Shorter John McCain:

Kids these days, with their long hair and their rock-n-roll?


  1. #1 Joel
    May 22, 2008

    I take a backseat to no one in my affection, respect and devotion to veterans. And I will not accept from Senator Obama, who did not feel it was his responsibility to serve our country in uniform, any lectures on my regard for those who did.

    Seems simple enough. I don’t know what John McCain’s problem with Webb’s GI Bill is, but as someone who has served in the military, I wouldn’t listen to what Obama has to say about it either. I don’t know if you’ve served, but I suspect not because if you had, you’d understand it.

  2. #2 Janne
    May 22, 2008

    The “you have to have been in the military to legislate about it” is a completely false way of thought. If you only allow legislators with personal experience of the subject, you’re going to get into a world of problems.

    How many legislators have actual experience of the nuclear energy industry (being a lawyer or other support person doesn’t count of course)? Can only gay legislators have opinions on marriage equality bills? Research spending only to be decided among legislators with a science background? School issues only by former teachers? Health issues only by physicians?

    Legislators – in the US or elsewhere – aren’t elected as specialists. They aren’t, and can’t be, any more than most large business leaders have real experience of more than a fraction of what their company is doing. And while a company at least normally works in just a few connected areas, running a country means dabbling in thousands of disparate fields. Nobody can do that. What you can do, is to be a leader, and rely on specialists to interpret and explain for you.

  3. #3 Ian
    May 23, 2008

    This “president must have military experience” crap is nothing but a repub ploy. I saw none of them making that “argument” when Bush was running, and I see no reason why a president absolutely has to have a military background.

    The president does not himself fight the war or plan the detailed campaigns. The experts do (or should!) – the trained professional military. That’s why a president has military advisers, why he should get the best ones he can regardless of their political complexion, and why he should listen to what they say.

    Bush did none of these things and look where it got us.

  4. #4 Josh Rosenau
    May 23, 2008

    Joel, what makes you think I don’t understand the military?

  5. #5 Oldfart
    May 23, 2008

    Let’s see. McSame flew around in an airplane for awhile and then got shot down. He spent 6 years (??) as a PoW. And how does that qualify him to be CIC? Was he studying military strategy and tactics in the POW camp? I think not. You don’t have to be in the military or have been in the military to wish a nice package of benefits on the boys (and girls) who defend you. But it is obvious from McSame’s turning his back on the military vis-a-vis torture and now benefits, that being in the military doesn’t stop you from becoming a senile statesman.

  6. #6 Joel
    May 23, 2008

    Josh, I don’t think it is about you understanding the military. It’s just after serving, you have certain feelings toward those who shared the common experience. I’ve felt the same thing from older veterans toward me as well.

    I guess it is hard to me to explain, but John McCain seemed to express it in his statement.

    Further, this is not about, This “president must have military experience” crap. It is about the loyalty service members feel toward one another and someone outside that experience questioning it.

    I have an enormous amount of respect for John McCain’s service in Vietnam as I would for any of our veterans. I doubt I would likely not vote for McCain, but I will treat him with respect and honor.

    Now, someone like Bush, who was given an honored position in the military and squandered it…I don’t have any respect for him. Odds are, somebody who would have appreciated and served proudly was denied that opportunity because of Bush’s selfishness.

  7. #7 Joel
    May 23, 2008

    And Oldfart is a perfect example. He says, Let’s see. McSame flew around in an airplane for awhile and then got shot down. He spent 6 years (??) as a PoW.

    To trivialize John McCain’s experience the way he has. Wow. What a complete lack of anything even resembling human. Disgusting.

  8. #8 Oldfart
    May 23, 2008

    Joel. You are a mentally incompetent misfit who is incapable of perceiving reality-based criticism. McSame’s 6 years as a POW made have made him a hero but it did not give him any special expertise in military theory, strategy, tactics, treatment any more than Audie Murphy gained those attributes. In fact, despite his military experiences, he does not support veterans like himself. But Obama does. Now, sorry that offends you but that’s just the way reality is. Offensive but real. I did not trivialize his experience. He has.

  9. #9 Josh Rosenau
    May 23, 2008

    The charitable interpretation of Oldfart’s comment is that POW experience is a trivial measure of political aptitude or policy acumen. I can see how Joel misread it, and hope the rhetoric can be cooled down a notch. No one is mentally incompetent, and poor phrasing is a better hypothesis than inhumanity.

    No doubt that McCain feels a bond with his fellow veterans, but on a policy level, his opposition to a GI bill for modern veterans simply can’t be justified. Whatever personal bond he feels with vets isn’t translating into his Senate votes, and based on ratings by Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (who gave him a D), Vietnam Veterans of America (who find him voting against Vietnam vets nearly twice as often as he votes for them), and Disabled Veterans of America (who found him backing their interests only 20% of the time).

    Whether he thinks he’s standing firm with veterans isn’t the question. Whether veterans think he’s standing with them is, and on that measure, Obama outstrips McCain (he got a B+ from IAVA, voted with VVA 12 times and against once, and got an 80% rating from DVA).

  10. #10 Joel
    May 23, 2008

    Sorry Josh, didn’t mean to go off the deep end.

    If one honestly considers John McCain’s service in Vietnam, very critically injured once trying to save a fellow pilot, shot down, severly injured, badly beaten by his captors and held prisoner for nearly six years, it is pretty remarkable and worthy of respect and I over reacted and did not consider alternative meanings.

    I apologize Oldfart, I understand what you were trying to say now.

    Just to be clear, and I don’t understand why he would vote the way he would, but I do think anyone who would be willing to put his beliefs and convictions on the line as he did, even as long ago as 40 years, has earned respect today.

  11. #11 Oldfart
    May 24, 2008

    Wow. What a complete lack of anything even resembling human. Disgusting.

    Sorta sets one’s blood pressure to a higher level, ya know?

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