McCain the Manchurian Candidate

John McCain was at
it again today
, suggesting that Americans shouldn’t vote for Obama
because a Hamas spokesman spoke well of McCain’s opponent. As a McCain
put it recently:

Barack Obama’s
foreign policy plans have even won him praise from Hamas leaders. Ahmed Yousef,
chief political adviser to the Hamas Prime Minister said, “We like Mr.
Obama and we hope he will win the election. He has a vision to change

We need change in America, but not
the kind of change that wins kind words from Hamas, surrenders in Iraq and will
hold unconditional talks with Iranian President Ahmadinejad.

Yes, McCain is being rightly
condemned for trying to smear Obama by suggesting he’s tied to a terrorist
organization. What’s been ignored, though, is something much worse:
whether out of cynicism, stupidity, or moral obtuseness, John McCain claims to
believe that Americans should base their political decisions on the opinions of
terrorists. What difference does it make whether McCain says, “We
should do what they don’t want” or “We should do what they
want?” Either way, he proposes that Americans surrender our own
judgment in favor of that of Hamas. If McCain were a Democrat,
Republicans would be calling him The Manchurian Candidate.

It would be easier to dismiss as
crass cynicism McCain’s repeated attempts to enlist Hamas’s assistance if
McCain’s brand of “What would Osama do?” weren’t so widespread in
today’s Republican party. Michelle Malkin wants
to know which terrorists support which Democratic candidate

(Translation: “Don’t make up your own mind; ask the
FALN!”). GOP Congressman Steve King objects
to Obama’s candidacy
because, he claims, “The radical Islamists,
the al-Qaida … would be dancing in the streets in greater numbers than they did
on Sept. 11 because they would declare victory in this war on terror”
(Translation: “What more do you need to decide other than what I
think would make AQ happy!”) King goes on to argue that Obama’s
“middle name does matter. It matters because they read a meaning
into that” (Translation: “It’s not up to us to decide whether
something matters. That’s up to Osama bin Laden!”) (And by the way,
any time someone builds his whole argument on a cliche like “dancing in
the streets,” he’s either exceptionally unimaginative or he’s bullshitting
you. Or both).

Perhaps worst of all are the people
who argue that we need to torture because al Qaeda does even worse things
(sorry, aggressively question, or harshly interrogate… and not suspects, if
they’re in custody it means they’re actually terrorists… sheesh, if you
really think we should torture prisoners, why not just come on out and make an
argument in favor? Why all the flim-flam and doubletalk? What are
torture proponents so afraid of? But I digress…). Maybe we could
call this the “We’re Good Because Al Qaeda is Worse” defense?
Or the “Al Qaeda Gave Us Permission” defense?

Look, is the theory that we don’t
torture only because our enemies don’t? Or should it be that we don’t torture
because we’re Americans? As an American, I’d rather develop my own moral
code, rather than basing it on what, say, al Qaeda does or doesn’t do.
But as you can tell from the recent statements of McCain and other Republican
politicians and commentators, the notion that Americans should make own own
political, tactical, and moral decisions without reference to how terrorists
behave or what they claim to believe has become an alien notion.

The really hilarious part of all
this is that the same Republicans who think terrorists
are so diabolically clever that they can blink code to each other even after
three years in captivity
believe these same diabolically clever
terrorists are unable to grasp the most rudimentary elements of reverse
psychology. I mean, what if… going out on a limb here… the code
blinkers were just sophisticated enough to figure out the Republican mindset,
and run a psyops campaign accordingly? Something like:

#1: Did you catch the latest
US National Intelligence Estimate
? It says the war in Iraq is
breeding more terrorists. You think the infidels are catching on to us?

Terrorist #2: Nah, they’re not
that smart. Look at how Osama was able to provoke them into this massive
terrorist-creating enterprise in the first place. The Iraq war is the
best thing that ever happened to us.

Terrorist #1: So you think
they might elect McCain this year? He says it would be fine with him to
keep the infidel armies in Iraq for 100 years. That would be great for

Terrorist #2: Sadly, I don’t
think it looks good for McCain. Polls
show 76% of Americans want a candidate different from Bush

Terrorist #1: So what can we

Terrorist #2: Well,
Republicans aren’t very good at thinking for themselves. They say they
torture because we torture. And whatever we say we like, they say they
want the opposite.

Terrorist #1: So…

Terrorist #2: Exactly.
Get that Hamas guy to say we like Obama. McCain will pick it up and run
with it, and use it to get other dim Americans to vote against Obama.
Then we can have that third Bush term, and Americans will be in Iraq for 100
years. Our ranks will continually swell.

Terrorist #1: Allahu

Nah, terrorists could never come up
with something like that. And when Rush Limbaugh tells his listeners to
join Operation
and vote for Hillary, it means he really supports her, too.

So who’s really the party of Hamas
and al Qaeda? Who are the real terrorist tools?