Wednesday, November 28, 2007

John McCain Republican Debate


"The bottom line is that I think McCain got his message out tonight -- that he has the experience needed at this time in history. In short, he was 'Presidential.'" -- Townhall's Matt Lewis

Watch John McCain Tonight: "Let Us Win!"

John McCain Declared Debate Winner, "Most Presidential," "Awesome! Awesome! Awesome! Fight On!"

Townhall's Matt Lewis: "The bottom line is that I think McCain got his message out tonight -- that he has the experience needed at this time in history. In short, he was Presidential.'" (Matt Lewis, Townhall Blog, 11/28/07)

Lewis: "I'm reading David McCullough's excellent book on Truman, so a lot of what McCain said rang true tonight. McCain's comment to Ron Paul about WWII and the danger of isolationism rang particularly true. In addition, his comment about the importance of America taking the high-road when it comes to torture also reminded me of the book." (Matt Lewis, Townhall Blog, 11/28/07)

CNN's David Gergen: "I think that the most presidential tonight were John McCain, who's found his voice again ... especially I thought on the issues of Iraq and on torture ..." (CNN Post-Debate Coverage, 11/28/07)

Redstate's Erick Erickson: "McCain won on scalps. He got Mitt Romney and he got Ron Paul. McCain was the adult in the room all night. He was stable, composed, and mature." (Erick Erickson, Redstate Blog, 11/28/07)

Erickson: "McCain kicks ass on taking out Ron Paul. Awesome! Awesome! Awesome! Fight on!" (Erick Erickson, Redstate Blog, 11/28/07)

National Review's Jim Geraghty: "Is it just me, or is McCain dominating the debate tonight?" (Jim Geraghty, National Review's Campaign Spot Blog, 11/28/07)

CNN's Jamal Simmons: "I thought that John McCain clearly won this thing." (CNN Post-Debate Coverage, 11/28/07)

The Politico's Jonathan Martin: "McCain is really starting to look strong now that the conversation has moved onto national security. Beyond his answer to torture, his response about what really happened in Vietnam (contrary to what those blame-America-first types would have you believe) was red meat to every conservative in the crowd and at home who is over the age of 50." (Jonathan Martin, The Politico, 11/28/07)

Ankle Biting Pundit's Bull Dog Pundit: "The 'winner' tonight was John McCain with Mike Huckabee in second." (Bull Dog Pundit, Ankle Biting Pundit Blog, 11/28/07)

Bull Dog Pundit: "McCain continues to impress the hell out of me with his assessment of Iraq and how it fits into the larger war on terrorism. I also wonder if he paid Ron Paul to make his usual stupid comments because McCain brilliantly played off of them to make his larger points on why the war in Iraq is necessary, and why it's necessary we win. His 'let us win' retort to Paul was brilliance, and is the 'sound bite' of the evening. It's hard to deny the man has so much credibility on the issue. He also seems to be the one who is trying to be 'above it all' in terms of playing 'gotcha' with his opponents and focusing on the big picture." (Bull Dog Pundit, Ankle Biting Pundit Blog, 11/28/07)

"God Bless John McCain" For "Stirring" Statement On Iraq War: "Let Us Win" National Review's Kathryn Jean Lopez: "'Let us win,' the troops say. God bless John McCain. Ron Paul should have let it alone. Absurd to say John McCain doesn't understand this war. He's communicated our effort in Iraq better than the White House for a very long time. We owe him a debt." (Kathryn Jean Lopez, National Review's The Corner, 11/28/07)

The American Spectator's Philip Klein: "McCain's stirring on criticism of Ron Paul's opposition to Iraq and foreign policy views in general, delivered in a way that only he could, will play well with the base." (Philip Klein, The American Spectator Blog, 11/28/07)

Granite Grok's Skip Murphy: "McCain does a good job standing up for people like me who realize that we are in the fight of our lives with those that want us dead. McCain understands, better than anyone else, we have to actively fight these folks with everything we have -- and not just militarily. ... [Y]ou can tell that he is the real deal on this subject -- and I will stand with him on this issue to the gates of hell and to the Pearly Gates. He ripped Paul up and down -- good for him." (Skip Murphy, Granite Grok Blog, 11/28/07)

"McCain Shines" Tonight As He "Triumphed" On Experience, Torture And Spending Issues Townhall's Mary Katharine Ham: "McCain shines, as always, on spending and the war. He's right, he's quick-witted, and he comes across as dead-sure ..." (Mary Katharine Ham, Townhall Blog, 11/28/07)

Townhall's Matt Lewis: "McCain's answer to the question about the Vice President was very good. He was able to seamlessly segue into his real message -- that he has the most foreign policy experience -- and thus, wouldn't need to rely on a VP to the same degree Bush did." (Matt Lewis, Townhall Blog, 11/28/07)

National Review's Jim Geraghty: "McCain said that Bush had to rely on Cheney for expertise on national security issues after 9/11. Says he himself would never need to rely on his veep in this area. Ooooh." (Jim Geraghty, National Review's Campaign Spot Blog, 11/28/07)

MSNBC's Mark Murray: "Did that just become the lead of tonight's debate? It sure looked like McCain triumphed in that exchange. But to fair, it was a question that McCain -- the former POW -- was going to win no matter what." (Mark Murray, MSNBC's First Read Blog, 11/28/07)

National Review's Kathryn Jean Lopez: "You can't help but to respect and admire McCain." (Kathryn Jean Lopez, National Review's The Corner, 11/28/07)

· Lopez: "The Unspoken Truth ... John McCain doesn't own a gun because he's put in more time protecting and defending freedom on the frontlines than most of us will mercifully ever know." (Kathryn Jean Lopez, National Review's The Corner, 11/28/07)

The Atlantic's Andrew Sullivan: "McCain came out of the exchange easily the most appealing and mature candidate." (Andrew Sullivan, The Atlantic Blog, 11/28/07)

Tampa Tribune: "'We let spending lurch completely out of control,' McCain says. Lays out a joke about spending money to study bear DNA in Montana. 'Not sure if it was paternity issue or a criminal issue.' Best laugh of the night." (Billy Townsend, Tampa Tribune Blog, 11/28/07)

National Review's Jonah Goldberg: "I think his immigration answer was grown-up and serious." (Jonah Goldberg, National Review's The Corner, 11/28/07)

The American Spectator's Jennifer Rubin: "McCain oozes credibility and seriousness on controlling spending." (Jennifer Rubin, The American Spectator Blog, 11/28/07)


Sheridan Folger said...

McCain simply proved beyond a reasonable doubt that he is the ONLY candidate we should consider for the next President of the United States. He proved , that if you have not realized that as of yet ( and if you haven't, well, I can't take it anymore...yer a dipshit!) That you need to listen to him before you make up your mind. The Spitting Mayor, The Masshole Liar, Deputy Dog, Run-away Paul, proved they're . . . well, lets stick with what we know . . . dipshits! Duncan Hunter and Huckabee secured our faith in their support for McCain, and I imagine they will outwardly endorse him shortly. BTW Huckabee is a great guy. Tancredo...well...same as always. Funny lil bastard isn't he?

ryanshaunkelly said...

HDNet Dec 1 DNC debate (Sat 7:30pm ET).
- all eight -

gravel kucinich paul nader

Anonymous said...

Unlike every other Republican candidate on the stage in last night's CNN/YouTube debate, only Ron Paul demonstrated that he truly "gets it" when it comes to foreign policy. Witness his comment in reply to an attack on his position on Iraq. He said, "The best thing we can do for the Iraqi people is to give them their country back. That's the most important thing that we can do." He went on to make a great point about Vietnam. He said, "Just think of the cleaning up of the mess after we left Vietnam. Vietnam is now a friend of ours. We trade with them. Their president comes here. What we achieved in peace was unachievable in 20 years of the Americans and the French being in Vietnam. So it's time for us to take care of America first."

How true! What we and the French and the Chinese (don't forget them!) did in Vietnam was terrible, yet Vietnam survived. They rebuilt. And what Dr. Paul did not say, because there wasn't enough time to say it all in 30 seconds, is that Vietnam represented the nightmare scenario of cold-war hawks. It was the key domino in the Domino Theory. Remember the Domino Theory? That was the idea that if Vietnam fell to communism, then the rest of Southeast Asia would fall to communism, and this would be a catastrophe for American interests. President Eisenhower first voiced the idea in an April 1954 press conference in which he said, "Finally, you have broader considerations that might follow what you would call the 'falling domino' principle. You have a row of dominoes set up, you knock over the first one, and what will happen to the last one is the certainty that it will go over very quickly. So you could have a beginning of a disintegration that would have the most profound influences."

Well, America ended up withdrawing from Vietnam in the mid-1970s, and sure enough, Vietnam fell to communism, as did the rest of Southeast Asia. Now here's the key point. Despite this, despite the fact that the worst DID happen, Vietnam is our peaceful trading partner today! And I submit that if we hadn't interfered for 20 years, Vietnam would be much closer to becoming a free society today. It was our interference that has helped keep them in the communist embrace, but over time it is becoming increasingly clear that the communist embrace will dissipate and is dissipating.

So when I hear modern day neo-con hawks and their allies claiming that we can't leave Iraq because it will undermine American interests, I have to ask myself what kind of drugs are they smoking? It's clear to me that the hawks are never going to learn that continued American military presence in other countries based on fear of what might happen to American interests if they withdraw does not produce positive results (except if you're a company like Halliburton, of course).

The discouraging part is that every Republican candidate on that stage last night talked the neo-con line except for one. The encouraging part was that the one exception was Ron Paul. Call it the contrast of Ron Paul vs. the Seven Dwarfs.

Senator McCain shot back that, "We never lost the battle in Vietnam; it was American public opinion that cost us the war." Senator McCain obviously doesn't get it. Public opinion didn't cost us the war in Vietnam. Rather public opinion pulled us out of a bad foreign policy in Vietnam, which resulted in things getting better, not worse. McCain's limited vision that wars are all about "winning" the war (by which he means using military intervention to force other countries to bend to our national will) shows its tattered logic when compared to the reality of what happened after we left Vietnam as the "losers." The reality is that America's leaders over that 20 year period set us up to be the losers by putting us there in the first place. In that scenario, the only way to "win" was to withdraw.

McCain went on to claim that the difference between Vietnam and Iraq is that Vietnam didn't want to follow us home, that Al-Qaedda wants to have a base in Iraq in order to launch attacks against the U.S. He said, "Their ultimate destination isn't Iraq. Their ultimate destination is New York City, Washington DC, Chicago, and Arizona." Ron Paul isn't the most graceful speaker in the world. He stumbles and trips over his own words. But the message is what is driving his campaign and his supporters, not the man himself. He managed to shoot back at McCain the following, "[Former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul] Wolfowitz even admitted that Al-Qaedda was organized and energized by our military base in Saudi Arabia. He understood why they came here. They come here because we're occupying their country, just as we would object if they occupied our country." This kind of clear understanding is why Ron Paul has more financial support from active duty servicemen than John McCain has. That financial support is also why McCain is so upset with Ron Paul.

The only thing wrong with his statement is that Paul should have said that we're occupying their countries, in the plural, and I'm sure that's what he intended. Al-Qaedda isn't just about Iraq. They're also about Saudi Arabia, and Palestine, and Egypt, and all of the other more than 100 countries around the world where American troops reside on a regular basis and are used to force American views and American pressure on the governments of those nations and other nations in those same regions. And before some neo-con objects that Palestine isn't a country, can we agree that they should be? Even President Bush, in his fevered mind, thinks so these days. He's holding talks at the Naval Academy toward that end. His approach can't work, because it's based on forcing America's will on other countries, but nevertheless even he now recognizes that there must be a country called Palestine.

Tom Tancredo shot back that America is under threat from Radical Islam and that we would be under threat even if there was not a single American serviceman outside of this country. But what's his evidence for this claim? What is the evidence of any advocate for this claim? The only evidence is their own fear. Tancredo gave no evidence, and neither did anyone else. All of the other six Republican dwarfs on that stage accepted Tancredo's claim as a given truth, not to be touched, not to be questioned.

It's nonsense, of course. But what's worse is that it flies in the face of what American public opinion says: that we shouldn't remain in Iraq, that it's time to find a way to leave. McCain claimed that American public opinion is what lost Vietnam. As I showed above, his claim is wrong, because his idea of what is a "loss" turned out to be not a loss at all, but McCain and the rest of the Seven Dwarfs are using that ill-named "loss" to convince themselves to ignore American opinion and blame it for our failures, atrocities, and horrible mistakes regarding Iraq. They're threatening that if America withdraws from Iraq, then American public opinion is at fault.

The reality, however, is quite different. It is the Bush administration, the neo-cons, the hawks, who are at fault where Iraq is concerned. They're the ones who got us in that mess in the first place, in pursuit of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) which we know didn't even exist. Bush knew they didn't exist all along, but neo-cons try to sweep that under the rug. Instead, they keep chanting their same old mantra about not leaving Iraq until we "finish the job." Except it's a job that America can't finish. It's time to hand Iraq back to the Iraqi people.

The Seven Dwarfs are out of step with American public opinion, and by insisting on rallying the Republican Party behind any other candidate besides Ron Paul, they are guaranteeing a showdown on Election Day where the majority of Americans are asked to voice their support for Bush administration foreign policy, which the Seven Dwarfs all support. That will mean almost certain defeat for the Republican candidate if it's not Ron Paul, regardless of whether Paul stays in the race as a third-party candidate or not.