Round one in today's Casey-McCain fight definitely went to John McCain.
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As the clip Josh posted on TPM shows, the Arizona hawk laid the Iraq albatross squarely around Casey's neck, referring to him as "one of the individuals who has been an architect of U.S. military strategy in Iraq." Never mind that Casey only became theater commander a year into the war, and that in his previous roles as Army Vice Chief of Staff and Joint Staff planning director, he was a marginal figure in the Rumsfeld Pentagon. Casey, for his part, didn't object. And that set the tone for the entire hearing: McCain slipped in the shiv, and Casey took the pain. Neither President Bush nor ex-Defense Secretary Rumsfeld made more than cameo appearances in the narratives spun today.
Casey made for an ideal villain. McCain accurately described his predictions during his 30-month command as "unrealistically rosy." Today was no different. He took quiet exception to Bush's televised description of Casey's strategy as "maybe a slow failure," arguing instead to Sen. John Warner (R-VA), "I actually don't see it as slow failure, I see it as slow progress." And responding to Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), Casey contended that most of Iraq is peaceful.