Bill Maher's New Rules went hard after John McCain for his repeated misstatements on the Iran/al Qaeda connection on Friday's episode of Real Time:
New Rule: Old soldiers never die, they get young soldiers killed. This week John McCain said for the third time in two days, that Iran, a Shi’ite stronghold was training al Qaeda a militant Sunni organization. That the Hatfields of the Muslim world would be working with the McCoys is so not true even Dick Cheney hasn’t said it. Now the press, which loves McCain because he feeds them BBQ, dismissed this as just one of those senior moments. Not to worry, he’s only going to have his finger on the nuclear trigger. But it’s not just a ‘gaffe,’ it’s what McCain really thinks. And therein lies the paradox of this campaign: McCain’s strength is really his weakness. He’s a warrior who’s dumb about war. Whoever read The Art of War, chapter three of The Art of War says, “Know thy enemy.” And John McCain plainly doesn’t. He thinks the solution is our presence in the Middle East. No, the problem is our presence in the Middle East. That’s why I don’t care if John McCain is better than Bush on global warming or torture or campaign finance, because he’s exactly the same as Bush on the war. They both don’t get the same thing. As long as we’re setting up shop in the heart of the Arab world, we’re not keeping America safer. Bin Laden goes ballistic over cartoons in Danish newspapers, and Goober and Grandpa want to put up a Hooters in Fallujah. They don’t “hate us for our freedom,” they hate us for our fiefdom. Winning the War on Terror comes down to this: what will make us safer from pissed off Arab teenagers who are willing to die? There are a number of good answers to that question, but occupying their land for the next 100 years is not one of them.
Some people look at McCain and see a tough guy who is going to protect us from the “Islamofascists.” I look at him and see a walking Tom Clancy action figure who is going to get us all killed. And yet a new poll shows that a majority of Americans believe John McCain is the candidate best qualified to answer when that red phone rings at 3:00 a.m., because he’d be up anyway, trying to pee. Yes, 55% of Americans think it’s McCain who should answer that phone, because they know John McCain is a warrior. He will not waver or hesitate. He will answer that phone and give the order that sends men to die and it will turn out to be a recording asking him if he’s happy with his mortgage.
Heather has also posted the online only Real Time Overtime if you're looking for more with Bill Maher and guests Barney Frank, PJ O'Roarke, Jon Hamm and Maelissa Harris-Lacewell.