They Make Music Videos

More

Funny stuff:



On a less amusing, but more substantive note, it's worth understanding that these out-of-context snatches of McCainiana really do fit into the broader context of his career. They're not random gaffes and they're not primary season rhetoric aimed at ingratiating himself to the GOP base. McCain was arguing in favor of a much more aggressive American military posture when it was unfashionable from 1999-2001, he was in favor of it when it was wildly popular in 2003, and he continued to argue for it when it became a narrowcast message appealing only to hardcore Republicans by 2006-2007. This is more-or-less what he thinks.

Back in 1999, for example, he broke with much of his party's leadership not to support the Clinton administration's policy in the Balkans, but to criticize it as both insufficiently forceful and insufficiently ambitious. Rather than a bombing campaign against Serbia with limited objectives, McCain wanted a full-scale ground invasion, arguing on hardball that we ought to "do everything necessary to gain victory" and heartily assenting to Chris Matthews' invitation to define "victory" as "not to go to the negotiating table with some guy and beg him for a deal, but to tell him what to do." I think it was clear then and continues to be clear now that launching a land war aimed at Slobodan Milosevic's unconditional surrender would have shattered NATO, stripped the war of its tenuous international legal legitimacy, and likely gotten us bogged down in a very messy post-war situation in Serbia proper. But McCain wasn't chastened by the success of a more limited venture in the former Yugoslavia and he wasn't chastened by the failure of a more grandiose venture in Iraq. This is just what he thinks.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

A Delightful, Pixar-Inspired Cartoon About the Toys in Your Cereal Box

The story of an action figure and his reluctant sidekick, who trek across a kitchen in search of treasure.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Juice Cleanses: The Worst Diet

A doctor tries the ever-popular Master Cleanse. Sort of.

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Video

What If Emoji Lived Among Us?

A whimsical ad imagines what life would be like if emoji were real.

Video

Living Alone on a Sailboat

"If you think I'm a dirtbag, then you don't understand the lifestyle."

Feature

The Future of Iced Coffee

Are artisan businesses like Blue Bottle doomed to fail when they go mainstream?

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In