Monday, September 08, 2008

On McCain

Did you know:

  • John McCain was a P.O.W?
  • John McCain's P.O.W. experience makes him uniquely qualified to lead?
  • John McCain is a Maverick?

I was unaware of these important facts as well, until they were beaten into my skull on an hourly basis for the past half year. Apparently, this is all the election centers around.

I, for one, have reservations about how being a prisoner of war makes you ready to lead the country (notice how its no longer 'lead the free world'? thank dubya for that). Correct me if I'm wrong, but one of the goals of most military operations is, quite simply, don't get caught. So, McCain's capture amounts to mission failure - which is the opposite of 'Mission Accomplished'... well, at least before it was put on a banner. I'm not trying to say it should be held against him, but he needs to quit waving it in everybody's face.

I also find it quite interesting that all the Republicans place so much stock in McCain's POW cred and how he trounces Obama in readiness to lead, but couldn't have given two shits about it 8 years ago when McCain ran against a reformed alcoholic who used his daddy to avoid real military service for the Republican nomination. By historical Republican priorities, Bush > McCain; seems like they're changing their system of measurement.

One of the problems I have with modern republican campaigning in general is how they use situations unwillingly thrust upon a candidate as proof of their character. John McCain did not tunnel himself into a Vietnamese prison - he was captured and placed there against his will(to be fair, he did refuse special treatment as the son of an admiral after capture), just like Bush and Giuliani were sworn into office before 9/11, and shouldn't be revered for handling the crisis, since it was part of their job description.

A good Democratic parallel is Joe Biden, whose wife and infant child died in a tragic automobile accident. If you were forced to choose either 5 years imprisonment or losing your spouse and baby, which would you choose? I don't think I'd go casket shopping. Yet despite the fact that Biden's tragedy was the greater of the two, he doesn't milk it at every available opportunity like it was an accomplishment.

I'm not trying to denigrate military service, nor do I believe its a requirement -or even a plus- for anyone who seeks the presidency; the military is run by our government, and not the other way around. So, to you POW cheerleaders: until you have evidence that McCain's room in the Hanoi Hilton was stocked with books on global economics, multinational diplomacy and constitutional law...

...shut the hell up.

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