John McCain said "…today we are all Georgians."  The Lefty blogosphere’s reaction:

Matthew Yglesias:

Common sense indicates that, no, I am not a Georgian. But John McCain says “today we are all Georgians.” But does he mean it? Suppose Russia was bombing Atlanta and threatening to advance to Savannah. In solidarity with Georgia (the state) Americans from all fifty states would band together and fight the Russians off. Now I don’t think we should go to war with Russia. And I hope John McCain doesn’t think we should go to war with Russia. But insofar as he doesn’t mean that we should go to war with Russia on Georgia’s behalf, what’s the meaning of the claim that “we are all Georgians”?

On one level, it’s empty political sloganeering. But on another level it’s not empty — it’s downright irresponsible, and an example of the sort of irresponsible behavior that got us into this.

"smintheus", on the front page of the Daily Kos:

How would the trad media have portrayed Barack Obama if he had behaved as John McCain has done since Georgian President Saakashvili sent troops into South Ossetia? Would it have been ‘presumptuous’ to issue proposals to intervene in the fighting even before the President had spoken? To stake out an aggressive position far in front of anything the US wished to adopt? To attack a rival candidate for refusing to do the same?

Jasen at ElectoPundit:

Maybe John McCain would like to get us involved in ethnic cleansing campaigns, or nuclear exchanges?

Michael Crowley at The New Republic:

It may be a noble sentiment, and Georgia is deserving of American diplomatic support. But is he really speaking for all–or even most–Americans? My strong hunch is that precious few Americans want to feel they’re the victims of Russian aggression. Instead they want all the foreign-policy madness to calm down already. It hardly seems a winning message for McCain to imply that in their hearts the American people should consider themselves at war with Russia.

A. Serwer at The American Prospect:

I think I speak for most Americans when I say:

"Does he mean the state?"

In all seriousness, if the battle over South Ossetia is 9/11, then didn’t McCain just commit us to a military response, since that’s how the United States responded in the aftermath of the WTC attacks? The election hasn’t even happened yet and he’s trying to start new wars.

Some people might call that "presumptuous."

I wonder what these folks would think if, say, a Democratic President, in the middle of the Cold War, went to West Berlin and said,

All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and, therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words ‘Ich bin ein Berliner!

Do you think there’d be nearly the accusations of war-mongering and presumption then?  (Hint: No.)  JFK claimed to speak for the entire free world, for goodness sake!

Perhaps McCain should have said, "I am a Georgian" in Georgian.  That would have been OK, right?  Right?

[tags]John McCain,Russia,Republic of Georgia,Matthew Yglesias,Daily Kos,The American Prospect,ElectoPundit,The New Republic,John F. Kennedy[/tags]

Filed under: DemocratsDougPoliticsWar

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