Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

In Praise of McCain's Consistency

The Republicans have caught him flip-flopping. “How can Barack Obama," asks a National Committee spokesman, "claim to have a consistent Iraq policy? It’s clear Obama is rightly trying to reverse the central premise of his campaign: his pledge to immediately withdraw troops from Iraq."

Such charges of irresolution are based on recent campaign statements and an interview with Military Times in which Obama said:

“If current trends continue and we are at a position where we continue to see reductions in violence and stabilization and...some improvements on the part of the Iraqi army and Iraqi police, then my hope would be that we could draw down in a deliberate fashion in consultation with the Iraqi government at a pace that is determined in consultation with General Petraeus and the other commanders on the ground...(T)hat is something we could begin relatively soon after inauguration. If, on the other hand, you’ve got a deteriorating situation for some reason, then that’s going to have to be taken into account.”

McCain supporters find such waffling a sign of weakness in a potential Commander-in-Chief, particularly after eight years of George W. Bush, who made firmness and determination a hallmark of his presidency. Consultation? Deliberate fashion? Deteriorating situation? Would the country be safe with such a wimp in the White House?

One thing voters can be sure of with McCain. He was whole-heartedly for invading Iraq in 2002 and has never wavered in his support of the war. He is a model of consistency.

If push comes to shove in Iran, President McCain is not likely to be "deliberating" or "consulting" before taking action. As soon as he makes good on his promise to pursue Osama bin Laden to the gates of hell, he will be ready to shoot it out with all the other varmints in the Middle East.

This Obama fellow, on the other hand, might spend all his time thinking it over.

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