Saturday, August 16, 2008

Memory Lapses

Writing on the democrats.com blog, a fellow named Bob Fertik argues that John McCain may be in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. He cites the following:

- McCain recent statement "But in the twenty-first century, nations don't invade other nations," an indication he might have forgotten the year 2003:

1)failure to remember key facts, such as: when elections are held, as when he stated "If we do everything right — and we can and we will — I will win in January” and the bifurcation of a nation, as when he stated on 7/14/08 (and similarly the following day) “I was concerned about a couple of steps that the Russian government took in the last several days. One was reducing the energy supplies to Czechoslovakia."

2)forgetting statement(s) he has made, such as:

-on 3/27/08, telling CNN "you and I could walk through those neighborhoods (of Baghdad) today; when told by the network's John Roberts that the latter later was told otherwise by General Petraeus and retired general Barry McCaffrey, McCain replied "“Well, I’m not saying they could go without protection. The President goes around America with protection. So, certainly I didn’t say that";

-stating on 4/21/08 about the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans: "That’s why we need to go back,” he said, “to have a conversation about what to do about it. Rebuild it? Tear it down? Ya know, whatever it is" and three days later claiming “I don’t remember ever saying it;”

-referring to "President Putin of Germany," apparently forgetting that he was referring to Russia;

- after stating "I know a lot less about economics than I do about military and foreign policy issues. I still need to be educated," telling (before being confronted with the video of this statement) the late Tim Russert on Meet The Press "Actually, I don't know where you got that quote from. I'm very well-versed in economics."

- asked whether Saddam Hussein is a threat, stating on CNN on 3/3/02"I believe that Saddam Hussein presents clear and present danger to the United States of America with his continued pursuit of...to acquire weapons of mass destruction" and on MSNBC on 9/17/03 "I never said that it was a, quote, clear and present danger because of weapons of mass destruction."

-according to syndicated columnist, Robert Novak, complained to the Wall Street Journal's John Fund that Justice Samuel Alito "wore his conservatism on his sleeve," then later that day claiming "I don't recall a conversation where I would have said that."

Oops! Fertik posted on August 13, 2008. Now, on August 15, 2008, thanks to thinkprogress.org, we learn that John McCain is still (presumably) forgetful. The previous day, McCain had told Walter Isaacson at the Aspen Institute

I have a long record of that support of alternate energy. … I’ve always been for all of those and I have not missed any crucial vote. But my citizens in Arizona know that when I’m running for the President of the United States I have to be out campaigning.

Except that the Arizona Senator missed : in July, a vote which would have extended wind and solar credits to December and according to New York Times columnist Tom Friedman, "has a perfect record on this renewable energy legislation. He has missed all eight votes over the last year;" in June, a vote on the Lieberman-Warner climate change legislation (co-sponsored, obviously, by arguably McCain's most ardent supporter); in February, a vote (which failed by one) on extending tax credits to renewable sources of energy; in December, a vote (which failed by one) ending tax subsidies for the oil energy and investing in cleaner sources of energy.

Is presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain unusually, and dangerously, forgetful? Or is his dishonesty extraordinarily impressive? You make the call.

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