Friday, February 1, 2008

Ain't Gonna Study War No More

Politics is war without bloodshed, while war is politics with bloodshed.--Mao Tse-tung

On the right, Senator John McCain keeps baiting Governor Mitt Romney over what is being called "the Nixon tactic" on Iraq:

LONG BEACH, Calif. – (AP) Mitt Romney accused Republican rival John McCain of adopting underhanded tactics from Richard Nixon, the GOP president who resigned in disgrace.

"I don't think I want to see our party go back to that kind of campaigning," Mr. Romney said in his most pointed rebuttal yet to front-runner Mr. McCain's claim that the former Massachusetts governor favors a timetable for withdrawing troops from Iraq. Mr. Romney denies this charge, and most media analyses have concluded that Mr. Romney wasn't using "timetable" in the same way Democratic candidates have.

Mr. McCain's decision to level the timetable charge this week without leaving Mr. Romney time to rebut it before Florida Republicans voted in their primary "was reminiscent of the Nixon era," Mr. Romney said. Mr. McCain won the Florida contest Tuesday.

Despite the incendiary reference to Mr. Nixon, Mr. Romney said of Mr. McCain: "I think he's a man of character." But he added: "I think he took a sharp detour off the 'Straight Talk Express,' " – the name of the Arizona senator's campaign bus.

McCain adviser Steve Schmidt said Mr. Romney "is lashing out because he's unable to defend his comments about a timeline, albeit a secret one. ... John McCain has simply pointed out a fundamental difference between them at the time when John McCain was advocating a strategy for victory."
And on the left, we have Hillary being baited by Obama over the war, also, from the opposite end of the political spectrum. reports: Obama beats Hillary over head with Iraq

By: Roger Simon
Jan 31, 2008
Hillary Clinton thought she had driven a stake through it, but it turns out to be the issue that will not die: She voted to authorize the Iraq war, she refuses to say it was a mistake and she refuses to apologize for it.

And Barack Obama continues to whack her for it.

Obama opposed the war early and was lucky enough to not yet be a senator when it first came up for a vote.

Again and again, he pressed this advantage Thursday night at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles in the first one-on-one debate between Obama and Clinton.

Obama exploits the issue in two ways: First, he says Clinton’s vote in favor of the war shows bad judgment.

“I was opposed to Iraq from the start,” Obama said, “and I say that not just to look backwards, but also to look forwards, because I think what the next president has to show is the kind of judgment that will ensure that we are using our military power wisely.”

Second, Obama says that his opposition to the war is something that he can use against the Republicans in the fall.
So, we have the hard right campaigning on not being hawkish and pro-war ENOUGH, and the left campaigning on not being peacenik and antiwar ENOUGH. I find the "running to the right/left" phenomenon very strange, but I suppose it is typical during primaries.

If McCain is the Republican nominee, as it looks like he will be, there will be plenty of bloodletting on the subject of the Iraq. Can Hillary stand up to our most famous Prisoner of War interrogating her? I wasn't impressed by how she stood up to fellow peacenik Obama during the debates, and I just cringe imagining her waffling when being questioned by McCain directly.

I defer to the experts who say Super Tuesday might bring Romney to the fore once again, but as it is, I think warmongering McCain will be the nominee. In any event, this will be the most polarized election since... well... that other interminable war, that I remember from my childhood.

Listening to: They Might Be Giants - Tippecanoe and Tyler Too
via FoxyTunes


bint alshamsa said...

I think it's going to be McCain as the Republican nominee. My feeling is there are enough "evangelicals" who would never vote for a Mormon, that he hasn't a snowball's chance in hell of winning the nomination.

karloff said...

Hillary has a terrible record on the war, but given the size of the Repbulican gatherings (small and growing smaller), I suspect turn out is going to be a major problem no matter which way they go. I'm not so concerned about any serious challenge from any of the Republican candidates in the general election, the base is just not there.

ZenDenizen said...

There's something to be said for someone who was right from the start!

Octogalore said...

At this point, I think original opinion on the war is of little relevance. Obama did vote to fund it, and is being much more vocal now about his anti- views than he ever was then. Hillary's and Obama's plans for bringing troops home are pretty similar.