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Oh lordy, lordy, lordy, it's gotten craaaaaaaazy in here since I stopped in earlier and the top diary on the rec list was devoted to how we could attack John McCain by proving that he lifted a war story from a Solzhenitsyn book.  

Now there are three recommended diaries devoted to this subject.

This, in my view, is a very bad sign.  We are two and a half months from the election.  It's clearly still close, maybe closer than it should be.  There's a million ways in which the discussions here can contribute to winning: raising money, networking, media pushback, original reporting, and, yes, spreading talking points and information to attack McCain.

But this is not one of those million ways.  This is useless, at best.  

First, you can't prove anything.  You can't.

Second, people will not tolerate you accusing McCain of lying about what happened to him when he was a POW, when you don't have proof, just logical inferences.

Third, it reminds people that he was a POW, and so what, even if he did make up a story, that's understandable, and Barack Obama doesn't even have a traumatic national hero experience to make up stories about, so who do you think you are, anyway?

I'm serious, it's really just that simple.  This is an incredibly self-destructive line of attack.  There is no reason to employ it.  All of the energy that would go (is going!) into an ill-fated attempt to drag John McCain down by using his POW experiences against him (!!!) could and should go into raising money and promoting Obama events and so on and so on.

That the rec board is dominated by a discussion of this kind of pointless garbage is a bad sign.  Our guy is running close.  Every dollar matters.  Every voter registration matters.  Every substantive media error corrected matters. Every bit of space on the rec list matters.

The dirt cross does not matter.

Originally posted to Turtle Bay on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 05:15 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  You are right. (10+ / 0-)

         
         x
         x
      xxxxx
         x
         x
         x
         
         

    We shall overcome, someday. Yes we can.

    by Sam Wise Gingy on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 05:19:31 PM PDT

  •  I agree. n.t (5+ / 0-)

    This is bad for Obama and good for McCain.

    by NMDad on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 05:19:37 PM PDT

  •  Agreed - this only helps McCain (7+ / 0-)
    and draws attention to the story that is, at the end of the day, impossible to disprove (short of finding his prison guard - good luck with that one).

    "The revolution's just an ethical haircut away..." Billy Bragg

    by grannyhelen on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 05:20:36 PM PDT

  •  Totally. (9+ / 0-)

    We are out of our minds with this election.

    It's a neighborly day in this beautywood. Relentless!

    by ablington on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 05:21:15 PM PDT

  •  Speak For Yourself (12+ / 0-)

    When someone lies and plagerizes they should be called out even if they were a POW.  McBush is not god.  It doesn't give him the license to lie to the american people.  He also lied about not listening to Obama during the forum.  These people should be called out for lying.

    •  We cant prove he's lying. (12+ / 0-)

      There's no way to prove he's lying.

      It's a neighborly day in this beautywood. Relentless!

      by ablington on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 05:23:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Should implies can. (9+ / 0-)

      We cannot successfully attack him with it.  Period.  "Calling him out"  will damage us.  Undoubtedly.

      A lot of things "should" be.  We have to pick our battles.

      •  It won't backfire on Obama (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mr Magu

        because Obama won't be the one asking the question.

        Denny Crane: But if he supports a law, and then agrees to let it lapse … then that would make him …

        Shirley Schmidt: A Democrat.

        by Jyrinx on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 05:28:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You're assuming the opponents are logical (4+ / 0-)

          and that's dangerous.

          As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.

          by ticket punch on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 05:30:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  No, it will. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          grannyhelen

          He will be forced to denounce whoever says such a thing.

          •  So? (0+ / 0-)

            He'll denounce it. Big deal. Bush denounced the Swift Boaters (though weakly).

            Denny Crane: But if he supports a law, and then agrees to let it lapse … then that would make him …

            Shirley Schmidt: A Democrat.

            by Jyrinx on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 05:31:29 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Compare and contrast... (5+ / 0-)
              The swiftboaters had...

              1. A book (fradulant, but a book nonetheless).

              2. Other vets who stated they were there at the time and saw these events

              3. Kerry's subsequent moments of throwing his medals away and speaking out against the war, which - in the minds of some - pointed toward the possible validity of the story.

              We have...

              1. A comparison with a centuries-old literary device that Solzhenitsyn himself probably lifted from another source.

              2. No eyewitnesses.

              3. An anonymous and unfindable prison guard

              4. No video of the event

              5. Audio of McCain speaking about this event. It was published in his 05 book. He used it on the 2000 campaign trail (before his well known "senior" moments in this election cycle).

              There's not enough "there" there to make this a good issue, and most folks would find it implausible on its face. Good attacks - even of they're on the thin branches of the limb of truth - have to be at least plausible.

              "The revolution's just an ethical haircut away..." Billy Bragg

              by grannyhelen on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 05:39:11 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  What's not plausible? (0+ / 0-)

                And as to item #3 in your list, we already have him changing his story about the Green Bay Packers. That's a good lead-in to push. "If he'll change the story to fit the venue, why not make up a story altogether?"

                Denny Crane: But if he supports a law, and then agrees to let it lapse … then that would make him …

                Shirley Schmidt: A Democrat.

                by Jyrinx on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 05:44:56 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  lol - there's a salient difference (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  auapplemac, Amber6541
                  between the Green Bay Packers and this story, which involves a personal interaction.

                  Also, on the Packers story you had actual records and dates that pointed to the fact that this was a mis-statement.

                  Whaddaya got here? Again, a literary device that is impossible to prove didn't happen.

                  Show me the YouTube of the prison guard talking to camera about how McCain has puffed up his time during his POW years for political convenience, then I'll admit you got something.

                  Short of that...

                  "The revolution's just an ethical haircut away..." Billy Bragg

                  by grannyhelen on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 05:51:44 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  We don't need a smoking gun to do some damage. (0+ / 0-)

                    Yes, it'd be even better if we had one. But we can still do the Cavuto and ask pointed questions. It's all about FUD.

                    Denny Crane: But if he supports a law, and then agrees to let it lapse … then that would make him …

                    Shirley Schmidt: A Democrat.

                    by Jyrinx on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 06:00:18 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  FUD only exists if there's enough there (3+ / 0-)
                      to make folks feel it. Again, the reason why the swiftboating working against Kerry in 04 and why the many and varied and self-contradicting smears really aren't working against Obama now is that the swiftboat smear was one concerted, almost self-contained narrative. It had real vets holding press conferences. It had a book.

                      There was some meat hanging on its bones.

                      This has one. literary. device. That's it.

                      Compare and contrast that with the innumerable mis-steps of McCain that you can prove.

                      If you mean "dottering" you can point to...

                      1. Czechloslovakia comment
                      2. Sunni/Shia mix up
                      3. Mispronounciation of "Saakashvilli".
                      4. Cribbing Wikipedia for his "informative" policy speech on Georgia

                      ...to name a few.

                      If you mean "sexist" you can point to...

                      1. His first marriage
                      2. His "rape joke".
                      3. His Chelsea Clinton/Janet Reno "joke"
                      4. Volunteering his wife for a topless biker beauty contest
                      5. Publicly calling his wife a name that rhymes with "hunt"
                      6. Put all of that together with his moralizing about the need for a "pro-choice President" and that, my dear, can plant the question in people's minds: his is "pro life" because of his religious beliefs, or does he just not respect women enough to trust them to make these decisions on their own without some old white guy inserting himself into their private lives?

                      Let's hit him with narratives that stick, and let's use stuff that can really be proven. There's more than enough material already to do so.

                      "The revolution's just an ethical haircut away..." Billy Bragg

                      by grannyhelen on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 06:10:58 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Well, the idea here is to *start* an offensive (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        grannyhelen

                        using this story.

                        You may be right, though, that there are better lines of attack (and MadLibrarian just now posted a diary entry about your first option).

                        Denny Crane: But if he supports a law, and then agrees to let it lapse … then that would make him …

                        Shirley Schmidt: A Democrat.

                        by Jyrinx on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 06:14:06 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Glad to see it... (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Jyrinx
                          ...and I'll definitely check it out.

                          imho, if one really wants to take the 40-65 y.o. women out of McCain's column, hit the second one.

                          Hard.

                          It's not like it's undeserving...

                          "The revolution's just an ethical haircut away..." Billy Bragg

                          by grannyhelen on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 06:19:43 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I fully expect Obama to make a big push (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            grannyhelen

                            for women. (Note that the first day of the convention is dedicated to women.)

                            And this will almost certainly involve some contrast with McCain being pushed.

                            Denny Crane: But if he supports a law, and then agrees to let it lapse … then that would make him …

                            Shirley Schmidt: A Democrat.

                            by Jyrinx on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 06:23:42 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

          •  And that will just push the story (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Jyrinx

            Bush denounced the Swift Boaters, which just pushed the story along.

            If Obama denounces the story, the media will look more into it and might conclude that there's something to it. Then McCain has to watch his step when he talks about his POW experience because he'll know people are watching.

            This ain't beanbag here.

  •  Agreed. (8+ / 0-)

    This is a nit-picking side issue at best. Not important.

  •  Right. Because the Swift Boaters only reminded (7+ / 0-)

    people of Kerry's heroic service.

    We don't need to prove jack shit. We just need to raise the question, and it's a legitimate question.

    Denny Crane: But if he supports a law, and then agrees to let it lapse … then that would make him …

    Shirley Schmidt: A Democrat.

    by Jyrinx on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 05:23:03 PM PDT

    •  So, we're swift boating. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      prodigal, GATXER

      nice.

      It's a neighborly day in this beautywood. Relentless!

      by ablington on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 05:25:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And the swift boat attacks only worked... (4+ / 0-)

      because the MSM force fed it to us... Like to place a wager on wether or not the MSM picks up on this?

      Please bet me... I need the money.

      This sig line shows a complete lack of imagination.

      by weelzup on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 05:39:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Actually, in some instances, yes. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jyrinx

      A friend of mine who does not watch the news, but votes (yeah, go figure) did not pay attention until one week before the election in '04.  For her it was like cramming for an exam.  So she asks me:  hey, didn't one of them serve in Vietnam?  And that is when I realized, that she had been channel surfing every night throughout the campaign, and no doubt saw pictures of Kerry in Vietnam when he was attacked by the SBVT.  She didn't listen to what they said -- she just saw the pictures of him in Vietnam.  And that is how she got the vague notion that "one of them" served in Vietnam.  You will all be pleased to know I answered:  "Yes, John Kerry served in Vietnam, and he earned three purple hearts, a silver star, and a bronze star".  And I left it at that.

      But really, this McCain story is a big nothing.  To me, anyway.  Memory is a funny thing, especially when it is going back to a time when a person was under great duress.  Let it go.

      John Kerry: "The rubber stamp Republicans have now become the Roadblock Republicans"

      by beachmom on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 06:07:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If all we can prove is that memory is a (0+ / 0-)

        funny thing, that's a win already. It casts doubt on all those anecdotes of his, blunting their effectiveness.

        Also, your friend had you to fill in the truth without introducing the bullshit. A lot of LIVs rely on other LIVs for info.

        Denny Crane: But if he supports a law, and then agrees to let it lapse … then that would make him …

        Shirley Schmidt: A Democrat.

        by Jyrinx on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 06:17:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I've not paid much attention to these stories, (7+ / 0-)

    but found the first "debunking" diary a bit thin. Isn't it possible that they are both true? That this happened more than once? A cross is a rather universal symbol. If someone heard of using it as a way to surreptitiously communicate in one hostile situation ... couldn't they then use it later ... maybe not even knowing where the idea came from? ... I'm not saying McCain's telling the truth, but I definitely agree with this diarist.

    •  Sure, it could be. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      peraspera, Clem Yeobright, fresh eyes

      This is the very point.  There's no way to prove anything.  There's only logical inferences.  Americans don't turn against war heroes based on logical inferences.

      •  I agree. I'm personally turned off (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Turtle Bay

        by all the rabid conspiracy theorists who seem to be dominating lately. I don't think Rick Warren "rigged" the little soiree last night. And also don't think that anyone who voices opinions outside the loud majority necessarily has to be some sort of troll who needs to be shamed, ostracized and banished from this site. But that's just me. ;-)

        •  Also, I personally think reverse-swiftboating (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Turtle Bay, ablington

          and other "let's be as nasty as possible because we haaaaate republicans"-strategies are losers for Dems. Our candidate--Thank God--is about change and hope. For real (supposedly). Why so many think his switching to slice & dice politics is going to be a winning move I truly don't get.

          •  Don't you know? Obama needs our protection (0+ / 0-)

            It's how the fundies feel about jesus: he was a little bit naive in his preaching and it ended up getting him killed, but it's worked out okay for them. LOL

            You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

            by Clem Yeobright on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 05:45:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  But Warren did lie. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          peraspera

          He was rather pompous about the 'cone of silence', and I am stunned that it wasn't true.

          This other thing is like someone telling stories of his wedding night 40 years previous at his wife's funeral.

          You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

          by Clem Yeobright on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 05:44:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Warren for sure lied? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Clem Yeobright

            How do we know? That's serious, to me. But depending on the circumstances, no reflection on the candidates I don't suppose. I'm going to be devastated. ... God, can NO ONE tell the truth??

            •  He said during the intro last night that JSM (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              TomP

              was in 'a cone of silence' backstage. I was quite impressed that he intended to ask them both the same questions and not let the second hear the first's answers. (Order, he said, was determined by coin flip.)

              It's pretty well-established that he told CNN this afternoon (although I didn't see it) that McCain was not in the building at all at that time.

              Later, he asked McCain about the 'cone'. For all I know at this point, McCain had arrived (reportedly 30 minutes in to the Obama segment) and had been sequestered for a period - who knows? But the opening was a bald-faced lie, and I imagine he will pay for it.

              You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

              by Clem Yeobright on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 06:03:03 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Both true? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Naniboujou

      Only if one believes that GWB didn't fail to appear for his physical and was grounded for that failure.

      What FDR giveth; GWB taketh away.

      by Marie on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 05:35:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's blasphemy I tell you (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Naniboujou, Adept2u

    War = hero
    Any questions punk?

    In God we trust. All others must pay cash.

    by yet another liberal on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 05:26:43 PM PDT

  •  I don't get it. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Marie, TomP

    You wrote a diary about the dirt cross because you think there are too many diaries about the dirt cross?

    Thank you, Howard Dean

    by dharmafarmer on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 05:27:08 PM PDT

  •  John McCain has made up most of his war stories (2+ / 0-)

    Why just because he has said it do you believe John McCain.  Why aren't his utterances subject to vetting.  The reason why records of his POW days are sealed are because he sealed them.  Why?  What did he actually do to deserve his word to be unquestioned, and then when he lies and flip flops to be excused even by his opposition  US.  

    A gentleman named Duke Tully was insrumental in the career of the young Congressman McSame.  He ran the Arizona Republic Newspaper, and began to tell the "story" of John McSame.  Duke Tully was a war hero too, earning all kinds of medals in Korea.  This is the man John McCain associated, who launched his public career.  NEWSFLASH:  Duke Tully was never in the military.  

    John McCain Unseal your records, but it out for all to see.

    People on the left stop being sheep and don't believe a single thing they tell you.

    Justice for Lavena Johnson http://www.colorofchange.org/lavena/?id=2220-540750

    by Adept2u on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 05:29:21 PM PDT

  •  Suggestion on Editing Title (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    grannyhelen

    Change to:

    Dirt Cross Diaries are a Bad Sign

    Current title does not make it clear you're criticizing the diaries, as opposed to criticizing McCain's use of the dirt cross story.

    That quibble aside, completely agreed on where Democrats should be spending their energies:

    Supporting Obama with Volunteer Time, Donations, and/or Amplification of his Messages: Yes

    Vigorously Criticizing McCain's Positions: Yes

    Attacking McCain's Account of His POW Experience: Absolutely Not

  •  I don't think it's a bad sign... (0+ / 0-)

    But I think the diarist is right in that we'll never be able to prove this to be the case.

    At the very least, it should be an indication to all of us as to precisely how comfortable John McCain is with lying and what kind of an opponent we face.

  •  I both agree and disagree (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jyrinx

    I agree with you, Turtle Bay, that 1) nothing can be proven with the "dirt cross" story, and 2) it's so very "stupid" to even bring it up......however, it's time to take a page from Karl Rove's political playbook:  It's time to Feed The Beast:  Give the teevee cable news media exactly what they whore themselves out for:  a stupid storyline that can infer that John McCain lied (think Hillary & the sniper at the Croatian airport story or Gore and the "I invented the internet" story, etc.)

    So you see, this "dirt cross" message isn't meant to sway you, me or even our counterparts at Redstate, the well-informed Rethugs.  This is a Rovian tactic meant to appease and titilate the dumbed-down uninformed masses.

    Let's try playing their game for once.  I say lets play offense and throw the petty shit at them and let the media lap it up.

    If you don't have anything nice to say about anyone, come and sit by me -- Alice Roosevelt

    by djsands on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 05:32:39 PM PDT

    •  Big fault to your logic... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Clem Yeobright

      (think Hillary & the sniper at the Croatian airport story or Gore and the "I invented the internet" story, etc.)

      Both quotes by Hillary and the (Non) Quote by Gore were easy to prove false... hell the Hillary story had video showing her to be a liar.

      We can't PROVE McCain lied.

      This sig line shows a complete lack of imagination.

      by weelzup on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 05:49:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I agree for different reasons (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    truong son traveler

    When christians give their "testimony" they often lie, and they all know it, and it doesn't matter to them as long as it is a good story.

    None of these people care whether the story is true or not.

    If there is one Commandment these people never study, it is that one about "bearing false witness"

    We are powerless to act in cases of oral-genital intimacy unless it obstructs interstate commerce. - J. Edgar Hoover

    by tiponeill on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 05:33:09 PM PDT

    •  Wow I have never known a christian to lie there (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      burrow owl

      Why would you.  You have the absolute ability to have your sins and cares washed away and you lie?  Nonsense.  No one knows it.  Testimony before Christ is the opportunity to be honest, most people take it.  

      Justice for Lavena Johnson http://www.colorofchange.org/lavena/?id=2220-540750

      by Adept2u on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 05:36:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Before Christ and Before Christians are different (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tiponeill

        One thing I've learned being around evangelicals is that there is a difference between praying to God and being seen praying to God. Evangelicals love to be seen praying; they see it as a form of witnessing, even if they are being disingenuous about it.  It's also a sort of social performance where you fit in to the perceived expectations of the group by showing off your piety. That's not to say that they don't genuinely pray too. It's just that the two are not always one and the same. And yes, that means lots of public testimonials are BS.

        Remember that Puritan ministers used to conduct elaborate investigations to "prove" the sincerity of a testimonial; in the Calvinist faith the stakes were very high if someone claimed election to the heaven. The assumption was that many people would make up conversion experiences in order to gain favor of the powerful ministers.

      •  Oh, I don't know 'bout that. (0+ / 0-)

        Not exactly the same, but this is similar.  The Catholic Church confessional.

        We were required to go into this dark booth, the priest (supposedly) couldn't tell who was on the other side of the screen, and you would tell him your sins.  He would give you your penance (usually a bunch of "Our Father"s and "Hail Mary"s) and that would be it.

        Even then I often didn't tell the truth to the priest about how little white lies I may have told, or didn't go to chuch on Sunday, or called my brothers bad names, or etc, etc.  Yeah, I may have been a kid at the time, but you can bet on it that adults did exactly the same thing.

    •  Wow! Talk about using a giant paintbrush. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HudsonValleyMark

      Not to mention, you're just wrong.

      Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. ~ FDR

      by My mom is my hero on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 05:39:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Making Tip O Neill roll over crying in his grave (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      burrow owl, Clem Yeobright

      Are you really just smearing all Christians as liars?  

      •  Yes, that one really smarts. (0+ / 0-)

        I'm evangelical. And I've got a crush on Obama. ;-) But I don't pray publicly for all those reasons you are certain about. And am stunned that you would say such things with such certainty. It sounds like stereotyping ... prejudice. It's really, really not fair.

        •  Not "you", Turtle. (0+ / 0-)

          I'm "piling on" with you, but I'm talking to Tipper.

        •  Sorry, I'm just reflecting my experience with (0+ / 0-)

          prejudice - maybe it is unfair but frankly it seems to be what I have learned to expect.

          Do you think that Obama was testifying truthfully when he said he opposed the right of gays to marry because "god was in the mix" ?

          I understood he taught constitutional law and as such should know that civil marriage is a strictly legal matter that doesn't involve "god".

          They say what they think people want to hear.

          We are powerless to act in cases of oral-genital intimacy unless it obstructs interstate commerce. - J. Edgar Hoover

          by tiponeill on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 06:12:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Mr. McCain Please Step Away From the Computer (0+ / 0-)

    McCain - Voted Worse Than Bush in 2000

    by Mr Magu on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 05:33:26 PM PDT

  •  Right, just like the Swift Boaters... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    truong son traveler, Jyrinx

    reminded everyone of Kerry's heroic work in Vietnam, while Bush didn't have a similar life story.

    Oops, never mind.

  •  On the other hand (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    truong son traveler

    All stops may have to be put out.  Obama has aligned himself to closely with the same old geopolitical games, such as Brezniski advising him on Russia, so what he is going to do now to gain the undecideds?

  •  Well, here's the thing (4+ / 0-)

    If this was a right wing website going after John Kerry's service in Vietnam, the corporate media would happily play along (New questions about John Kerry's alleged heroism during the Vietnam War have been raised at the conservative web site RedShit.com - you can just see the headlines.)But since this is a liberal site going after McCain's war record, expect nothing but outrage and calls on Obama to distance himself from dKos. So what do we do? We're not here to dodge a fight, but there's a case to be made for choosing your battles carefully. But then, what can we do, the train is already out of the station.

    Damn George Bush! Damn everyone that won't damn George Bush! Damn every one that won't put lights in his window and sit up all night damning George Bush!

    by brainwave on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 05:37:41 PM PDT

  •  No one cared that Reagan confused movies ... (5+ / 0-)

    ... with reality.

    Even when the speech quotes were played side-by-side with the original movie clips.

    "Forget, Jake.  It's Chinatown."  ;)

  •  Maybe it was the guard who read Solzhenitsyn..... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    grannyhelen, weelzup

    absurd, why?

    This will play out that his political opponents are doubting his word.   Or what if it were imaginary and he believed that it happened.

    He was still suffering in a prison because of this service to his country.  Any doubts about that?  And he may have had an illusion based on this suffering.

    The diarist is right, and more.   This has the tone of desperation, and mean spiritness.

    Let it go.

  •  Wrong. This could "Hillary's bullets" redux. nt (0+ / 0-)
  •  Just something to think about... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    brooklynmatt

    The conventional wisdom is usually to avoid anything that could highlight your opponent's perceived strengths.  However, you might notice how that notion has been turned on its head by Republicans in recent elections.  John Kerry was a bona fide war hero, right?  Most folks believed that strength couldn't be damaged, but it was torn to bits by Karl Rove's classic strategy  of attacking opponents, not on their weaknesses, but  on their strengths.  Damage their 'brand' by pumping so much doubt out there about this supposed strength that it becomes irrelevant.  I realize that Rove is a dastardly guy but I think the idea that one should steer clear of your opponent's strengths has been demonstrated to be a potentially flawed strategy.  Just something to consider when worrying about a particular attack drawing too much attention to McCain's "hero" narrative.

    "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." -Ghandi

    by Triscula on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 05:43:59 PM PDT

  •  I agree... if any of the topics... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    truong son traveler

    discussed this evening have any chance of spreading throughout the MSM, it is the "cone of silence" issue, and the possibility that McLame cheated... the cross issue will NEVER be proven.

    This sig line shows a complete lack of imagination.

    by weelzup on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 05:44:54 PM PDT

  •  right on (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    weelzup

    this is time sucking garbage during the dog days of summer.  Call, go door to door and volunteer for Obama. Oh yeah, Donate. I just did.

  •  It is useless... (0+ / 0-)

    to complain about what is on the Rec List.

    People like what they like.

    Do you have a problem with that?

    •  Sure, but it's not useless to try to dissuade (0+ / 0-)

      people from pursuing further action in a certain matter. Well, in this case it almost certainly is useless, because I doubt that many people will be convinced by the diarist's case.

      Damn George Bush! Damn everyone that won't damn George Bush! Damn every one that won't put lights in his window and sit up all night damning George Bush!

      by brainwave on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 05:55:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  McCain forgets. (0+ / 0-)

        He plagiarizes from Wikipedia and Food Network.  He flip-flops and lies.

        He invented the 'no call' list and his lobbyist campaign consultants say that he should be an 'alpha male' and dress in earth tones.

        Any of that sound familiar?

        •  This isn't about the plausibility of the claim (0+ / 0-)

          I can totally imagine McCain making this up. But how likely are we to get the kind of play we'd like in the corporate media with this story and how likely is it to fly into our face and Obama's?

          Damn George Bush! Damn everyone that won't damn George Bush! Damn every one that won't put lights in his window and sit up all night damning George Bush!

          by brainwave on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 06:07:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well I'm absolutely sure... (0+ / 0-)

            that if we sit on our asses and do nothing, nothing will happen.

            Is that what you're advocating?

            •  Philosophically speaking, I'm more a fan of (0+ / 0-)

              sitting on our asses than of doing stupid stuff. It's not like Obama is going to loose this election unless Kossacks pursue the dirt Cross story. Having said that, I'm not convinced that pursuing the dirt Cross story is stupid stuff. If this was Al Gore, you'd get breathless reports 24/7 about yet another allegation of making shit up. But it isn't, and I have my doubts that this story has what it takes to turn the corporate media narrative on John McSame.

              Damn George Bush! Damn everyone that won't damn George Bush! Damn every one that won't put lights in his window and sit up all night damning George Bush!

              by brainwave on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 06:51:58 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  I think it was Cindy that plagiarized from (0+ / 0-)

          Food Network .. unless Johnny thinks he can cook now, that is.

          McCain just flushed his own campaign by his appearance at the FBF on Aug 16th, 2008.

          by shpilk on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 08:38:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  This is fair game... (0+ / 0-)

    It totally plays into the pandering/flip flop McCain that has to be exposed. From his naming Pittsburg Steelers pander, to his South Carolina "I'm a Baptist" pander, to his John Hagee "I repudiate everything he says but am proud to accept his endorsement" pander, this is a guy who will say anything to win. Why should McCain be treated any better than Kerry was?

  •  i wrote the first dirt cross diary (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stridergambit, cassidy3, maracuja, TomP

    and the reason I wrote it is because I am sick and tired of John McCain having a bulletproof vest against scrutiny because he was a POW.  HIs handlers have created the narrative that says that questioning John McCain about his military service dishonors everyone who has served in the military.  He can lie and make up stories and flip-flop and vote against veterans and still people kiss his feet because he was a POW 40 years ago.  I honor his service and I have no doubt that he had a really horrible time while he was held captive.  That does not shield him from criticism about his service because aside from his being shot down and held captive, his entire service was a legacy perpetuated by the fact that his father and grandfather were 4-star Admirals.  

    I am a Navy veteran, and I am sick of me and my fellow veterans being used as a platform and as a backdrop for McCain's false and horrible campaign.  If he wants to run on his merits and on the positive things that he can do for this country, then more power to him.  If he wants to run on lies and "when I was a POW", then I will do everything I can to undermine his deceitful campaign.  All of the people who are afraid of backlash caused by questioning his integrity, especially about his captivity, should ask themselves what their real threshold for pain is.  

    I can tell you this.  This veteran wants the truth, and I am not afraid to ask hard questions to get it.  So far, John McCain has not proved himself to be trustworthy and I do not believe that questioning his integrity, even in the case of his POW story, is disrespectful or politically risky.

  •  Because people shouldn't tolerate plagiarism. (0+ / 0-)

    It's not tolerated in journalism. It's not tolerated in your college (or high school or grade school) English class. It's not tolerated here at Daily Kos.  And why is that? It's dishonest. It's lying.

    And if McLame will lie about that, WTF else is he lying about?

    This ain't no party. This ain't no disco. This ain't no foolin' around!

    by Snud on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 05:54:46 PM PDT

  •  I like (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Turtle Bay, TomP

    the "Dirt Cross" diaries title.

    I feel like someday in the future, we'll be able to use that term to look back on this.  

    "You know, back when there were all those Dirt Cross diaries.  It was just a few days after all the diaries about the National Enquirer and John Edwards"

    although it's getting late, you still have plenty of time

    by maracuja on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 05:58:08 PM PDT

  •  TSOP is a bad sign (0+ / 0-)

    ---
    Fight the stupid! Boycott BREAKING diaries!

    by VelvetElvis on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 05:58:39 PM PDT

  •  It shows a pattern of deceit or (0+ / 0-)

    that he doesn't care if something is true. Like repeating the discredited and debunked story last night that the insurgents used two Down Syndrome victims as suicide bombers. And not ONE of the "expert" analysts picked up on it afterward.
    We have to use everything in the arsenal of truth to sink McCain's ship.

    •  I did not know the bombings (0+ / 0-)

      with Down's syndrome people was debunked. Do you have a link, I need it to prove a point to a wingnut elsewhere.

      McCain just flushed his own campaign by his appearance at the FBF on Aug 16th, 2008.

      by shpilk on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 08:36:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  He's either a plagiarist or more of a racist (0+ / 0-)

    than he has previously copped to.

    He has, as many recall, famously said he hates "gooks" and always will.  Called on it circa 2000, he explained that he only meant his captors.  Neither he nor his campaign bothered to note the Samaritan among his captors, an omission that is at best curious.  After all, if the claim was that McCain could differentiate between hateful "gooks" and other Vietnamese more worthy of respect, the Samaritan cross in the sand story would seem to be relevant.

    So which is it?  Did the cross in the sand story happen and McCain somehow forgot to mention that there was at least one Vietnamese guard who was a non-"gook"?  Or did he make the story up?

    We can't disprove the Samaritan story on its own.  Nor can we deprive him of the benefit of the doubt on the racism question given what he doubtless endured.  But put them together and something stinks.

    For links to relevant sources go here:

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    There are other relevant links within the thread, I think.

    "Your heart must have the courage for the changing of the guard" -- Bob Dylan

    by houndcat on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 06:06:10 PM PDT

  •  I believe this story could have legs, (0+ / 0-)

    if progressives and Democrats were as cynical and manipulating as Republicans .  Look what happened to Kerry.  They were able to put a question mark in some people's minds about his genuine heroism -- against a jerk who skipped out on his National Guard requirements.

    Fortunately, we are better than that.

    Now, pile on me for being naive -- I dare you.

    It's no use saying that you don't know nothing. It's still gonna get you if you don't do something. Sitting on a fence that's a dangerous course. - M. Knopfler

    by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 06:06:25 PM PDT

    •  The man refused repatriation. (0+ / 0-)

      That is his heroism.

      Do you really feel you are qualified to judge him?

      I'm not. I stand in awe.

      You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

      by Clem Yeobright on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 06:17:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  How would you get the story out there (0+ / 0-)

        without looking like a flake? Who do you get it to that would pay attention to it?

        Do you think the MSM will really pick it up? We don't have a Drudge who gets national exposure.

        The progressive talk shows will also look like boobs bringing up something that probably can never be proved.

        You can't question this man's Hanoi Hilton creds unless you have very strong proof that he's lying or exagerating.

        None of his co-prisoners have come forward to debate his story.

        It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

        by auapplemac on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 06:34:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Did you read what I wrote? I compared (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Clem Yeobright

        the story to Kerry's swiftboating and said it would only have legs if we were as cynical as the GOP.  Nowhere did I suggest that I was judging him, just the crowd he hangs around with.

        It's no use saying that you don't know nothing. It's still gonna get you if you don't do something. Sitting on a fence that's a dangerous course. - M. Knopfler

        by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 06:35:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  He says he refused it. (0+ / 0-)

        But how do you know? Others in the military don't believe him.
        And in his political career he consistently puts himself ahead of country. Goldwater despised him. Go to findlaw.com and read John Dean's column.
        A noun, a verb and POW. That's Mr. McCain.

      •  He would have been shunned if he accepted (0+ / 0-)

        early release, and you know it. Veterans never would have allowed him to be elected Congressman, he never would have been given a commission after his return to the States.

        Give it up on the hero story already. It's old. It's garbage. McCain went through what perhaps 600 others did. Nothing he did, by his own admission makes him a hero.

        But I remember wincing when people mocked the living shit out of this guy when he ran for Vice President.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/...

        Read it, and hear what true heroism was, as a captured aviator.

        Fucking Republicans [and Democrats] mocked the living hell out of this guy. The Republicans were more desperate to derail Charts and Graphs 'Can I speak, Larry' Ross Perot. Yes, even SNL mocked Stockdale.

        You want the story of not only a true hero, but a man who had the INTELLECT to be President, that would be James Stockdale.

        McCain just flushed his own campaign by his appearance at the FBF on Aug 16th, 2008.

        by shpilk on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 08:32:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The man who asked "Why am I here?" (0+ / 0-)

          I agree with you about Stockdale.

          I apologize to you that I do not feel qualified to judge John McCain's refusal of repatriation and return to his cell in any way except with the highest respect.

          You have apparently been in similar circumstances and have behaved as nobly, so I don't question your authority to make these judgments.

          I guess my cousin's participation in the Bataan death march is also garbage to you. I'll be sure to let him know you feel that way.

          You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

          by Clem Yeobright on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 09:04:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  McCain's 'choice' was his only honorable one. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Clem Yeobright

            To accept early release was to dishonor his comrades.

            If he had accepted early release, it would have made him a dog, a cur. Not accepting early release, no matter how valued you think it was, did not make him a hero, sorry. It was the only honorable course of action open to him.

            My personal experiences are not germane here at all.

            Your cousin did not have a choice in the Bataan death march.

            Your inability to discern the difference between these two actions is disturbing to me.

            I respect McCain's decision to not accept early release: it was the honorable thing to do in that circumstance. It's what I would expected out of any other person who had any feeling of duty to his fellow soldiers ahead of him in line.

            It does not make him a hero.

            It doesn't qualify him to be a leader, a politician or anything else. The only thing his decision did, to not accept early release in that instance was to not make him into a toad, a person to shunned and rejected by that action.

            McCain just flushed his own campaign by his appearance at the FBF on Aug 16th, 2008.

            by shpilk on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 09:16:11 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Shpilk: I BELIEVE you are every bit as good a man (0+ / 0-)

              as John McCain and are qualified to judge him as you do, and that if life had not cursed you with having to sleep in a bed with a nice pillow every night, you would do exactly what he did.

              You don't have to convince me; it seems only yourself who has doubts about it.

              You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

              by Clem Yeobright on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 09:24:15 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  It doesn't matter what I want, where I sleep. (0+ / 0-)

                I didn't take the oath. I could lead the life of an Exxon Republican, it matters not. Your attempts at ad homs on me make no difference at all in this discussion. Your perceived need in defending the status of 'hero' for a man who admits himself he's not entitled to the status is, like I said disturbing.

                And your cousin is a war hero.
                Because he had no choice.

                McCain did take an oath, and he had a choice to make.

                His previous 'career' in the military was already tainted by insubordination at the USNA and a less than stellar track to an officer's commission.

                McCain knew he'd never make Admiral. But choosing any other course of action would have brought dishonor not only upon him, but upon his father's and grandfather's names.

                It's all about what his comrades in arms see that matters. It's about honor and duty to one's fellows that matters when one signs that oath to serve and is presented with that choice of honor.

                Nothing McCain did was unusual, or heroic in refusing to jump ahead of others in line to get released. It's only what one would expect of an honorable soldier.

                Pat him on the back if you must, for making the right decision, just like countless others did. Just don't make him into a hero.

                McCain just flushed his own campaign by his appearance at the FBF on Aug 16th, 2008.

                by shpilk on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 09:47:50 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  I agree with the diary writer. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    auapplemac, Clem Yeobright

    This is exactly why McCain told that story last night.

    Whether it is true or not is absolutely irrelevant. The more people are talking about McCain's POW years, the better.  If he can work faith into the discussion for the evangelicals on top of it?  GRAVY!

    We need to move on and get back on message tying him to Bush and lobbyists and business as usual.

    We need the discussion to be on McCain 2008, not on POW McCain.

    Matt

    In the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope.

    by Cixelsyd on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 06:12:51 PM PDT

  •  You are absolutely wrong. (0+ / 0-)

    Convincing circumstantial evidence (which is there already) that the cross story is made up is pure gold. What kind of an asshole makes up a story like that for political gain? It not only insults the credulity of his listeners who are so affected by it, it insults and cheapens McCain's own experience as a prisoner of war.

    •  And by chasing this speculative wisp ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      auapplemac

      ... we "imagine" we're going on the offense.

      Frankly, there are better targets.  You can roll the dice and hope this issue resonates, or you can keep hammering McCain on concrete, indisputable bread-n-butter issues that affect everyone and will ultimately decide the election.

      It's really a time-management decision.

      •  You assume pursuing this means doing nothing else (0+ / 0-)

        "You can roll the dice and hope this issue resonates, or you can keep hammering McCain on concrete, indisputable bread-n-butter issues that affect everyone and will ultimately decide the election."

        That's just silly. Issues have never decided a presidential election, and won't decide this one. The last one was decided by Kerry's inability to rid himslef of the flip-flopper image. Bush was wildly unpopular and the electorate agreed with the Dems on every issue, and Kerry still lost.

        Only image matters, did you hear me? ONLY IMAGE MATTERS. If McCan's immage as a straight shooting maverick can be undermined, he is toast. His stance on issues means nothing.

    •  OK, prove he made it up? Maybe it did happen. n/t (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Clem Yeobright, RavinDave

      It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

      by auapplemac on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 06:36:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Only doubt is necessary, not proof. (0+ / 0-)

        It;s unproveable, just as the very effective and destructive swift-boating of Kerry was unproveable.

        •  Not really. SB had vets who backed up the SB (0+ / 0-)

          story. All they had to do was muddy the waters. They actual accomplished much more.

          Whether those guys were lying or not, there were still faces to their side of the story.

          There is only innuendo with McCain's story. As it turns out though, the "Cone of Silence" in being cracked. That's because there is actual meat here. There was no isolation room. And even if there was, her wasn't in there part of the time and no one seemed to have guarded the room for communication devices.

          It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

          by auapplemac on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 07:27:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I would have agreed with you before (0+ / 0-)

    They managed to turn an actual war hero in John Kerry into a traitor and a draft dodging coward into a hero. I do not think it is a good idea but it could be done.

  •  Consider this. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Clem Yeobright

    I tend to agree McCain lifted the Solz... story. Having said, alot of Christians would say that both of them could have had such an experience. After all, most true believers will say God or Jesus spoke to them. In their view, it would be entirely believeable that McCain had a similar experience given the symbolism of the cross.

    This story even if true will go nowhere.

  •  I agree with this diary (0+ / 0-)

    Dissecting McCain's lies about whether or not a guard actually traced a cross in the sand then wiped it out, about forty years ago, may be intellectually fun and emotionally gratifying. But please don't kid yourselves that you are using clever Rovian tactics. You do not have the main stream media pimping your memes, and since this story is not provable, most progressives would not want to participate. This will come across as spurious and petty, and you put Obama in the ridiculous position of having to once again, like he did at a town hall today, defend McCain's service.

    The important lies that need to be dissected are the ones that prop up this Georgia/Russia/Poland situation. Similar to the incredible lies that prop up most American foreign policy. As a Canadian, we tend to get a get a much broader view than you do from your msm and your politicians. Although we currently have a Bush wannabe toad for PM, most of our politicians and media are more nuanced, and informed, than the rah-rah cold war meme that's spreading in the U.S. Here's a link to a story by one of Canada's most right-wing writers.
    www.torontosun.com/News/Columnists/Marolis_Eric/2008/08/17/6476596.php

    This international manipulation of truth and war and people's lives is the reason that the rest of the world is dreading four years of McCain. It is unbeleivable that McCain remains tied with Obama in the polls.  The way I see it, the campaign is now getting real, and I hope that DKos and progressive Americans spend time strategizing on how to use their power to ensure that the neo-cons are trounced, run out of Washington and then, hopefully, the world.

  •  Everything matters. (0+ / 0-)

    Pretending to take the high ground, while your opponent is shoving 'hidden Muslim' through the back door is not the answer.

    Let him deny it.

    Put the seed of doubt in the public's mind. Everytime McCain says "my friends", I want to see people perk and up start really listening to what he says.

    This isn't a debating club, this ain't bean bag.
    This is how politics are played in America.

    Turn the other cheek, and you'll get kicked in your ass for your trouble.

    McCain just flushed his own campaign by his appearance at the FBF on Aug 16th, 2008.

    by shpilk on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 08:25:35 PM PDT

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