What happened to McCain?

John McCain was once — no, for many years — one Republican in Congress that Democrats and independents could like, if not love. Why? Because he was truly bi-partisan. Far more, in fact, than Barack Obama.

It’s hard to square his campaign with that.

Is the difference just raw ambition, political hardball, do-anything-to-win? I’m sure that’s true. Still, disappointing. The promise to the counrty of McCain vs. Obama was a campaign based on ideas and ideals. That at last we might rise at least a few inches above the mud. Alas, not this time.

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33 Responses to What happened to McCain?

  1. Big John says:

    The GOP would never have nominated pre-2006 John McCain. He was too centrist and didn’t appeal much to the party’s base. I would have voted for McCain in 2000 without breaking a sweat but this new flavor sickens me. It’s sad to see, honestly, as a fan of his old politics.

  2. steve says:

    The problem is both candidates have to pander to their base. My mother is a hard-core conservative and cannot stand John McCain. He is no better than a Democrat in her mind.
    He has to work really hard to bring them in and make them forget his bi-paritsanship of the past. I voted for him in the 2000 primaries because I liked how reached across the aisle. It really is too bad the candidates have to adjust to appease the far wings of either party.
    I am now registered independent and have yet to hear anything convincing from either one.

  3. Calvin Dodge says:

    What happened to Obama?

    Obama was once a “new kind of candidate” – a “post-partisan uniter” – the one Democrat who everybody could like, if not love. Why? Because he gave non-partisan speeches about the greatness of America, and presented a lofty (though hazy) vision of the future.

    It’s hard to square his campaign with that.

    Is the difference just raw ambition, political hardball, do-anything-to-win? I suspect that’s true. Still, disappointing. The promise to the country of McCain vs. Obama was a campaign based on ideas and ideals. That at last we might rise at least a few inches above the mud. Alas, not this time.

    As I think I’ve said earlier, you can have a lofty discussion of competing ideals and ideas, if people are freely offered the choice among them. Your choice of, say, a BMW for transportation doesn’t deny me my choice for Honda. But government is a “one size fits all” approach, where the winning side’s “ideals” are forced on the losing side. Don’t expect people to sit down to a philosophical discussion with tea and crumpets when their freedom and/or livelihood is threatened. This is also why real cuts in wasteful spending are so difficult – all of that “waste” pays somebody’s salary, and that somebody is going to lobby pretty hard to keep the “waste” coming.

    I look forward to seeing your posts on your disappointment with the Obama campaign’s ads, as well as his attempts to silence people who are reporting on his associations with the radical Left. But I won’t hold my breath waiting for those posts.

  4. Pingback: John McCain Was A POW -- Who Knew? | Prose Before Hos

  5. Doc Searls says:

    Well put, Calvin.

    Good points also about government and how it runs, and what it threatens.

    As for Obama’s ads, what we’re seeing isn’t tit-for-tat. Even Karl Rove is saying that McCain’s lying is worse than Obama’s.

    Should it be “Let the best liar win?”

  6. Calvin Dodge says:

    Uhh … when did Karl Rove say this? Not on Fox News Sunday, where he seemed to hold both sides equally culpable. (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,422365,00.html)

  7. Marktropolis says:

    First off Doc, I’m concerned that your one link about McCain being more partisan than Obama came from, of all places, an organ of the right (that being the Washington Times, an institution that hasn’t exactly excelled in journalistic integrity). In addition, I think it’s also important to note that in the past few congresses, “bipartisan” has meant going along with Bush. And responding to Calvin, Obama has been trying diligently to actually talk about the issues, but the McCain campaign has made it clear that they don’t care about the issues, they only care about portraying Obama as someone the country can’t trust. Which, unfortunately, often works in this country. But given the list of lies that McCain, Palin and his campaign staff have been caught trying to sell in the last week, I tend to think that it’s the McCain campaign that actually wants to win at any cost. And the part where you toss in the unfounded allegations of Obama’s so-called “associations” with the radical left actual speaks volumes about where your coming from. I actually think Doc is making a pretty good point about McCain (who I never liked, but I know some do, and some used to trust him) and his seeming willingness to violate his own principles.

    And just as McCain’s campaign staff does, anytime someone raises a real question, or challenges the truth of some statement, their only response is, “But, Obama….”

  8. Calvin Dodge says:


    Your “unfounded allegations of Obama’s so-called ‘associations'” remark speaks volumes about where YOU are coming from.

    It is a fact that his relationship with William Ayers was far more then “just a guy who lives in my neighborhood”. In the interest of brevity, I’ll simply suggest you search for “obama” and “annenberg challenge”. It’s also a fact that the Obama campaign has urged people to swamp WGN’s switchboard when guests on the Milt Rosenberg show were discussing that relationship. It’s also a fact that Obama urged the Justice Department to prosecute people for the “crime” of airing a TV ad which mentioned that relationship.

    If the allegations are “unfounded”, then why isn’t Obama responding with the facts of that relationship, rather than doing his best to gag the people making the allegations?

    Note: I’m not saying Obama is currently a member of the radical Left. But if John McCain had some sort of friendly relationship with Timothy McVeigh before the Oklahoma City bombing, I don’t believe _that_ would be swept under the rug by the MSM.

  9. justcorbly says:

    I’m a yellow dog Democrat who’s been voting against Republicans since Nixon, so I can’t imagine voting for McCain in any circumstance. But, in previous years, I’d have taken some solace in a McCain victory from the thought that he merited my respect, that he used his brain to think independent thoughts, and that he wasn’t coopted by the evangelical movement that is now synonymous with the GOP.

    Sadly, I’ve lost respect for the man. He either did not really mean what he said for the last 25 years or he values winning an election more than sustaining his own integrity. His election would only increase the divisions in this country.

    McCain is lying. If he lies to win an election, he will lie as president.

  10. Calvin Dodge says:


    I’m also amused by “trying diligently to actually talk about the issues”. This is why his people have sent 30 investigators to Alaska, trying to get dirt on Sarah Palin by talking to the 20% who _don’t_ approve of her.

    I’m seriously interested in seeing the so-called “list of lies”. I’m guessing that they’re mostly exaggerations, or the actual language of bills Obama voted for (as opposed to whatever he claimed his intentions to be).

  11. Doc Searls says:


    Even if the Washington Times is a right-wing rag, I think it’s correct in this case. And McCain’s bi-partisanship hasn’t just been one of Bush compliance, even if he did often vote with Bush. If McCain hadn’t been so bi-partisan in the past, his candidacy wouldn’t have been so difficult for hard-core Republicans to swallow.

    FWIW, what bothers me is that I think McCain could have won without pandering, and have been truly bi-partisan, and have appealed well to independents (of which I am one).

    Also FWIW, I actually wasn’t worried about the prospect of a McCain presidency, since he would clearly be better than Bush, and has a history that’s far from that of the hard-core ideologue he seems to be playing now. But Palin looks like Bush III to me. And the chance of her playing that role is pretty high.

  12. Marktropolis says:

    Calvin, you bring up an interesting point: that every last person that has been involved in Obama’s life has been scrutinized to the nth degree. Hence the continued flogging of the Ayers situation. But, no one in the media is talking about who McCain has been associated with. No, there’s no McVey there, but there is a Pastor Hagee. And a few more. And Obama is actually trying to NOT have that fight. ‘Cause truth be told, Obama would probably win that argument.

    And you may want to check your facts. “His” people didn’t send 30 investigators to Alaska. More lies from the McCain folks. As for McCain’s lies: Let’s see – “bridge to nowhere” anyone? Is he for earmarks or against them? And just in case you haven’t read a paper in the past couple of weeks, even the media who to date have been pretty reluctant to challenge McCain’s integrity have been calling him and his folks on their lies. And anytime someone challenges McCain’s truth, his surrogates act very similar to the way you have – instead of answering the charge, they say, “But, Obama…” I don’t think for a moment that you’re actually serious about seeing this list of “so-called lies.” If you were, you would be spending more time responding to Doc’s original post, and less time spreading the GOP’s talking points.

    That being said, I did take up your challenge, and did your search on Obama and Annenberg. Best as I can tell, more than 75% of the hits come from right-wing blogs (not exactly pinnacles of truth-telling). Furthermore, if the best you’ve got is that they sat on a board together – I’d be more than happy to play the same game with some of the folks who actually work on John McCain’s campaign. But I don’t think you really want to go down that street. cause then we start talking about lobbying for big oil; lobbying for Georgia (the country, not the state); etc. But we can go there…

    As for where I’m coming from: I’d like to see the candidates actually be able to talk about the issues – instead of getting caught up in how many moose Palin shot last year, how many radicals you can connect to Obama, or who’s got more oil money in their bank accounts. How about who’s going to pull things together and get this country out of the mess its in.

  13. Shelley says:

    It’s unfortunate that in a post where you mention how it’s too bad that both candidates didn’t rise above the pettiness and focus on the issues, you have a comment thread that basically mirrors what’s happening in the campaign: focusing on minutiae at the expense of thoughtful discussions about differences on issues.

    It’s dead simple to see how both candidates voted in the Senate, and Obama’s record in the Illinois state government. It’s also very simple to look up their stand on a host of issues and do a comparison.

    Isn’t both of these activities worth more than the “he lied, he lied” crap we keep overindulging in?

  14. Steve says:

    Well said.

  15. Calvin Dodge says:


    Sorry, but Obama’s relationship with Ayers has NOT been scrutinized. If it has,then kindly point me to the detailed list of their joint activities with regard to the Annenberg Challenge. I’m not surprised that most of the hits you found were from right-wing blogs – the left wing doesn’t want national attention focused on those activities. If Obama would win that “guilt by association” fight, then why did his team try to shut down WGN’s switchboard during the interviews with Stanley Kurtz and David Freddoso? Did McCain try to stop distribution of the “some of McCain’s aides thought he was too friendly with a lobbyist years ago, so we’ll hint that they had an affair” article?

    It’s hard to tell _exactly_ what Obama and Ayers did on the Annenberg Challenge board, since outside parties were denied access to board records until recently. They didn’t just “sit on a board together” – they helped decide who would receive millions of dollars, in an effort that was later acknowledged to have no positive effect on eduction.

    And regarding other parts of Obama’s past, there are all sorts of records which are “missing” or “destroyed” – so I don’t think you can claim those have been scrutinized.

    I see I was mistaken when I said Obama’s people sent 30 investigators to Alaska. I should have said his PARTY sent them. All clear now? Or are you claiming John Fund lied about this, too?

    McCain has a solid anti-earmark history (which he even poked fun at on “Saturday Night Live”). Palin was not anti-earmark at the start of her political career, but the total value of earmarks requested by Alaska has declined in each year she’s been in office, while Obama’s requested earmarks for Illinois have increased each year. She did put the final stake through the heart of the “bridge to nowhere’ – if not, then why was Ted Stevens publicly critical of her cancellation of the bridge? Why did the Alaskan Democratic party credit her with that action?

    You have a clever way of responding to my straightforward request for the “list of lies” – simply saying “you’re not serious”. I can’t address Doc’s points when he doesn’t get specific on those “lies”, and I didn’t notice any specified in _EITHER_ the Washington Times or CNN pages he linked to. And speaking of media bias (as you do when referring to the Washington Times), it’s interesting to hear Karl Rove accuse BOTH sides equally of exaggerating, then see CNN headline the article with “Rove: McCain went ‘too far’ in ads”, instead of “Rove: McCain and Obama went ‘too far’ with ads”.

    I, too, would like to see the candidates talk about the issues – like the Dems so-called “energy” bill which permanently bans most offshore drilling. But the person who votes based on an impression of a candidate (I don’t believe 90% of black Democrats voted for Obama in the primaries because they liked his position on NAFTA) has just as much weight as the person who votes on the issues, so the candidate who ignores the people who vote on their impressions is usually going to lose. This is – in part – why LBJ was successful in 1964 because of Bill Moyers’ “daisy” ad. It’s also why lawyers dress up their clients in court – they know that their clients’ appearance WILL have some effect on the jury’s vote.

    I don’t say “Obama’s a leftie because he’s buddies with William Ayers”. I say he’s a leftie because of the associations he has consistently made (which includes Ayers, but also the racist church he belonged to until too many people heard what was preached there), and his consistently leftish voting record (even NARAL was neutral on the “Infant Born Alive” bill). Given his consistently leftish record, and his consistently leftish proposals (raise taxes, hinder oil exploration) I think it’s reasonable for me to assert that he won’t “pull things together”. If he’s elected, and has a Democrat majority in both houses of Congress (especially if he has a veto-proof majority in the Senate), then I predict he will promote the standard lefty solutions (more laws, more taxes, more bureacracy).

  16. justcorbly says:

    Shelley, it’s a fact that McCain is lying. Even other Republicans acknowledge that.

    Now, I think the lying is a serious disqualification from office, especially after eight years of an administration that lied us into war and other atrocities.

    But, even if McCain was as honest as a saint, I’d still think he is wrong on the issues. And the way he has campaigned tells me he is not to be trusted.

    I won’t vote for someone who disagrees with me and who’s lost my trust.

  17. Calvin Dodge says:


    I agree the campaign should be about issues. If Doc’s post had been “I agree with X on this issue”, or “I disagree with Y on this issue”, then _if_ I’d posted, I would have addressed the issues he raised. I would much rather see a public debate on the phony “energy” bill which is currently being considered in the Senate, for example.

    But since the emphasis of his post was not on the issues, but on “lies” (Doc didn’t use that term, but the page linked by “not this time” did), that’s what I responded to.

    At any rate, let’s have a discussion of the issues – but make it a complete one.

    When someone says “I’ll tax only the rich”, what he’s not saying (but any economist can tell you) is that it WILL cost “the little people” some jobs (example: Clinton’s “luxury tax” damaging the custom boat industry).

    When someone says “oil is icky-poo – let’s get rid of it and use wind power and biomass instead”, let’s have them do honest math, to see how much of the country’s energy needs can actually be met by those sources (hint – a small fraction).

    So I’m happy to discuss the issues, but I won’t blindly accept someone’s assertions to be fact (you don’t have to accept mine on energy, either – search the web for calculations people have made on the potential of wind and biomass).

  18. Calvin Dodge says:


    About McCain lying – specifics, please?

    And are you a member of the nonsensical “Bush Lied – Thousands Died” camp? (Note: I’m asking, not asserting)

    If lying is a “serious disqualification from office”, then how about Obama’s lies regarding the “Infant Born Alive” act, or the second Illinois partial birth abortion act?

  19. Shelley says:

    Calvin, if Doc opens up a post on energy, then I’ll join you in a debate on this topic. As you can imagine, I’m not part of the “drill, baby, drill” crowd.

    justcorbly, but the discussions on lying become nothing more than “he said, he said, she said, he said” and we never break this cycle of pointing fingers and angry accusations.

    I happen to believe that McCain’s stand on the issues is enough reason not to vote for him; I don’t have to rely on nebulous, “he said, he said, she said, he said” to justify my voting choice. Issues are both more important, and more tangible.

  20. Doc Searls says:

    In my post I wondered what changed with McCain. By which I mean that the guy running now seems seriously out of alignment with the straight-talking guy we’ve known for decades.

    The question was about McCain. Not Obama. Whether or not Obama is compromised is outside the scope of my original question.

    My question wasn’t about dirt. It was about decisions made by a candidate for president.

    I’m disappointed by some of the decisions McCain has made in this campaign. That has nothing to do with what I know or think about Obama.

  21. Shelley says:

    Doc, if you look at the issues, and the voting records, I think you’ll find that McCain really isn’t all that different now then he was in 2000. He never was the maverick so many assume. That’s more of a label he’s attached to himself.

    He also indulged in attack ads, but against Bush, not Gore, since he didn’t get that far. Bush attacked back. In fact, McCain said in 2000 that his election was “a fight to take our government back from the power brokers and special interests, and return it to the people and the noble cause of freedom it was created to serve”. Sound familiar?

    What we see with McCain now is the McCain who lived 8 years ago.

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  23. justcorbly says:

    Calvin: McCain has been lying about Palin’s record and public statements, among other things. I’ve no reason to list them here for you because I suspect you’d simply follow the standard conservative pattern of denying something you don’t like and trying to divert attention by pointing to something irrelevant. That’s behavior we’re more accustomed to seeing from children caught being naughty: “Nuh-huh! I didn’t do it! And anyway, Sally over there pulled the neighbor’s cat’s tail.” Conservatives need to learn that pointing to defects in others does not erase their own failings.

    Shelley: I agree that it’s sad that the campaign seems be sinking to this infantile level. However, history shows that lying does keep politicians in power and that speaking truth and staying above the fray often results in a media portrayal as a wimp. It seems many Americans are less interested in issues and information than they are in having their bigotries confirmed.

    That said, I stand by my criticism of McCain. He has destroyed his carefully crafted image as a GOP maverick, which, as we know, rested on his readiness to speak honestly about reality rather than follow the party line. (It says a lot about the GOP when being honest gets you labeled a maverick.) That aside, though, McCain still doesn’t agree with me and, hence, wouldn’t get my vote.

  24. Doc Searls says:

    Shelley, I think in my case I took encouragement from some of the many contradictory things John McCain has said over the years. I’ve listened to some of those, or remembered them, selectively.

    In fact McCain has been on both sides of many issues, and has contradicted himself often — and nearly as often has apologized for past positions and statements. As one of his biographers recently remarked in a radio interview, he’s an apologizer of the first order. (And, as Matt Welch says, it’s “a great way to get laid”.)

    To me all of that makes him neither a “flip-flopper,” nor a liar. It makes him human, and reveals him to be something less than a full-bore ideologue. How much less is an open question.

    On one thing McCain has been consistent, however. Although he says he hates war (as any sane person would), he’s quick to make it, and to believe in it as a way to solve problems. For example, he continues to believe, as does George Bush, that we could have won in Vietnam — a war we should never have entered in the first place, and which we entered under false pretenses. And he supported the war in Iraq, believing not only the false pretenses on which it was entered (that Iraq harbored weapons of mass destruction, when it was obvious to the inspectors that it did not), but that it would quickly end. More recently his rhetoric around the Georgian conflict suggests that he loves to fight a bit too much. From what I’ve heard from Sarah Palin so far, I see no difference. And that for me is reason enough to vote against both of them.

    Bonus link.

  25. Calvin Dodge says:


    I’m intrigued by your claim that I would “imply follow the standard conservative pattern of denying something you don’t like and trying to divert attention by pointing to something irrelevant”. Can you point to something I’ve written here as an example of that?

    If not, what do you base your claim on? Your vast personal knowledge of me? Our years-long relationship? Since neither of those, in fact, EXIST, then I assert you have no RATIONAL basis for your claim. I furthermore assert, therefore, that your claim is based simply on your beliefs, not on reality.


    I’m kinda getting the impression that you are one of the “Bush Lied, Thousands Died” brigade. If so, then that’s pretty sad. The “false pretenses” remark ignores the fact that _many_ other countries’ intelligence services came to the same conclusion about Saddam. If “Bush Lied”, then it seems logical to conclude that those other intelligence services lied, too.

    The war with Saddam’s forces DID end quickly – what has been going on since is a guerilla war supported by neighboring countries who also support Islamic terrorism, and who count on people like you to help defeat our side, just as North Vietnam did during the Vietnam war.

  26. Calvin Dodge says:


    After reading your last post more carefully, I guess maybe you’re not _quite_ a member of the “Bush Lied – Thousands Died” idocracy, since you said “he _believed_ those false pretenses”. (emphasis mine)

    That still begs the question – why did so many other countries’ intelligence services believe the same thing? Were they all working together in some massive conspiracy?

  27. lucas says:

    Here is a lie from the campaign, “I told congress thanks, but no thanks.” Pailin’s claim that she was against the bridge is at least misleading if not a lie, but it is a lie that she told congress she didn’t want the bridge.

    This actually brings up a more important topic to me. The standard of honesty has become so low that saying something intentionally misleading is defended by surrogates as being ‘true’. Calvin gives us an explanation about how it is true that she opposes earmarks and opposed ‘the bridge to nowhere’; but supporting something that is intentionally misleading as technically true is also dishonest.

    I don’t understand the uproar about WGN. You think when something negative is said about McCain that has the potential to gain traction they don’t rally their troops with what their talking points are and get it out there as much as possible? What is wrong with Obama sending an action alert to get as many of his supporters as possible to call the radio station and get his talking points out there? Can you explain to me why that is wrong without using a vague metaphor, like choking? Obama has explained his relationship with Ayers several times. McCain has explained with relationship with Keating several times. Both campaigns do their best to not let the campaign be about someone they had a relationship with in the past. Neither campaign has refused to say anything about these past relationships, but they do their best to keep them from being the prominent issue in the campaign.

    Perhaps right wing websites are trying to make this campaign about Obama’s past associations. Perhaps left wing websites are trying to make the campaign about McCains past associations. To the credit of the campaigns themselves, I don’t think either have made these prominent issues. This is not to equivocate the campaigns. McCain’s campaign manager has said over and over again they want to make the campaign about Obama, not about issues.

  28. lucas says:

    “false pretenses” could be referring to many things. Dick Cheney said on Meet the Press:

    We learned more and more that there was a relationship between Iraq and al-Qaeda that stretched back through most of the decade of the ’90s, that it involved training, for example, on BW and CW, that al-Qaeda sent personnel to Baghdad to get trained on the systems that are involved. The Iraqis providing bomb-making expertise and advice to the al-Qaeda organization.

    I believe that is a false pretense. Do you have evidence that foreign intelligence agreed with this pretense?

  29. Shelley says:

    Doc, I agree with you 100% about your reasons not voting for McCain/Palin. I believe there will be a significant different in foreign policy practices between an Obama/Biden and McCain/Palin. From what I’ve seen, and reflected in voting pattern, Obama/Palin match my foreign policy preferences.

    justcorbly, “It seems many Americans are less interested in issues and information than they are in having their bigotries confirmed.”

    That is sadly true. What bothers me, though, is that we do have two candidates who really differ dramatically on the issues, and that should be enough. But the political race has either focused on identity politics, or “pigs-in-the-mud” “he said, he said, she said, he said”.

  30. Marktropolis says:

    Doc, since you brought the conversation back around…

    I think what you’re seeing with McCain is the last throes of someone who is having his last “at bat.” McCain has always played this role as “maverick” in which he was always playing the gadfly to whatever issue of the day needed that kind of pushing, even if it meant he was contradicting his own prior positions. He’s done it with choice, with immigration, with free trade, with Martin Luther King Jr. holidays, with confederate flags, etc. I think that one reason why he was as successful as he was back in 2000. He was the anti-Clinton and the anti-Bush rolled in one. Now, he’s got to lead the GOP (as opposed to being their full time gadfly). That, and he made the significant error of hiring a bunch of beltway mercenaries (often called lobbyists) to run his campaign. And with Rove in the wings, it’s win at any cost. Including lying.

    As for Obama (which this *isn’t* about), Calvin, you might take a look at Obama’s actual record. He’s a lot more conservative than you might think (regardless of the “associations” he’s had). And your slam dunk on Clinton was the damage that he did to the luxury boat industry? That makes as much sense as Lady Rothschild calling Obama an elitist. You may want to check your data on economic growth during Clinton vs. during Bush. Or even during Reagan (since any possibility of economic growth in the past 8 years has cleary been made moot with 9/11, wars in Iraq and Afdganistan costing us billions a year, the collapse of the housing market, oh the list goes on).

    And Doc, back the bipartisan issue. I’m actually not convinced that bipartisan is necessarily all it’s cracked up to be. I’d like to know that the person I voted for is going to stand up for whatever he or she campaigned on. If that requires bipartisanship, so be it. If it requires something else, that’s OK too. Not every good piece of legislation HAS to be bipartisan. In fact, I’d probably argue that bipartisanship actually waters things down. That’s part of the reason that the current Senate is viewed so poorly by the public. In order for them to get anything done, they’ve had to compromise with the GOP minority. Which means they’ve had to give some things up. Which is what bipartisan legislation gets you. Not necessarily bad. But not necessarily what you’re looking for either.

  31. Avner Shanan says:

    I know the discussion has kind of moved past this, but politfact.com has a list of both campaigns’ lies.


  32. Monica Ray says:

    I think it is raw ambition and do anything to get elected. Unfortunately the way the system is designed, politicians don’t get elected by promoting ideas that are unpopular in their party.

  33. Mark D says:

    Doc, Doc, Doc…

    So, as proof of your contention that McCain was “far more bi-partisan than Barack Obama”, you cite an article in the newspaper owned (and frequently manipulated) by the Unification Church and the Reverend Sun Myung Moon????

    C’mon, give me a break! Surely you could find some MSM to source this contention ….or… NOT?

    And Calvin Dodge,

    Please, PLEASE… stop this… Have you heard of the Downing St. memo? EVERYTHING came from the Bush/Cheney progaganda machine! The most credible of non-partisan sources now reliably confirm each other with the understanding that the W/Cheney regime was ready to pull the trigger on Iraq from DAY 1 – they just needed to find some lame-ass excuse. Here’s a nice quote from Dick Armey in Barton Gellman’s new book “Angler”:

    “Did Dick Cheney . . . purposely tell me things he knew to be untrue?” Armey said. “I seriously feel that may be the case. . . . Had I known or believed then what I believe now, I would have publicly opposed [the war] resolution right to the bitter end, and I believe I might have stopped it from happening.”

    NO WMD – NO TIES TO AL-QAEDA – NO IMMINENT DANGER TO US OR OUR ALLIES. BUSH LIED, HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS DIED. It’s all over but the international war crimes tribunal (but I won’t hold my breath).

    And Doc,

    Sorry to contradict, but … ” all of that ” DOES MAKE him a “flip-flopper”, BY DEFINITION – that’s what a flip-flopper is! It’s just that you think being a flip-flopper is OK. Fine.

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