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On Monday, as BarbinMD noted, John McCain denigrated Barack Obama's experience in foreign affairs.

"Senator Obama obviously has no national security experience, and therefore that's reflected in his judgment on a number of those issues."

It's untrue of course; Obama serves on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. But this is a larger issue than simply another falsehood from John McCain. It's also about McCain's hypocrisy, and indeed his own judgment.

The touchstone for the charge that Obama is too "inexperienced" to be president is this: Where did the speaker stand on George W. Bush's candidacy - both in 2000 and in 2004?

In 2000, Bush had no experience whatever in national security or foreign policy, nor indeed any experience in Washington. Bush was both naive and ignorant in the extreme about world affairs. The contrast with Al Gore could not have been sharper. And yet, most Republicans backed Bush over Gore. John McCain himself endorsed Bush in 2000, and in fact worked hard to put in the White House the grossly inexperienced Texan (video here).

"I look forward to enthusiastically campaigning for Gov. Bush over the next six months."

So McCain is concerned about experience only in so far as it helps or hinders electing Republicans. The same is true, I suspect, of the vast majority of critics of Obama's level of experience.

In any case, Bush in 2004 demonstrates why the "experience" argument fails. No candidate in 2004 could rival Bush in experience because he'd already served as president. If experience was your yardstick then Bush was your man in 2004, hands down. And what a disaster Bush's second term has turned out to be, for all his experience! In living memory we have several examples of other disastrous presidents who brought abundant experience to the White House - Richard Nixon and Herbert Hoover spring to mind - but George W. Bush in 2004 is perhaps the clearest proof that experience is a pretty poor predictor of presidential success.

And yes, having learned nothing from Bush's disastrous first term, the "maverick" John McCain campaigned hard for the Republican candidate in 2004. In fact in his speech at the 2004 Republican National Convention, McCain praised Bush as "tested".

Thus whether it's Bush in 2000 or Bush in 2004, the man who is arguably the worst president in American history is the perfect test of whether to take seriously the argument from "experience". And in both elections, wouldn't you know, McCain is hoist by his own petard.

McCain is nothing if not consistently inconsistent. On Monday, he was exploring every possible way to put down Barack Obama.

McCain, who also questioned Obama's credentials on the economy, was asked if he thought Obama had experience in any areas. Probably, McCain said, "I think on many issues, (but) certainly not on the level of mine."

Contrast what McCain said in 2004 about why candidates shouldn't promote their own credentials.

Kerry, who McCain called a friend, has used his tour of duty in Vietnam as a contrast to his opponents who didn't serve. McCain said it's inappropriate politically for candidates to "compare their credentials," because voters will do that. Later, he said he wasn't criticizing Kerry, only making a political observation.

McCain is nothing if not consistently inconsistent.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed May 07, 2008 at 06:10 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  "Rebuild America, Not Iraq...Vote Democrat" (8+ / 0-)

    Thats the slogan for 2008.  Lets get it all over the place.

  •  This is one reason to select Wes Clark (3+ / 0-)

    as a VP choice - instant credibility in that department.

    John McCain - Like W. Only Older.

    by InsultComicDog on Wed May 07, 2008 at 06:14:18 PM PDT

  •  So where's the straight talk again (0+ / 0-)

    I apologize for any and all unintentional spelling mistakes

    by sheridan on Wed May 07, 2008 at 06:14:44 PM PDT

  •  You could have stopped at... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gchaucer2, JeffW, haruki, timbuck, sheridan

    McCain is nothing.

    "I hate quotations. Tell me what you know." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

    by Rian Fike on Wed May 07, 2008 at 06:14:49 PM PDT

  •  Yay, now that our primaries are wrapping up (6+ / 0-)

    we get to pay attention to McCain and show the country just what a lousy president he would be.  Spread the word!

  •  He is a tired old man, who lost all (7+ / 0-)

    concern about being consistent or correct.  
    His whole life is more about his father and grandfathers success than his own. That is what he has in common with W.

    •  Ditch the "tired old" part (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Navy Vet Terp, Nailbanger, Yirmiyahu

      Let the voters draw their own conclusions there if they want.  

      Instead focus on the privilege, sheltered upbringing, lack of depth, and any of a million other criticisms that don't involve McCain's age.

      •  Why? (0+ / 0-)

        Kerry made a huge mistake in letting Bush define himself as a christian, as a person with an honorable military record, hell as a human.
        I dont expect or wish Obama to pick this theme, but the contrast of a youthful energetic Obama, and the old tired McCain is something that should enter the public conscience.  

        •  And it will (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          grollen, Yirmiyahu

          by default.  But we don't need to make his age an issue.  Two reasons: first, people will see it anyway, and it doesn't do us any good to look like irreverent whippersnappers by trotting hammering him just for being older; second, more importantly, it sets up Obama for an "I am not going to exploit for political purposes my opponent's youth and inexperience." smackdown like Reagan delivered to Mondale.

          People can see the contrast just fine.  But if McCain is, in fact, in otherwise good health, it's an issue that just doesn't win us very much.

        •  Voters have eyes (0+ / 0-)

          Everyone can see that McCain is old and prone to missteps/senility. It does not need to be explicitly pointed out. The Democratic party is not about ageism, especially considering the importance of that voting bloc.

          But one thing that certainly doesn't hurt is seeing a youthful, athletic on TV playing basketball. The contrast is there without having to call McCain a "tired old man".

    •  But doesn't McCain act consistently and correctly (0+ / 0-)

      concerning his own self-interest?

      "There is no limit to what you can do if you have the power to change the rules." -Josh Marshall

      by grollen on Thu May 08, 2008 at 01:15:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I am VERY SCARED of McCain's judges (7+ / 0-)

    that he would appoint.

    Obama/Kaine '08 or Obama/Webb '08

    by Drdemocrat on Wed May 07, 2008 at 06:16:37 PM PDT

  •  Just keep coming with the lies, John... (4+ / 0-)

    ...what greater gift could there be for the general election?

  •  totally emblematic of why this needs to end (5+ / 0-)

    mccrank presents a panoply of low hanging fruit, begging to be plucked and pulverized into political jam.

    enjoy the unopposed hobble along the campaign trail while it lasts, mccain. when you have to actually face real time, on-point opposition by the likes of obama, you are going to efficiently be made to appear quite the haggard, ineffectual ass.

    Time for Miles to soothe me again, because jazz is the antibush. --zic

    by homo neurotic on Wed May 07, 2008 at 06:17:27 PM PDT

  •  Yup. Still an Asshole. (6+ / 0-)

    I look forward to Obama trouncing him in November.

    Trust none of what you hear. And less of what you see. This is what will be. ~ Bruce Springsteen

    by lost on Wed May 07, 2008 at 06:18:23 PM PDT

  •  There's a better example (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Navy Vet Terp, Judge Moonbox

    Dick Cheney
    who REALLY has experience

    Bush never learned anything

    Barack Obama will be President, John Edwards will send George W Bush to The Hague

    by vanguardia on Wed May 07, 2008 at 06:18:43 PM PDT

    •  absolutely (2+ / 0-)

      Bush picked some of the most experienced folks in DC to run his national security apparatus.  He did, of course, ignore Republicans like James Baker who, if objectionable, is at least not batshit insane.  But experience often creates tunnel vision.  A president needs vision, and that's something that comes from a lot more sources than blowing shit up.

  •  "Therefore therefore therefore." (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    grollen

    It appears McCain has caught the bug too; I was hoping I wouldn't have to hear as many "therefores," or hear "therefore" used as unnecessarily, after Clinton's exit.

    •  could always stage a comeback (0+ / 0-)

      of whence-forths as competition ...

      maybe throw in a few and so it stands to reasons and some as we can all plainly sees for flavour as well ...

      kinda makes you me wonder about all these absolutist conclusions

      "There is no limit to what you can do if you have the power to change the rules." -Josh Marshall

      by grollen on Thu May 08, 2008 at 01:26:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  J F Kennedy on being a War Hero. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LNK, gchaucer2, JeffW, Losty, sheridan

    When I think of McCain being treated like a war hero, I can't help but think of JFK's comment when asked how he got to be one: "It was entirely involutnary. They sank my ship."

    That McCain's plane was shot down may make us think better of him as a person, but it doesn't speak to his qualifications (or lack thereof) to be President of the United States.

    Overturn Bush v. Gore II, Impeach the R. A. T. S.

    by Judge Moonbox on Wed May 07, 2008 at 06:19:41 PM PDT

    •  He may not even have been qualified to fly (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LNK, JeffW, Judge Moonbox

      How does the bottom of the class at Annapolis get picked for flight school?  Just like W, it was who his daddy was rather than who he was.

      •  Grant was near the bottom of his class (0+ / 0-)

        at West Point, but he was a darn good general, but not much of a president.

        "Great men do not commit murder. Great nations do not start wars." William Jennings Bryan

        by Navy Vet Terp on Wed May 07, 2008 at 06:33:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Im too young to know how it was in Viet Nam, but (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          smintheus

          my experience is the first choice of graduates is Air, then Sub, then surface.  He jumped alot of people to get there right after Annapolis..  Grant worked his way up.

        •  Grant had to start over from scratch. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Nailbanger

          I can't recall the specifics on why Grant left the Army after the Mexican War--he was held responsible for a payroll theft happening on his watch, but I don't know if he was sacked immediately or his career went downhill before he left.

          He had to regain the respect of his brother officers step by step, beginning with his work organizing incoming units in the early days of the Civil War.

          As for Grant's Presidency, I won't alibi the corruption, but otherwise, he's been disparaged by the mugwumps who didn't want to hold onto the gains of Reconstruction; and that has given us a seriously distorted impression of him.

          Overturn Bush v. Gore II, Impeach the R. A. T. S.

          by Judge Moonbox on Wed May 07, 2008 at 06:49:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  regardless of how he got to be a pilot, (0+ / 0-)

        the man was imprisoned and tortured for five and a half years. For that reason, it's political suicide to criticize any aspect of McCain's service.

        What's more, the man is so inconsistent and so wrong on so many issues, why do we need to go there?

        •  critiquing selected fabrications (?) (0+ / 0-)

          that tell us the story of a persons life is not the same thing as criticism

          "There is no limit to what you can do if you have the power to change the rules." -Josh Marshall

          by grollen on Thu May 08, 2008 at 01:29:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Not Political Suicide considering (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Nailbanger

          he voted against restrictions on torture and has voted down expanding veterans benefits 10 times since the war began.  

          He's learned nothing from his time in captivity or his time in the military.  Everytime McCain brings up his military record he should be reminded that he supports torture and is against veterans.

        •  There is a great reason. (0+ / 0-)

          McCain is running on that record.  His party is the one that did the smear of Max Cleland, and I don't remember him denouncing that travesty.
          Bush and his cronies made John Kerry look like a wimp, when it was Kerry that volunteered for combat when he could have spent his days safely at sea.  I dont remember any effort to shut down the swiftboat liars.
          Give no quarter to your enemy, none.

  •  we've experienced experience . . . (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SecondComing, JeffW

    please, no more fucking experience! scooby-doo's national security experience is better than what we've experienced.

    Bush "is a yokel on the world stage . . . a Gilligan who cannot find his ass." Bill Maher

    by timbuck on Wed May 07, 2008 at 06:25:03 PM PDT

  •  Experience has nothing to do with making the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shirah, JeffW, NeoGayJamesDean

    right decisions, intelligence and imagination do.  This is the whole problem with Republicans like McCain and Bush, et. al, they have never learned that an intelligent person will assess the situation, listen to others, and come to an intelligent decision. Clinton lacks the other, imagination, and has to hang onto cliches for her dear life.

    This is how Testing has co-opted our education system, if a student trains hard enough, doing rote test after rote test, they can get a good score on a test, so they have "experience" at test taking.  But if they were dropped in an unfamiliar enviornment, would they have the intellegence, including imagination, to make the right decisons to survive?

    I am sick of this "experience" talk.  Lets talk about imagination and intelligence, and using those SKILLS to make the right decisons.

    "The trust of a city street is formed over time from many, many little public contacts." - Jane Jacobs, 1961

    by eyesonthestreet on Wed May 07, 2008 at 06:25:27 PM PDT

    •  And courage and coolness under fire (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      smintheus

      Which Obama has demonstrated several times. He has taken courageous and risky actions several times during this campaign, and they proved to be the correct move both in terms of being morally correct and also in terms of payoff.

  •  "National Security Experience" (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    smintheus, shirah, Nimbus, Spruced Alien

    That's an interesting phrase.  Why not "foreign policy experience"?  Is it another Republican fetishizing of military action as a proxy for international diplomacy?  Perhaps?  

    Barack Obama does not have the fattest résumé when it comes to national security experience.  Fine.  But he's smart and he'll probably appoint good people.  And like almost any American - like me, like most of you I'm sure - he will not hesitate to act in the event that there is a genuine threat to America's national security interests.  

    But he'll also expand the American foreign policy repertoire from "blow shit up" to include novel concepts like "talking to people" and "cultivating allies" and "peaceful arm-twisting".  "Blow shit up" still has a place and a time, but, much like eating ice cream, cake, or beef jerky, a man (or woman) cannot live by blowing shit up alone.  Obama has FAR more of the key qualities in a foreign policy leader than McCain does: intelligence, subtlety, multidimensional thinking, ability to explain complex thoughts in simple terms, and his own damn personal experience.

    I'm a big fan of national security.  Big fan.  But it's only one arrow in the quiver, as it were.

    •  A scarecrow, even (0+ / 0-)

      But he'll also expand the American foreign policy repertoire from "blow shit up" to include novel concepts like "talking to people" and "cultivating allies" and "peaceful arm-twisting".

      Since not even President Bush has advocated "blow shit up" as his sole means of conducting foreign policy (see "China policy" under the dictionary), this is a strawman.

    •  That's what I'm afraid of (0+ / 0-)

      Barack Obama does not have the fattest résumé when it comes to national security experience.  Fine.  But he's smart and he'll probably appoint good people.

      People like Samantha Power, who wants to intervene wherever she thinks genocide is occuring -- as it arguably did in Saddam's Iraq?

  •  McCain seems like a bully... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, timbuck

    ...who used to be though of as cool for ragging on people...

    ...now he seems like that cool guy who's still driving the same road runner and working at a pizza joint...

    ...but I'm not bitter :-P

  •  Leadership = (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    snazzzybird

    the decision-making process, not spinning wheels in the same well-worn rut of experience.

    Getting the best information, looking at all sides, including opposing views.

    If you want 'experience'....Nixon, Dick Cheney...amont the most experienced.

    And how did that work out?

    Meanwhile, any good housewife could have done a lot better for the USA than George W. Bush did!

    Best Diary of the Year? http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/2/23/03912/3990

    by LNK on Wed May 07, 2008 at 06:26:52 PM PDT

    •  Going to China (0+ / 0-)

      If you want 'experience'....Nixon, Dick Cheney...amont the most experienced. And how did that work out?

      Quite well, actually.  We had detente with the Soviet Union and the opening to China.  Were these bad things, in your view?

      •  Tricky Dick, not the other one (0+ / 0-)

        (I should clarify that I'm referring to Nixon, of course.  There's nothing good to say about Cheney.)

      •  Going to China (0+ / 0-)

        for the purpose of opening China for investment by Nixon's friends, exploiting China's cheap labor and non-existant environmental protection policies. I'd say it has worked out atrociously both for China and for American workers. Plus, we get their pollution....Lead in toys, air pollution travelling across the ocean, etc.

        And it hasn't finished playing itself out. Now that China has a new nouveau-riche class that is abandoning traditional Chinese diet in favor of Western meat-rich diets, our food prices are skyrocketing, and who knows whether there will be wars over food in the future?

        The Cold War was created by those who profit from the military-industrial complex. It should have been over when JFK and Nikita Khrushchev stared down the abyss in 1963. But JFK was killed and the Cold Warriors prevailed.

        http://www.commondreams.org/...

        See also:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/...

        The 1980 American presidential election saw Ronald Reagan elected on a platform opposed to the concessions of Détente.

        Best Diary of the Year? http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/2/23/03912/3990

        by LNK on Fri May 09, 2008 at 10:31:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Is anyone not an FOJ (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW

    who McCain called a friend,

    I am seriously getting tired of all this "my friends" stuff.

  •  When experience hurts your judgement.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    snazzzybird

    In the beginning of the Civil War, some generals complained to Pres. Lincoln that the young inexperienced General Hooker was a drinker and he consorted with prostitutes (origin of the word hooker). Lincoln told them to find out what the man is drinking so he can send a case of it to each of them. Because Hooker was winning and they were losing.

    McCain's  long Washington experience has impaired his judgement. He has been wrong on every issue in recent times: can't even keep Sunni and Shiite apart in his own mind. We need more people with Obama's experience as a community organizer in Government. Not weenies like Mitt Romney who are where they are because they picked the right father.

  •  National Security Experience? What about GWB? (0+ / 0-)

    If National Security Experience was a pre-rec for the job, Gore would've won all fifty states in 2000.  

    Look where Bush's 'Experience' has gotten us.

    What a fucking Moron (Bush or McCain...take your pick).

    "Take a load off Fanny Take a load for free Take a load off Fanny And, you put the load right on me." What I hear Obama singing to me, sometimes.

    by WSComn on Wed May 07, 2008 at 06:37:16 PM PDT

    •  ummm (0+ / 0-)

      Isn't that what I say in the post?

      •  Yeah, you did. Except for: (0+ / 0-)

        What a fucking Moron (Bush or McCain...take your pick).

        Can't hear that quite enough, lol.

        "Take a load off Fanny Take a load for free Take a load off Fanny And, you put the load right on me." What I hear Obama singing to me, sometimes.

        by WSComn on Wed May 07, 2008 at 07:25:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The definition of insanity (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WSComn

      If National Security Experience was a pre-rec for the job, Gore would've won all fifty states in 2000.  Look where Bush's 'Experience' has gotten us.

      I accept your premise.  Does it therefore follow we should make the same mistake twice and turn over the nuclear football to someone with no experience yet again?

      •  My premise was thin, a small portion of the whole (0+ / 0-)

        needed in making an intelligent decision about the author's premise.
        But this is what McCain and Co. are trying to sell:  Obama has a single point of failure that is so huge and debilitating that he cannot do the job.  This one 'failing' is what makes the whole that is Obama a loss cause even before he can take office.
        Again, it's unrefined lies from Republicans.  They didn't want Obama in the race because they don't know how to run against him.  They’d love to play the race card, but that would kill him with all but the radical right vote.
        They have a battle plan to run against Hillary Clinton, and that plan revolves around attacking Bill Clinton for the Monica Lewinski scandal.  Guilt by association.  Fear of a repeat.  Fear of global embarrassment.  Add anything else you want to the attacks.  But I'm not telling you anything you don't already know, right?
        I believe they are just now figuring out how they are going to fight him.  What dirty tricks they are going to use.  They wanted Clinton but are going to get Obama.  So now they're figuring out their war plan against Obama.  They’re playing little cards here and there to see what works.  
        Again, I'm not telling you anything you don't already know.  Here's something you may not know, and it's about me.
        To me it's not a question of opponents or who the best person for the job is.  It's who the best Democrat for the job is.
        What I believe about Republicans:
        Republicans don't deserve to be in power.
        Republicans don't deserve a seat at the table.
        Republicans, when given power, act like children playing with a loaded gun.
        Republicans are not opponents; Republicans are the enemy.  I say this because this is exactly how they feel about us, and that attitude is a large part of what’s gotten them elected twice in eight years.
        Republicans who know me know this is how I feel about them.  I will not trust them.  They have done nothing to be worthy of that trust.  Voting for Obama over McCain does not absolve them of their earlier wrongs.  It doesn't make it "all better".
        Republicans who are the most vocal are not Republicans.  They are NeoCons.  They are greedy.  They have subverted the Religious Right and have turned them into willing participates in a mad grab for permanent power.
        These Republicans don't see us as friends, they see us as flawed human beings.
        These Republicans don't want us in this country, and if they had their way, laws would be enacted or changed to prevent us from speaking out or complaining.
        These Republicans only want to be in power because it's 'cool' to be in power.  Once they get power, they will abuse it.  They have committed crimes against the people, and feel they should be allowed to get away with these crimes.
        Every Republican or NeoCon who knows me knows I feel this way.  And ever since 2006 they don't want to talk to me about it.  The cat that is the secretive bush administration’s crimes and misdemeanors is starting to come out of the bag, with more and worse horrors starting to become known (discussing torture over coffee in the White House, etc).

        So here we are, still bitching about Obama and Clinton.  

        I've been saying all along that the problem is two-fold:  

        First, the most important thing is to gain a better majority with better Democrats in the House and Senate.  That is a must.

        The second most important is a Democratic President, if for nothing else, the SCOTUS appointments that may be possible.

        Clinton is not the enemy.  Clinton is the opponent.  McCain is the enemy, and we all better start acting like it.  I'll give neither him nor any Republican quarter in this war.  They started it in '92.  They set the rules.  We need to start playing by them now.  It’s a big chance we’re taking letting Democrats take power.  Generally they are better at leadership and giving assistance where it is truly needed.

        But I’ll close with another thing I’ve been saying for years:  This world is growing up fast, and it’s just too precious to be left in the hands of politicians.  There has to be a better way...I just don’t know what that way is.

        IMHO, we need another Jefferson and Hamilton to surface.  We need to take Democracy to another level.  We need better goals.  I don't know...maybe it's time.

        Oh, and the nuclear football?  Are you trying to scare me, lol?  To terrify me???
        I know a little about this game, so I’ll play.  It's 1976:  Who the hell is going to attack us with over a thousand MIRV tipped ICBM's?  Russia could.  China, just a bit.  It's 2008:  Who the hell is going to attack us with over a thousand MIRV tipped ICBM's?  China could, but won't.  They feel the way to destroy us is through economic channels.  Russia no longer exists and their ICMB supply is breaking, unstable, though still somewhat secure (maybe).  Terrorist attack with a suitcase bomb?  Maybe, but the 'football' shouldn't figure in our response to that attack, if it occurs.  The FBI is our best bet in preventing the attack before it occurs.
        But let's say it does occur, god forbid.
        Given that, who do you think will be the best person to respond to a sudden crisis without the knee-jerk reaction of utilizing the nuclear football?

        McCain, Clinton or Obama?  I know what my answer is, and it's not one of the two who are willing to play the terror card.

        "Take a load off Fanny Take a load for free Take a load off Fanny And, you put the load right on me." What I hear Obama singing to me, sometimes.

        by WSComn on Thu May 08, 2008 at 09:35:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  So the go to guy on national security (1+ / 0-)

    doesn't know the difference between the Shia and Sunni.  A lot of good all that "experience" does you if you don't even know what you are talking about.

    "As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression..." William O. Douglas

    by Patricia Bruner on Wed May 07, 2008 at 06:37:50 PM PDT

  •  foreign experience (1+ / 0-)

    like knowing Shia from Sunni?

  •  Consistently inconsistent...or... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SecondComing

    senile?

    You be the judge.

    Now GET OFF HIS DAMN LAWN!

    November will be oh so sweet.

    ~Doc~

    -7.88 -8,77 Just a wine sipping, brie eating, $6 coffee drinking, Prius driving, over educated, liberal, white, activist, male New Englander for Barack Obama.

    by EquationDoc on Wed May 07, 2008 at 06:40:00 PM PDT

  •  The man doesn't even know... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    smintheus, SecondComing, latichever

    What he's said before.  I look forward to having Obama read him his own words back at him from now until election day.  McCain will be so confused he'll ridicule his own words because he didn't know he was the one who said such and such a statement.

    ... false hope. But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope. Obama 2008

    by BasharH on Wed May 07, 2008 at 06:44:10 PM PDT

  •  "National Security Experience" as opposed to.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    snazzzybird

    The current illiterate occupant of the White House?

    Red herring alert.

    I can't wait for the Lincoln Douglas Obama/McCain debate.

    It'd backfire if the "don't hit the old imbecile, he reminds me of my dad" vote came out in force.

    Who are these "undecided voters" anyway?

    It's not a 'suicide door' when you're hauling ass in reverse.

    by SecondComing on Wed May 07, 2008 at 06:46:42 PM PDT

  •  Nigeria troops consider cease-fire based on Obama (0+ / 0-)

    here's the link http://uk.reuters.com/...

    He is giving hope to many countries, and would instantly right our dire standing in the world.

    But Bush and McCain are right, he doesn't have experience fabricating wars, killing innocent civilians and trying to support and justify them afterwards.

    GO OBAMA  08

    McCain is the other guy at the bar, the angry dumb one!

    by realwischeese on Wed May 07, 2008 at 06:46:44 PM PDT

  •  Charles Manson is an experienced prisoner. n/t (0+ / 0-)

    My friends, my friends... Maverick is just a euphemism for I Don't Give a Crap About You.

    by BA BarackUS on Wed May 07, 2008 at 06:48:02 PM PDT

  •  McCain has experience...but no ability. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    smintheus, snazzzybird

    Or judgment. He doesn't recognize the most important thing for a public official to understand: that the founders intended our government to serve the purpose of protecting our unalienable rights.

    Instead, he wants judges that denigrate and diminish our rights, and invents new powers for the executive...including the power to violate our rights.

    He is SO WRONG, and so...well, anti-American from the viewpoint of Madison. Madison originally opposed a Bill of Rights because it was unnecessary since, in his mind, the Constitution he wrote didn't give the federal government any power to violate our rights. And the government ONLY had the powers explicitly granted to it by his Constitution.

    Later, Madison supported the Bill of Rights because he saw the potential for abuse. But, as we have seen, the federal government now systematically violates the Bill of Rights...with little resistance.

    When a government violates the unalienable rights of the people, it loses its legitimacy.

    by Rayk on Wed May 07, 2008 at 06:51:47 PM PDT

  •  Equating Obama "experience" to Bush is BAD. Stop! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Losty, BrokenGlass

    "The touchstone for the charge that Obama is too "inexperienced" to be president is this: Where did the speaker stand on George W. Bush's candidacy...."

    Nooooo!  

    Do not use Bush's lack of experience as the "touchstone". Bush was the worst president in 75 years in part because of his lack of experience though Bush's dogmatic ideology and arrogance are more to blame than his experience.

    The touchstone is WHO WAS RIGHT ON IRAQ. Obama was right on Iraq and McCain was wrong. Wrong on sending the US to war claiming Iraq had WMD. Wrong on sending the US to war claiming Iraq was a "clear and present danger" to US. Wrong in claiming Iraq was key to fighting 911 terrorism.

    McCain got it all wrong.

    Obama was right and it is his good judgment on Iraq that we need in the White House to:

    1. Extricate US from Iraq and repair the damage done to US military, US moral standing, US national security.
    1. Purse an aggressive campaign against Bin Laden and his allies in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
    1. Eliminate US oil imports, the strategic weakness that creates terrorism against US and makes US vulnerable to Middle East theocratic dictatorships.
    •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

      Certainly would not want to highlight Republican hypocrisy, would we?

      The charge of "inexperience" is mainly coming from Republicans. Asking them where they stood on the issue of experience in 2000 is not an invitation to liken Obama to the idiot Bush. It's an invitation either to admit they're hypocrites or to just shut up about "experience".

      And as I indicated in the post, Bush's problem is idiocy, not inexperience. If it were just a matter of experience, then his second term should have been better than his first.

      •  It makes Obama look bad is the point. (0+ / 0-)

        By saying that Bush's lack of experience is why he was disaster and comparing his experience to Obama's makes Obama look bad.

        It raises more questions about Obama than it does about McCain.

        You score a big hit on Obama and minor hit on McCain.

        Obama's argument is that he his experience have proven to give him better judgement than McCain.

        It is Obama who has been right on issues of war, peace, terrorism and US national security and McCain who has been wrong.

        •  You didn't read the post very carefully (0+ / 0-)

          By saying that Bush's lack of experience is why he was disaster and comparing his experience to Obama's...

          Wrong and wrong. I don't say that Bush's lack of experience is the reason he was disastrous. Quite the opposite: I say his second term was a disaster despite his experience. And I don't compare his experience to Obama's. I say that, unlike Obama, Bush had no national/international experience.

          •  I read the DIARY carefully. What I responded to. (0+ / 0-)

            The diary attacks McCain because of McCain's hypocrisy in supporting inexperienced Bush over experienced Gore.

            That scores a minor point against McCain but ends up comparing Obama's experience to Bush's and Bush was a disaster in part because of his lack of experience.

            The diarists argument hurts Obama more than McCain.

            The Obama argument is that experience is only as good as the judgment it produces and Obama's experience has produced the best judgment on the most important US national security issues, oil, Iraq and terrorism.

            •  You're confused (0+ / 0-)

              First, I'm the author.

              Second, I'm not attacking McCain for supporting an inexperienced Bush. I'm saying he cares about experience only when it's convenient to make a case for a Republican or against a Democrat.

              Third, I am not comparing Bush's experience to Obama's for the reason I already said.

    •  Just love your usage of "was" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tuscany

      But alas. Idiot-boy still has six months or so to completely ruin the nation.

      It's OKAY. Impeachment was taken "off the table."

      It's not a 'suicide door' when you're hauling ass in reverse.

      by SecondComing on Wed May 07, 2008 at 07:16:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Experience v. expertise & judgement (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    smintheus

    It's not experience; it's expertise & judgement that matter.  It's how fast you can master a high learning curve.

    For all of McCain's experience has his record in the Senate been one of distinction?  Or did he just tuck his tail between his legs and vote for all of the most danaging bills and policies (and dangerous cabinet and judicial nominees) put before him?  Much more of the latter.

    McCain, the prisoner of war, campaigned for the snot-nosed Air Force National Guard brat, in both 2000 and 2004.

    McCain's m.o. is to stand up in outrage... only to lay down like a rug when push comes to shove - on taxes, on torture, on public integrity.  

  •  First questions to pose to McCain in a debate (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    smintheus

    Senator McCain, a simple yes-no question for you on your foreign policy / national security judgment:  In 2001 and 2002 the Bush Administration repeatedly claimed relationships between Iraq and the 9/11 terrorists that did not exist.  Did you believe these claims?

    The Bush Administration also pushed claims that Iraq had "weapons of mass destruction" based on evidence that appeared to be obviously manufactured, and which was hotly disputed by many members of the intelligence community.  Did you believe that intelligence, and how would you have managed the debate differently?

    On 9/11 itself, President Bush sat in a classroom reading "My Pet Goat" for 15 minutes after he learned the nation was under attack, after which he essentially disappeared for most of the day.  What, if anything, would you have done differently?

    For the record, we still have more than enough petroleum to trigger runaway greenhouse effects before the stuff runs out for good.

    by Minerva on Wed May 07, 2008 at 06:56:48 PM PDT

    •  And for good measure (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      smintheus

      Another question:

      Senator McCain, the Bush Administration also apparently bought into false intelligence that North Korea had a uranium enrichment program -- a program that turned out not to exist.  Using this non-existant uranium program as justification, the Administration then proceeded to break a set of agreements that had frozen North Korea's plutonium enrichment program.  The net result, as we all know, is that North Korea moved forward and likely refined sufficient material for between 3 and 6 nuclear warheads -- one of which they tested -- before the administration successfully begged to reinstate, essentially, the same terms that had prevailed originally, with some new sweeteners, to get the North Koreans to freeze again.  How would you have handled that situation differently?

      For the record, we still have more than enough petroleum to trigger runaway greenhouse effects before the stuff runs out for good.

      by Minerva on Wed May 07, 2008 at 07:07:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Lose the "denigration" (0+ / 0-)

    I hate to be the grammar police, or the politcally correct police....but can we lose the word "denigrate"?  Especially when discussing an African-American?

    It doesn't take a great wordsmith to understand that the word means "to defame, belittle.....to blacken".

    In my world, black is beautiful....and "denigrate" is an ugly word, perilously close to other ugly words.

    Thanks!

    •  I used the word advisedly (0+ / 0-)

      I don't think McCain would condescend toward Obama in quite the way he does ("obviously has no national security experience") if Obama were white. I could be wrong, but I just think there's a hint of racism in the way McCain speaks utterly dismissively of Obama.

      •  Gotcha.... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        smintheus, snazzzybird

        Yeesh.  Too creepy to think about.  I apologize for assuming you did not feel the full weight of the word.  I heard Al Sharpton use the word....I think completely innocent of the connotations.  It speaks to the racism institutionalized in our language.  I won't go all Claude Levi-Strauss on you....I agree with your point completely.

        Meanwhile, McCain should be careful.  I work with high end Republicans.  Recently I published Phil Butler's (longest serving POW in Hanoi)letter laying out reasons why he is not voting for McCain.  One of my CEO-types read the post, and introduced me to another CEO, a former POW.

        The POW/CEO told me that he knows of no former POW's that are going to vote for McCain.  As in none of the 500 some odd.  They won't say why, but the guy is dead to them.  Some foreign policy experience there.

        They like Obama because of his organization and management skills.  Go figure.

        •  Well, if you can get that story from them (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          snazzzybird

          you know how valuable it would be. I've never attempted to evaluate the rumors that have floated around about McCain's activities in captivity.

          As for the etymology of the word "denigrate", yes I'm painfully aware of it. I try to use words precisely, as I can see you do as well. One of the many benefits of having studied Latin and Greek is that it's easy to perceive what so many of our own words actually mean. I have to admit, I didn't think anybody would notice or comment on my use of "denigrate".

  •  Obama Plays Race Card on Good Democrats who have (0+ / 0-)

    supported minorities, especially blacks their whole career and who have an excellent record of supporting civil rights is not too cool.

    He splits the party, doesn't want to count ALL the states becuase he can't win big states and he want to unite the world....very funny.

    As far as I know, McCain hasn't called the Clinton's racists. I can't vote for him but I also can't vote for someone who resorts to race-bating.

    Good luck in November, you obviously don't need or want votes from Clinton supporters. If you did you wouldn't support race-bating as a strategy.

    •  It was Bill Clinton who called him Jesse Jackson (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DelRPCV

      He was the one who he sought to diminish Obama's win in SC by saying it was no different from Jackson's primary win there in 1988. Fact is African Americans are an essential part of the Democratic coalition, not a group to take for granted.

      And it was Hillary who never failed to jump in with "I would have left that church."

      •  Bill Clinton didn't say one thing that was (1+ / 0-)

        remotely racist.

        His quote was: "Jesse Jackson won her in 1984 & 1988, he ran a good race, Obama has run a good race, he's run a good race EVERYWHERE, but there are still many contests to go".

        He said that as he was walking away, right after a reporter asked him "is Obama so good that it takes you and Hillary to beat him".

        There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with what Clinton said and it certainly was in no way playing the race card. Clinton was doing what an advocate is supposed to do, he was downplaying his wifes opponent's win.

        Obama's team, with Obama giving them the green light tried to tar the Clinton's with racism.

        Fine, you can support him its a free country but I won't support someone who FALSELY accuses the Clintons of racism.

        •  Please document one instance of Obama racism (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DelRPCV, snazzzybird

          All you are doing is stating over and over that he's a racist, but where's the beef?

          Clinton remark--maybe beyond your subtle acumen--was a pointed barb saying Obama is just another black candidate in the mold of Jackson. It was clearly an attempt to diminish his achievement and his desire to transcend race.

    •  good Dems who refuse to vote for the Dem nominee (0+ / 0-)

      but have lovely things to say about John McCain.

      Nice.

  •  McCain has very limited foreign policy experience (0+ / 0-)

    Obama should ask: What exactly is your foreign policy experience, SenatorMcCain?

    I checked his bio and it's quite limited. He has served on the Armed Services Committee (he opposes the new GI bill), and his main achievement was his partnership with John Kerry (who he insufficiently defended against the swift boat calumny) on the POW/MIA investigation as well as U.S. reconciliation with Vietnam (also in partnership with Kerry). But aside form being in the Senate, and exhibiting horrible judgment, that's about it. Very thin.

    Most of his focus has been on domestic issues, Indian Affairs, McCain-Feingold, and corruption with Keating.

    Fact is,unless you're president, or have served in the State Department, you can't have much foreign policy experience--which is an executive branch responsibility.

    •  Time warp to 1945 (0+ / 0-)

      [McCain's] his main achievement was his partnership with John Kerry (who he insufficiently defended against the swift boat calumny) on the POW/MIA investigation as well as U.S. reconciliation with Vietnam (also in partnership with Kerry).

      Truman's main achievements were ending WWII and instituting the Marshall Plan.  Aside from that, what has he got?

  •  Why Obama might lose (1+ / 0-)

    His race-bating strategy is there for all to see and evaluate.

    Many Clinton supporters, as well as Independents and Republicans, saw how the Clinton's were treated.

    Just think, president Clinton starts a foundation which provided Free medicine to Millions of blacks in Africa. Both Clinton's have a life long commitment to minorities and African Americans in particular and have always supported civil rights. Obama and company turn around and play the race-bating card on them and turn the black community against them.

    Neither Clinton has said anything remotely racists yet many blacks believe they did. That fact is not lost even among old Clinton haters who are Republicans. Obama has also trashed and LIED about Bill Clinton's record falsely conflating it with George Bush.

    So, yes, many people who once liked Obama have come to view him in a different light and will not support him.

    He looks like the weakest candidate we could have come up with and the polls in the swing states and former Democratic states look bad for him.

  •  Obama needs to pledge (0+ / 0-)

    that if elected he will have someone lock him in a room for a few months and tell him what an awful country this is. maybe make him sign a confession for an extra ration of rice.

    Have you heard? The vice president's gone mad. - Bob Dylan, 1966

    by textus on Wed May 07, 2008 at 07:30:48 PM PDT

  •  Oh Yeah (0+ / 0-)

    In 2000, Bush had no experience whatever in national security or foreign policy, nor indeed any experience in Washington. Bush was both naive and ignorant in the extreme about world affairs.

    While I'd quibble about "the lack of experience in Washington" - W certainly learned from his father's time how to exploit all the worst tendencies of the place - the rest of it remains as true today as it did on Day One.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Wed May 07, 2008 at 07:40:27 PM PDT

  •  You need to be straight-faced (0+ / 0-)

    to believe the straight talk express

    Let the pastors, rabbis and mullahs mutter their mumbo-jumbo in private and leave the rest of us alone.

    by detler on Wed May 07, 2008 at 08:28:05 PM PDT

  •  attacking on STRENGTHS (0+ / 0-)

    this is fairly classic republican strategy, and it can turn out to have legs.

    "elitism" sounds ludicrous to me, having read obama's first book, but most people haven't and his real story gets harder to tell if he's defined to the generally uninformed voter this way first.

    "inexperienced" is a way to counter obama's argument about having better judgment.  it's important for mccain to come out with this now, before the generally uninformed picks up on the better judgment story.  also to give his own base an alternate storyline before they start picking up obama's.

    these kinds of attacks that appear idiotic are foolishly ignored.  seeing a genuine war hero smeared as a traitor 4 years ago should have taught us all that.  I remember hearing that the gop strategy would be to make fun of kerry's purple heart and thinking it would never fly.  it flew.

  •  Don't praise Obama on foreign relations (1+ / 0-)

    I won't critize his service on the Foreign Relations committee since he's low on the todem poll.

    Now let's talk about his subcommitte on European affairs where's he's the chairman...not much to say

    He never held a hearing. He neglected his duty. The more I investigate this guys already thin resume the more I get concerned.

    http://www.salon.com/...

    Not to mention he's missed 82 votes as opposed to Clinton's 28 in the Senate.

    It takes real "audacity" to miss that many measures and still critize your opponent on the votes she cast.

    http://mediamatters.org/...

    It really is so comical. I hope the majority of this site is right but I'm afraid you're wrong about this guys capabilities other than giving speeches.

  •  Remembering is hard (0+ / 0-)

    He'll have to ask his campaign staff what his position is on..uh...everything, and get back to you. Right now it's nap time.

  •  McCain: "Nominal Security Experience" (0+ / 0-)

    "Straw? No, too stupid a fad, I put soot on warts!" -Palindrome

    by pakaal on Thu May 08, 2008 at 12:40:43 PM PDT

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