Ever wonder why John "Let's stay 100 years in Iraq!" McCain is doing so well with anti-war primary voters? Maybe it has to do with bobbleheaded discussions like this one on This Week with George Stephanopoulos, where the round table panel thinks that Iraq is a winning issue for McCain. Despite the fact that most Americans want out of Iraq within a year and do not think "success" (I'm still waiting for someone to define this for me) is not possible, Time Magazine's Jay Carney thinks that McCain can coast to the White House by distinguishing himself from his Democratic rivals with his wargasmic rhetoric, a bizarre assertion that neither George Stephanopoulos, Claire Shipman nor Mark Halperin find questionable at all.
So let's get this straight: almost two-thirds of the country wants us out of Iraq, but the guy who wants us to be there indefinitely (and Carney thinks this concept has "honor" as opposed to pulling out), will resonate with voters. And Democratic voters have been turning out consistently during these primaries more than two times as often as their Republican candidates. And McCain faces a mutiny from the noise machine on his own side for not being conservative enough. And despite the continual White House and media spin that the "surge" has been a success, there is no measurable documentation to back that up.
So, with absolutely no facts on their side, the media has decided to champion McCain's candidacy on the one area that he is diametrically opposite from the majority of Americans. I ask you, what planet do these bobbleheads live on?
Transcripts below the fold:
CARNEY: On Iraq, I’m not sure that it’s…that he can’t win that argument. I think that if you’re forward looking, that the public has already decided what it thinks about what happened and how we got in and whether it’s been done well. But I think, you know, McCain can effectively frame an argument that says, you know, “I’m a much better steward going forward” than Democrats who are going to come in and say, “let’s just get out.” Imagine what will happen with the military brass and conservative establishment and people who just don’t want to see us hightail it out of there without honor. I think that can be a very effective argument and the Democratic nominee, whether it’s Obama or Clinton, has to have an answer to that that’s acceptable.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Probably works better against Obama than Clinton?
SHIPMAN: Yeah, and also I think it works better if the subject shifts back to Iraq than the economy. I mean, I think people are so focused on the economy right now, I’m not sure that’s going to be a compelling issue…
STEPHANOPOULOS: But I also wonder if he’s damned by success in Iraq, Mark Halperin, if it’s going well, yes, people may have forgotten that they didn’t like the war in the first place, but if it’s going well, that could become all the more reason to bring the troops out.
HALPERIN: Well, it could be, but there’s going to be a troop presence there. The Democrats, if you talk to their advisors [inaudible] of course there’s going to be a troop presence there for the foreseeable future, of a pretty substantial size. I don’t Iraq goes off the table, and I think again, you’re right. If it gets better there, maybe he can’t argue as much about the importance of it. But he’s going to have to make foreign policy—Iraq, War on Terror—the centerpieces of his general election campaign or he could not win.