Golf During Wartime

Talking Points Memo points to a bizarre little detail on John McCain’s Web site. The front page currently promos four things: the “Decision Center,” the “General Election,” “Obama & Iraq,” and “Golf Gear.” Click on that last tab, and it takes you to the campaign store , where you can buy your old man a “Father’s Day McCain Golf Pack.”

There’s just one problem here. George W. Bush gave up golf out of respect for the troops: “I don’t want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the commander in chief playing golf,” he said. “I feel I owe it to the families to be in solidarity as best as I can with them. And I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal.” ( Stories like this may have also influenced his decision.)

Yet here’s McCain, practically shoving golf clubs into our hands during a time of war. Granted, you won’t find McCain playing much golf himself. “I hate golf,” he told reporters on his bus last year. “Churchill said, it’s a good walk wasted.” *

Perhaps this is just another count—like his stances on Katrina and global warming—on which McCain intends to distance himself from Bush.

*Update 6:55 p.m.:  A reader points out that McCain misquoted Winston Churchill. Churchill famously said that “Golf is a game whose aim is to hit a very small ball into a evensmaller hole, with weapons singularly ill-designed for the purpose.” It’s Mark Twain who is quoted as saying that “Golf is a good walk spoiled.”