by Teh Nutroots | Riddle me this: Wasn't it only 2-3 weeks ago that the Republicans were moaning about the presumptuousness of Barack Obama? If so, how do they explain McCain's sudden accession to an authoritative role in Georgia---so much of one that he is sending his own "envoys" to deal with the situation?
Was it not presumptuous after all? Or...are they applying the hoary old "it's different when Republicans do it" rule?
All Barack did was make a speech. John McCain is speaking every day to Georgia's loose cannon-in-chief, his friend "Misha," despite "Misha's" calling him out the other day ('very cheering...Words, not deeds." Doesn't Bush mind? F*** me. I'd mind. For once I kind of admire Bush's restraint.
I'd be like, "Dude? Excuse me; I believe I am still president here?"
Standing behind a lectern in Michigan this week, with two trusted senators ready to do his bidding, John McCain seemed to forget for a moment that he was only running for president.
Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili says he talks to McCain, a personal friend, several times a day. McCain's top foreign policy adviser, Randy Scheunemann, was until recently a paid lobbyist for Georgia's government. McCain also announced this week that two of his closest allies, Sens. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) and Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.), would travel to Georgia's capital of Tbilisi on his behalf, after a similar journey by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
The extent of McCain's involvement in the military conflict in Georgia appears remarkable among presidential candidates, who traditionally have kept some distance from unfolding crises out of deference to whoever is occupying the White House. The episode also follows months of sustained GOP criticism of Democratic Sen. Barack Obama, who was accused of acting too presidential for, among other things, briefly adopting a campaign seal and taking a trip abroad that included a huge rally in Berlin. (WaPo)
Josh Marshall at TPM:
McCain's stance on this issue shows him to be close to certifiable -- not only on specific policy points but also in what I guess I would call affect. But it's not lost on me that people without much background on what actually happened might think this shows him at his strongest, best, etc. On the other hand, he really has gone considerably beyond what's ever been considered appropriate or acceptable for a presidential candidate. He's worked at fairly evident cross-purposes with the president of his own party. He's been in several times a day phone contact with one of the key players in the drama. He's dispatching his own faux diplomatic delegations to the scene.
His view isn't very nuanced, that's for sure. For example, he seems totally indifferent to the wishes of the separatists and to the mutual claims (as in ON BOTH SIDES) of ethnic cleansing, to the fact that "Misha" violated a ceasefire and launched a surprise attack, then whined about the US and the west not riding in to the rescue once he'd stuck his sharp stick up the Big Bad Bear's Behind. Damozel's written pretty extensively about this and it's pretty clear that nobody in this dog fight has clean hands.
Attaturk at FDL:
Yeah, somebody might mention this to Dana Milbank, Bill Kristol and the "presumptuous" (i.e. "uppity") crowd....
Say, it sure would be interesting to know when these "daily" talks started and what they were comprised of? I'm pretty sure even the GOP cannot assert a "Presidential Candidate" privilege. Especially since the criticism of Russian actions shouldn't cause us to completely ignore the fact that Saakashvili is a bit of a rouge and a chunk of moron himself.
Memeorandum has more here.