Wasted Outrage

by digby

From Atrios, I see that John McCain has really stuck his foot in it now:

Discussing the war with Letterman, McCain repeated his assertion that U.S. troops must remain in Iraq rather than withdrawing early even though the war has been mismanaged.

"Americans are very frustrated, and they have every right to be," McCain said. "We've wasted a lot of our most precious treasure, which is American lives."

Or has he? I haven't heard a thing about this on the news so far today.

This is the clearest example of a double standard I've seen in some time. Barack Obama sais something a couple of weeks back that caused a huge brouhaha:

OBAMA: We ended up launching a war that should have never been authorized and should have never been waged and to which we have now spent $400 billion and has seen over 3,000 lives of the bravest young Americans wasted.

The winuttosphere went crazy with Malkin leading the charge:

Sen. Barack Obama's nutroots are showing. RedStateLady has the video of Obama arguing that each and every member of the military who volunteered to serve and died in Iraq wasted his/her life.

And James Taranto of the WSJ was shocked:

On Sunday Sen. Barack Obama, speaking at Iowa State University, made this jaw-dropping statement...

Wasted! Hard to believe anyone would say such a thing, but there it is on video.

Obama quickly apologized. Ron Fournier, editor in chief of the online morgue called "Hotsoup" wrote this for MSNBC:

Obama got his candidacy off to an inauspicious start by saying last weekend that the war “should have never been authorized, and should have never been waged, and on which we've now spent $400 billion, and have seen over 3,000 lives of the bravest young Americans wasted.''


He was asked Monday whether military families deserved an apology. “Well as I said, it is not at all what I intended to say, and I would absolutely apologize if any of them felt that in some ways it had diminished the enormous courage and sacrifice that they'd shown. You know, and if you look at all the other speeches that I've made, that is always the starting point in my view of this war.''

That’s true; none of his previous speeches declared that the lives of slain U.S. soldiers were wasted. He saved that gem for his first day as a presidential candidate.

The Freerepublic lizard brains took a slightly different tack:

"Four Ho's and 7 smokes ago, soldiers lives are being wasted....oops a slip of the tongue!"
posted on 02/14/2007 10:04:14 AM PST by Bommer (Global Warming: The only warming phenomena that occurs in the Summer and ends in the Winter!)

(Thank goodness racism is dead, eh?)

I personally think those lives actually were wasted in Iraq, as well as hundreds of thousands of Iraqis as well. I know that military families probably hate to think that their loved ones were as like disposable political weapons, but they were and I don't fault either Obama or McCain for saying what is a common sense, everyday statement of fact that is said every day around water cooolers and dinner tables all over this country. All that loss of life is a horrible, horrible waste.

But I do hate hypocrisy and just once I'd like to see the rightwing held to the same standard that they hold Democrats. Just for kicks --- for the sheer thrill of actually seeing it happen.

Update: Media Matters notes the double standard among the major papers:

The New York Times, The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times all published March 1 articles reporting McCain's announcement on the Late Show, with The New York Times and the Post directly quoting McCain from the program -- but none of these articles noted his claim that "we've wasted" American lives in Iraq. Yet when Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) made similar comments in Iowa on February 11, the Post and the Los Angeles Times reported the remarks the following day. The New York Times, meanwhile, devoted a February 13 article to Obama's subsequent apology and clarification.

Here's the thing: This time, there was already the precedent of the Obama flap and yet, with the exception of the AP article I link above, they failed to make the connection.

Update: Blitzer just said:

He [McCain] said on the Letterman Show last night, he used the work "wasted." He said today he meant to use the word "sacrifice." Given John McCain's record on military matters and the fact that he himself is a war hero, is this over with right now or are there legs on this story?

Interestingly, Bill Press said neither Obama or McCain should have apologized for telling the truth and Bay Buchanan says this is going to dog McCain because he is such a respected military person. Blitzer looked very confused and asked why social conservatives hate McCain so much.