acknowledges that it was.

Posted by: Catsy on July 29, 2008 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

it hits on a key vulnerability of Obama - the sense that he's above-it-all and entirely too grand for his own good. No wait, that's two, two key vulnerabilities.

it hits on two key vulnerabilities of Obama - the sense that he's above-it-all and entirely too grand for his own good and a flip flopper D'Oh!

Posted by: jerry on July 29, 2008 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

Amongst the key vulnerabilities of Obama are such diverse elements as, the sense that he's above-it-all and entirely too grand for his own good, flip flopper, inexperienced, Muslim, Black Christian Terrorist with an almost radical devotion to the Pope, flop flipper, and nice Muslim uniforms.

Cardinal Lowry, read the charges.

Posted by: jerry on July 29, 2008 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

But considering how scurrilous this accusation was, couldn't Lowry muster up just a slightly stronger condemnation than "but it makes a good point anyway"?

No, because Lowry isn't trying to condemn the McCain ad, he's trying to reinforce it. Consider his line "So I think the McCain ad is unfair, but it hits on a key vulnerability of Obama — the sense that he's above-it-all and entirely too grand for his own good" -- who, after all, is trying to push this "sense" that this trait of Obama's even exists? The GOP. They're the ones who are making it up, as part of a calculated effort to throw a lot of mud and see what sticks.

What Lowry is saying, in essence, is "the ad is unfortunately too false for even me not to acknowledge that if I'm to retain the slightest veneer of unearned credibility, but at least it contributes to a false perception we are deliberately and mendaciously attempting to spread among the uninformed and ignorant."

Similarly, if, say, someone were to spread a rumor that Rich Lowry beat up small Mexican children for fun, I'd think that was unfair, but it would hit on a key vulnerability of Lowry — the sense that he's a racist and unprincipled sack of shit.

Posted by: Stefan on July 29, 2008 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

the sense that he's above-it-all and entirely too grand for his own good.

Wouldn't a shorter and simpler way to express this be to have simply written "the sense that he's uppity".....?

Posted by: Stefan on July 29, 2008 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

Well this is a funny posting, coming from the heart of the Rather's-memos-were-fake-but-true constituency.

Posted by: am on July 29, 2008 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

Shorter Lowry: Yeah, he was lying, but that just makes the ad even more awesome!

it's not just lowry propelling that line of thought. it was pretty much the consensus of the msnbc fratpac in yesterday's cable yammerings -- joe scarborough, mike 'the plagiarizer' barnicle and dancin' dave gregory prominent among them. after spending several minutes on how deceptive the mccain ad was, barnicle then posed this question:

BARNICLE: So does this campaign behavior, and thus Barack Obama‘s behavior—does it—is it in any way similar to Barack Obama seemingly being unable to say about the surge, Hey, you know, I made a mistake on the surge. It worked out much better than I thought it would. Let‘s move on. Why can‘t they do that?

Posted by: linda on July 29, 2008 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

OK, now I'm being unfair.

No, you aren't, actually. Lowry's smarmy not-quite-apologia for McCain's lie deserves worse.

Posted by: Gregory on July 29, 2008 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

the sense that he's above-it-all and entirely too grand for his own good.

richie lowry and howie fineman trading notes, i see. from last nite's hardball:

FINEMAN: No, no. He has—he has a little bit of an arrogant streak in him. He does. It‘s something he has to watch. It‘s something that‘s the flip side of the tremendous self-confidence he has. Here‘s a guy who was in the Illinois legislature four years ago, who‘s now going around meeting heads of state on a pretty emotionally and politically equal level. So he‘s got to have a lot of self-confidence. Sometimes he overdoes it....

Posted by: linda on July 29, 2008 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

McCain did the same thing to Mitt Romney.

McCain hasn't been in a close race since 1982, so I'm guessing that he's going negative AND doing it personally because Obama has really been getting to McCain. McCain just can't handle the pressure.

WaPo's got an article about Republicans who are puzzled by how obsessed McCain is with Obama.

Heh.
.

Posted by: Grand Moff Texan on July 29, 2008 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan got it quite right. All this talk about Obama being presumptuous, too grand for his own good, etc. are high fallutin' ways of saying uppity. Do not kid yourself about race not mattering. And we are still only in July.

Posted by: ebbolles on July 29, 2008 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK


"So what if it is wrong, it works because Obama is forced to explain it and when you are explaining you are losing." - Teresa

Teresa is right. If you are explaining, you are losing.

Posted by: optical weenie on July 29, 2008 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

Army Regulation 360-1, everyone.

Army Regulation 360-1, Section 3-4(f)(4)(a).

Commit to memory. Print it on bumper stickers.

"Military installations will not be used...by any incumbents or new office seeking candidates, their staff members, or their campaign representatives for political assemblies or meetings, media events (including speeches), fundraising social events or causes regardless of sponsorship, press conferences, and/or any other activity that could be construed as politically oriented.

Posted by: Prof Burgos on July 29, 2008 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

Lowry's statement doesn't even make sense.

The ad said the Obama decided not to visit the wounded troops because the Pentagon said there couldn't be any cameras. In that case, a decision not to visit the wounded troops wouldn't be based on Obama's sense that he's above-it-all and entirely too grand for his own good. It would be based on his selfish refusal to perform an act from which he could get no benefit. If the ad hit on any vulnerability of Obama it would be lack of altruism. However the Pentagon did NOT say there could be no cameras. As I understand it, they insisted that the visit would be considered a campaign event, and Obama did not want the soldiers used as campaign props.

People who say that because Obama is reserved and dignified he thinks he's above-it-all and entirely too grand for his own good remind me of high school students who accuse someone of being "stuck up" because they exhibit those qualities. It's pathetically juvenile.

Posted by: cowalker on July 29, 2008 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

Pointing out that Obama is a liberal fascist Muslim closet terrorist may be unfair because it is false and a lie, but it is still a good thing to do because it hits on a key vulnerability of Obama -- the sense that he is a liberal fascist Muslim closet terrorist.

Posted by: AJB on July 29, 2008 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

Well this is a funny posting, coming from the heart of the Rather's-memos-were-fake-but-true constituency

Are you trying to claim that George W. Bush wasn't AWOL from the National Guard for 17 months? Because that's extremely well documented by many, many sources other than those memos.

If you have 10 pieces of evidence, 9 of which are proven true and 1 of which is proven false, why are you assuming that the 9 that were independently proven true are automatically false?

Posted by: Mnemosyne on July 29, 2008 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

My guess is that McInsane has gone negative so early because his internal polls show a much more dire scene than do the nationals. Even some of his supporters are disgusted.

And Lowry and those of his ilk will say the same thing about each scurrilous McInsane ad, until some 527 group asks the honest question about what McInsane's role was in the USS Forrestal fire. That would be low.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on July 29, 2008 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

Something else Stefan got quite right. This entire "sense" that Obama is "above-it-all" yada, yada, is a wholly-owned creation of the GOP and its genuflecting surrogate, the Media.

when you are explaining you are losing.

This is true. Kerry spent WAY too much time explaining when he should have just said "What a pile of crap"

Posted by: ckelly on July 29, 2008 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

FWG propagates the lie: The military claims that BHO was welcome but his campaign staff and photographers could not go along.

Stop repeating this debunked lie please.

Posted by: ckelly on July 29, 2008 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

If you are explaining, you are losing.

Seems to me Obama's been doing nothing *but* explaining throughout both the primary & general. Explaining Rev. Wright , explaining faux "bitterness" memes, explaining his faith, explaining the ridiculousness of allegations against his wife, explaining troop withdrawal time frames,..., etc. Must be why he lost the primary. Must be why he's losing in Pollster's poll of polls -- and why those trend lines are going the way they are.

I'm no mathlete, but I reckon the McCain folks would love to be losing as badly as that.

Posted by: junebug on July 29, 2008 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

To paraphrase Mary McCarthy, every word that Fat White Guy writes is a lie, including "and" and "the."

Posted by: Mnemosyne on July 29, 2008 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

FWG:BHO can spin it anyway he wants but he could have visited the wounded troops and did not.

So, what you're saying is that McCain can't win unless he keeps lying?

Posted by: DH Walker on July 29, 2008 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

BHO can spin it anyway he wants but he could have visited the wounded troops and did not. I love eating!

Posted by: Fat White Shit

And FWS, if BHO had visited the troops you and McInsane would have criticized him for politicizing injured troops. He chose not to make the visit because he was using campaign funds, and it would rightly been seen as a political trip. I love it! It, of course, being your stupidity.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on July 29, 2008 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

The bottom line is BHO decided not to visit the wounded troops.

Wrong. He visited wounded troops in Baghdad.

The military claims that BHO was welcome but his campaign staff and photographers could not go along.

Wrong again. The campaign staff in question was a retired Colonel. It was determined that since he is on the campaign staff, it would constitute a violation of the prohibition against campaign events on military installations.

Military Photographers would take all the pictures. So after hearing this BHO made his decision not to visit the troops.

Now you are just making shit up.

BHO can spin it anyway he wants but he could have visited the wounded troops and did not. I love it!

There is no spin to it. He followed the law. The poltroons on your side should try it some time.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State on July 29, 2008 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

How are you being unfair to an infamous little slimeball turd like Rich Lowry? He's the epitome of the basic lack of morals of the people in the modern Republican party, and will say anything--damn logic, to hell with decency--if he thinks it will serve the party. He and John McCain were spawned from matching pods, a la "Revenge of the Body Snatchers," and will attack people for saying the same things they just said, will tell any lie that comes into their heads.

They would be buffoons if they weren't so evil and didn't do so much harm.

Posted by: Anon on July 29, 2008 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

Not half the harm that a bunch of liberal fascists like anon would do.

Ever since that book came out, I've been curious about the depths of gullibility of people who read Jonah Goldberg and think he has the slightest f'ing idea what he's talking about.

So tell me - have you ever sent money to Nigeria? Bought "miracle" diet pills off of a 3am infomercial? Do you own a copy of "The Secret"? Have an original copy of the US constitution hand-signed by Jesus?

Posted by: DH Walker on July 29, 2008 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think you make a good point by lying.

You don't automatically become right for lying about somebody just because you're prejudiced against them. Your internal, purely subjective suspicions about what might be going on with someone else are not facts about the world. Republicans think that Democrats are pompous just because we're intelligent and care about real problems. But that's not what being intelligent and caring about real problems is.

I know it's a liberal tendency to do this, but this is not a problem we can solve by trying to be more understanding (and we're got to do a lot less of trying to solve problems with people like Lowry nowadays, actually). The answer really is that guys like Lowry and who say things like Lowry are just scuzzes, and they shouldn't have jobs like writing newspaper opinion columns or talking about politics on TV.

Posted by: Swan on July 29, 2008 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

I know it's a liberal tendency to do this, but this is not a problem we can solve by trying to be more understanding (and we're got to do a lot less of trying to solve problems with people like Lowry nowadays, actually).

Sorry, the text in the parentheses should say "and we're got to do a lot less of trying to solve problems with people like Lowry that way nowadays, actually."

Posted by: Swan on July 29, 2008 at 4:58 PM | PERMALINK

Swan:

I agree completely. I'd add that a big part of the problem is that for every person like Lowry (or, well, name any of a hundred sleazeballs like him), there are thousands of pathetic, toady morons who think that continually repeating their favorite pundit's lies makes them the badasses they so badly wish they were. As long as people like FWG feel inferior to people smarter than them, they'll keep annoying us with their insecurities.

I'd add to your statement that these people also fall into the "why do we need to tolerate these people?" category you're talking about. They clearly aren't interested in the truth - they just like being obnoxious. And we can't really help them out with that.

Posted by: DH Walker on July 29, 2008 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think you make a good point by lying.

Well, of course not, but as Fat White Guy exemplifies, lying has worked for the right wing for years.

Since you haven't learned anything from being debunked here time and again, FWG, I'll help you out. The stuff you read on right-wing blogs is bullshit, and you look like an idiot when you regurgitate it here.

You're welcome.

Posted by: Gregory on July 29, 2008 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

FWG, do you wake up in the morning determined to be mendacious or do you wait till after breakfast to decide?

Posted by: ckelly on July 29, 2008 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

So as I stated before it boils down to BHO deciding not to visit the wounded troops.

Well, sure, what's a good lie if you can't just keep repeating it, right?

Posted by: DH Walker on July 29, 2008 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK

... lying has worked for the right wing for years.

What really amazes me is that these people never - and I mean never - take a step back and ask themselves: "if my beliefs require me to lie my ass off all the time, about so many things ... what does that say about my beliefs?"

...mendacious...

Don't hurt the poor guy. Keep the words small. :)

Posted by: DH Walker on July 29, 2008 at 5:27 PM | PERMALINK

I notice FWG is moving the goalposts - a standard dodge wingers do when caught in a blatant lie.

FWG - your point was that Obama didn't visit the troops because he couldn't use them as campaign material. That's complete bullshit, no matter how much you're now backpedaling, pretending your point was something else all along. The article you yourself posted specifically addresses Obama's motives, and outright contradicts the point you yourself were trying to make. And you're too stupid to realize it.

Talk about loving it...

Posted by: DH Walker on July 29, 2008 at 5:38 PM | PERMALINK

FWG wrote: There is no law saying a U.S. Senator cannot visit the troops.

True enough as far as it goes; however, military regulations prohibit US troops from beign used as campaign props (a rule the Republicans would do well to remember).

The only stipulation put on the visit by the military was that BHO could not bring his campaign staff.

No, as the story you posted said (you really must work on your reading comprehension along with your criticial thinking abilities!), the problem was the question of Obama's role as a candidate. Obama was on a campaign trip.

And, of course, the stubborn, clueless mendacity FWG parrots reveals that the concern of the military and the Obama campaign was quite corerect; there was no way to avoid the perception of politicization. If he had gone, ignorant jackasses like FWG would be repeating complaints that Obama was politicizing the troops with his visit. Dishonest right-wingers -- but I repeat myself -- are looking desperately for any criticism, regardless of whether it fits the facts.

This level of desperation in July doesn't say much for the GOP's perception of their chances this November.

Posted by: Gregory on July 29, 2008 at 5:40 PM | PERMALINK

From the NYT article -
"For weeks, Obama had been planning to visit wounded troops in Germany, just as he did in Afghanistan last week and previously had done at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington. Yet the Landstuhl visit carried more risk because it was to come in the middle of an overseas campaign trip."

I thought he was on a fact finding trip. Why is his campaign saying he was on an overseas campaign trip. Indeed, why is Obama campaigning overseas? The cheese eating surrender monkeys don't get to vote, and neither do the beer and schnitzel crowd.

Posted by: optical weenie on July 29, 2008 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK
There is no law saying a U.S. Senator cannot visit the troops.

Maybe I missed something, but my understandign was that the European trip (as opposed to the Central Asia/MidEast CoDel that preceded it) was a campaign trip, not Senate business. Consequently, when Obama was informed of the reason that his accompanying campaign staff would not be permitted to join him, he attempted to scrupulously follow the law and avoid even appearance of squeezing around the regulations by canceling the trip. Even if the military was willing to allow him, as a US Senator, to visit, he knew that the context was a campaign trip, and given the rule cited for excluding campaign staff, that he should not visit in that context even if the military would not prevent him from doing so, because it was a campaign context.

And, frankly, I don't see the bad thing in a leader thinking the law extends beyond "what will someone else stop me from doing".

Posted by: cmdicely on July 29, 2008 at 5:45 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely: Yes, Obama behaved ethically, even proactively ethically. Probably the simplest explanation about why the wingers are so completely baffled. "Ethics"? What are "ethics"?

Posted by: DH Walker on July 29, 2008 at 5:52 PM | PERMALINK

optical weenie

The first part of the trip, with Reid and Hagel, was a fact finding trip. It was coordinated by Senate staffers. Media coverage was minimal. Once he left Jordan the rest of the trip became a campaign event. It was coordinated by his campaign staff. The senate staffers went home. The media coverage changed.

Those wonderful photos of Obama and the troops in Iraq and Afganistan were taken by the DOD.

Posted by: Ron Byers on July 29, 2008 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

Ron,
So why was he campaigning in Europe?

Posted by: optical weenie on July 29, 2008 at 6:13 PM | PERMALINK

FWG: BHO decided to not visit the troops because he claims it would be construed as too political.

Not true. Who says? The Pentagon. Look it up, chubby.

Posted by: Bob M on July 29, 2008 at 6:16 PM | PERMALINK

So why was he campaigning in Europe?

He did it just to piss you off, weenie. David Axelrod heard your whine-o-meter had dipped below 11 for the first time since December, and he knew we can't have that.

Posted by: shortstop on July 29, 2008 at 6:18 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know, maybe so he could give a speech in Berlin,meet with a bunch of European leaders and could give all three network anchors exclusive interviews. The European pictures and coverage were aimed directly at the US. By giving that speech and meeting those European leaders he could give people the impression that he has enough experience to be President.

Posted by: Ron Byers on July 29, 2008 at 6:20 PM | PERMALINK

There is no law saying a U.S. Senator cannot visit the troops. The only stipulation put on the visit by the military was that BHO could not bring his campaign staff. The military had already made arraingements for a place for his staff to stay while he visited. So as I stated before it boils down to BHO deciding not to visit the wounded troops.

Nice attempt at twisting my words there, Peter Griffin. I never said there was a law against a Senator visiting troops - it was the Colonel who accompanied him is a paid staffer, besides the fact that its against the law to hold campaign events on military installations, and from the moment the landing gear went up as they were leaving Jordan, it was a political trip.

So yeah, douchebag, he followed the law.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State on July 29, 2008 at 6:21 PM | PERMALINK

It's odd but not surprising, I guess. I emailed Lowry after he more or less approved of the smarmy ad used by the TN Republican party against Harold Ford. Ford was selling himself heavily as a Christian but the GOP latched upon his attendence at Super Bowl party thrown by Playboy as an appropriate slam. They had a blonde sexy looking young white woman winking and saying "Harold, call me.." etc.

I wrote Lowry about that comment and went on at length about how offensive it was to me and to many other Tennesseans I know, from either party. It was not our style of politics, at all. He wrote back and was very polite and complimentary of what I'd said but his conclusion was about the same as with the McCain ad.

Bottom line - it may work because it battles against the appearance the Democrat is selling. And that's okay because it be poltically successful.

Seems depressing to me. But if it backfires, I'll be thrilled to death. That seems to be the only way to get people to rethink these tactics. Forget ethics - they have to fail to produce the short-term goal. That's the only way to get change.

Posted by: Miss Otis on July 29, 2008 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK

So why was he campaigning in Europe?

According to Fair Vote.org up to ten million votes are cast by Americans abroad in general elections. I know that I would have been thrilled to see a candidate when we were billeted overseas.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State on July 29, 2008 at 6:33 PM | PERMALINK

This was from Andrea Mitchell,who accompanied Obama on the trip, subsequently speaking on MSNBC's Morning Joe:

"The background on the military flap is that they [Obama campaign] had clearly planned a trip to Ramstein [AFB]. They were planning to visit the injured troops. And then the Pentagon explained that they couldn't go as part of a political trip. The Obama campaign thought that they could go, leave the press corps on the tarmac, and then take off with military escort and make this one last visit. As he did in Iraq, by the way. He visited a casualty unit in the Green Zone, without photographers, as part of the congressional delegation. But the military said that the rules are that he could only go as part of a previously-arranged congressional delegation, to Ramstein.

Clearly, people in the campaign are really angry. They had wanted this to be the final stop on the trip here in Germany, and to do it without the press corps, just to do it on his own. But the objections of the military are that he is now being staffed by campaign aides, not by his Senate staff, who are the people of course with him when he went with Hagel and Jack Reed in Iraq. So, you know, the anger here in the campaign is pretty intense at the Pentagon. They feel that the military are drawing some lines--they're not saying this publicly of course--but drawing lines that they might have drawn for other people. He was planning to just go by himself, not with cameras, not with any entourage, as he had done in Walter Reed in the past in Washington, as he did in Iraq. Joe.

But they thought that they couldn't win. Yeah. They thought that they were, you know, you know, no-win situation, that the Pentagon, perhaps the military with cooperation from some Republican operatives and, that's the sort of scuttlebutt, that there have been some foreign policy advisers of John McCain with connections in the Pentagon who had something to do with this. But that is, perhaps, just the normal political paranoia of the season."


Posted by: I smell a rat in McCain on July 29, 2008 at 6:43 PM | PERMALINK

he followed the law.

Why didn't Obama just break the law, proclaim he is above the law and the law does not apply to him, then have the law expunged in Congress along with retroactive immunity for all? Oh, that's right, he's not President yet.

But seriously, I'm beginning to understand why the wingnuts are screeching about this. They're unfamiliar with the concept of statesmen following the law.

Posted by: ckelly on July 29, 2008 at 6:45 PM | PERMALINK

As a Professor, Obama Enthralled Students and Puzzled Faculty by Jodi Kantor

Kevin, the above link is to a pretty interesting article. Scoop the National Review and pre-Lowrify the article as:

New York Times accuses Obama of stuffing fundraising money into backpacks.

(See page 3)

Posted by: jerry on July 29, 2008 at 6:46 PM | PERMALINK

So, I'm confused. McCain, who said the recent GI Bill was 'too generous' in its benefits for troops serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and around the world, some on their 3rd and 4th tour of duty...says Obama was dissing the troops.

Huh.Ok.

And where was McCain at the time of the vote for this recent GI Bill that had bi-partisan, veto-proof support? Well, he wasn't in a gym. He was at a fundraiser.

Funny. I never see the media make the connection between these two actions of McCain.

Posted by: Zane Safrit on July 29, 2008 at 6:50 PM | PERMALINK

If you google McCain's lies about Obama not visiting the troops, its 1-10 of 331,000

Posted by: McCain IS a rat on July 29, 2008 at 6:55 PM | PERMALINK

They feel that the military are drawing some lines--they're not saying this publicly of course--but drawing lines that they might have drawn for other people. - I smell a rat ...

Unfortunately this is not good for Obama, from both sides. If the military is drawing lines now, he's gonna be screwed as CinC. If the military thinks that Obama is complaining about them now, he's gonna be screwed as CinC.

Posted by: optical weenie on July 29, 2008 at 6:56 PM | PERMALINK

too grand for his own good.

OK, now Kevin is being unfair.

Somehow I have to wonder if the crowds amassed for the grandeur of Obama, more than the abhorrence of Bush.

Funny how Rich Lowry doesn't seem to understand that what set the stage for Obama's "grandeur" was the notorious sinister legacy of Bush. Apparently it isn't just the US that wants change, so the only grandeur Obama gleaned came directly as a result of foreigners revulsion of Bush, and, I'm sure for Bush's protégé, McCain.


Posted by: Me_again on July 29, 2008 at 7:02 PM | PERMALINK

So why was he campaigning in Europe?

According to Fair Vote.org up to ten million votes are cast by Americans abroad in general elections. I know that I would have been thrilled to see a candidate when we were billeted overseas.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State on July 29, 2008 at 6:33 PM | PERMALINK

Once again, if you want the inside skinny on military matters, you have to consult with Blue Girl. Try: http://bluegirlredmissouri.blogspot.com

My buddy in the Air Force, and thousands like him, are stationed...wait for it...OVERSEAS!!! It's time our candidates addressed these people directly. They are Americans. They are dying. They are OVERSEAS!!!

Tell John McCain to support our troops. It's time HE gave it more than lip service.

Posted by: bigcat on July 29, 2008 at 7:08 PM | PERMALINK

I'm still cracking up that Fat White Guy posted an article that contradicted all of his talking points and then strutted around like he'd won the argument. One of the best own goals I've ever seen on the internet. I love it!

Posted by: Mnemosyne on July 29, 2008 at 7:09 PM | PERMALINK

The ad said that Obama cancelled a trip to visit wounded troops but found time to work out. That is absolutely true. The ad goes on to be snarky by stating it seems they learned they could not take cameras - which also is true, although arguably not the reason for cancelling the trip. Kevin thinks this is a lie and a scurrilous allegation? It just shows how otherwise sane and reasonable people like Kevin can totally lose their perspective in the emotions of a presidential campaign.

It was an incredibly stupid move for Obama to cancel a scheduled trip to visit wounded troops, which he compounded by going to the hotel gym during the time that he was supposed to visit the troops. It probably will at least negate all the positives from the trip. Can't you guys see how stupid it was politically? I'm not sure that it shows much about how Obama feels about troops, but it certainly shows a cluelessness about how the cancellation would be viewed.

[Brian, you have overlooked signing several of your posts, but I am not too busy so I will go back and do that. Try to remember in the future, I don't usually have time to fix it for you. --Mod]

Posted by: brian on July 29, 2008 at 7:18 PM | PERMALINK

Unfortunately this is not good for Obama, from both sides.

you don't think anything is good for Obama, nor do you want anything to be good for him. Why not just say that and fuck off already?

Posted by: haha on July 29, 2008 at 7:19 PM | PERMALINK

Only a small proportion of those "up to 10 million" are military. But their votes are important. All (up to) 10 million overseas votes are important. And the approximately 150 million total registered American voters are important, too.

The coverage of this very successful trip is aimed at all of these groups. It's a good thing to anyone who wants the Democratic candidate to win the election.

Posted by: shortstop on July 29, 2008 at 7:26 PM | PERMALINK

I think in all honesty, in many ways, the destructive incitements of conservative American, bleed straight down from people like Brooks and Lowry.

There is no lie that Brooks or Lowry will tell for the Party of Bush, which, should not be confused with conservative perspective.

Those two columnist, simply, merely peddle the lies from this administration in a top down approach to party consensus.

Conservative voters don't have anymore control over their own party than do liberals over Dems.

Saving Bush or electing McCain isn't in the best interest of the conservative voter today, so cleaning house is their best objective. I mean, most people don't like being lied too on matters of wiretapping, torture, or war. Bush, Lowry and Brooks don't just lie to liberals, those guy lie everyone.


Posted by: Me_again on July 29, 2008 at 7:30 PM | PERMALINK

Ebbolles raises a very interesting point above.

Obama is a very confident guy and it shows, e.g., "I never" have doubt about my ability to be commander in chief, upon nomination "this is the moment" when future generations will say the oceans stopped rising and health care started be provided, etc.

The anti-Obama forces are criticizing him for it. Ebbolles thinks it is a way to call him "uppity," presumably with racial connotations. That will be the left wing's attempt to stop the anti Obama arguments based on conceit, confidence, arrogance, presumptuous, etc. I don't think it will work, but more important, it will make the election all the more racial. I fear that we are headed for an Obama defeat that will hurt race relations because his supporters will attribute it to race. Obama could do the country a big favor (assuming he loses as it now is begining to look more likely) if he foreswears any such explanation for losing.

[Brian, you have overlooked signing several of your posts, but I am not too busy so I will go back and do that. Try to remember in the future, I don't usually have time to fix it for you. --Mod]

Posted by: brian on July 29, 2008 at 7:31 PM | PERMALINK

oops, should be:
There is no lie that Brooks or Lowry will NOT tell for the Party of Bush, which, should not be confused with conservative perspective.

Posted by: Me_again on July 29, 2008 at 7:34 PM | PERMALINK

Couple more points. First, Lowry said the ad was "unfair," not that it was a lie. Many comments above claim Lowry called it a lie.

Second, fat white guy above copies a New York Times article that purportedly includes the following paragraph:

"The McCain television commercial, which asserts that Obama chose to go to the gymnasium over visiting troops, is inaccurate. Instead of going to Landstuhl on Friday morning, Obama conducted an interview with CNN in his hotel in Berlin."

The actual paragraph in the Times story reads as follows:

"The McCain television commercial, which asserts that Mr. Obama chose to go to the gymnasium over visiting troops, is not entirely accurate. Instead of going to Landstuhl on Friday morning, Mr. Obama also conducted an interview with CNN in his hotel in Berlin."

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/29/us/politics/29truth.html

There may be an explanation for the material difference in fat white guys' quote of the paragraph versus the posted story, so I don't want to accuse him of any intentional deception, but the language of the story has been as I quote it since around noon today and it does bear on the truthfulness of the McCain ad -- a verdict of true, but not "entirely accurate." Somewhat similar to "unfair" as declared by Lowry, although he really seemed to be addressing the different issue of an inference of snubbing the troops.

[Brian, you have overlooked signing several of your posts, but I am not too busy so I will go back and do that. Try to remember in the future, I don't usually have time to fix it for you. --Mod]

Posted by: brian on July 29, 2008 at 7:49 PM | PERMALINK

Litany of McCain lies: from another poster

We know that he lied about not writing letters to the FCC to benefit one of his campaign contributors;
We know that he lied when he said that he never asked for nor received a single earmark;
We know that he lied about privatizing Social Security;
During the primaries, he lied about his potential running mate, Romney on more than one occasion;
Over the past week, he lied about Obama and visiting the troops. In fact, his new ad on this is also a lie.
He lied this week (again) about not using the word "timetable";
He lied about his admission that he is the damn fool when it comes to the economy;
His campaign lied about oil spills after Hurricane Katrina;
He lied about his voting record when questioned by a veteran about it;
He recently lied to either a child or to conservative bloggers about immigration;
He lied about his POW experience (i.e., Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Green Bay Packers), and while this isn’t as big a deal to me, it should be raised if stupid petty nonsense about Obama gets raised.
Of course his wife Cindy lied about her recipes for cookies when she stole them from Family Circle magazine. Of course, stealing is something that she knows well, as she also stole painkillers from a veteran’s charity that she was in charge of.
He lied recently to FoxNews about a Town Hall event they were working together on;
He lied about decreasing oil prices being because Bush lifted the offshore drilling ban;
He has lied about Obama’s and Clinton’s health care proposals;
He lied about his position on Bosnia and Kosovo in trying to prove his credentials;
He lied about Clinton and Obama’s comments regarding renegotiating NAFTA;
He lied about his opting into public financing when it was convenient for him to opt back out;
He lied a few months back about Iran-Contra.
He lied about his involvement (not sexual but political) with Iseman and her firm.

Posted by: another poster on July 29, 2008 at 7:58 PM | PERMALINK

From the Obama campaign:

"John McCain is an honorable man who is running an increasingly dishonorable campaign. Senator McCain knows full well that Senator Obama strongly supports and honors our troops, which is what makes this attack so disingenuous. Senator Obama was honored to meet with our men and women in uniform in Iraq and Afghanistan this week and has visited wounded soldiers at Walter Reed numerous times. This politicization of our soldiers is exactly what Senator Obama sought to avoid, and it's not worthy of Senator McCain or the 'civil' campaign he claimed he would run."
----Tommy Vietor, Obama campaign spokesman

Posted by: Hope Obama says more on July 29, 2008 at 8:09 PM | PERMALINK

US Air Force
Sunday

McCain Lies About Obama's Cancelled Trip to See Troops
Sunday, July 27, 2008 Obama was asked by the Pentagon to cancel the visit to the wounded troops, but that doesn't keep McCain from lying about Obama's real reason.

Posted by: troops know on July 29, 2008 at 8:14 PM | PERMALINK

That will be the left wing's attempt to stop the anti Obama arguments based on conceit, confidence, arrogance, presumptuous, etc. I don't think it will work, but more important, it will make the election all the more racial. I fear that we are headed for an Obama defeat that will hurt race relations because his supporters will attribute it to race.

How is saying that Obama is presumptious (your word) because he's running for president anything other than a racial argument?

Posted by: Mnemosyne on July 29, 2008 at 8:15 PM | PERMALINK

The Vieter statement does not dispute what the McCain ad stated. It is just typical campaign blather, although artfully written. Obama made a mistake and now he is paying for it. Like most things, it will be mostly supplanted by new arguments within a few days, but it will stick enough to least make his foreign trip no better than a wash.

[Brian, you have overlooked signing several of your posts, but I am not too busy so I will go back and do that. Try to remember in the future, I don't usually have time to fix it for you. --Mod]

Posted by: brian on July 29, 2008 at 8:19 PM | PERMALINK

The ad said that Obama cancelled a trip to visit wounded troops but found time to work out. That is absolutely true.

If he was told by the Pentagon at the last minute that he would only be allowed to tour with senatorial staff when his senatorial staff had already been sent home, how is this "true"?

If you say I'm a horrible person for missing my mother's 60th birthday party, but it turns out that I missed it because my flight was canceled by the airline, is it "true" that I'm a horrible person? After all, it's completely true that I missed her birthday party and if that's the only information you have, then I probably would look pretty bad.

Truthiness on parade: as long as it looks bad when you conceal some of the facts, it's true!

Posted by: Mnemosyne on July 29, 2008 at 8:23 PM | PERMALINK

Over at TPM--

Pentagon Confirms That It Told Obama He Couldn't Visit Army Base With Campaign Staff
By Greg Sargent - July 25, 2008, 11:13AM
I've just gotten clarification from the Pentagon on what really happened with regard to Barack Obama's canceled visit to an Army base in Germany, something the McCain campaign has been using to hit Obama since yesterday.

A Pentagon spokesperson confirms to me that because of longstanding Department of Defense regulations, Pentagon officials told Obama aides that he couldn't visit the base with campaign staff. This left Obama with little choice but to cancel the trip, since the plan to visit with campaign aides had been in the works for weeks.

The Obama campaign yesterday announced that it had decided to cancel the visit to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, saying that it would be "inappropriate" to make such a visit as part of a campaign trip.

The McCain camp has nonetheless been using Obama's canceled trip to insinuate that he's anti-troops. "Barack Obama is wrong," McCain spokesperson Brian Rogers said in a statement yesterday. "It is never 'inappropriate' to visit our men and women in the military."

But it turns out that the Pentagon did in fact tell Obama that in this case, it was not only "inappropriate," but against DOD rules, for him to conduct the visit with campaign staff.

"We have longstanding Department of Defense policy in regards to political campaigns and elections," Pentagon spokesperson Elizabeth Hibner told me. "We informed the Obama staff that he was more than welcome to visit as Senator Obama, with Senate staff. However, he could not conduct the visit with campaign staff."

After being told this, the Obama campaign announced yesterday that it had decided it was "inappropriate" to make the visit as part of a campaign trip.

It's unclear how Obama could have made the visit at all, given the Pentagon's directives. No Senate staff was on the trip, and the Obama camp says they received the Pentagon's directives on Wednesday, after they were already abroad.

Bottom line: We're not seeing any issue here at all.


Late Update: In fairness, the Obama campaign's first statement should have been clearer about what happened, but the larger point is that the McCain campaign criticism appears unfounded.


Posted by: final word? tell McCain on July 29, 2008 at 8:42 PM | PERMALINK

I once watch Rich Lowry telling a group of people that Social Security was an entitlement program that he did feel he should have to pay for, but, mind you, most elderly folk don’t feel their social security is an entitlement that THEY DIDN'T EARN already.

Now Lowry didn't let anyone from the crowd speak, as Rich Lowry was only speak for the corporate will of the Bush Administration and NOT the will of conservative voters at all.

If we really want McCain to lose an election, that one simply has to run ads on McCain stealth attack on the elderly voters pay checks, since of course, Republicans draw most the voters from military vets and elderly voters.

I mean, if Sun City, AZ only knew that Dems wouldn't have given them a crappy donuthole excuse for a senior drug program, than there would be no incentive to vote for Repugs, and ditto to old military vets who get fanatical about flag burning issues.

Just show em how Bush is burning the US Constitution but wearing a flag pin. What is a flag symbol without the "rule of law" or a "Pledge of Allegiance" without the words, so to show that Bush is paying only lip services to his constituency, treating them in effect, like they are to stupid to know the difference, which is exactly what Brooks and Lowry do, in their top down approach to the Republican Party.

It's what does Bush think, okay, now lets tell the voters how to think.



Posted by: Me_again on July 29, 2008 at 8:45 PM | PERMALINK

*

Posted by: mhr on July 29, 2008 at 9:08 PM | PERMALINK

Guys, Obama made a mistake and he is paying for it. He still had Senate staff with him in Germany and he could have made the trip with them. Heck, he could have made the trip alone. So he made a stupid decision and then compounded it by going to work out in the hotel gym. It is a small thing made large by politics, but that is how the game is played and it probably will cost him whatever benefit he othewise would have gotten from the trip.

Posted by: Brian on July 29, 2008 at 9:33 PM | PERMALINK

if it was a top priority for him to visit wounded troops, he could have made the choice to.....go alone, without staff or cameras.

Yes, because anyone can walk up to the gate of a US military base -- especially one in a foreign country -- and demand a tour after their permission to be there has been rescinded by the DOD.

Have you ever been within 100 miles of a military base? It's not like walking into a McDonald's.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on July 29, 2008 at 10:30 PM | PERMALINK

che che, would you shut the fuck up about the cameras? It was never about the cameras. Whenever a politician visits a military base, the military supplies the cameramen and makes the pcitures and video available to the press.

And Brian, I suppose you have a credible link that establishes that a) Obama's senate staff was with him and B) the army did say he could come alone?

And do you have some reason other than your dislike for Obama for not accepting his feeling that visiting a hospital specifically devoted to wounded personell evacuated from Iraq might be seen as more inappropriately political that visiting stateside military hospitals or talking to troops in Iraq?

Posted by: tanstaafl on July 29, 2008 at 11:20 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not going to look for cites, but Obama has not even claimed that he did not have senate staff with him or that the army somehow said he could not come alone. Of course he had some senate staff with him and of course he never sought to go alone.

I don't dislike Obama and I don't even think he is necessarily lying about concluding that the trip might be viewed as inapprpriately political (although it is strange for him to suddenly conclude that since it had been planned for two weeks). I think the truth is that when the military said the general on his political staff could not attend, Obama then reacted by cancelling either in anger or in fear that it would now be viewed as inappropriately political.

My point is that it was a stupid move to cancel (and especially to then go work out during the time scheduled for the trip) and that Obama is paying a heavy price for it. I don't see how anyone could disagree with that.

Posted by: Brian on July 29, 2008 at 11:58 PM | PERMALINK

Whereas I think that John McCain and his right-wing enablers would attack Obama with dishonest talking points no matter what he does.

I read this incident as Obama having made plans to visit the base but not being told by the military that they considered it inappropriate until just before he got there. Then decided that given the military's concern and given the clearly political nature of his overseas trip as a whole, that leaving his political staff behind was not adequate to address those concerns. And that given the short notice, there was not time to extended back and forth discussion with the miltary or to make other plans for the time.

Posted by: tanstaafl on July 30, 2008 at 12:31 AM | PERMALINK

Brian, as entertaining as this has all been, and believe me, we all get what you are passing off as a point...maybe you should give this a read.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State on July 30, 2008 at 12:41 AM | PERMALINK

Exaggerated outrage is easily recognized as manipulation.

Posted by: Luther on July 30, 2008 at 1:02 AM | PERMALINK

Nothing new in the link to the Chicago paper. The reporter claims he misunderstood when he reported that Obama's folks claimed the military told them not to come. I guess you could doubt the Obama folks based on what the reporter first wrote or you could just conclude that the reporter messed up. It remains obvious that Obama made a mistake in cancelling and going to the gym.

Posted by: on July 30, 2008 at 1:03 AM | PERMALINK

You want Obama to look bad so that is how you choose to see it.

The noise machine has been linking to the original post, not the amended post, to feed the outrage machine, and they got four days out of it.

But the fact remains, everyone who knows anything about the military (you are at least as woefully ignorant as you are so fond of saying Kevin is, probably more so) not only knows the score but can also read the program. The only people outraged are chickenhawks.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State on July 30, 2008 at 1:19 AM | PERMALINK

"conditionally" rescinded.

Again, I invite you to walk up to the gate of the closest military base and tell them you'd like to drop in for a tour and see how far you get.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on July 30, 2008 at 1:37 AM | PERMALINK

FWG, do you wake up in the morning determined to be mendacious or do you wait till after breakfast to decide?

Since Fat White Dope wakes up with food all over his bed, the difference is minimal.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on July 30, 2008 at 9:12 AM | PERMALINK

I thought he was on a fact finding trip. Why is his campaign saying he was on an overseas campaign trip. Indeed, why is Obama campaigning overseas? The cheese eating surrender monkeys don't get to vote, and neither do the beer and schnitzel crowd.

Posted by: optical weenie

Why, optical dickhead, did John McInsane campaign in Central and South America? Why did he campaign in Canada? Can they vote for him?

You guys have no regard for facts nor the truth. Just throw shit up on the wall and wait for the media to bite. Unfortunately, it usually doesn't take too long. But that doesn't excuse optical dickhead and Fat White Dope from being mendacious assholes.

Posted by: on July 30, 2008 at 9:20 AM | PERMALINK

Lest anyone think I intended to leave an anonymous quote, that last one was me.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on July 30, 2008 at 9:22 AM | PERMALINK

Not true. Who says? The Pentagon. Look it up, chubby.

Posted by: Bob M

So the Pentagon dictates how things will be "construed", Bob? Maybe they do in your world, but not mine.

Regardless of what Obama did, McInsane would have criticized him. If Obama had gone to visit the hospital, you and your lying cohorts would have criticized him for that. As deluded as you are, I htink even you would admit that.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on July 30, 2008 at 9:27 AM | PERMALINK

Guys, Obama made a mistake and he is paying for it.

Thanks, concern troll. Obama would have been flamed by McInsane no matter which decision he made. So Obama's the loser on this one? Even though many media outlets are describing McInsane's ads and statements as "unture", as in "lies"?

All of your parsing of McInsane's statements don't mean shit, except for the fact that they betray you as a lying, connving douchenozzle.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on July 30, 2008 at 9:38 AM | PERMALINK

Today's Washington Post headline:

McCain Charge Against Obama Lacks Evidence

But, hey, don't let that stop anyone on the thread who insists that if the McCain campaign is lying about this issue, that must mean there's some truth to it.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on July 30, 2008 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

Irony alert: Che che writes all this other material you folks are shoveling is just bs, the m.o. being if one repeats lies often enough they become accepted as fact.

and then writes

to reiterate, press coverage was a higher priority than visiting the troops.

Sadly for che che, this bogus Republican meme have been debunked in the NYT and the WaPo by now (cue che che: Liberal media! Liberal media!), and lives only in mindless propagandists like che che.

Posted by: Gregory on July 30, 2008 at 5:58 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, here's a shock: McCain had an alternate ad all ready to go that would have complained that Obama was exploiting the troops if Obama had gone after all.

You'd almost think this was a ginned-up controversy or something.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on July 31, 2008 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

on 7/25, both the Politico and LA Times blog Top of the Ticket reported that the Pentagon had informed the Obama campaign that on his visit to Landstuhl, NO PRESS and NO CAMPAIGN STAFF could accompany him.

And Andrea Mitchell, who was actually there reported that there was never any plan for the media to accompany him. The plan was always for them to wait on the tarmac. Her exact quote: "literally not true".

But, hey, don't let the statements of someone who was actually there stop you from continuing to tell lies.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on July 31, 2008 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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