silly democrats

Let me get this straight — John McCain’s military service doesn’t qualify him to be commander in chief, but John Kerry’s does?  That’s the unusual logic employed by Obama supporter, failed presidential candidate, and retired military guy General Wesley Clark.   Surely General Clark remembers his glowing comments about Senator Kerry and his war record, and let’s be absolutely clear about this — Kerry ran on that record until he was derailed by the Swiftboat Veterans for Truth.  The Democrats seem conflicted about whether military service matters to presidential candidates.  Clinton = No.   Kerry=Yes.  McCain = Absolutely not.  Curious how military service only adds to your qualifications for commander-in-chief if you are a Democrat.

That’s ok though.  This is a debate I’m comfortable having with the Democrats all day long.  While it’s true that having military service doesn’t automatically qualify you to be President of the United States, McCain’s long record of public service, including serving on the Senate Armed Services Committee,  speaks to much more experience than Senator Obama has.   So Senator Obama’s surrogates like Clark want to question McCain’s experience. Ha.  Go ahead.    Do you really want to compare Obama and McCain on overall experience?  Good luck.

5 thoughts on “silly democrats

  1. Too bad Gen. Clark never mentions McCain’s war record. It was Schieffer who asked Clark a question. And it was Schieffer who said that being a co-pilot and getting shot down was enough qualification for president. Clark merely said it wasn’t. Silly indeed.

    But I’m sure Fox News doesn’t report it that way.

  2. Ok…here’s the context. I think you missed the part where I said that military service isn’t an automatic qualification to be commander-in-chief. I still think it’s a good thing to have on your resume if you’re running for President.

    Bob Schieffer: Well you, you went so far as to say that you thought John McCain was, quote, and these are your words, “untested and untried,” And I must say I, I had to read that twice, because you’re talking about somebody who was a prisoner of war. He was a squadron commander of the largest squadron in the Navy. He’s been on the Senate Armed Services Committee for lo these many years. How can you say that John McCain is un- untested and untried? General?

    GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: Because in the matters of national security policy making, it’s a matter of understanding risk. It’s a matter of gauging your opponents, and it’s a matter of being held accountable. John McCain’s never done any of that in his official positions. I certainly honor his service as a prisoner of war. He was a hero to me and to hundreds of thousands and millions of others in Armed Forces as a prisoner of war. He has been a voice on the Senate Armed Services Committee, and he has traveled all over the world. But he hasn’t held executive responsibility. That large squadron in Air- in the Navy that he commanded, it wasn’t a wartime squadron. He hasn’t been there and ordered the bombs to fall. He hasn’t seen what it’s like when diplomats come in and say, ‘I don’t know whether we’re going to be able to get this point through or not. Do you want to take the risk? What about your reputation? How do we handle it-‘

    Bob Schieffer: Well-

    GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: ‘ -it publicly.’ He hasn’t made those calls, Bob.

    Bob Schieffer: Well, well, General, maybe-


    Bob Schieffer: Could I just interrupt you. If-


    Bob Schieffer: I have to say, Barack Obama has not had any of those experiences either, nor has he ridden in a fighter plane and gotten shot down. I mean-

    GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: Well, I don’t think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be President.

    Bob Schieffer: Really?!

    GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: But Barack is not, he is not running on the fact that he has made these national security pronouncements. He’s running on his other strengths. He’s running on the strengths of character, on the strengths of his communication skills, on the strengths of his judgment. And those are qualities that we seek in our national leadership.

    Interpret that however you want to. For the record, I didn’t learn about Clark’s comments from Fox News, and it gets on my nerves when you make all these assumptions that I’m some kind of mindless drone blindly following whatever the standard line of the right-wing happens to be that day. Upon further reflection, I stand by what I said in the post, which was less about Clark’s opinion (because I don’t pay much attention to what he says anyway) and more about the Dems being inconsistent on the question of whether a candidate’s military service matters as a qualification for President. They are inconsistent on this, and it’s absolutely provable that it matters to Democrats only when their candidates have that experience.

    Did we just read that Barack Obama is not running on national security? That he is running on character and judgment and his outstanding speechifying ability? That’s great. Maybe someone will ask him why all these questionable friends and acquaintances like him so much. Maybe someone will dare to ask him what it says about his character and judgment that it took him so long to figure out that Rezko, Ayers, and Reverend Wright were not the kind of people he should be associated with. Even if he had to do that to make it in Chicago politics, it’s still a bad choice that he made there.

    But back to the original subject here…

    You want to say that McCain’s military service doesn’t necessarily give him the ability to make the right decisions as President? Fine. I’ll buy that. That’s the way I interpreted Clark’s comments. But that’s not the way Clark said it. At this point I’m getting very tired of the endless offense taken and apologies made by surrogates of both sides for stray comments made that are even just a bit controversial. I wish both men would grow a thicker skin, because neither of them are convincing victims. In a few words — get over it.

  3. But Gen. Clark never said that military service doesn’t qualify someone to be president. And Barack Obama never said that either. In your very first two sentences on your main post you said Wesley Clark uses unusual logic to say that McCain’s military service doesn’t qualify him to be president. Clark never said that. You might interpret it that way, which is up to you but he never said that. What he said was that being shot down doesn’t qualify anyone to be president. Of course getting shot down doesn’t qualify someone to be president just like not getting shot down would qualify someone. Clark never questioned McCain’s military service and certainly never said that McCain’s military service doesn’t qualify him to be president. Saying that Clark uses unusual logic to question McCain’s military service isn’t accurate and follows the very same sorry pattern used on Fox News and other right wing media outlets.

    Clark did not question McCain’s service and neither did Obama. Clark said that getting shot down was not a qualification and that’s true. But he only said that after Schieffer tried to say that one of McCain’s qualifications was being shot down.

    Also, I never said McCain’s military service doesn’t necessarily give him the ability to make the right decisions as president. And Gen. Clark didn’t say that either. He was rebutting a question presented to him by Schieffer in which Schieffer was the one actually questioning Barack’s qualifications to be president. It was Schieffer who said that McCain’s qualification to be president was his experience at riding in a fighter jet and getting shot down. Clark only said that that experience was not a qualification to be president. And that is true. Because no where does it say in the Constitution that the president must have been shot down while flying in a fighter jet. Clark was not picking on McCain’s military service nor was he insulting his time as a POW.

    Furthermore, both parties have been inconsistent on the issue of military service, not just the Democrats. In 1992 the GOP used the first George Bush’s war service as qualification for president and called Clinton a draft dodger. In 1996 it was Bob Dole’s heroic war service versus draft dodger Clinton. In 2000 the GOP tried to say war experience didn’t matter versus war avoider George Bush and Vietnam Veteran Gore. Again in 2004 war experience was nothing when compared to war avoider George Bush and Vietnam Veteran John Kerry. The GOP is absolutely inconsistent on this and only proves it matters when their candidates have that experience.

    Yes, the whole surrogate thing is ridiculous especially when things they never said are tossed around to be true.

  4. Here’s the way I see this:
    Bob Schieffer brings up a quote of Clark calling McCain “untested and untried”. Schieffer mentions McCain’s previous POW status, that he was a fighter pilot, and that McCain has served on the Senate Armed Service Committee for many years. He lays a big chunk of McCain’s resume out there and he includes part of McCain’s Senate experience when asking about that quote from Wesley Clark.

    Clark then says that all this experience by McCain doesn’t mean that he understands risk, gauging opponents, and being accountable. Oh yeah…and since his squadron wasn’t a wartime squadron the fact that he was commander of it doesn’t matter and doesn’t give him any claim on executive experience. I did notice the part where Clark pays lip service to honoring McCain’s military record, but I don’t buy it. His whole argument was to discredit the importance of a huge part of McCain’s resume. Schieffer’s point was that it’s an interesting argument to make against McCain when Barack Obama has zero military experience of his own and no long Senate career to point to. Which is also absolutely true.

    We aren’t going to agree on the interpretation of Clark’s comments, so I’m resigned to that. From the very beginning, I have said that I agree with Clark’s “inartfully” expressed point that getting shot down or not getting shot down should not be the sole qualifier for the Oval Office. I do feel that Obama loses a debate over resumes, and that it’s an interesting strategy for Obama surrogates to try to take away one of McCain’s strengths as a candidate. Obama himself never made this argument. I never said that he did, or demanded that he apologize for what Clark said. But he felt compelled to anyway, so I guess he found Clark’s comments more divisive than you did. 🙂

  5. I can agree to your last comment, but I’ll note what your first two sentences say in the original post is very different.

    I’ll also agree that a huge part of McCain’s resume is his military experience, which is not a qualification for the presidency. Republicans constantly made note of that in 2000 and 2004 for Bush’s lack of military service. The GOP didn’t run Bush as a military war hero, instead they tried to discredit Kerry’s service, which you say is wrong and is exactly what the Dems are doing now to McSame. I agree, it’s not a smart way to do politics at all. But you said a large reason for your post was “more about the Dems being inconsistent on the question of whether a candidate’s military service matters as a qualification for President.” I call it political karma, but inconsistent works too 😉

    Also if we compare resumes, which is fine with me, but that too is exactly the opposite of what the GOP did in ’00 & ’04 as well. Gore’s resume of being a Vietnam Veteran, years of service in the US Senate, and 8 years as VP of the USA was far greater than George Bush’s nonexistent resume of 4 years as Gov. I don’t think you would have argued the resume strength thingy back then 🙂

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