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June 19, 2014 11:49 AM Often Wrong; Never in Doubt

By Ed Kilgore

John McCain bugs my esteemed predecessor Brother Steve Benen in the way that Bobby Jindal bugs me: a public figure whose regular production of baloney seems to have eluded the MSM to an extent that the acute observer goes nuts now and then. So when McCain attributed his and Lindsey Graham’s influence among fellow-Republicans on foreign policy issues to the fact that the Amigos “have had long experience and haven’t been wrong,” Steve responded with savage precision:

Two weeks ago…McCain complained about the prisoner swap that freed an American POW despite having already endorsed the exact same plan. After getting caught, McCain falsely accused his critics of “lying.” He then suggested the detainees were “responsible for 9/11,” which didn’t make any sense.
Soon after, the senator told a national television audience, “We had literally no casualties there in Iraq during the last period after the surge was over.” That’s ridiculously untrue.
McCain then argued that militants holding prisoners don’t kill Americans, followed by the senator leaving policy briefings before they’re done so he can repeat false talking points for the cameras.
McCain then demanded that the suspected ringleader of the 2012 attack in Benghazi be brought to Guantanamo Bay, telling reporters, “It’s where we put terrorists when we apprehend them.” In reality, (a) that’s not even close to being true; (b) sending Abu Khattala to the detention facility probably wouldn’t be legal, and (c) McCain doesn’t seem to remember his own position, which is that the Guantanamo prison be closed.
McCain is convinced he hasn’t “been wrong”? These are just the more notable mistakes from the last two weeks.

Lord knows how many more Sunday Show appearances and heavily reported interviews McCain can make between now and the end of his current term in 2016. Each will represent both a torment and an opportunity for Steve, unless the rest of the media finally get hip to the fact that the 2008 presidential nominee ran off the rails a long time ago and shows no interest in finding his way back.

McCain perpetually calls into mind a quotation attributed to former U.S. Treasurer Ivy Baker Priest: “I’m often wrong, but never in doubt.”

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

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