In this piece, John McCain (and the author) engages the enemy at home… the 70% of American citizens also known as “defeatists.”
“He derided ‘the fanciful and self-interested debates about Iraq that substitute for statesmanship in Washington.’ And he suggested that the Democrats had decided ‘to take advantage of the public’s frustration, accept defeat,’ and hope that ‘the politics of defeat’ would benefit them.”
I’m not so naive to think Democrats aren’t staking a position on Iraq that is politically expedient, but I hope Mr McCain doesn’t really believe the public at large is “fanciful and self-interested.” (And it’s a good thing Republicans have never politicized the war.) The war in Iraq may be the most “convenient” war in U.S. history. How often has the U.S. military been deployed overseas in combat operations without some kind of draft, or rationing of resources back home? Were it not for the enterprising work of the various news organizations, we might not know there’s a war going on at all. Opposition to the war is hardly a matter of self interest for most Americans. We’d have to have some sense of consequence to be self interested. For most of us, life is completely unchanged.
I don’t often give the public a lot of credit, but it seems to me that the American people are frustrated because Republicans had a stranglehold on the Federal Government for six years… and screwed the pooch. Six years of Republican domestic agenda can be summed up in two words: “tax cut.” Six years of Republican foreign relations can also be summed up in two words: “cowboy diplomacy.”
As for the “fanciful” part… well, Mr McCain may be right there. Who can blame Americans for daydreaming about our prospects for the next election?