A day after bringing out a real live swift boater to (falsely) accuse Wesley Clark of swift boating, the McCain campaign questioned Clark’s military performance while (falsely) accusing Clark of questioning McCain’s military performance. From the Caucus at

On Tuesday, two of Mr. McCain’s closest allies — Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, and retired United States Marine Corps Lt. Col. Orson Swindle — not only rejected General Clark’s recent remark, but also began to question his own military service.

On a conference call with reporters, Mr. Swindle pointed out that Senator McCain has been endorsed by scores of former military generals, admirals and prisoners of war.

“General Clark probably wouldn’t get that much praise from this group,” Mr. Swindle said. “As high ranking as he is, his record in his last command was less than stellar.”

Of course, when reporters pointed out that now they were doing precisely what they were accusing Clark of doing, the McCain campaign fell back on the tried-and-true Republican strategy of claiming that X did not actually mean X: “It certainly was not an attack on his service – no one would ever disparage that. Everyone honors Gen. Clark’s service and sacrifice — he’s literally bled for our country. It was about policy disputes.” Sure — whatever.

I suppose that being consistently hypocritical and duplicitous is a kind of consistency…


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