McCain supporters feel, contradictorily, that it’s the way you go about being wrong that is to be admired, but the catastrophic results of getting it wrong are immaterial. McCain looks so wonderfully decisive while he is decisively getting it wrong. It’s the standard Republican ideology of image over substance that to Republicans with a president and a candidate for president who have gotten everything irrevocably wrong, but oh, my goodness, don’t they look so decisively presidential while they’re doing it. Well, they do, to Republicans.
As Burt Lancaster, portraying a judge who at last, too late, saw the crimes he had committed, in the movie Judgment at Nuremberg shouted at Maximillian Shell who was berating and blaming Judy Garland for being a victim of war criminals, “Are we going to do this, again?”
That iconic phrase about bringing evil to an end applies equally well today. Are we going to do this, again? We’ve had more than seven years of an empty shell going off in all the wrong directions and getting absolutely everything exactly wrong and now the Republicans want to do it again. The bothersome, worrisome thing is that in spite of McCain getting everything wrong about Iraq, it is his decisiveness in getting it wrong that is so appealing to Republicans.
Quoting McCain from a New York Times August 17 article, “Response to 9/11 Offers Outline of McCain Doctrine”:
The Sept. 11 attacks “demonstrated the grave threat posed by a hostile regime, possessing weapons of mass destruction, and with reported ties to terrorists,” Mr. McCain wrote in an e-mail message on Friday. And, “his regime posed a threat we had to take seriously.”
The regime McCain is referring to is Saddam Hussein’s and the Friday mentioned is the 15th of August, 2008. Even Bush and his administration, the CIA and the FBI have had to back off on these false claims, all now discredited and proven wrong. But, McCain is still at it.
McCain has been saying these things since Sept. 11, 2001. They were all wrong then and they’re still all wrong. Even at this late date, with every one of his assertions proven irrevocably wrong, he still thinks that Saddam posed a “grave threat.” Not true. Possessed “weapons of mass destruction.” Demonstrably not true. Had “ties to terrorists.” Laughably not true. But, he’s still saying these things, and in spite of that he’s running for president and has the support of the Republicans.
To top it off, a final quote by McCain: “I believe voters elect their leaders based on their experience and judgment - their ability to make hard calls for instance, on matters of war and peace. It’s important to get it right.”
What McCain says is true, and it also completely disqualifies him from being president, given that his experience has only been in getting everything wrong, that his lack of judgment in failing to learn from that experience makes him unable to make hard calls on matters of war and peace, that the importance of getting it right is something he has never done, knows nothing about, and of which he is completely unaware.
The thing that’s hard for rational people to understand is that despite being as screwed up as George Bush about all the fallacies used to wage war on Iraq, and still saying them, Republicans support him not because he’s right or wrong, that doesn’t matter, it’s because he’s a Republican. And that, as irrational and illogical as it is, is the only reason Republicans have for a fellow Republican to be president.
What’s scary about the blind obedience to this Republican ideology is that they would put him into office knowing full well that he will always do exactly the wrong thing. Doesn’t matter, because he has what to them is the be-all and end-all qualification. He is a Republican.