Whiners Playbook

In typical po-mo style, John McCain sounded off today on Mitt Romney’s Dole comments:

“I was very sad and disappointed to see that kind of comment about a person who was an American war hero, built our party, served our party so well for so long — years where Governor Romney was claiming he didn’t want to go back to Reagan-Bush years, Bob Dole was leading our party,” McCain noted, speaking before taking off from Newark to San Diego for a final rally before Super Tuesday.

Seeking to portray Romney’s remarks as a rude disparaging of a respected GOP elder statesman — not a failed presidential hopeful — McCain repeatedly noted that Dole was “a hero” and cited his grievous war wounds from WWII.

So what was “that kind of comment”? What did Romney have the gall to say about a wounded veteran? Given McCain’s moral grandstanding, you might suspect one of the following: “Yeah, that gimpy Dole, what a loser!” “Bob Dole, wasn’t he on those ED commercials?” “Sure, I’d vote for Bob Dole…if I was a Communist!”

But you’d be wrong. What he said was simply, “Bob Dole is the last guy I’d want to write a letter for me.” And why would that be? Well, for starters, because Dole ran a disastrous campaign for president against the Other Clinton. And Romney essentially says that loss came about because the Republican party handed the nomination to the guy whose turn it was, instead of someone who represented the future of the party.

Thankfully some in the media (even the very pro-McCain) have seen this for exactly what it is: McCain borrowing the American Whiners playbook and calling Wrongheaded Moral Outrage on 2. It’s the same kind of thing we saw out of the Kerry campaign four years ago: “You can’t criticize me! I have a Purple Heart!” The way McCain turns criticism of a political personality and his campaign into insulting an American war hero is not only logically fallacious, it’s reprehensible.

One more reason why McCain is not a good choice for conservatives of any stripe.

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