Monday, June 30, 2008

Can We Talk Sense?

It is not even the first of July yet, and the election has reached a point where a sensible debate is impossible.

Today's evidence:

Obama rejects critique of McCain's service

WASHINGTON - Democrat Barack Obama rejected a retired general's suggestion that Republican John McCain's military experience didn't necessarily qualify him to be president, as GOP surrogates lined up to label the remarks indecent and disrespectful.

That's the headline and paragraph of an AP headline story today - the big political event of the day, in fact. The only problem is - there was no critique of McCain's service. In fact, in Wesley Clark's actual remarks - made on tape for in an interview for broadcast - he actually praised Senator McCain's service and counted him as one of his (Clark's) personal heroes.

So Obama rejected Clark for something Clark didn't say. Doing so, he contributes to the confusion.

Moreover, what Clark said was neither indecent nor disrespectful. Being shot down in a warplane, being wounded in combat, being a prisoner of war subject to what we are now calling "aggressive interrogation techniques," are not instant qualifications for being President of the United States. They aren't substitutes for executive experience, a working knowledge of government, a functional understanding of White House procedures, and the political skills that go with being president. Vice Admiral James Stockdale was one of the most highly decorated Naval officers in its history - and look at how much fun we had with him as a Vice-Presidential candidate!

If we are supposed to believe that anybody who has been on a battlefield is qualified to hold that office, I am wondering if that homeless veteran begging change on the Alvarado offramp can be McCain's running mate.

No comments: