In the Washington Post today, Brent Bozell, the president of the conservative Media Research Center, argues that Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) “may have the Beltway crowd in his corner, but grass-roots conservatives aren’t sold.” Claiming that McCain “is the one who arguably least qualifies as a Reagan conservative,” Bozell suggests ways that the Arizona senator can motivate the conservative movement.
But in making his argument, Bozell falsely claims that it was the Clinton administration, not the Bush administration, that created the current strains on the “military infrastructure“:
This is what conservatives call on him to do:
McCain must present a strategy to defeat the threat of radical Islam. He needs to call on the United States to rebuild its military infrastructure, so devastated by the Clinton administration.
Bozell’s attack on the Clinton administration is a common trope from conservatives. In January, when Rudy Giuliani made the claim during a New Hampshire debate, FactCheck.org noted that “most of the cutting to which” conservatives often refer “occurred during the administration of George H.W. Bush.”
Additionally, while Bozell is busy trying to blame Clinton, military leaders are saying that it is Bush and McCain’s war in Iraq that has stretched the military “dangerously thin.” In a survey last month of “more than 3,400 current and retired officers, including more than 200 generals and admirals,” 60 percent said that “the military was weaker today than five years ago.”
In fact, Bush’s misguided policies have been so devastating to the military that Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey argues that it’s going to take “three to four years” and a “substantial amount of resources” for the Army to recover from the Iraq war.