Sunday, February 4, 2007

McCain Trying to Have His Cake and Eat it Too

You can't have your cake and it it too. If you eat your cake, you no longer have it. A person who tries to have their cake and eat it too is trying to have something both ways in a situation in which you can only have it one way.

Politicians often try to have their cake and eat it too. Kerry was branded as a waffler and a flip flopper in 2004 because of his constant efforts to maintain strong, principled positions on both sides of an issue. The idea is appeal to as many people as possible by always expressing the people's position. Effective leadership, however, requires one to realize that they are in a position in which they can only have it one way. The tough job a leader has is choosing the right path.

Politicians who try to walk down opposing paths tear their credibility apart.

McCain has recently issued strong criticism of his fellow senators' "nonbinding resolution" in opposition to the President's war plan.

McCain said, "I don't think it's appropriate to say that you disapprove of a mission and you don't want to fund it and you don't want it to go, but yet you don't take the action necessary to prevent it,"

"In other words, this is a vote of no confidence in both the mission and the troops who are going over there."

Arizona Sen. John McCain (news, bio, voting record), a 2008 presidential candidate, contended the bipartisan nonbinding resolution amounted to a demoralizing "vote of no confidence" in the U.S. military because it criticized Bush's plans to send 21,500 more troops to Iraq without offering concrete alternatives.

McCain's goal, of course, is to appear strong on defense and appeal to conservatives and others who support the war effort. In other words, McCain is posturing for his 2008 White House aspirations. He's having his cake. In this case, the cake is support for the Iraq war and credibility that he will be a strong leader in the war on terror.

In other news:

The top U.S. commander in Iraq defended his record on Thursday in the face of strong criticism from Sen. John McCain, a Republican presidential contender in 2008.


McCain, who is the committee's top Republican and has supported the Iraq war, said he did not question Casey's patriotism or honor but did question the general's judgment in his 2-1/2 years in Iraq.

"During that time, things have got markedly and progressively worse," McCain said, adding the United States had not changed strategy as the situation deteriorated and was only now starting to alter course.

"It took us a long time to get where we are today," McCain said. "We have paid a very heavy price in American blood and treasure."


McCain said Casey's portrayal of events during his time in charge in Iraq had been "unrealistically rosy" and described the situation in Iraq today as "dire and deteriorating."

Uh oh. McCain wants to have his cake and eat it too. By criticizing the commanders in Iraq and the job the troops have been doing, he destroys his image as the pro war candidate and strong leader in the war on terror.

McCain's criticisms amount to a vote of no confidence for the troops and their mission. McCain said the situation in Iraq is "dire and deteriorating." How exactly does this sort of comment express support for the troops? McCain is claiming that the troops are failing in their mission in Iraq; there is no other way to interpret "dire and deteriorating."

McCain is trying to set himself up as the Pro-War Candidate AND the Anti-War candidate. Having his cake and eating it too. Ostensibly, we have another John Kerry.

I don't like McCain. I will not vote for McCain. I am going to blog against McCain at every turn. He is unelectable.

That said, McCain is not the first '08 candidate to posture himself on both sides of the Iraq War. Hillary Clinton has been perhaps the strongest supporter of the War on Terror the left has had to offer. She has her cake. Her strong record on defense in the Senate has been repeatedly pointed out by her detractors, particularly Dick Morris who has claimed that Hillary was merely posturing for future presidential ambitions. Morris correctly predicted Hillary would run for President since before she was elected to the Senate.

The theory is that Hillary made defense an emphasis as a Senator to quell fears of a woman President, and to establish broad appeal among independent voters. She succeeded, she has her cake. Now she is running to the left and showing her true colors in order to try to rally her base and earn the Democratic nomination. She has come out against the war in Iraq. She ate her cake. But if she gets the nod, she will then run back towards the center, and try to have her cake again.

Clinton also wants to have her cake and eat it too with regards to Iraq. I'll post more extensively on this fact at a later date.

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