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What A Difference A Year Makes

John McCain's recent comments about Iraq and Don Rumsfeld highlight a problem I have with the Senator. Michael Illions posts two of McCain's quotes which show an inconsistency. First he quotes McCain's recent statement claiming the Iraq War was grossly mismanaged, saying "I think that Donald Rumsfeld will go down in history as one of the worst secretaries of defense in history," Then he reminds readers of the following quote from way back (last year) about Rumsfeld.

"While Secretary Rumsfeld and I have had our differences, he deserves Americans' respect and gratitude for his many years of public service," McCain said last year when Rumfeld stepped down.
I realize that McCain's words about Rumsfeld last year were not overly effusive, and that he acknowledged that the two had disagreements, but still it seems that if McCain really believed Rumsfeld deserved America's "respect and gratitude" then the way to show that would not be to say he would go down as one of the "worst secretaries of defense in history." Now that I think about it, even though I often disagree with Senator McCain, I think he deserves Americans' respect and gratitude, too.


Comments (9)

I'm surprised that anyone i... (Below threshold)
Cousin Dave:

I'm surprised that anyone is surprised. McCain has a Hillaryesque tendency to pander to whatever audience is in front of him at the moment -- hence, he constantly changes his positions on nearly every issue.

Thank for this...In the pas... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

Thank for this...In the past I have accused you, unjustly, for not being critical of Republicans..in any way...that was unfair..and ah..stupid on my part..I will never again do that..
I am sorry..

I disagree with you Lorie? ... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

I disagree with you Lorie? Isn't this the standard way to acknowledge those in the Pentagon even those you diasagree with. I recall recently in an excellent hard-hitting interview, your collegue at Townhall, Hugh Hewitt warmly greeting a fierce critic of the war
HH:"Welcoming now to the Hugh Hewitt Show General William Odom. General, a real pleasure to make your acquaintance. Thanks for being on the program, thanks for your service".and after exchanging completely opposite points of view on Iraq a futher courteous "thank you for your time, General William Odom, and for your service."

If Rummy is one of the wors... (Below threshold)
Robert:

If Rummy is one of the worst..who is the worst...McNamara?

McCain strikes me as a more... (Below threshold)
Anachronda:

McCain strikes me as a more clean, articulate Ross Perot. Every time I would start to think "Hey, maybe this Perot guy is OK after all", he'd do something stupid and/or scary.

However, McCain does go a bit longer between stupid/scary episodes than Ross Perot did and his episodes aren't quite as stupid/scary.

I'd agree that McCain "dese... (Below threshold)

I'd agree that McCain "deserves Americans' respect and gratitude," for his service and his courage under duress as a POW. I can't think of much he's done for us LATELY, though.

How on earth anyone could call Rumsfeld "one of the worst" is beyond comprehension. He has forced the military into the 21st Century, and surely stepped on the toes of generals who, as they are proverbially wont to do, preferred fighting the last war. But can no one remember Les Aspin? Harold Brown? Bill Cohen? Not to even mention McNamara or Simon Cameron . . .

We can't judge Rumsfeld by ... (Below threshold)
Dave:

We can't judge Rumsfeld by whether or not there were disasters under his watch ... because disasters are an inevitable part of war. War is like painting on a canvas flying in a tornado. People who think otherwise can be cured with a little military history sited to them.

It's the magnitude of those disasters that I judge Rumsfeld. On a scale of one to ten, ten is Hitler deciding the Allies won't land in Normandy. One is Abu Graib.

What's aggrivating is that liberals, who generally treat an ounce of affirmation like a ton, will use McCain's words as another club against Bush.

My big problem is that why ... (Below threshold)
JAT:

My big problem is that why now? What has McCain been thinking for the last 5 years that all of a sudden he makes this observation? It stinks of nothing more than try to get votes.

Since the war in Iraq started very few have offered any options better than we have been doing - and cut and run is not an option.

Monday morning quarterbacking sucks - offer advise and options that lead to victory.

Politicians pandering for votes make me sick. What the democrats offer is nothing but retreat and be damned - we can't win - so let's cut and run. McCain plays his fiddle trying to capture those moderate votes - nothing more.

mcCAIN is a "has been" who ... (Below threshold)
catnip:

mcCAIN is a "has been" who just doesn't get it. He is still crying from the 2000 election when those "bad" Bush people hurt his feelings in SC. He was NOT a viable candidate then and he's NOT one now. I, for one, would just love for the ego-maniac to go away and stay away. He is as bad or worse than the clintons.




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