Ok so I have been trying to create a nickname for McCain, and today out of the blue, as I was thinking about this blog I wanted to write about him, it came to me, McKrang. I think it’s perfect as his sums up his personality, and his temperament, but you may disagree with me, which is ok. However if this nickname blows up, well then, I will be taking full credit for it, because I do not believe I have seen it anywhere.
Ok now onto the actual topic that I wanted to discuss. This week Obama canceled his trip to Landstuhl military base in Germany to go see wounded troops there. The McKrang camp contends that Obama would rather go to the gym or travel around sightseeing than actually visit wounded troops. The truth, however, is different than what McKrang states. Via The Daily Dish:
“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. [...]“
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.”
So it seems that the Obama camp, and the Pentagon had a little bit of a snafu. I am beginning to think, however, that no matter what went down Obama was going to be screwed regardless. It was a no-win situation, if he went McKrang would have attacked him for making the wounded troops part of his campaign, and since he didn’t McKrang attacks him for not having the time to visit the troops. Personally I understand where Obama is coming from on this one, but I would think that it would have been better for him to kick the media, and all his advisers to the curb, and just make a visit on his own.
I respect Obama for saying that he didn’t want to make the troops into a campaign issue. I have no beef with that I just believe it could have been handled better. My problem with this whole thing, however, is that McKrang once again is using the troops for his own ends. Despite what he says he is using the troops as a campaign issue which is shameful. He has bludgeoned the American public over the last year with his service, which is deserving of honor, but give it a rest already. He has also repeatedly come down on the wrong side when it comes to veterans issues. He has shown time and again that he is no friend to Veterans, and it is sickening that he uses his service and veterans at every opportunity for his own ends. Case in point here in McKrang’s new attack commercial of Obama. While the narrator is dissing Obama for not visiting troops, they show footage of Obama playing some hoops with the troops. He could have taken the high road, and attacked Obama on countless issues, but instead he has to drag the troops into, and try to turn them into political pawns.
Too many politicians are detached from the consequences of their decisions–especially when it comes to their decisions on war. I think these guys should be required to visit Walter Reed, at the very least monthly, so they can see a more complete picture of what their decisions have done. I know a lot of them go once in a blue moon, but if they went on a regular basis they would have trouble separating themselves from the suffering of the wounded veterans there. Maybe after that dose of reality they would put more thought into sending troops into war, and they would stop using the war, and the troops as a political tool. But instead start thinking about what is best for the country, and the troops. I know I’m asking a lot there.
One last thing that has been irking me of late is McKrang’s complete flip-flop on the issue of time tables. Not more than a month ago he was still talking about how troops may be in Iraq for a hundred years, but after Maliki endorsed Obama’s timetable McKrang has done a complete 180 on the issue. Yet the media has given him a pass on this, and a ton of other important missteps. Via Obsidian Wings:
The press has been too soft on McCain, by contrast, in a completely different way — specifically, they don’t hold him accountable for his gaffes and policy positions. It’s not that they never criticize him. To be more precise, they don’t hold him accountable to the level that his gaffes deserve. McCain operates in a consequence-free bubble that allows him to say whatever he wants — e.g., denying he said “timetable,” calling Social Security payments a “disgrace”, and so on.
Obama, by contrast, has to walk on eggshells 24-7. It’s a completely different standard. For instance, a few weeks ago, the press went into full mob mentality over “refine” even though it merely affirmed the positions he’s had for virtually his entire campaign.
If Obama had made just the slightest little misstatement on the overseas trip, it would have dominated coverage. Hell, every description of his trip was premised with “but he’ll have to be careful not to screw up.” They were ready to pounce (in part because of guilt for covering, I suppose), but Obama didn’t oblige.
McCain, by contrast, attacks timetables for years and then endorses one and then denies he ever used the word. It’s quite literally a universe away from “refine.”
Plus, McCain’s campaign has been relentlessly negative. All he does every day is attack, attack, attack — and in increasingly vitriolic and Grandpa Simpson-esque terms. But with the exception of Joe Klein, no one in the press seems all that bothered. In short, I think the press has been more than generous to McCain considering his actions and behavior on the campaign trail.
I know McKrang is bitter that the media loves Obama, and covers him seemingly almost exclusively. Instead of complaining about it, however, he should be trying to infuse his campaign with some energy. Try drinking some Red Balls before a speech so you don’t look and speak like a walking corpse. There are ways to energize a campaign, and to steal away some of Obama’s thunder without having to succumb to the allure of mud-slinging dirty politics. I think that is asking for too much though, and I expect the McKrang campaign to continue to use the troops as pawns, and for them to sink lower and lower in the mud.
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