While watching the Skins-Cowboys game, Yglesias reminds me about a bit of McCain retardery at risk of falling through the cracks. Attempting to upbraid Obama on Pakistan, McCain said at the debate:

I don’t think that Senator Obama understands that there was a failed state in Pakistan when Musharraf came to power. Everybody who was around then, and had been there, and knew about it knew that it was a failed state.

Pakistan is not, was not, and never has been a failed state. Not according to any remotely rigorous definition of "failed state." It most certainly was not a failed state when Musharraf pulled off his 1999 coup: to the contrary, that’s why it was a coup and not, say, a campaign by the Army to consolidate the government’s hold on the wild hinterlands of Pakistan. If nuclear-armed Pakistan ever becomes a failed state, I promise you, you’ll know. For McCain to snootily assert his superior knowledge of Pakistan based on such an obvious and inexplicable falsehood is laughable. Someone is lacing this man’s Gerber Peaches.

Spencer Ackerman

Spencer Ackerman

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