Presumptuous Maverick

by digby

Yglesias says:

[I]t looks like Mikhail Saakashvili thought it meant something when John McCain proclaimed America and Georgia to be identical:

“Yesterday, I heard Sen. McCain say, ‘We are all Georgians now,’” Saakashvili said on CNN’s American Morning. “Well, very nice, you know, very cheering for us to hear that, but OK, it’s time to pass from this. From words to deeds.”

Bush came through for McCain and Saakashvili:

The United States of America stands with the democratically elected government of Georgia...I have directed a series of steps to demonstrate our solidarity with the Georgian people and bring about a peaceful resolution to this conflict.

You'll recall that both Bush and Obama were far more circumspect in their language when this thing first started. McCain came charging out of the gate with chest thumping bellicosity and soon Bush (and Obama, to a lesser degree) followed. Events certainly changed perspectives, but there's no doubt who is the leader of American foreign policy on this matter --- Senator John McCain.

Now, Russia too has called the US on its loose talk:

Russia accused the United States on Wednesday of playing a dangerous game in the Caucasus by backing Georgia and denied Moscow was not doing enough to prevent looting.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Washington had to choose between partnership with Moscow and the Georgian leadership which he described as a "virtual project".

"We understand that this current Georgian leadership is a special project of the United States, but one day the United States will have to choose between defending its prestige over a virtual project or real partnership which requires joint action," Lavrov told reporters.

John McCain was the first one out of the box with the evil empire crap and it very well may have led the Bush administration to follow for political --- and maybe personal -- reasons. (Bush is being dinged by the wingnuts for failing to show enough machismo.)

I remember reading some stuff recently about how it was unseemly for Barack Obama to go on an overseas trip. Why, he was acting like he'd already won! Now, we have McCain making statements on television that are having an actual impact on an international crisis, and which might even be illegal, and I'm hearing gasbags say he looks very presidential. It looks more like presumptuousness to me.

But then a grizzled old veteran's presumptuousness isn't the same as a young, African American upstart's, is it?

Update: Even Jonathan Martin at the Politico sees something amiss with this one:

I think Greg Sargent is on to something regarding McCain's announcement at his press conference today that Sens. Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman — his two closest friends in the Senate — will be heading to Georgia soon.

Yes, they're both members of the Armed Services Committee. But McCain's declaration has something of a shadow government feel to it, as though he's sending his own emissaries into the war zone.

Try to imagine if Obama had announced that he was sending Biden and Levin to the war zone.