John "Maverick" McCain, Presidential candidate John McCain, holder of the Barry Goldwater Chair of Undeserved Moderate Reputation, member of the Senate Armed Services Committee--that John McCain--has staked out another claim in "maverick" land, namely, that the solution to the Iraq disaster is to send 20,000 more US troops, a move which, while of questionable value in Iraq, is likely to unleash the awe-inspiring power of the Republican base in time for primary season.
McCain knows as well as anybody that we don't have 20,000 troops to send; he has acknowledged such a move would require expanding our standing army. He has publicly stated his opposition to a draft, and suggested that the solution is to simply explain to the youth of the nation how important it is to enlist in the quagmire John McCain did nothing whatever to prevent when he had the chance.
And John McCain knows that even if the Democracy Fairy put 100,000 eager young men and women on the recruiting office doorstep this very night, it would be eighteen months before they'd be trained, assuming we could find enough trainers, and god knows where the money is coming from to equip them. John McCain knows this. And he knows their sacrifice would be utterly useless.
What many of them do not know is that they are being asked for that sacrifice to save, not the Planet, not the Middle East, not a chance for Global Peace, World-Wide Democracy, or Marshmallow Hearts, Moons, Stars, and Clover, but to save the ass of John McCain and all the other responsible elected officials who still have a hold on the public teat. That McCain held that position before the election is merely evidence that his reputation as something other than a scheming politician is a large fiction; that he holds it today, after the defeat of his party, is an affront.
It's not just about promoting delusional and dangerous positions to curry favor with a needed voting bloc. It's about the fact that the people telling the truth about Iraq (notably the maligned John Murtha) are not capable of calling him on this bullshit because to do so would threaten national security in a way that debating our proper passage out of this mess would not. Open discussion of the deplorable state of our military is unthinkable; as such, vote pandering which takes advantage of that fact trades temporal advantage for continued trivialization of our most serious problem. McCain has chosen to work the issue for personal gain, and that ought to be common. knowledge.