“John McCain must really be worried about his re-election race back home in Arizona, because he’s saying stuff that sounds calculated to rile up The Base instead of making sense. Thursday, McCain said — twice — that President Barack Obama was “directly responsible” for last week’s massacre in Orlando, before later backing off and claiming he’d “misspoken.” We’re still waiting on McCain to issue a further clarification explaining he has no idea what “misspoken” actually means.
While the president was in Orlando meeting with survivors and family members of those killed in the worst mass shooting in American history, McCain told reporters in the Capitol that Obama had pretty much pulled the trigger himself:
“Barack Obama is directly responsible for it, because when he pulled everybody out of Iraq, al-Qaeda went to Syria, became ISIS, and ISIS is what it is today thanks to Barack Obama’s failures, utter failures, by pulling everybody out of Iraq,” a visibly angry McCain said as the Senate debated a spending bill.
“So the responsibility for it lies with President Barack Obama and his failed policies,” McCain said.
That’s some pretty impressive logicking! So what McCain is really saying is that George W. Bush also shot 49 people, because without his war of choice in Iraq, which destabilized the entire Middle East, there never would have been an ISIS to replace al Qaeda, which didn’t exist in Iraq at all until after the 2003 invasion. (Haha, we are kidding. It’s all Ike’s fault for sending the CIA to overthrow Mossadegh in Iran in 1953).
Ever the troublesome naysayers, the Associated Press points out that the shooter, Omar Mateen, did indeed claim to be working on behalf of ISIS. But he also claimed to be affiliated with al Qaeda and Hezbollah, which are both at war with ISIS in Syria. It’s almost as if the guy just rattled off the names of any radical terrorist groups that came to mind regardless of ideological consistency. (We mean Mateen, but it works for McCain, too.)
About 90 minutes after blaming the president for killing all those people in the Pulse nightclub, McCain issued a statement saying he’d misspoken, even though his words had been pretty precise, if stupid. This time around, Obama was still a terrible guy, but OK, maybe the actual shooter had something to do with the shootings:
“As I have said, President Obama’s decision to completely withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq in 2011 led to the rise of ISIL. I and others have long warned that the failure of the president’s policy to deny ISIL safe haven would allow the terrorist organization to inspire, plan, direct or conduct attacks on the United States and Europe as they have done in Paris, Brussels, San Bernardino and now Orlando.”
So that was nice of Sen. Snarly McGrumpyface: It’s still Obama’s fault, though not his direct fault. And maybe Obama’s evolving position on marriage equality made the shooter a self-hating gay man following a homophobic faith, too.”