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Monday, July 14, 2008

There's nothing Americans hate more than losing. Go to any sporting event, anywhere, at any level. It's in our national DNA to believe that under no uncertain terms, we can't go out like no punk.

That's why our presidential candidates fight so hard to get our votes. They want to win. But that hasn't stopped some from playing outside what is fair, and what is right.

Instead, what we got was one candidate constantly calling his opponent's patriotism into question. Never in my life did I expect to see a race for the U.S. presidency in which one of the men running would have to fend off charges that he didn't love America. But that is what happened to John Kerry in 2004.

It worked once. Will it work again?

John McCain hopes so. He wants you to be scared.

Why else would he have his foreign policy brain (and former Ahmed Chalabi flunkie) Randy Scheunemann say that Obama and the Democrats wants America to lose in Iraq to benefit themselves politcally?

(Listen to the audio here.)

But here's the funny thing - McCain said the following after bin Laden just happened to produce a tape the Friday before the 2004 presidential election:
(Osama) Bin Laden may have just given us a little boost. Amazing, huh?"....

And this is the same guy accusing Obama of wanting to lose a war (that the GOP managed to lose quite well already, thanks) to advance his career. That's rich.

My man Greg Sargent puts it perfectly:
The McCain campaign is merely accusing Obama and Dems of wanting American deaths because it will help them politically. McCain, meanwhile, actually said that the specter of a lethal terrorist attack on American soil would help the GOP. The point, again, is that Republicans actually think this way.

What makes this all the more clumsy for the McCain folks is that Obama released a very cogent argument for a new path in Iraq via an op-ed in today's New York Times. Some key excerpts:
Instead of seizing the moment and encouraging Iraqis to step up, the Bush administration and Senator McCain are refusing to embrace this transition — despite their previous commitments to respect the will of Iraq’s sovereign government. They call any timetable for the removal of American troops “surrender,” even though we would be turning Iraq over to a sovereign Iraqi government.

But this is not a strategy for success — it is a strategy for staying that runs contrary to the will of the Iraqi people, the American people and the security interests of the United States. That is why, on my first day in office, I would give the military a new mission: ending this war.

In this campaign, there are honest differences over Iraq, and we should discuss them with the thoroughness they deserve. Unlike Senator McCain, I would make it absolutely clear that we seek no presence in Iraq similar to our permanent bases in South Korea, and would redeploy our troops out of Iraq and focus on the broader security challenges that we face. But for far too long, those responsible for the greatest strategic blunder in the recent history of American foreign policy have ignored useful debate in favor of making false charges about flip-flops and surrender.

It’s not going to work this time. It’s time to end this war.

Stay tuned for his major address on Iraq tomorrow, in which he likely will expand upon what he wrote today.

Perhaps then Americans can make up their own minds without the GOP trying to scare them to death.


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