29 June 2008

Oil, shmoil. Put everything you have in smelling salts

There's going to be a HUGE run on them inside the Beltway:
GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: Well, I don't think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be President.
The hysterics that follow will be the stuff of legend. Not only did someone question St. McCain, but he dared to do it in terms of the part military service plays/doesn't play in being Chief Executive. Though we assuredly won't know it from the firestorm of coverage that will follow, that statement wasn't made in a vacuum:
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.
So, in reality, Clark lauded McCain's service and was discussing legitimate qualities of Executive office when Schieffer tried to frame POW status as some sort of leg up on Obama, despite it having nothing to do with the duties of the president. Clark called him on it, and rightly so.

No one mocked McCain (purple band-aids, anyone?) and no one derided him, or his service.

Clark made a statement of fact about McCain's experience in uniform and, without invective or insult, questioned what about it made him a better candidate for the presidency. Doubtless Johnnie Mac's barbeque buddies in the press will dutifully clutch their pearls and dive for the nearest fainting couch, propagating the pundit/campaign spin that this was some sort of egregious slight, when nothing of the sort actually occurred.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...