THE PLANK MARCH 28, 2007
Appearing recently on the Laura Ingraham show, John McCain said, "We've got to stop this terrible, disgraceful earmark spending which did corrupt us, and that's why we lost the 2006 election, not because of the war in Iraq, in my view."
That's basic conservative boilerplate: We lost the election because we lost our way ideologically, not because of the war. But wait: McCain for months has been touting his support for the war despite intense public opposition. Indeed, this is the thing he holds up as defense against the charge of committing a total ideological makeover.
The press has mostly bought this line, too. For instance, The Washington Post recently reported, "Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) refuses to hide from what he calls 'the elephant in the room,' despite knowing full well that the issue he talks most about these days is one that could sink his campaign for the White House."
Of course this line is perfect nonsense. Yes, McCain's support for the war could sink him in the general election, but it's helping him in the GOP primary, where Bush and the war are popular. McCain is very clever to overlook the helpful dynamics in the primary while emphasizing the potential harm in the general election.
But now McCain seems to be saying the war isn't unpopular among the public. Otherwise it would have hurt in the November elections, right?
Man, keeping his story straight is making my head hurt.