It was a pretty eventful week in the world of all things political. And as expected, the mainstream news media honed in on the wrong story. Instead of amplifying an astounding example of one of the key differences between John McCain and Barack Obama, the press, ever hungry for anything that can be used to smear President Bush, went bonkers over a dullard named Scott McClellan who happens to be a former White House press secretary.
It seems that Mr. McClellan, bitter over being pushed out of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., decided to write a "Mommie Dearest" – type tell-all that suggests that George W. Bush deceived everyone over the reasons for going to war in Iraq. His book is like a tall, cold glass of water for a news media stumbling around in the hot desert trying to find reasons to humiliate our commander-in-chief.
Small wonder that McClellan’s first cable TV interview will be conducted by that rabid liberal doofus, Keith Olbermann of MSNBC. Watching those two gab about that meanie President Bush will be torture for the several dozen people who actually tune in.
I often wonder if people like Scott McClellan ever stop and think about the pain and grief their money-grubbing antics cause the families of the brave men and women who are serving their country overseas. After all, if one accepts the premise that President Bush erred in going to war, then the mission of the United States military is absolutely in vain. Perhaps when McClellan cashes his hefty paychecks, he’ll be like Ebeneezer Scrooge seeing the face of Marley on the door post and see the pained faces of men and women who simply cannot understand why a man like him would want to publish an anti-war book smack dab in the middle of a war.
Do you suppose Osama bin Laden will read McClellan’s book? If he does, he’s sure to enjoy it.
Meanwhile, as the lap dog news media has been propping Scott McClellan up on a pedestal, a remarkable thing happened in the inevitable presidential race between Sen. John McCain and Sen. Barack Obama. McCain called Obama out in a way that I don’t know that I’ve ever seen before.
Sen. McCain did something brilliant this week. He pointed out that while he has repeatedly visited Iraq, Sen. Obama hasn’t bothered to go in over two years.
So while the junior lightweight senator from Illinois has been railing against the war, he hasn’t even made the effort to go to Iraq to see for himself what is actually happening on the ground.
It’s pretty difficult to find anyone with a shred of knowledge of the military surge who would suggest that it hasn’t been an extraordinary success. I frequently interview Gen. Rick Lynch on my radio show, the commander of the 20,000 troops who have constituted the much-discussed "surge." He proudly recites the names of neighborhood after neighborhood that he now walks through without any bulletproof gear, neighborhoods that were hotbeds of violence and insurgency just a year ago. And he shares the countless stories of soldiers under his command who are so proud of their effort to install democracy in a troubled region of the world and advance the process of turning the security of Iraq over to the Iraqi people.
In other words, the men and women fighting the good fight understand why they are there and how much success is being achieved in what is an amazingly difficult mission.
Barack Obama does not.
Sen. McCain knocked it out of the park when he publicly invited Barack Obama to join him during one of his many visits to Iraq. I can picture it now: Sen. McCain showing Sen. Obama the ropes, saying things like, "Now that’s what we call a Marine" and "See, young man, that’s a tank." And so on.
For obvious reasons, the Obama camp declined McCain’s offer, calling it a "cheap publicity stunt."
But there’s no stunt behind the expectation that Obama should be wanting to go to Iraq. He owes it to the American people to have a detailed, private, thorough conversation with Gen. Petraeus. One would think he would be seeking answers and finding out for himself just how much progress we’re making there.
But of course that doesn’t fit into his stated goal of declaring the U.S. the loser and pulling all the troops out should he be elected. He would find the Rev. Jeremiah Wright scandal a cakewalk compared to trying to explain to the American people why he’s so hellbent on snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Perhaps he figures if he sticks his head in the sand long enough and pretends not to hear all the stories of the successful surge, it’ll all go away and he can still wave the white flag of surrender to the terrorists, inviting them to return to the United States and make 9/11 look like a minor blip.
If John McCain continues to remind voters the difference between the two men in this way, he’ll win.
Because this week, while a scoundrel like Scott McClellan enjoyed his newfound fame, Sen. McCain found his voice in this presidential campaign.
If the American people are paying attention, there may be hope for this country yet.