McCain’s bogus new talking point

MCCAIN’S BOGUS NEW TALKING POINT…. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) rolled out a new talking point to go after Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan on Fox News last night, which turned out to be slightly worse than the usual arguments.

Sean Hannity asked whether the senator is likely to vote to confirm her. McCain responded that he’ll let the process unfold, but at this point, he’s “outraged.”

“You know the members of the ROTC at Harvard had to go to MIT to do their training. Now here’s a school — the Harvard Law School can produce all of our Supreme Court justices, but Harvard will not allow recruiters to help young men and women serve their country in uniform. […]

“I am deeply offended that a school that models itself as the finest in the nation, at least they claim that, would not allow recruiters to come on their campus and ROTC to be conducted on their campus.”

As is too often the case, McCain is confused. Harvard — the university, not just the law school — dropped its ROTC program 41 years ago. McCain may still feel “outraged” about that, but it seems a little petty to hold Kagan responsible for the school’s policy. She was in fourth grade when it was adopted.

What’s more, Matt Finkelstein noted that Harvard isn’t exactly unique in its policy: “[M]any academic institutions have long held bans on ROTC, including Columbia University, where McCain recently sent his daughter (and his money).”

And for the record, when McCain suggests that Kagan “would not allow recruiters” on campus, he’s not telling the truth.

I know we’re in kitchen-sink mode when it comes to Republicans going after Kagan, but even for McCain, blaming Kagan for Harvard’s ROTC policy is absurd.