Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Cut him loose from what?

Still nursing his hissy fit over Wes Clark's undeniably true critique about his qualifications to be president, John McCain says it is time for Barack Obama to "cut him loose."

"I think it's up to Sen. Obama now to not only repudiate him, but to cut him loose," McCain said to a small group of reporters somewhere between Indianapolis, IN, and Cartagena, Colombia.


Onboard his plane Tuesday, McCain was asked if Obama -- who did reject Clark's comments on Monday --had done enough to repudiate the general. He didn't take the bait. "That's up to others to decide," said McCain. "I'm not going to worry about the comments General Clark made."
This is incoherent. McCain says he's "not going to worry" about Clark's comments, even as he insists that Obama must take some action against Clark because of those very comments. He's flip-flopping from one sentence to the next, almost in the same breath.

If he's not worried about Clark's comments, then what on earth have he and his surrogates and his allies in the media been shrieking about all week? Clark made the factual, and so far unchallenged assertion that McCain's military experience does not make him qualified to be president. Amid all the sound and fury, not one of Clark's critics has been able to refute his premise. They haven't even tried. Instead, they have taken umbrage. "This is John McCain we're talking about!" They have gasped, as though that statement constitutes an argument. It doesn't, and McCain knows it. Clark's critique cuts to the heart of the rationale for McCain's candidacy - that his wartime experiences 40 years ago grant him a presumption of competence with regard to national security and foreign policy. McCain cannot afford for anybody to question that premise. This is why he and his people clutch their pearls and head for the fainting couch anytime someone dares to suggest thast he has not earned the presidency due to his captivity in Vietnam.

And from what, exactly, is Obama supposed to cut Clark loose? Clark doesn't work for the Obama campaign, and he doesn't represent the Obama campaign. Obama has already condemned the remarks Clark made. What else is he supposed to do?

It would be nice if one of the reporters on the Straight Talk Air Express had bothered to ask.

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