Creating Some Distance

John McCain is running for president. You can tell because he’s resurrected his “straight talking” personna and is creating some daylight between himself and the delusional nincompoops currently running the country:

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Republican Sen. John McCain (news, bio, voting record), a staunch defender of the Iraq war, on Tuesday faulted the Bush administration for misleading Americans into believing the conflict would be “some kind of day at the beach.”

The potential 2008 presidential candidate, who a day earlier had rejected calls for withdrawing U.S. forces, said the administration had failed to make clear the challenges facing the military.

“I think one of the biggest mistakes we made was underestimating the size of the task and the sacrifices that would be required,” McCain said. “Stuff happens, mission accomplished, last throes, a few dead-enders. I’m just more familiar with those statements than anyone else because it grieves me so much that we had not told the American people how tough and difficult this task would be.”

Those phrases are closely associated with top members of the Bush administration, including the president.

Yes, they surely are.

Whoever the next president is — Democrat or Republican, it hardly really matters — the next administration will have to deal with the Iraq and Afghanistan disasters and the current administration’s lack of seriousness in truly combatting Al Qaeda. The Iraq war is lost, and all that awaits us is the cutting and running. Whoever is the next president will have to show that he (or, heaven forbid, she) sees that world as it really is, acknowledges and deals with that reality, as opposed to engaging in a whole lot of wishful thinking about the ability to change things in a part of the world where we are not and cannot be the agents of change. A lot of pieces to pick up from the disaster made by the Bush folks. Not sure anyone is up to that. And I’m not sure it will matter.