QUOTE OF THE DAY…. There’s quite a bit about Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) that I find annoying, but at the top of the list is the fact he doesn’t seem to have any idea what he’s talking about.

Take this morning, for example, when the senator talked to CBS’s “The Early Show” about his vision of U.S. policy in Libya. McCain endorsed the notion of regime change — a position the Obama administration has not taken — and then drew a fascinating parallel about arming rebels.

Asked about Moammar Gadhafi:

“This is a man with American blood on his hands who has committed acts of terror in the past. And our policy, the United States policy, as articulated by the President of the United States, is that he should go — he should not stay in power.”

And asked siding with Libyan rebels with unknown agendas:

“[I]t does take time — it did during the Russian occupation of Afghanistan — but we were able to provide them with some weapons and wherewithal to cause the Russians to leave Afghanistan. So we can do it.”

On the first point, McCain has an odd memory of recent events. As Justin Elliott explained, Republicans weren’t at all concerned about the American blood on Gadhafi’s hands — the Bush administration removed Libya from the official list of state sponsors of terrorism and engaged in direct talks with Gadhafi. More to the point, John McCain personally visited with Gadhafi in August 2009 to discuss delivery of American military equipment to the Libyan dictator.

Maybe this has slipped the senator’s mind?

As for the second point, it’s true that we provided aid to Afghan rebels that fought the Soviets, and it’s also true that Russia gave up and left Afghanistan, but is this really the example McCain wants to use? Those rebels, after all, were the mujahedeen, which included a guy named Osama bin Laden.

Does McCain realize this, or does he simply not care?

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.