I don't know which is more pathetic: McCain's pathetic, hamfisted attacks to take down Obama with lame little smears or the pathetic eagerness of formerly McCain-hating right-wing bloggers to dig up any information that might appear discreditable to him. Right wingers in America really have come round to thinking that the end justifies the means. In fact, they don't care anymore about what's true----what matters to them is what they can sell. And after trying to rationalize Bush Inc. all these years, they no longer know the difference between a suspicion, a belief and a fact.
On top of all that, Wingnuts are in general a trusting and credulous species when it comes to any information, no matter how suspect or incomplete, that they think will prove their points.
All it took to set the entire internet ablaze with allegations that Obama blew off the troops and that the troops wanted no part of him was one poor soldier's personal email home relaying his own personal perceptions. I feel really sorry for the guy--- I'm sure he was telling the truth as he saw it. We can't all ride Obama's magical flying unicorn. He just didn't care for Obama. He made the mistake of sending the email to someone who doesn't understand that you don't forward a serviceman's private correspondence (with his name on it, for Christ's sake) to everyone on your email distribution list---which is what I guess happened.
But what makes me laugh and laugh is the way that the right wing bloggers latched onto it as if it had come straight to them from the lips of George W. Bush. One soldier's impressions were considered definitive proof of that which the Here's an instance right here.
I think desperation has pushed McCain and the right wingers right over the jagged edge. First, there was the campaign ad saying that Obama single-handedly caused the high prices of gasoline.
Then there were the frantic efforts to find any basis to discredit him.
Then it was the 'Obama hates the wounded' riff, which---as Damozel points out elsewhere---would only be persuasive to someone very either credulous (by which she means butt-dumb) or willfully irrational (by which I mean 'butt-stupid').
Here's John Cole:
I honestly laughed my ass off after reading that story. If Obama had visited the troops, there’d be a McCain ad criticising him for making those troops part of a campaign event. It just smacks of desperation on the part of McCain. I really think the man has lost his marbles. Next up: McCain criticizes Obama for going to get groceries instead of visiting the troops!
The difference between McCain and Obama: Troops are disappointed when Obama doesn’t visit.
And of course, the pathetic, desperate ad:
Barack Obama never held a single Senate hearing on Afghanistan,” the ad’s announcer says. “He hadn’t been to Iraq in years. He voted against funding our troops. And now, he made time to go to the gym, but cancelled a visit with wounded troops. Seems the Pentagon wouldn’t allow him to bring cameras. John McCain is always there for our troops. McCain: Country first.” It concludes with the candidate’s voice: “I’m John McCain and I approve this message.”(CBR)
Steve Benen said:
There are eight sentences in this campaign commercial, and the only honest one was McCain approving of this message.
There are three angles to this ad worth considering: what it says, what it tells us about McCain, and what it tells us about the state of the race.
And he also said,
It’s nothing short of breathtaking to watch a once honorable man want the presidency so desperately, he’s willing to flush his credibility and reputation down the toilet. John McCain’s new TV ad marks a turning point, not only in this presidential campaign, but as a measurement of McCain’s increasingly absent character.
Then it was that emailed letter from a certain National Guardsman in Afghanistan to which the entire far right---eager for any straw from which to build their house of rationalization---was pointing at. The word of one man was enough proof for them that Obama's interest in the troops and vice versa was nothing but a big old sham. Now the author has acknowledged that this email(1) was never meant for distribution to outside his family; and (2) contained some factual errors.
When the Army Times contacted him for an interview, the poor guy said:
“I am writing this to ask that you delete my e-mail and not forward it, after checking my sources some of the information that was put out in my e-mail was wrong. This e-mail was meant only for my family. Please respect my wishes and delete the e-mail and if there are any blogs you have my e-mail portrayed on I would ask if you would take it down too.”
When contacted, Tiffany Porter who identified herself as his wife, said: “There were discrepancies in the e-mail, but I am not at liberty to say more.” (Military Times)
I don't necessarily agree with Benen and others that the retraction is proof that the soldier didn't give what he believed was a true account or that he didn't feel what he said he felt. I'm guessing that he said what he thought, and that he was under some pressure to recant too---but the point is, the troops don't all share a single brain and one soldier doesn't speak for another.
Some of the troops probably don't like Obama. People in the military tend to be conservative and to reflect a conservative narrative.
But even a single anecdote is all the right wingers need to prove their point. If they collect half a dozen, it'll become 'irrefutable.'