The Denouement of the MSM's Crush
by Zeitgeist9000, Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 06:10:08 PM EST
There's a story breaking on MSNBC.com which describes the Pentagon's refutation of Obama's claim in the debate last night that a solider who has served in Afghanistan did not have enough ammunition or vehicles:
The Pentagon on Friday tried to cast doubt on an account of military equipment shortages mentioned by Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, whose campaign team stood by the story.
In a debate with rival Hillary Clinton on Thursday evening, Obama said he had heard from an Army captain who served in Afghanistan and whose unit did not have enough ammunition or vehicles.
Obama said it was easier for the troops to capture weapons from Taliban militants than it was "to get properly equipped by our current commander in chief," President Bush.
"Pentagon questions Obama's soldier story," MSNBC.com, Friday, February 22, 2008
The media's love affair with Obama is at an end.
It was bound to happen. Quite frankly, I am surprised it is happening in the small window of time Clinton has left to save her candidacy. But the fact that it is happening, and the fact that there is no quick rebuttal from Obama's camp indicates that the fury and the pace of presidential politics is too much for the heretofore untested Obama PR machine. This machine is untested in that it does not know what it means to be attacked from all sides. This machine knows grassroots politics only. It does not know how to fight conservatism in all its forms, whether it be in the objective guise of the mainstream media or the cloak-and-dagger, down-and-dirty, rough-and-tumble nastiness of the Republican attack machine.
Senator Warner, the Republicans' foremost voice on all matters military, has already written Obama a letter asking for clarification of "the essential facts" and said that Obama's recounting represented "a disturbing framework of factual allegations." So basically, Warner is saying that Obama deftly strings together facts that are unrelated in the hopes of proving an overall, preconceived point. While there may be no doubt that our military has not been entirely prepared in every aspect for major wars in two separate theaters, Obama has blown up an anecdotal aside into a talking point for the major, if not singular, pillar of his campaign platform, disdain for the Iraq War. What he managed to do in this instance, however, is confuse and conflate our activities in Afghanistan with Iraq and prove his own opportunistic ambition in seizing on important issues without putting them in a proper context.
Clinton has continually, whether it's been the scandal at Walter Reed, the lack of Humvees and body armor, or the deployment of the Coast Guard and army personnel on multiple tours of duty, defended the integrity of our military while at the same time attacking the management of our armed services in the person of George W. Bush. Obama has seen fit to attack Clinton by questioning her judgment in authorizing George Bush to wage war in the first place, when it was actually the intention of Congress to let Hans Blix and the weapons inspectors complete their work and put the necessary pressure on Saddam not to go forward with any weapons programs. All of this, however, has been elided by the all-important framework of "Iraq is bad," which is far easier to sloganize (a new word of mine), package and deliver than Clinton's nuanced, balanced yet torturous defense of her original vote. It is far easier to play that camcorder home video of Obama standing in proud defense of his anti-war tendencies back in 2002.
If this nomination has come down to sound bites, which it has, then I think Obama obviously bit off more than he could chew last night with a claim which basically says that because the soldiers couldn't get a replacement part fast enough that somehow they were forced to use one from the Taliban. What is not explained is how quickly the soldiers needed the part or if they could have waited an extra few minutes for their turret machine gun to be repaired. What is also not explained is if the soldiers were in mortal combat at the time of the repair or if they were out of harm's way and just got impatient.
It seems that Obama's campaign, which has relied on idealism, is now having to deal with actual facts and is proving incompatible with reality.