Thursday, May 22, 2008

McCain's Military Service

Betsy Newmark notes that there are some senators out there, Democratic Senators that is, who have taken to begin bashing John McCain's military service. Linking to this piece by Ed Morrissey at Hot Air, Newmark wonders:
Remember how upset Democrats got about the Swivt Boat Veterans for Truth for questioning John Kerry's short service in Vietnam. So some of these Obama supporters are now in the position of saying that it was despicable to criticize anything about Kerry's service, yet McCain's is fair game. I doubt whether they're going to get anywhere dissing McCain's military background. Sure, lefty blogs and their mouthpieces in the press will take up the cry, but they just aren't going to get much traction with these sorts of attacks.

The question is why experienced politicians would try this tactic. Perhaps they really fear the aura of hero that McCain has due to the courage he showed as a POW. Or maybe they just don't get the military and deep down dislike the military.
I think there were legitimate criticisms for John Kerry's service and I think there are legitimate criticisms of McCain's service.

I do beleive that John McCain got into the Naval Academy because of his father being an Admiral. Now the Naval Academy is no picnic in terms of its traditions, its academic pressures and other matters. John McCain did graduate although far at the bottom of his class. I think McCain got another boost by getting pilot training, despite his low graduation rank (assignments are generally chosen by seniority defined by graduation rank). Perhaps it was his father again or maybe it was just that there were some flight training slots open (I have no data one way or the other, but it does seem unusual).

While these are fair game criticisms and ones that McCain has faced before, there is no doubt that his military career was shortened and altered by teh seven years he spent in a Vietnamese POW camp. The Vietnamese were not known for their humane treatment of POWs and McCain courage and strength in undergoing such an ordeal cannot be questioned and I find it dispicable that some Democrats now think it is fair to do so.

Question his possible privilege? Fair, off-point, but fair. Question McCain's courage--just plain stupid and likely to backfire.


Anonymous said...

"McCain courage and strength in undergoing such an ordeal cannot be questioned and I find it despicable that some Democrats now think it is fair to do so."
I haven't heard any Democrats question his courage and strength, quite the opposite.

Anonymous said...

I question his character. He kept being pushed along because of who his father was. If you reap the rewards sometimes you have to pay the piper. His low graduation rank should have excluded him from some of his assignments. They would have done him a huge favor by not giving something he obviously wasn't prepared for. He wasn't like John Kerry who was in a boat, on the ground in the mud. He's was dropping bombs and didn't have enough skill to avoid being shot down. He was lucky to be held hostage and not killed on site. Criticize the Vietnamese, but his butt came home didn't it? If New Yorkers caught an Iraqi flying bombing missions over Time Square do you think he'd be going home?