Erik Kleefleld listens to a Team McCain conference call so we don’t have to:
The McCain campaign is taking their effort to distance their candidate from the unpopular President Bush to a whole new level: McCain’s advisers are now openly attacking Bush on Iraq — and not only that, they’re also saying that Barack Obama is the one who is like Bush on the war! On a conference call just now with reporters, McCain foreign policy adviser Randy Scheunemann compared Barack Obama’s insistence on a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq to Bush’s insistence that we were winning even as things went badly for years. “I think the American people have had enough of inflexibility and stubbornness in national security policy,” Scheunemann said. When asked later by the Huffington Post’s Sam Stein whether the campaign was disparaging President Bush, Scheunemann dug in: “We cannot afford to replace one administration that refused for too long to acknowledge failure in Iraq with a candidate that refuses to acknowledge success in Iraq.” Forget “McSame.” The candidate who would really continue Bush’s policies is “BushBama.”
If you are not familiar with Randy Scheunemann, David Kurtz explains:
This takes some real cojones. A short time ago on a conference call with reporters, Randy Scheunemann, McCain’s top foreign policy adviser, declared that Obama brings the same failed approach to Iraq as President Bush … Scheunemann was, of course, a significant proponent of the Iraq invasion and as Josh noted the other day worked closely with Ahmad Chalabi and the other usual suspects in pushing the U.S. toward war with Iraq.
Has John McCain surrounded himself with advisors that make President Bush’s crew look smart by comparison – or what?
Update: Michelle Cottle is royally brassed off but manages to capture my frustrations with these neocon nitwits perfectly:
But here’s the figure that really caught my eye and the one which the Bush administration should find most shameful–if indeed it had the capacity for shame. At this point, only 51% of Americans believe the war in Afghanistan to have been worth fighting. This despite the fact that that wretched, utterly dysfunctional country was home base for the Taliban, al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. The bulk of the 9-11 butchers may have originally hailed from Saudi Arabia, but they took their orders and inspiration from the utterly reprehensible fundamentalist nutters running amok in Afghanistan. Alas, the Bush adminstration has done such a sad, scatter-shot job with its War on Terror that most people don’t know what to think about our little Afghan adventure now. Fifty-one percent of Americans also say the military action there has been unsuccessful–a view surely fed by the fact that the Taliban has regrouped in the tribal areas of Pakistan and is conducting a nasty guerilla war against the current Afghan government. By allowing itself to become distracted from Afghanistan–not to mention babbling on dishonestly and confusingly about the nonexistent connections between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda–the Bushies have managed to convince much of America that we never should have bothered in the first place. This is outrageous. Afghanistan should have sent a loud, definitive signal to hostile regimes worldwide about the power and commitment of American power. Instead, barely half of this country thinks we’ve done a decent enough job to justify the entire endeavor.