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June 30, 2008

Relevant Service

Based on what I'm seeing here:

It's not "nice" to ask the question, but it's actually a pretty good question. Yes, we all know that John McCain was captured and tortured in Vietnam (McCain won't let you forget). A lot of people don't know, however, that McCain made a propaganda video for the enemy while he was in captivity. Putting that bit of disloyalty aside, what exactly is McCain's military experience that prepares him for being commander in chief? It's not like McCain rose to the level of general or something. He's a vet. We get it. But simply being a vet, as laudable as it is, doesn't really tell you much about someone's qualifications for being commander in chief. If McCain is going to play the "I was tortured" card every five minutes as a justification for electing him president, then he shouldn't throw a hissy fit any time any one asks to know more about his military experience. Getting shot down, tortured, and then doing propaganda for the enemy is not command experience. Again, it's not nice to say say, but we're not running for class president here. We deserve real answers, not emotional outbursts designed to quell the questions.

... and here:

West Virginia Senator Jay Rockefeller in April cut a bit closer, suggesting that McCain's days as a fighter pilot were themselves a critique of his character.

"What happened when they [the missiles] get to the ground?" he asked. "He doesn't know. You have to care about the lives of people. McCain never gets into those issues."

Rockefeller promptly, abjectly apologized, praising McCain's "honorable and noble service to our country" and deploring his own "inaccurate and wrong analogy." His apology reflected a conventional political wisdom that McCain's heroism is too well established, and a climate of respect for soldiers too strong, for attacks on his service to do anything but backfire.

...and here:

Of all the "ex-generals" floating around out there, perhaps the most odious is Wesley Clark. Today he decided it was his place to demean John McCain's military service on Face the Nation:

Gen. Wesley Clark, acting as a surrogate for Barack Obama’s campaign, invoked John McCain’s military service against him in one of the more personal attacks on the Republican presidential nominee this election cycle.

Clark said that McCain lacked the executive experience necessary to be president, calling him “untested and untried” on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” And in saying so, he took a few swipes at McCain’s military service.

“He has been a voice on the Senate Armed Services Committee. And he has traveled all over the world. But he hasn't held executive responsibility. That large squadron in the Navy that he commanded — that wasn't a wartime squadron,” Clark said.

That's just foolishness. A squadron command doesn't become "executive experience" only if the squadron is in a combat situation. It is either an executive experience or it's not executive experience whether at war or during peace.

Does commanding NATO not count as executive experience if NATO isn't at war? And btw, does getting fired from his NATO command negate Clark's claim to executive experience?

I'm beginning to believe that the only way to rack up "relevant military service" is to deploy to a combat zone for a year, miraculously rack up 3 Purple Hearts without ever getting an injury more serious than a paper cut, invoke a little-used regulation to get yourself sent back to a Washington, DC aide's job, and then testify before the Senate that your comrades in arms committed war crimes on a daily basis with your full knowledge (since you were, in fact, a commander and it was your testimony that these war crimes occurred "on a day-to-day basis with full knowledge of officers at all levels of command").

...the only qualified candidate for the presidency is...

[drum roll]

John Kerry, 2008.

It's not too late to bring The Strong Strength of Strongness back to America.

Posted by Cassandra at June 30, 2008 07:27 AM

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"What happened when they [the missiles] get to the ground?" he asked. "He doesn't know."

Sure, he does. They blew up, killed the enemy, and destroyed the materièl he was firing at.

I'd vote for McCain solely because Rockefeller and Clark might thereby undergo a joint apoplectic fit and be rendered speechless.

Posted by: BillT at June 30, 2008 10:20 AM

*None* of the three finalists for this year's election have much in the way of executive experience. Commanding an attack squadron isn't comparable to running a state, or an F500 corporation, or commanding a carrier battle group...but it's more than Obama or Hillary ever did.

It is a bit disturbing that our choices this year don't include anyone who has actually run much of anything...after all, we're electing a chief executive, not a chief speechmaker or a chief policy wonk.

I wonder if the willingness to accept candidates whose experiences are entirely legislative are reflective of a social trend toward more value on words and less value on actions.

Posted by: david foster at June 30, 2008 10:53 AM

I agree with you there!

Posted by: Cassandra at June 30, 2008 11:19 AM

Dangit - my thunder was stole!

No one has any hugely relevant experience... but McCain at least has some experience.

Heh. I've run larger organizations that Senator Obama or Clinton.

My battery-level command was 385 people in garrison, closer to 500 deployed. And the organizational budget of 8 million dollars that I was personally responsible for was larger than the ones most of them (vice McCain) managed.

Of course, as a higher level staff officer, I "managed" millions and milllions and millions of dollars - that other people spent.

[puts fingers in anti-typing restraints]

Posted by: John of Argghhh! at June 30, 2008 11:39 AM

I'll agree that I would rather have someone who actually ran a state or city or large company to vote for.

Mc Cain wasn't my first or even second choice. But, Mc Cain's experience and accomplishments are head and shoulders above Obama's.

Posted by: Schnauzer at June 30, 2008 11:43 AM

Yeah, John, you've got better qualifications -- but you didn't get three Purple Hearts!

Posted by: BillT at June 30, 2008 11:50 AM

All digs on Kerry aside (not saying they're undeserved, just putting them aside), everyone here knows as well as I that military leadership is desirable experience for the Left only when the candidate has a "D" next to his name. They like Jim Webb now, because he has that "D". I challenge you to find one kind word for him from the Left written when he worked for Reagan. My problems with Wesley Clark, John Murtha, and John Kerry have nothing to do with the "D", nor their military service, but what they've done and said since. Personally, I don't give a rat's patoot about Kerry's three Purple Hearts or how he got them, as much as everything he did after three months in theater. And I know for a fact that military service does not ennoble one to be an unassailable tower of virtue simply because they served. It grants you a certain amount of respect from me, but your actions after your service can (and have) outweigh all that good will. If all I knew about Kerry was his Vietnam service, then and only then would I need to see the Swift Boat Veterans' evidence against him. Because given all that he has done since (including beclowning himself with that "Winter Soldier" testimony) has made his service irrelevant to me.

I disagree with many of John McCain's political stances. But nothing I've seen has outweighed the positive credit of his service. Is he my #1 guy for POTUS? Nope. But I won't have qualms about pulling the lever for him in November either.

Posted by: MikeD at June 30, 2008 01:39 PM

I would be better able to compare the qualifications of the two candidates if I knew what in the heck a community organizer does?

Posted by: Pile On at June 30, 2008 02:04 PM

I mean, Chicago is a big community. Organizing that sucker would take a well cut jib.

Posted by: Pile On at June 30, 2008 02:05 PM


Posted by: Cassandra at June 30, 2008 02:07 PM

Wesley Clark is in no position to criticize anybody else's miltary experience. People who served in the same theater as Gen Clark will recognize the term "perfumed prince".

And he almost started a European war when he tried to order the British to take the airport in Yugoslavia. There's a Guardian article "The guy who almost started World War III".

Much as I disagree with McCain on some issues (immigration, camapign finance, interfering with the Tanker contract), I'll still vote for the guy who served his country, rather than the guy who's been serving himself all along.

Posted by: ZZMike at June 30, 2008 02:27 PM

Pile On
I would contact the office of your Congresswoman and ask to be a community organizer, and see that they say.

Report back when you have gotten some good information about being "a community organizer". Inquiring minds want to know.

How long 'till Dick Durbin accuses McCain of being a War Criminal in Viet Nam?

On elected office service, McCain has been a Senator longer than Obama and Clinton, combined. Even including Obama's years at the Illinois State House, "organizing" things.

Sheesh, are we screwed.

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at June 30, 2008 02:34 PM

Don, do you know who my esteemed congresswoman is?

Posted by: Pile On at June 30, 2008 03:39 PM

You are not allowed to make sense. We simply can't have that in an election year. It is enough to 'feel' right. Thinking is dangerous.

Posted by: Thought Policewoman at June 30, 2008 04:15 PM

I may have to reopen my can of POD-hate...

Posted by: John of Argghhh! at June 30, 2008 05:20 PM

Sorry, I will endeavor to be less rational and more emotional.

Does this post make my butt look big to you?


Posted by: MikeD at June 30, 2008 05:23 PM

Pile On,

Why, don't you? :)

Isn't it (drum roll) Sheila Jackson Lee????

She should be able to get you some good inside tips about being a community organizer, shouldn't she?????

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at June 30, 2008 05:53 PM

You are correct Don. Cass, give him a dollar.

That would be rich, "hello Ms. Lee honorable congress chick, I am inspired by Barack Obama and I want to be a community organizer in your district, is there maybe a class on it I can take at the community college?"

Posted by: Pile On at June 30, 2008 06:09 PM

Mr. Pile On,

Thank you for the offer of your services. Shortly you will be receiving a package from two young men dressed in black which will contain the following:

- Literature exposing the GOP for their culpability on the economy, the GWOT, the Second Amendment -ergo all crime, and the Big Bang -which means that they are responsible for, well just about everything, those wicked bastages!
And if the person appears to be nearing retirement age, don't forget to mention that the GOP is interested in pointing out that Social Security is heading towards insolvency and they want to force you to *gasp* think about the future...

- One Get Out The Vote kit consisting of an Alcoa-lined Ziplock Freezer bag containing small, unmarked incentives in $20.00, $50.00 and $100.00 denominations. One digital camera, one portable color picture printer, one portable lamination machine, ID templates and a Notary Seal.

- One Compact Razor knife with spare razor blades for air-stem modification to all four tires on all GOP community poll shuttles that can be intercepted just prior to or during polling hours

- one gross Che T-shirts, assorted sizes, for the support staff and The Children™

- Pepper spray and taser emergency kit for poll workers who would infringe upon your civil liberties by attempting to keep you from intimidating... ahhh, trying to influence... ahhh, make that provide a sample ballot to voters who are within 10 yards of the voting booths

And finally, please stay in touch with the precinct capital for your assigned district. The recent SCOTUS ruling WRT Heller may allow our Honorable Congressman William Jefferson to finalize a deal which will add to our pepper-spray/taser emergency kit. Congressman Jefferson is working with a member of the party leadership in Sofia to swing some 9mm Makarov's.

Thank you for your efforts to bring about the new Worker's Paradise!
Your sister in the struggle against The Man©.

Posted by: SJLee at June 30, 2008 07:47 PM

...swing some 9mm Makarov's.

Department of Redundancy Department.

That's like saying you'll try to score a couple of my flight suits with 27" zippers.

Posted by: BillT at July 1, 2008 04:16 PM

Senator McCain's 23 years of military experience, 4 years in congress and 21 years in the Senate FAR exceeds anything Obama brings to the table.

4 Years ago, Obama was an Illinois state legislator, I don't know anything about you but in my state one state legislator is being tried for several cases of indecent sexual assault, 1 just made a speech opposing mandatory sentencing for child rapists that was so odious that it made the WSJ best of the web ... numerous others under in the past been convicted, indicted run out of office ... I can't imaging electing one to dog catcher no matter president.

Posted by: Frodo at July 2, 2008 04:39 PM

"Department of Redundancy Department.

That's like saying you'll try to score a couple of my flight suits with 27" zippers.

Wise guy...

Alright Mr. 27" zippers, you wanna tell me about Makarov's? How's about you first read my review in GunTestdotCom... and be forewarned, I'm packin' the same model of cell phone as my sister, Cynthia McKinney!

Posted by: SJLee at July 3, 2008 09:42 AM

Ummmm, not fer nuthin', doll, but if yer gonna test-fire a piece, ya gotta make sure the firing pin's been installed before go all rack 'n' whack with the Europellet hollowpoints.

.22 shortie cellphone? Not bad, but you get better fluid shock effect with the .22LR.

Just sayin'.

Nuthin' personal, yanno?

Posted by: BillT at July 3, 2008 10:42 AM

[shaking head]

Posted by: Cassandra at July 3, 2008 10:48 AM

Trying to push a thread along the straight and narrow is tough work eh M'lady? =;^}

Posted by: bthun at July 3, 2008 11:04 AM

When asked what his experience as Commander-in-Chief, Allied Forces, was like, Eisenhower is said to have replied, "Did you ever try to *push* a piece of string in a straight line?"

Therein lies the problem. Cass just keeps *feeding* us straight lines...

Posted by: BillT at July 3, 2008 11:12 AM

"Therein lies the problem. Cass just keeps *feeding* us straight lines..."
Heheh... No doubt that it is only due to a natural disposition of generosity on her part towards the native wildlife. =8^}

Posted by: bt_HankHill_hun at July 3, 2008 11:18 AM

I live to amuse the villainry...

Posted by: The Pizza Slut at July 3, 2008 11:33 AM

...and the native life can get a tad wild.

Posted by: BillT at July 3, 2008 11:33 AM

Is villainry the new word for villainess given that womyn is the new for woman?

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 3, 2008 04:51 PM

Psss... Ymar,

I *think* she meant the incorrigibles hanging 'round about this eitherPub-Cafe.

Posted by: bt_HankHill_hun at July 3, 2008 07:01 PM