Attending a Memorial Day tribute with Sen. John McCain of Arizona, Mr. Romney declared that “the world is not safe” and criticized President Obama without mentioning him by name for proposing cuts in military spending.

                          — From the New York Times report on Mitt Romney’s Memorial Day speech in San Diego

 With unerring inaccuracy, Mitt Romney sets out to honor those fallen in battle and ends up making a speech better suited for Armed Forces Day. More military spending – money even the Pentagon says it doesn’t want – but let’s understand the man’s dilemma: With John McCain by his side, you can’t very well come off sounding like a tree-hugging peacenik.

McCain, who can’t throw a dart at a map without hitting some country he thinks American troops should be invading, had his own inspired Memorial Day moment when, according to the Times, he “joked about the Marines and received laughter from the audience.”

Memorial Day tribute? Rename it: Patriotism in the age of sound bites is no longer the last refuge of scoundrels. It’s the first refuge of political clowns.

Putdown to Remember (circa 1950)

REPORTER: Mr. Lewis, somebody asked President Truman to make you U.S. ambassador to Russia, and he said he wouldn’t appoint you dogcatcher.

U.M.W. CHIEF JOHN L. LEWIS: Of course he wouldn’t because if he did he’d have more brains in the Dog Department than he has in the State Department.