Sunday, August 03, 2008

The Honorable Man

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Friends, Americans, countrymen -- lend me your ears.

Recently, during his European trip, presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama canceled a trip to visit the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany when the Department of Defense told him he couldn't bring along a retired Air Force general who serves as a foreign policy adviser to the campaign.

This, according to Obama, "triggered then a concern that maybe our visit was going to be perceived as political."

The John McCain campaign ran an ad, sneering that Obama "made time to go to the gym, but canceled a visit with wounded troops. Seems the Pentagon wouldn't allow him to bring cameras."

What McCain's ad doesn't tell you is that Obama visited wounded troops at Walter Reed Medical Center on June 28, without allowing the press to accompany him.

But McCain says Obama doesn't care about the wounded troops unless there are cameras around, and McCain is an honorable man.

What the ad also doesn't mention is that Sen. Obama, along with Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel and Rhode Island Democrat Jack Reed, visited the combat support hospital in Baghdad on the Middle East leg of his trip, and that there were no cameras allowed. According to Reid, who spoke up in response to the McCain ad, the visit was "to thank those nurses, those doctors, to see patients that were there, to bring a bit of greetings from home and profound thanks."

But John McCain says Obama doesn't care about the wounded troops unless there are cameras around, and McCain is an honorable man.

NBC's Andrea Mitchell, a frequent apologist for the Bush administration, has said of McCain's claim that Obama wanted to bring cameras with him, and I quote: "It's literally not true. I was there, and Obama had no intention of bringing any cameras with him."

But McCain says Obama wanted to bring cameras, and McCain is an honorable man.

The ad also doesn't let you know that the footage in the ad of Obama shooting hoops is from a visit Obama made to troops in Kuwait the week before his European trip. In fact, the shot is blurred so that you can't see the troops cheering Obama's three-pointer.

But McCain says Obama doesn't care about the troops, and McCain is an honorable man.

Neither the ad nor the McCain campaign mentions, as Sen. Hagel has, that the difference between the Middle Eastern part of the trip and the European one was that during the Middle East leg, Obama was part of a congressional delegation, and that "we saw troops everywhere we went. We went out of our way to see those troops." In contrast, since Obama went to Europe alone, it was regarded as a campaign trip, which would mean that a hospital visit would be regarded as a campaign event, and thus, out of bounds.

But McCain says Obama doesn't care about the troops unless there are cameras around, and McCain is an honorable man.

The ad says that Obama "never held a single hearing on Afghanistan." But the ad doesn't tell you that the Foreign Relations subcommittee that Obama chairs covers Europe. Nor does the ad mention, as noted by the nonpartisan site Factcheck.org, that Obama has attended a meeting of the full Foreign Relations committee on Afghanistan, and that "McCain himself attended none of the Afghanistan hearings held by the Armed Services Committee on which he serves."

But McCain says he cares more about Afghanistan and the troops there than Obama, and McCain is an honorable man.

For his own part, Sen. McCain recently suggested that the Veterans Administration go back on years of practice and only treat those injuries and ailments that are clearly combat-related. In other words, John McCain has suggested rationing medical care for thousands of people who've served our country.

But McCain says he's always there for our troops, and McCain is an honorable man.

McCain missed a vote on an expanded GI Bill that would pay tuition and other expenses at a four-year public university for anyone who has served at least three years since the 2001 terrorist attacks. McCain was away at a campaign fundraiser. Obama and Hillary Clinton returned from the campaign trail to cast their votes for the bill, which McCain opposed.

But McCain says he's always there for our troops, and McCain is an honorable man.

McCain has said that Obama's 16-month withdrawal plan, endorsed by the Iraqi prime minister, is a "pretty good timeline." Then he denied using the word "timeline," even though he's on video using that exact word.

But McCain is an honorable man.

9 comments:

David Terrenoire said...

Thank you, Dusty. This was terrific. My question is, why do we have to search out the truth of these things? Why are our media so acquiescent in the falsehoods?

pattinase (abbott) said...

Yes, why is the media cowed by the Republican Party? How long have they believed the charge they are liberals and biased? I see NPR striving to provide both sides of a story. The right wing radio shows don't bother, nor FOX News.

Indiana Joe said...

"The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

David said...

Let's not forget that McCain had two Landstuhl ads made - one to bash Obama for not visiting and another to bash him for visiting. But McCain is an honorable man.

Bob Morris said...

And let's not forget that McCain defended his moronic Paris Hilton/Brittany Spears/Obama ad by saying "our campaign has a sense of humor and we wanted to show that."

Not laughing, honorable asshole...

LongHairedWeirdo said...

David Terrenoire:

If that wasn't just a rhetorical question, I can tell you why the truth has to be sought out.

It's that journalists now view journalism as a profession, where you try to do right by yourself, rather than a public service where you try to do right by the institution, knowing you'll make lots of people unhappy with you, but those on the inside will respect you.

And it's that US politicians politicians - especially the Republicans - have gotten very good at playing the news cycle. e.g., some of McCain's ads haven't been major ad buys... they didn't need to be, because they made the news cycle.Reporters gave him free advertising.

My favorite part of their game is how they bring up pointless issues, like domestic oil and natural gas production.

Let's see: The oil companies do the drilling.

If they drill enough to lower prices, their profits will fall (because supply is still ahead of demand).

But out of the goodness of their hearts, they'll reduce their profits because, gosh darn it all, they're good American corporations, and when has an American corporation ever done anything to put the screws to the common folks? So all we have to do is give them more places to drill, and *bam*, prices will fall!

And the media reports on how nobly they're fighting for their cause, rather than pointing out that this is a cynical ploy to turn a problem they caused (high gas prices) into something they can blame on the Democrats.

JD Rhoades said...

And let's not forget that McCain defended his moronic Paris Hilton/Brittany Spears/Obama ad by saying "our campaign has a sense of humor and we wanted to show that."

My son says they were trying to rip off the Daily Show, and failing.

David Terrenoire said...

longhaired weirdo,

It was a rhetorical question, but I applaud full participation in these discussions.

JD Rhoades said...

John, David.

David, John.


Glad you guys could meet.