How the West Wing might be lost: Last night, John McCain shot off his mouth for Piers Morgan.
On MSNBC, it’s conventional to praise Saint McCain for having been less racist than Romney back in 2008. That’s a bit of a reinvention. In 2008, that pretty much isn't the way leading liberals saw things.
Whatevger! But even as this reinvention occurs, McCain is all over TV, saying dumb shit like this:
MORGAN (10/25/12): Let's turn to an interview that Barack Obama has given to Rolling Stone magazine and there's been some leaks from this in which the president effectively calls Mitt Romney, and he uses this word, a bull-shitter. Is that dignified for the president of the United States to use that term about his rival?On MSNBC, this guy routinely gets praised.
MCCAIN: Of course not. And it's not presidential to deride and be sarcastic about his opponent in the debates. You know, he talked about bayonets and horses as if bayonets are obsolete. The Marines train with bayonets in combat zones. They're required to carry them. And of course, talking about aircraft carriers, the president, as far as we can tell, has been on an aircraft carrier once when it was tied up to the pier and they had a charity basketball game.
He's never been on a submarine and he calls our Navy personnel, who are in the medical business, who are called corpsmen, calls them corpse men. I don't know if he was talking to a zombie or not but the fact is that the president shouldn't be bragging about his background and expertise on military matters.
In fact, Obama did not “talk about bayonets and horses as if bayonets are obsolete.” He simply said we now use fewer bayonets and horses. And that angry-man talk about carriers and submarines is really talk for the ages.
Earlier, McCain sounded off against Colin Powell, who had just endorsed Obama. (“I'm not angry about it. I just wish that he wouldn't call himself a Republican.”) But for our money, McCain’s most interesting statements last night concerned, what else, Benghazi:
MCCAIN: Look, there were warnings, there was an attack on the consulate in August, there was one in November. There was, there was clearly requests by our ambassador, not Facebook posting, but by our ambassador for better protection. His last message was about that. His diary that was found not by our people but by CNN reporter talked about his concerns.McCain’s question about security preparation is perfectly legitimate. Obama ducked this topic at the town hall debate.
I think it's a very legitimate question. Why didn't we do something about it? And if we knew that there was danger, why didn't we have forces on alert in case something that would happen and then why did they send out our ambassador to the U.N., why did the president go on these programs and speak to the U.N. and continue to claim that it was a hateful video that triggered a spontaneous demonstration?
You can't assume anything, but either a cover-up or colossal incompetence which is absolutely ridiculous and outrageous.
But then, McCain made a blatant misstatement about Susan Rice and about Obama’s U.N. address. He misrepresented what Rice said, flatly misstated regarding Obama.
In his speech at the U.N., Obama discussed Benghazi at some length, mainly to praise Chris Stevens. But he offered no statement about what had caused the attack.
McCain's statement last night was untrue. When he spoke at the U.N., Obama didn’t “continue to claim that it was a hateful video that triggered a spontaneous demonstration.”
Obama said nothing of the kind. But so what? Last night on CNN, this was Morgan’s response to McCain: "Senator McCain, as always, provocative stuff. Thank you very much for joining me."
The misstatements aimed at Rice and Obama are part of the drive to take the White House. At Media Matters, you only hear about these slanders if they get delivered on Fox.
On MSNBC, you never hear about this topic at all. Sometimes, though, McCain gets praised for his deportment in 2008.
The wild horse of the airwaves: McCain has been at this for more than a month. For one example out of many, here he was in late September with the hapless Anderson Cooper.
McCain was spilling with snark:
MCCAIN (9/28/12): A casual observer, a first year cadet at West Point will tell you that that kind of attack is not a spontaneous demonstration. “Here, darling, let's go to a demonstration, bring the mortars.” This is, this is—Except Rice didn’t “go on all the networks” and say that the fatal attack in Benghazi “was the result of a spontaneous demonstration.” According to Rice, “extremists” armed with “heavy weapons” came to the scene of a demonstration and “hijacked” ongoing events.
It’s insane that they would somehow believe that could be the result of a spontaneous demonstration.
And second of all, they've got it all wrong when they blame the video. It's not the video. It is the people, the Islamists, radical Islamists, that are pushing this video throughout media in the Middle East to crank up the anti-moderate, anti-pro-democracy force.
COOPER: There was reporting yesterday from Fran Townsend at CNN with sources and also a writer for the Daily Beast who said that intelligence sources he had talked to had said that in the intelligence community, there was within the first 24 hours were saying this was a terrorist attack, had even some people identified. Have you heard that? Can you comment on that? And if that is the case, why does the information that the intelligence community has not something that the administration is saying publicly?
MCCAIN: I don't know. But it doesn't take intelligence information to watch an operation take place with heavy weapons, mortars— That is not then a spontaneous demonstration. This is why it's reprehensible for our ambassador to the U.N. to go on all the networks and say that.
It now seems there was no demonstration. But Rice never said that the fatal attacks were “the result of a demonstration.” Second point: In real time, the New York Times reported that these extremists said, even as the attack was unfolding, that it was a reaction to the video. The Times reconfirmed that reporting last week.
Cooper didn’t seem to know these things then, doesn’t seem to know these things now. But so what? McCain has played the fool all over TV in the past month—and he will be permitted to do so right through Election Day.
On The One True Channel, the children like to recall the way McCain told that old lady in 2008 that Obama wasn’t an Arab. They seem to have no idea what the saint is doing now.