Wednesday, January 10, 2007

McCain Claims Lieberman's Victory Means America is Anti-Withdrawal

On MSNBC today, Republican Presidential candidate John McCain claimed that Senator Lieberman's defeat of Ned Lamont meant that the American people were against withdrawal:

Joe Lieberman would never have been re-elected — a strong proponent of the war — against an opponent who was for pullout, if that was the American people's attitude.


TPM Election Central's Eric Kleefeld neatly rips this absurd argument to shreds (click through to read the whole thing and see the video of McCain making the claim):

First, let's take a look at Connecticut's exit polls. They show that sending more troops had the support of — get this — 15% of voters! Meanwhile, 63% of voters said some or even all troops should be withdrawn, in complete opposition to Lieberman's real position.

Second, given the total number of people who cast their vote for Lieberman, it's nothing short of absurd to say that it's in any way indicative of anything national. According to the final results, a total of 563,725 people voted for Lieberman — in other words, just over half a million in a nation of 300 million people.

Finally, Lieberman won because he was able to misrepresent his views on Iraq, not because voters agreed with his actual views on the subject. Back in July, Lieberman actually said he thought we'd be able to draw down "significant" numbers of troops by now. What's more, Lieberman worked hard to blur the line between himself and Ned Lamont on the Iraq issue. In one ad, for instance, he spoke of wanting to "bring our troops home from Iraq."


What he said.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

It was a truly amazing quote. I suppose if Joe hadn't been challenged in the primary, it would have proven that all the Democrats supported this month's esculation.

And how about the fact that Bush gave Joe another kiss in the speech tonight!?

Gabe said...

Is that literally or metaphorically?

Anonymous said...

A few more reasons why I'm glad I voted for Joe!

ALittleBitDramatic said...

That's.... special.

Anonymous said...

and good old George Bush just cited him in his speech!

Anonymous said...

your rage is unbelievable liberal wackadoos. substitute joe lieberman's name with any other democrat and you would all be screaming victory that the president awknowledged the need to form a bipartisan working group between the two branches of government. Its a good idea! You all have been stark raving mad that the president refuses to listen to Congress and as soon as he makes a step to do so don't even realize it!

MikeCT said...

Joe kisses back:

Sen. Joe Lieberman, who was assailed for his pro-war views during his fall re-election race, praised President Bush's plan to increase the number of troops in Iraq and urged his colleagues in Congress to proceed with respectful debate.

"Excessive partisan division and rancor at home only weakens our will to prevail in this war," Lieberman, I-Conn., said in a statement Wednesday.
...
"The president did not take the easy path, but he took the correct and courageous course," Lieberman said. "It is a dangerous illusion to believe that we can depart Iraq and the inevitable killing fields and terrorist violence will not follow us in retreat - even to our own shores."


And goodness knows we've already seen that domestic terrorist threat in action.

Max S said...

I think CT voters were well-informed, especially on this race, and that they knew exactly what they were doing when they elected Jow Lieberman.

Now why did the electorate vote for Lieberman when they seemed to disagree with him on the war?

I might get beat up for saying this, but even though no one likes the war, I think that people realized that we're going to need to find pragmatic solutions to get out of it.

Steve Ross said...

I though the only reason Bush mentioned Lieberman was to give Lamont a big slap in the face.....

CaptCT said...

Aren't any of you Lieberman-Bush supporters tired of losing wars, prestige, military power, the moral high ground, etc.?

How badly do these guys have to screw things up before you say "Enough already!"?

If you really are FOR the war, send the government a check for $4,000 (each household's share of the $4 billion cost) and, if you're between the ages of 18-39, go enlist in the Army. Joe and GWB need more troops to fight Iraq and Iran. Go sign up.

Shadow said...

Perfectly put. McCain saying a quote like this knowing that it would reach local media out here is foolish, as more and more Republicans have turned against the war since November, and will continue to leading up to 2008. CT was the only closed primary McCain won in 2000 aside from his home state, but he's squandering his appeal to even some Republicans with this kind of talk. I say this because I could have seen how some diehard Republicans who don't want an escalation would still vote for John McCain in 2008, but him TELLING them they've already decided to support the war when they don't makes it that much less likely. There's a fine line between speaking for the people and being perceived as telling them what to think.

Anonymous said...

I already write a big check to the government. How about the lunatic left giving up their gas-guzzling SUV's to we don't have to fight a war over oil?

bluecoat said...

Lieberman's win last November meant that the CT GOP is weak, Mr. McCain!!!!!I want success in Iraq now that we are there and I hope the hell that we get it with this new change in course that seems to be evolvong but I still think Lieberman is a sleazebag gasbag.

CaptCT said...

Anonymous:

How badly will Bush-Lieberman have to screw up before you lose your faith in them? What will be the straw that breaks the camel's back?

Or will you follow them anywhere, no matter what?

bluecoat said...

If Bush were a second lietenant in 'Nam, he might have been one of those who was shot by his own men. While accelerating and exetending the deployment of troops to support Gen. Petraeus' new strategy sounds reasonable to me. I am not all that thrilled about the apparent posture towards Syria and Iran, which I didn't see coming, but I'll wait for an airing of the strategy.

CaptCT said...

General Petraus is the only real difference in the whole equation. His leadership, without interference from Rumsfeld, might make a difference. Let's hope for the best.

bluecoat said...

I think the Admiral that heads up CentCOM now will be a plus and I did admire Abizaid but he was never undestood or repected by Rummy. I also like Gates. Negroponte, I like too but he just got there and I am not sure about the Admiral who took Negropnte's job aa DNI but we'll see. The other plus here was that curious George took some responsibilty last night for his srewups - and i say some in small letters. Aye, aye capt!!!

wtfdnucsubsailor said...

Unfortunately, the President's plan is probably doomed because Twenty Thousand additional troops aren't enough. Fifty thousand may be the marginal number necessary to accomplish the take, clear, hold, and build strategy that conquers insurgencies. The problem is that the insurgency is two faced and really a civil war. That means if the Iraqi contingent is the wrong sect, Sunni or Shia, in the wrong area, the clear will work and the hold and build will fail. Add to this the dislike of foreigners occupying Muslim land, and we have a recipe for failure. From everything I have read, General Petraus has a good understanding of the Iraqi situation and met some success in the early stages of the 'occupation'. When the division he commanded was rotated out, all of his efforts were lost when the new division took control. We can only pray that he will succeed. Nothing else has worked thus far.

Genghis Conn said...

wtfdnucsubsailor,

Unfortunately, the President's plan is probably doomed because Twenty Thousand additional troops aren't enough.

On that, you and I agree. This small number might have made a difference in 2003--not now.

Anonymous said...

The additional troops come with a different startegy.

Genghis Conn said...

At least it isn't a different strategery. That would be bad.

Anonymous said...

hey, GC, at ;east I didn't hit my head

CaptCT said...

The other big problem Petraus faces is how to get Shiites to kill Shiite militiamen and Sunnis to kill Sunni insurgents. I haven't heard anyone answer the question of how to do this.

What happens after we train the Iraqis to fight? Do they fight for "Iraq" or for their local tribes or militias? So far it's been for their local militias.

Also, embedding U.S. troops with Iraqi units comes with a lot of risks for the outnumbered American troops in that unit.

These are just some of the reasons why the military solution has been so difficult to acheive. I don't think any General can overcome these challenges, which is why I think the troops should be coming home.

Also, because Iran and Syria are so close to Iraq geographically and spiritually, their influence will always be greater than the U.S.'s We have to leave Iraq eventually, and everyone knows that. So our influence will always be limited. That's one reason why we shouldn't have invaded in the first place.

General Petraus can only do so much, but I wish him the best of luck and I hope for the best.

bluecoat said...

Agreed that we shouldn't have invaded. The no fly/no drive zones in the north and south of iraq weren't the greatest place to be for our military (ammended) but it was a strategy that protected out national interests and securityti.. And there was no reason to cut off Blix's work - saddam Hussein having an incomplete "homework assignement" accounting for his destruction of WMD's wasn't a reason. And many understood his passive-agrresive attirude wasn't to show he was stronger than the US but to show/bluff his neighbors into thinking that - tyrants rule by fear as much as they rule by force.

Mirror said...

Lamont should run for President.

Anonymous said...

More on the people and philosophies being put forward in the name of more war...

There is an interesting article in The Nation about Odierno and Petraeus, which then expands into more information on how the war in Iraq is being or will now be waged. I have had a favorable view of Petraeus based on description of him in Thomas Ricks' book, FIASCO. However, we have Petraeus trying to resolve the past mentality of the institution of the Army, and making a counterinsurgency manual doesn't an institution change. And the author raises some questions about the philosophy embodied in the manual for which Petraeus is largely responsible.

Here is the link to the article:
http://www.thenation.com/blogs/notion?pid=156005

The author also has a blog and expanded on her reading of the counterinsurgency manual by posting an annotated table about some of its language, which you can see here:
http://justworldnews.org/archives/002322.html#manual

Author Cobban notes, "It gives what I understand to be broad permission for those engaged in counter-insurgency operations to "eliminate" broad classes of those whom military commanders judge to be "extremists".

That is, for the military to engage in extra-judicial executions." source:

http://justworldnews.org/
see her post called:
The Petraeus doctrine and extra-judicial executions.

Within that post is a link to a power point presentation that went on line in conjunction with Bush's speech that says, among other things, "Success in Iraq remains critical to our national security and to success in the War on Terror," and "Failure in Iraq would have disastrous consequences for the United States, the region, and our allies" and goes on to note a change in approach from "restrictive ROE [Rules of Engagement]" to a new state of affairs in which "Iraqi leaders [are] committed to permissive ROE".

As the author emphasizes, Americans may have one point of view or another, but we no longer have any excuse to claim we are uninformed or lack information about what our leaders are doing in our names. It's there if we will take the time to listen, read and learn.