Tuesday, August 19, 2008
The Inveterate Veteran
We can all agree that John McCain served his country in Vietnam, and went through a great deal of torment in the POW camp. However, by now I think we can also agree that he's a man who's been known to shift positions at the drop of a hat, and who isn't exactly open with the truth.
The problem comes when his various campaign tentacles use the first fact as a bulwark against the second.
Nicolle Wallace, a spokeswoman for Mr. McCain, said on Sunday night that Mr. McCain had not heard the broadcast of the event while in his motorcade and heard none of the questions.
“The insinuation from the Obama campaign that John McCain, a former prisoner of war, cheated is outrageous,” Ms. Wallace said.
Yes, apparently time spent in a POW camp completely removes one's ability to lie. It also gives you lactose intolerance and the ability to smell fear. But Ms. Wallace isn't the only one offering up logically unsound defenses of McCain:
It may be typical of the pro-Obama Dungeons & Dragons crowd to disparage a fellow countryman's memory of war from the comfort of mom's basement, but most Americans have the humility and gratitude to respect and learn from the memories of men who suffered on behalf of others.
Now, I'll fully cop to being one of the pro-Obama Dungeons & Dragons crowd. However, my mom's basement is probably the filthiest room in the house, which is why I prefer a second-floor bedroom during the summer, a dorm room when I'm at school, and hopefully a not-that-bad studio apartment when I reach LA.
But, it's funny that a representative of the Republican party is talking about how most Americans should have "the humility and gratitude" to recognize a veteran's accomplishments. Like Max Cleland, who lost three limbs in Vietnam -- oh, wait, he was compared to Saddam Hussein and Bin Laden. Or John Kerry -- but, yeah, not only were there the Swift Boaters, but the mocking of the entire concept of the Purple Heart. Or maybe John Murtha -- oh, right, Jean Schmidt called him a coward. I'd actually buy that McCain represents a change from these tactics if he wasn't cozying up to Swift Boaters.
No one deserves to be attacked for their service. But they absolutely deserve to be attacked for using their service as a means to deflect all other criticism about them.
UPDATE: As Anonymous says in comments, I got Murtha's name wrong. A long time ago, too. Goddamnit, I can be a real idiot some times.