Tuesday, April 29, 2008

My Favorite Jam Back in the Day...

What a difference 7+ years makes. Brandon Friedman reminds us of Cheney's comical, in retrospect, denunciation of the degradation of the military under the Clinton administration. From a Cheney speech on the campaign trail back in 2000:

For eight years, Clinton and Gore have extended our military commitments while depleting our military power. Rarely has so much been demanded of our armed forces, and so little given to them in return. George W. Bush and I are going to change that, too. I have seen our military at its finest, with the best equipment, the best training, and the best leadership. I'm proud of them. I have had the responsibility for their well-being. And I can promise them now, help is on the way. Soon, our men and women in uniform will once again have a commander in chief they can respect, one who understands their mission and restores their morale. [emph. added]

And what's not to respect about Dick Deferment and George "Defender of the Texas Skies" Bush. Friedman proceeds to dispatch the fish lingering around this fetid barrel. Well worth the read.

Also providing laughs courtesy of the way-back machine, look what John McCain has to say about a permanent presence in Iraq when we set the dial for 2005:

Three years before the Arizona Republican argued on the campaign trail that U.S. forces could be in Iraq for 100 years in the absence of violence, he decried the very concept of a long-term troop presence.

In fact, when asked specifically if he thought the U.S. military should set up shop in Iraq along the lines of what has been established in post-WWII Germany or Japan — something McCain has repeatedly advocated during the campaign — the senator offered nothing short of a categorical “no.”

“I would hope that we could bring them all home,” he said on MSNBC. “I would hope that we would probably leave some military advisers, as we have in other countries, to help them with their training and equipment and that kind of stuff.”

Host Chris Matthews pressed McCain on the issue. “You’ve heard the ideological argument to keep U.S. forces in the Middle East. I’ve heard it from the hawks. They say, keep United States military presence in the Middle East, like we have with the 7th Fleet in Asia. We have the German…the South Korean component. Do you think we could get along without it?”

McCain held fast, rejecting the very policy he urges today. “I not only think we could get along without it, but I think one of our big problems has been the fact that many Iraqis resent American military presence,” he responded. “And I don’t pretend to know exactly Iraqi public opinion. But as soon as we can reduce our visibility as much as possible, the better I think it is going to be.”

Ah, to be serious and mavirecky. Actually, it gets worse. As Steve Benen documents, McCain goes back and forth on this issue so often he's got enough frequent flier miles racked up that he can finally abandon Cindy's private jet for good.

Which would only bolster his non-elitists bona fides. I mean, has Obama given up his private jet? Didn't think so.

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