Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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May 13, 2010

MCCAIN'S BOGUS NEW TALKING POINT.... Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) rolled out a new talking point to go after Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan on Fox News last night, which turned out to be slightly worse than the usual arguments.

Sean Hannity asked whether the senator is likely to vote to confirm her. McCain responded that he'll let the process unfold, but at this point, he's "outraged."

"You know the members of the ROTC at Harvard had to go to MIT to do their training. Now here's a school -- the Harvard Law School can produce all of our Supreme Court justices, but Harvard will not allow recruiters to help young men and women serve their country in uniform. [...]

"I am deeply offended that a school that models itself as the finest in the nation, at least they claim that, would not allow recruiters to come on their campus and ROTC to be conducted on their campus."

As is too often the case, McCain is confused. Harvard -- the university, not just the law school -- dropped its ROTC program 41 years ago. McCain may still feel "outraged" about that, but it seems a little petty to hold Kagan responsible for the school's policy. She was in fourth grade when it was adopted.

What's more, Matt Finkelstein noted that Harvard isn't exactly unique in its policy: "[M]any academic institutions have long held bans on ROTC, including Columbia University, where McCain recently sent his daughter (and his money)."

And for the record, when McCain suggests that Kagan "would not allow recruiters" on campus, he's not telling the truth.

I know we're in kitchen-sink mode when it comes to Republicans going after Kagan, but even for McCain, blaming Kagan for Harvard's ROTC policy is absurd.

Steve Benen 2:55 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (19)

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Comments

She was in fourth grade when it was adopted.

I think it's a little naive to say that. She had plenty of time to convince Harvard to drop its ROTC after she forged Obama's birth certificate and announcement in Hawaii.

Posted by: doubtful on May 13, 2010 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

In that case, Kagan would have to be one precocious toddler...and should have been appointed years ago.

Now, unlike presidents and congressmen, there isn't a constitutional age limit on supreme court justices. So perhaps a precocious toddler is *exactly* what is needed on the court.

I can't wait until a pompous corporate lawyer get told to "sit down and BE QUIET, Mr. Poopyhead!"

Posted by: Snarki, child of Loki on May 13, 2010 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

Grampa McCain was just reading from the teleprompter in Hannity's forehead. He lost all touch with reality long ago and is content to just be wheeled before the cameras to recite what's put before him. It's too bad, he used to be an actual organic life form.

Posted by: Curmudgeon on May 13, 2010 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

Senator McCain was a POW and war hero. It's outrageous of Benen to suggest that the senator isn't knowledgeable about ROTC issues.

Posted by: Al on May 13, 2010 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

The Kagan nomination evokes the usual responses. Some professional liberals are mad because she is not progressive enough. Conservative professionals are faux outraged that the President didn't consult them. The media is incensed because there is no backstory so they have to work to invent one.
American politics and political commentary has become so predictable.

Posted by: hornblower on May 13, 2010 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

McCain responded that he'll let the process unfold, but at this point, he's "outraged."

At what point does someone pull McCain aside and explain to him, very slowly, that he has become a walking joke?

Posted by: electrolite on May 13, 2010 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

While there are minimum age limits to serve in the House, the Senate, and the presidency, what we really need these days are MAXIMUM age limits, because McCain is clearly past his sell-by date, as is Robert Byrd. How many Strom Thurmonds do we need? (Answer: not even one).

Even the pedophile-ridden Roman Catholic church has mandatory retirement ages for its dotty bishops and cardinals. Why not the U.S. Congress?

Posted by: rrk1 on May 13, 2010 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

Harvard will not allow recruiters to help young men and women serve their country in uniform

Yeah, because otherwise enlisting is so damn hard.

Pathetic -- stupid on top of dishonest. How typically Republican.

Posted by: Gregory on May 13, 2010 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

So perhaps a precocious toddler is *exactly* what is needed on the court.

You mean other than Scalia, right?

Posted by: doubtful on May 13, 2010 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

Mr. Benen : Please Preface the words John McCain with "Lying Sack of Shit" I will cover anything that comes out of his mouth.

Posted by: john R on May 13, 2010 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

As with their explanation of the Anbar Awakening, Smoot-Hawley, or any of a hundred other things, the Republicans clearly believe in time travel.

Posted by: DH Walker on May 13, 2010 at 4:12 PM | PERMALINK

When being confused or just flat-out lying works as well as or better than telling the truth, why bother learning the facts?

Posted by: qwerty on May 13, 2010 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

My impression is that McCain is showing steadily decreasing levels of contact with current events, and he could also be losing some math skills if he can't compute Kagan's age at the point when Harvard dropped ROTC. At the very least, he may need some new staff with improved math skills.

Posted by: rbe1 on May 13, 2010 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

"even for McCain, blaming Kagan for Harvard's ROTC policy is absurd."

He'll feed the narrative. He'll use his military bona fides to legitimize the criticism. The stovepipe of Right wing alternative information goes right into the consumers "skulls full of mush" (as Limbaugh puts it).

Posted by: flubber on May 13, 2010 at 4:31 PM | PERMALINK

McCain responded that he'll let the process unfold, but at this point, he's "outraged." -- Steve Benen

Perhaps being outraged is the only emotion which sends enough blood through his heart and electrons into his brain to keep him alive and functioning?

Posted by: exlibra on May 13, 2010 at 5:23 PM | PERMALINK

DH Walker:
wasn't that "hoot-smawley?"

Posted by: mellowjohn on May 13, 2010 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

Not only is he confusing ROTC and military recruiting for job searches, he's confusing Harvard and Harvard Law School. That's why the support he gives for his "outrage" at Kagan's tenure at Harvard Law School, where she would have dealt with precisely zero undergrads, is somehow about ROTC among Harvard undergrads.

Posted by: FlipYrWhig on May 13, 2010 at 7:03 PM | PERMALINK

McCain is fighting for his political life...this Kagan meme has been floating for days, and he can cash in on it. The people McCain is speaking to, do not need an articulate or honest debate on Kagan... McCain just needs to project anger and an obstructionist front to impress the rabid constituency, any thumb in any eye of the Obama administration is a political score for the senator.

Posted by: Benmerc on May 13, 2010 at 7:15 PM | PERMALINK

Anyone who supports McCain can't be in touch with reality anyway

Posted by: grandpajohn on May 14, 2010 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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