David Brooks tries to reassure us that John McCain won’t pursue the same policies as George W. Bush.
McCain opened his speech with a description of his father leaving home on the day of Pearl Harbor, and then being gone for much of the next four years. He harkened back repeatedly to the accomplishments of the Truman administration.
In so doing, he signaled that the foreign policy debate of the coming months will be very different from the one of the past six years. Anybody who thinks McCain is merely continuing the Bush agenda is not paying attention.
Hey, I paid attention when John McCain said the surge worked…as Baghdad goes under curfew and Mr. McCain himself couldn’t visit the same shopping square he did a year ago — in heavy armor and surrounded by soldiers with machine guns — when he went back this year. I was paying attention to John McCain and his assertion that we’d be in Iraq for 100 years. I was paying attention to his really sucky attempt to rip off the Beach Boys with Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran. And I was paying attention when John McCain and the rest of the right wing — including David Brooks — echoed the president’s “stay the course” policy until he said that it had never been “stay the course.”
I also don’t think it’s a really good sales pitch to use “Remember Pearl Harbor” as a campaign slogan; it only reminds the voters that John McCain really does.