I’m sorry, I find this completely infuriating. Allow me to block quote heavily from this Slate article.
The moment of self-destruction came in a front-page interview for the Sunday, April 15, New York Times. Talking about the war in Iraq, McCain said, “I have no Plan B”—no alternative to winning.
But then, in the next paragraph, Times reporters Michael Gordon and Adam Nagourney write that he did talk about a Plan B, of sorts, after all:
He said that if the Bush administration’s plan had not produced visible signs of progress by the time a McCain presidency began, he might be forced—if only by the will of public opinion—to end American involvement in Iraq.
“I do believe that history shows us Americans will not continue to support an overseas engagement involving the loss of American lives for an unlimited period unless they see some success,” he said. “And then, when they run out of patience, they will demand that we get out.”
Why is this so jaw-dropping? Keep in mind that, on April 11, McCain had delivered a high-profile speech at the Virginia Military Institute in which he denounced the Democrats’ plan for a troop withdrawal as “reckless”—a game of “small politics” that “gives them an advantage in the next election” while denying “our soldiers the means to prevent an American defeat.”
And yet, here was McCain, a few days later, telling the Times that, if elected president, he’d probably do pretty much the same thing.
I’m willing to concede that perhaps McCain was taken out of context or slipped up verbally. As unlikely as that sounds, how else do you explain McCain — the hawkiest of war hawks in Washington — conceding that his plan is nearly identical to the Democrats? Admittedly he’s not saying that we should start redeploying troops now, as many Democrats are, but he is saying that if the surge doesn’t work — and it’s looking that way — Mr. “No Plan B” might start redeploying troops early in his terms. That’s the Democratic platform. That’s what every Democratic is running on. The Democrats — you know, the people whose patriotism you’re impugning? Hello?