Hannity's Situational War Ethics: 'If You Were President,' He Tells McCain, 'I Would Be Behind You, But You Are Not President.'

Oh, now there's a big surprise: The guy who searched through the rubble heap of the Japanese earthquake for any excuse to bash President Obama is, of course, unhappy with the airstrikes in Libya -- but only because it's Obama doing it.

Last night Sean Hannity invited onto his Fox show Obama's erstwhile opponent, John McCain, aka Grampa McCranky, to bash Obama some more:

HANNITY: Senator, I was with you. Early on, you called and you were asking that we expand the mission, that we have a surge. You were right. I give you 100 percent credit. Here is the problem. This president dithered for six months on Afghanistan. Wouldn't support the students in Iran in 2009. He supported Mubarak, then he was neutral and then he shifted away from Mubarak. Here's the problem, I mean, Hillary disagrees with Mullen and Gates disagrees with Hillary. And Obama shifted his opinion. Gadhafi has got to go, not got to go. I don't have confidence in him. This policy is incoherent. He seems to be too little, too late, ill advised and doesn't have the political or moral courage to do this right. Tell me where I'm wrong!

MCCAIN: I understand your concern and I share those concerns. And it is incoherent when you say Gadhafi must go and then say that the mission is only there for humanitarian purposes. But we are attacking his forces on the ground. We are keeping two major cities from being overrun and the people are already being subjected to terrible atrocities as we speak. And I believe that with continued ground attacks we can succeed. By the way, this latest announcements I just read that somehow NATO would take over the air, the no-fly zone and the United States would continue the other activities or something frankly I don't understand. I haven't had time to absorb it.

But I've never seen any decision quite like that. But the fact remains, it is in our interests and America's interests and the world's interests to not have another -- to not have another Rwanda. Every time we say never again. And so, I want to see us continue to use our airpower, not ground troops, but airpower which I think would have a significant effect still on the battlefield. That along with equipment and other assistance.

HANNITY: With NATO split. And literally NATO allies abandoning the effort, the president not acknowledging this is war, it is some kinetic military action. And if the humanitarian rational that they are offering, you are right it should have existed for Rwanda and the whole series of other countries. But, you know, does that mean these human rights violations, humanitarian concerns in China, in Russia, in Iran, in Bahrain, in Yemen, in Saudi Arabia, you know, Lebanon. Where do we go, I mean, from here? It seems to me that he was forced into doing something instinctively that he doesn't want to do.

MCCAIN: I'm sure that instinctively he doesn't want to do it.

HANNITY: But the fact is, but he's pulling out.

MCCAIN: The people of Libya were being massacred. And by the way, you haven't seen a single anti-U.S. demonstration in the Arab world. The Arab League has not reversed their position. The UAE is sending 12 aircraft, Qatar is already sending some airplanes. So, if we allow the people of Libya to be massacred, I'm going to be on this program six months from now saying never again. And I believe that American military power in the air and with other kinds of assistance, they can still prevail.

HANNITY: Senator, if they.

MCCAIN: Despite, they dithering back and forth that has been going on. Go ahead.

HANNITY: Senator, if he doesn't say that we've got to remove Gadhafi which they flipped and flopped on. And if they never talk about victory or define victory or define success or talk about an exit strategy or telegraph no boots on the ground, he's not committed to it. And I think it is unfair for our military. But, yes, there are all these other countries that a lot of slaughters are going on as well.

MCCAIN: Right now, there are air attacks on Gadhafi's forces on the ground. If those can continue, maybe we can save those people. I'll tell you what, if you bail out right now, Sean, and I heard the criticism, we bail out right now we will see massacres of enormous proportions.

HANNITY: I agree.

MCCAIN: We can still win this thing.

HANNITY: You know what? If you were president, I would be behind you, but you are not president.

MCCAIN: I can still urge the president to use our airpower and our other assets to help these people survive. Thousands of lives are at stake right now my friend.

HANNITY: Senator, if you were president, it would be done right. He is timid and he's inconsistent. This is incoherent and frankly, it's unforgivable because he's the commander in chief.

Of course, Hannity really is just like so many other of his fellow Republicans that way. They'd support this action if it were a Republican leading it! I'm shocked by this development, I tell you.

Especially because these are the same people -- Hannity especially -- who attacked Democrats as not only insufficiently patriotic, but as actively harming American soldiers if they questioned the wisdom of George W. Bush's war policies.

[H/t Media Matters.]

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