Saturday, August 16, 2008

Why Is He Getting Away With This?

Writing at the excellent Too Sense blog, OneDrop makes this point:

What I find interesting about McCain's response is that the list of personal attributes that arise out of McCain's time as a POW keeps growing. We've been hearing the argument that having been a POW gives McCain foreign policy savvy for a while. Now, in addition to gaining expertise in international relations, McCain apparently also gained irrefutable proof that he is a man of faith. There can't be any criticism of McCain's publicly-known philandering, and abandonment of his badly injured first wife in favor of a young, blonde heiress, because McCain was a POW. Of course he has faith, he was a POW.

Look, what McCain went through in Vietnam was horrific, and worthy of tremendous respect and honor. There is no denying that the man served valiantly, and paid a very high price in blood and tears for his country. But there's a difference between recognizing his service and accepting any and all arguments that get advanced based upon that service.

This is an ongoing pattern with McCain. "He was a POW", so he "knows how to win wars". I'm still wondering exactly which war it was that he won--Vietnam? "He was a POW", so he's expert on national security matters. When during his time in the Hanoi Hilton did he acquire this expertise? "He was a POW", he has foreign policy experience. So then maybe it's the incipient Alzheimer's that's made him confuse Shiite with Sunni, Sudan with Somalia, and repeatedly refer to a country (Czechoslovakia) that hasn't existed for fifteen years?

Saying that McCain has foreign policy expertise because of his years as a POW, is like saying that Mike Tyson has women's rights expertise because of his years in prison on rape charges. It's ridiculous, it's ludicrous, it's something that intelligent people should respond to with derision and laughter.

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