Even after all of the criticism that John McCain has received recently for repeatedly citing his experience as a POW as an illogical excuse for ever
August 28, 2008

Even after all of the criticism that John McCain has received recently for repeatedly citing his experience as a POW as an illogical excuse for everything from his extramarital affairs to his rule-breaking to having so many more homes than most people have pairs of shoes that he can't keep track of them (as if his having been a POW 35 years ago has somehow inoculated McCain from any criticism whatsoever for any thing he does) his campaign sure wasn't kidding when they responded by letting it be known that it had only just begun to exploit his POWness.

Greg Sargent:

In an interview with KDKA radio in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, John McCain POW-POW-POWed when asked about charges that he's an elitist who's out of touch with the American worker on kitchen-table issues.

McCain: [I]n all due respect my friends, I know what it's like to not have a house, I know what it's like not to have a kitchen table. I know what it's like not to have a table or a chair. For five and a half years, I sat in a cell with nothing but concrete floor and three boards to sleep on.

The argument goes something like this: John McCain, as a former POW, can't be out of touch with the average working stiff. He totally understands ordinary folks' financial hardships (obviously) because he was a POW. Is any of this making sense to you? No, me neither. And it's not just the McCain campaign itself that wants to beat you over the head with the fact that McCain must be impervious to any criticism simply because he was a POW. The South Carolina GOP has also hopped on the POW-talk express with perhaps the most POWerful ad ever:

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Okay, this has gone way past ridiculous already, and it seems it's not going to stop until November. Everyone knows John McCain was a POW, and everyone with a brain knows that having been a POW is not a valid excuse for cheating on your wife or for saying something stupid, nor is it a blanket policy qualifier for the office of the Presidency.

There ought to be some simple way to put an end to this kind of nonsense, and DKos' Georgia10 is on it:

Most of you are familiar with Godwin's Law, the notion that if you rely on Hitler or Nazi comparisons in a debate, you automatically lose that debate.

The general election has brought us The POW. The POW is used frequently by the McCain camp and Republicans to deflect from valid criticism of John McCain's politics and policies [...]

As with Goodwin's Law, the utterance of "POW!" this campaign season is a surefire sign that it's game over for the Republican trying to defend John McCain. After all, if you can't respond with substance, but rather have to resort to raising an issue McCain himself has previously said shouldn't be exploited in a campaign, you're pretty much backed into a corner.

So what should we dub this diversionary tactic? McCain's Law? POW'd? ..(read on)

Georgia10 is right. A Godwin's Law for the POW tactic sounds like a really good idea if we can come up with a uniformly and popularly accepted term and make it stick. A simple non-scientific sharing of opinions among us here at C&L seemed to favor POWn'd. What do you think?

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