Friday, August 29, 2008

Stop Honoring McShame's Service

It's so sad when someone squanders a hard-won achievement.

Gambling away a fortune. Wasting an education. Besmirching a reputation. Dishonoring a family legacy.

Misusing past military service as an excuse for misbehavior.

There are 25 million veterans in this country. Ninety-nine percent of them will tell you that their service has earned their legal benefits, and deserves the thanks and gratitude of their fellow citizens, but entitles them to nothing else.

And then there's John McCain.

John McCain survived five-and-half-years as a sometimes-tortured captive of a foreign government.

Few of us can imagine his suffering, but it is not unique to McCain, or even to members of the military. Associated Press Beirut Bureau Chief Terry Anderson survived more than eight years as a sometimes-tortured prisoner of Middle-Eastern terrorists.

What is rare, if not unique, about McCain's POW experience is the way he is using it as an automatic excuse for everything he does wrong.

Among those 25 million U.S. military veterans are politicians and police officers, teachers and farmers, engineers and garbage collectors, home-makers and truck-drivers - genuine heroes all.

Also among those 25 million U.S. military veterans are shoplifters and drug addicts, con men and drunk drivers, robbers and rapists and child molesters and murderers.

It is to McCain's credit that he turned those years in an enemy prison into a quarter-century of political public service.

It is to McCain's eternal shame that his life since returning from Vietnam has been one long series of personal and professional misbehavior.

  • Committing adultery against the faithful wife who waited loyally for him to come home, then deserting her for a younger, slimmer, healthier and far far far wealthier mistress.
  • Accepting illegal contributions in the savings-and-loan scandal, despite his second wife's millions
  • Giving lip service to veterans while voting against expanding and improving veterans benefits
  • Sacrificing to pure political ambition his long-held positions against political theocracy, budget-busting tax cuts and ill-advised military adventurism.
  • Claiming the campaign high ground while approving the lowest form of filthy, lying attacks against his opponent.
Every time Barack Obama and other Democratic officials preface their criticism of McCain with "we honor his service," they undermine and negate those criticisms.

McCains's military service - his years as a POW, the torture and suffering and permanent disabilities - does not entitle him to a single fucking vote.

It does not give him a pass on lying, or trying to hide his wife's wealth, or forgetting, or not understanding the difference between Iraq and Iran.

There are dozens of legitimate avenues of attack on John McCain as a candidate for president.

But you can't take those avenues if you block the entrance to every one with "we honor his service."

Why honor his service? He doesn't honor it himself.

Stop honoring McShame's Service.

Cross-posted at BlueGrassRoots.

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