Sunday, August 24, 2008

McCain's Playing the POW Card So Fast No One Can Keep Up

The New York Times' Maureen Dowd has a column today getting at McCain for referencing his captivity in Vietnam to fend off unrelated criticism all too often. As Josh Marshall remarks, "When Dowd devotes a column to it, the meme has arrived".

Here's Dowd:
So it’s hard to believe that John McCain is now in danger of exceeding his credit limit on the equivalent of an American Express black card. His campaign is cheapening his greatest strength — and making a mockery of his already dubious claim that he’s reticent to talk about his P.O.W. experience — by flashing the P.O.W. card to rebut any criticism, no matter how unrelated. The captivity is already amply displayed in posters and TV advertisements.
And she cites the times he's used to counter criticism of:

-offering up his wife for the topless (and sometimes bottomless) bikini contest at a biker rally.

-breaking the rules for the Warren debate and being able to hear or be briefed on the questions he would be asked

-not knowing how many houses he owns

And then she mentions McCain bringing the POW subject up by falsely weaving it into some unrelated item to make him look good:
As Sam Stein notes in The Huffington Post: “The senator has even brought his military record into discussion of his music tastes. Explaining that his favorite song was ‘Dancing Queen’ by Abba, he offered that his knowledge of music ‘stopped evolving when his plane intercepted a surface-to-air missile.’ ‘Dancing Queen,’ however, was produced in 1975, eight years after McCain’s plane was shot down.”
Remember, that's not the first time he's made something up out of thin air just to remind people of his POW experience. To get in the good graces of Pennsylvanians, he did a cut-and-paste on an important detail of one of his more moving POW stories.

But what does McCain do now that 'playing the POW card' has gotten so obvious that even Dowd weighs in on it?

He doubles down! He just used the POW Card again to counter Biden's 7-kitchen table jab from yesterday, and his campaign says that it's going to keep on doing it:
Advisors say if Obama gets "nastier" on that issue that opens the door for them. Advisors say the "Rezko deal stinks to the high heavens." They will be prepared to show McCain's "home" in Hanoi by using images of his cell. They claim they have not overused the POW element and insist they have "underused it." They say Americans think most people in presidential politics are wealthy and will point out that Obama "made himself a multi-millionaire after he entered public life."
Apparently, they have nothing else to counter the charge that McCain is out of touch except to go back nearly forty years to dredge up his POW status. Pretty bad news for them, I'd say.

So anyways, keep getting used to seeing these:

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