The Timetable Lie

Posted: Jan 30, 2008 9:10 PM
Mitt, regrettably, didn't whack McCain hard enough on his distortions in Florida. He sounds defensive when he should be saying, "Listen, Mr. McWimpy No-Negative-Campaigning over here has been complaining for months about TV ads in which I bring his positions accurately to light. Why? Because his positions are clearly out-of-step with the American people and the conservative electorate. In order to come up with negative advertising about me, McCain had to flat-out lie about me, and I don't think Reagan would have approved."

He did add that part about Reagan being disappointed at the end, there. And, I appreciated a little fire from Mitt when he said, "How is it that you are the expert on my position," which gets applause.

McCain got sunk by his own rhetoric in this conversation, saying "you don't want the enemy to know how long he has to wait in the weeds," at which point Anderson Cooper hit him over the head with the Mitt quote which includes the phrase, "you don't want the enemy to know how long he has to wait in the weeds." Oops.

I was slightly wrong about the above point. I re-watched the video and McCain is using the "wait in the weeds" quote from Romney as proof that Romney favored withdrawal, saying essentially, because the phrase implies there will be time of withdrawal, Romney was clearly favoring one. In actuality, which is what Cooper points out, Mitt was using the "wait in the weeds" quote to say just the opposite. His point was the very reason we don't want public timetables for withdrawal is because we don't want the terrorists to know how long they must wait in the weeds until we leave. It got very convoluted, there, and that's the way I read it when I looked at it again. My apologies for the mistake. I still think McCain's position is a serious stretch.

Update: The worst McCain can accuse Romney of is clumsily employing the buzz word of the other side on that issue, but to extrapolate that to his actual well-known position is dishonest and McCain knows it. I don't know why that ticks me off so much, distortions being a basic part of politics, but McCain's being shameless about it on stage tonight.

Update: I got it. It ticks me off because McCain's been so holier-than-thou about negative advertising from Mitt that's been largely much fairer than the trick McCain pulled last week.