This Election and why Senator Webb is Wrong

Well there’s actually 2 reasons why Webb is wrong concerning the big news stories lately about Senator McCain’s service and imprisonment and torture. The 2nd reason is because he told McCain to “calm down”. Here’s his quote:

…and John McCain’s my long-time friend, if that is one area that I would ask him to calm down on, it`s that, don’t be standing up and uttering your political views and implying that all the people in the military support them because they don’t, any more than when the Democrats have political issues during the Vietnam War. Let’s get the politics out of the military, take care of our military people, or have our political arguments in other areas.”

MCain HAS been calm and he have NEVER implied that everyone military man and woman agrees with him.
Here’s McCain:

McCain was asked if Obama…who did reject Clark’s statements on Monday–had done enough to repudiate the general. He didn’t take the bait. “That’s up to others to decide”, said McCain, “I’m not going to worry about the comments General Clark made.”

Yeah, he sure sounds like “crazy McCain” to me, Not.

More importantly, the FIRST Reason why Senator Webb is wrong is where he suggests that McCain should avoid using his military service as evidence of his viability for the Presidency.

We are each made up of the sum of our experiences. Most of us have 2 to 5 major things in our lives that are defining. Things that show our character and how we handle things. Let’s look at Obama. He was born a black child to a white mother. Yes, it’s defining. It’s part of his makeup that makes him different and potentially gave him a “harder” growing up than many of us. That experience and having to grow up and make his choices are part of who he is.

His blackness and how he dealt with whatever discrimination/advantages/name calling/community that comes with it are part of his character.

What seem to be his other positive definers that he can campaign on and show us his character. Hmmmm. Choosing to go into public service vs corporate law after school. What else? Going into public office. ?? What else? Oh – standing up in one speech against going to war in Iraq. (assuming you agree with him, I don’t)

That’s it. That’s all he’s got.

McCain: (and I’m sorry I don’t know much about his service, just tidbits, here’s a USA today story from McCain on his experiences as a POW)

1) In the Forrestal Fire he tried to help a pilot escape his aircraft when another bomb exploded. 2) After being shot down and tortured, he 3) helped keep other American prisoners in Vietnam spirits up, hopes alive and resistance ready. 4) He stayed behind when he could have left. 5) After recovering he stayed in the military and eventually retired as a Captain. 6) Then he went into politics where he has 7) voted his own mind vs the GOP’s and 8.) worked across the aisle on multiple occasions including his gang of 14.

You may not agree with his politics. Both from the right and from the left, but you can’t tell me his military service is not a key piece of information for voters. It’s goes to the heart of who he is.

Bill Clinton, grew up poor in Hope, Ark and worked his way to becoming President. That’s his mo.
That was part of his appeal to people.
George W, regular guy.

John McCain – hero. Yes, it matters and with 8, yes 8 of Obama’s advisors trying to insist it didn’t matter after Clark ran on his military record and Kerry practically thought he deserved the Presidency because of his purple hearts you can not tell me that that Obama is not behind this deflection from McCain’s service.

The Campaign Spot agrees with me, here and here:

It’s really nice that Obama said today that “no one should ever devalue that service, especially for the sake of a political campaign.” It’s also meaningless if everyone else in the Democratic party ignores him. Barack Obama doesn’t have total control of the actions and words of every surrogate, but after the eighth instance, without any major consequence beyond a spokesman saying that Obama “rejects” the surrogate’s statement, it starts to look like a deliberate and cynical good cop/bad cop routine

No, it would not be great if the only thing we elected people on were their politics. Character matters and Webb is wrong.

From Blackfive and Why McCain’s Captivity Matters: Read the whole thing.

The clowns on the left toss out the straw man that he learned nothing about foreign policy there. Well I disagree, he learned at least one thing. Our enemies are evil, ruthless bastards and they do not play by the same rules.

(ht Instapundit who also notes

And if, as Rand Beers says, the fact that McCain missed out on the 60s antiwar protests by being in a POW camp means he’s “isolated” on national security issues, then what of Obama, who was attending elementary school in Indonesia at the same time?

)

UPDATE
And of course The Anchoress gets it too. In a post titled Let Obama be Obama & McCain be McCain she gives us this gem:

Happily for McCain, the Obama team and their supporters keep popping up (daily, it seems) talking about John McCain and telling him to stop talking about his military service. They seem not to realize that doing this serves to remind voters that McCain is a real war hero with command experience and 21 years in the senate, and that Barack Obama…is not.

Since most voters still harbor all-too-fresh memories of Sen. John Kerry snapping to attention and striking a salute before inserting his 4 month tour in Vietnam into his every pronouncement, the Democrats telling John McCain to “calm down” on his military service is setting off the hypocrisy gongs. They should maybe “calm down” with their advice.

As always – go. read. Take a trip down fake memory lane with video.