John McCain, Conservatives, and “The Surge” strategy

Do Americans remember “The Surge”? Do they give a shit? According to conservative columnist Johah Goldberg they don’t.

Voters don’t care about the surge; they care about the war. Americans want it to be over — and in a way they can be proud of.

Richard Nixon didn’t win in 1968 by second-guessing LBJ about the mess in Vietnam; he ran on getting us out with honor.

I’m not even sure that Americans care about leaving Iraq “with honor”. They just want to get the hell out. When conservative pundits like Goldberg can’t get behind a narrative and strategy that can help the republican presidential nominee win, then that presidential nominee is in trouble.

Outside foreign policy, McCain’s standing with the GOP base is often shaky.

This has been McCain’s biggest problem when running for president. He ran into it in 2000 against GW. The GOP base doesn’t trust him. They won’t vote for Obama, but will they get out and vote for McCain, or will they stay home? Guys like Goldberg and Rush Limbaugh just can’t seem to get behind the guy.

Even McCain’s own strategist can’t go all out for him. Karl Rove “The Architect” choked hard when asked about McCain’s fumbling of “The Surge”.

ROVE: Well, Alan, first of all, let’s not get into sort of nit-nat mistakes. After all, Barack Obama said we need more Arabic translators in Afghanistan. They don’t speak Arabic in Afghanistan.

[…]COLMES: What about his time line being wrong on the Anbar awakening?

ROVE: Look, let’s not get into this.

After more pressing from Colmes, Rove finally agreed, “I’d be happy to respond if you like. Would you like me to respond?” Rove finally told Colmes, “you’re right” and admitted that McCain “had his timing wrong.” But again, Rove insisted: “But don’t make a big deal of it.”

Would Rove have ever admitted to Bush making a mistake on something as convoluted to the American voter as “The Surge” narrative? With friends like Rove backing him up, McCain doesn’t need any enemies.

To conservatives, the fact that McCain’s a war survivor doesn’t register as a measure of strength — to them it’s a measure of weakness. An embarrassment. Mostly because they never had the guts to serve their country like McCain did.

To the conservatives, McCain is a loser and always will be.

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