A few months ago, Paul Krugman described as “Clinton Rules” the press’ tendency to use any statement from Hillary Clinton, no matter how innocuous, as an excuse to generate a fake scandal.
Welcome to the new world of McCain Rules: any criticism of McCain, now matter how straightforward, is condemned as Swift-Boating or character attacks.
Yesterday on Face the Nation, Wes Clark stated the obvious: John McCain has no experience in making critical national security decisions. He was a war hero as a POW, has served on the Armed Service Committee, and was a squadron commander during peacetime, but he has not been tested in pressure situations requiring the exercise of judgment. Neither does Obama, of course, but as Clark very clearly pointed out, Obama isn’t running on this assertion–McCain is, and needs to be called on it.
For some reason, Sullivan attacks this as swift-boating, and links it personal attacks on McCain that Clark never uttered and never suggested. Helperin says that Clark’s words criticized McCain’s war record, which they very clearly did not.
I don’t expect mainstream guys like Halperin to be able to read: he’s just a stenographer. But this is really beneath Sullivan. Jeez–just listen to it on YouTube.
So now, the McCain camp has gotten the vapors. Call out the scented handkerchiefs! If McCain can’t stand up to Wes Clark, then how can he stand up to the terrorists?
Update More here.