The phony war

by Jay Stevens

Hm. Apparently a four-star general and former theater commander questioned whether a former pilot’s experience in the military automatically qualified him for a leadership position. The answer, as you all know by now, was “no.”

Or, as Dave Crisp so clearly explains:

The RNC called this an attack. Is it? Not to me. I served three years in the Army as a linguist and radio operator. Does that qualify me to be president? Not in the least. Would I be offended by someone who pointed this out? Not at all. Sen. McCain obviously does have qualifications to be president, and the fortitude he showed as a prisoner may be one of them, but flying an airplane is not.

Nonetheless, much ado followed.

Digby, as always, nails it in her reaction to the reaction, calling it “The Grand Hissy Fit Redux”:

The point of that hissy fit wasn’t to uphold the honor of General Petraeus or even the armed forces. It was shut down any criticism of the war in Iraq. That’s what today’s hissy fit against Wes Clark is all about too, with the added bonus of shutting down all criticism of John McCain’s truly embarrassing ignorance on foreign policy in general.

Really, what Clark said was entirely reasonable. The reaction was not. But then, that’s all the GOP has at this point: phony outrage. And the media, with its collective crush on the Republican nominee, is easily led down this path.

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  1. So, I have been watching a lot of soccer for the first time in my life, and really enjoying it. The one thing that frustrates me is that the players do more flopping and crying about fouls than you’d expect to see at a San Antonio Spurs scrimmage.

    My point? I have the same frustration with American politics. To some extent, I enjoy the game, with its interesting ebb and flow, attacks and counter-attacks, and occasional scores. Unfortunately, far too much of the game has become running around the field, crying to the referees about one “outrage” or another, rather than trying to win on the merits of the argument.

    Mondays, 11:00 p.m. My analogy time. :)

  2. Excellent analogy!

    You should have seen the flops before they started cracking down on them. And one wonders how much of the European influence in basketball is responsible for the recent flopping in the NBA. Tho’ to be fair, it was mostly US players doin’ the flopping in the recent playoffs.

    Soccer is a very rough game, and much of it is played outside the rules. Flopping’s also done to disrupt the game’s tempo and give a rest to the gang. Still an ugly thing. I remember — what year was it when the US hosted the WC? 96? I remember the US squad getting absolutely killed on penalties b/c they weren’t flopping and the other squads were…

  3. I’m totally stealing that analogy.

  4. goof houlihan

    Duke university is well known in college hoops circles as teaching the art of the flop to get a charge call from inattentive officials. Duke, a liberal college whose money comes from the tobacco industry, has had to deal with it’s own off the court condundrums.

    As for falsely crying “wolf”, even democrats acknowledge Barrry’s tendency to flop at any criticism, flailing backward dramatically away from whatever former colleague has caused a public comment. He’s just now flailing backward to distance himself from the drive to the goal by the charging Gen. Clark

  5. Mandatory yellow cards are in order, and two means the party responsible has to sit out the next election!

  6. Geez, goof, leave it to you to suck all the class out of a comment thread.

  7. goof houlihan

    Yeah, I’m not classy enough to follow soccer. Or think that a slip of the tongue negates years in an enemy prison camp.

  8. Your logic doesn’t follow. What does his service have to do with the issue at hand? Does anyone dispute his courage and determination? Or his patriotism? No. Does it make him capable of being President? Obviously. (And no one’s said any different, although too bad y’all didn’t apply those criteria in the last two elections.) Does it give him the foreign policy experience advantage over Obama? No.

    Now, hold back the urge for silly attacks against liberals for a moment, and speak to the question. Remember, we’re talking about a guy who confuses Sunni and Shia, Somalia and the Sudan, and who, if given a second chance, would invade Iraq all over again, even if he knew what he knows now.

  9. goof houlihan

    I guess you’re right, Jay. Who’d want a President with courage, determination, patriotism and willingness to sacrifice for his country.

    Not you, certainly.

    As for the last two elections, don’t look at me. I supported McCain in 1999-2000 too because George Bush was the anointed one of the establishmentarians. Did you support Bill Bradley? Because Al Gore didn’t do shit in the military. He was busy inventing the internet as a silver spoon fortunate son dick just like Bush.

  10. You’re dodging the question. No one’s questioned McCain’s courage or patriotism. But how does that translate into qualifications to be a world leader? His continued support of Bush’s Iraqi policy (and the fact that he’d do it all over again) seems to speak louder as to his qualifications than his military service, IMHO.

    In 2000, I was a Nader-ite.

    Gore served in Vietnam. Way to swallow the right-wing bullsh*t, BTW. If I didn’t know better, I’d say you and squid are on the same email chains…

  11. goof houlihan

    If you were a Nader-ite in 2000, and voted for him, then you’re far more to blame for the election of george bush than I am.

    It’s hard to blame you though, given the choices. The primary opponents, Bradley and McCain, were far better candidates for either side.

  12. Mayor of Mayhem

    goof, McCain is the son of a Navy Admiral, most certainly a Fortunate son. His captivity in Vietnam must have been an unimaginable hell. His bravery and courage can’t be questioned. However his judgement must be. He gets publicly confused often regarding our enemies. He jokes about bombing Iran while singing beach boys songs. His willingness to sacrifice U.S. lives is downright scary.
    George Washington, Abe Lincoln, FDR, Truman, even LBJ, never made jokes about people dying.
    McCain’s “courage, determination, patriotism, and willingness to sacrifice for his country” that you point out, really just means the U.S. gets another shoot from the hip cowboy running around the world confusing shia with sunni and saying stupid sh*t like “wanted dead or alive” p*ssing off our allies and enemies at the same time. I personally know a few real bad dudes who would be great to have on your side in a fight., but I wouldn’t want them running the world, there would be stacks of bodies everywhere. All this “vote for me or the terrorists win” stuff just sounds like more of the same old Bushy speak to me. Lets give a smart guy a chance and see how that works out this time. Clinton helped overthrow Milosevich by buying paper and copy machines for his opposition.
    I was a lifelong Libertarian who switched to Democrat 6 months ago because we as individuals no longer have the luxury of voting for a third party. The stakes are to high and the damage done is too great.




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