Monday, June 30, 2008

Good for Wes Clark!

Gen. Wesley Clark pointed out the obvious over the weekend:
"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 the armed forces, as a prisoner of war. And he has traveled all over the world. But he hasn't held executive responsibility," said Clark, a former NATO commander who campaigned for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004.

"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," Clark said.

Schieffer noted that Obama did not have any of those experiences, nor had he "ridden in a fighter plane and gotten shot down."

"Well, I don't think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president," Clark said.
This is exactly right. As I've argued before, if John McCain wants us to consider his military leadership--which is separate from his time as a POW--he must release his full military record.

Of course, don't expect the idiots to get the point he's making. As Digby says, "Should be an interesting Monday."

Update: Rafael Noboa lays it out:
All he does is hint at his suffering, with a wink and a nod, and because regular folks don’t know how to deal with that when faced with it (trust me, they don’t, and that’s OK, as it goes), they give him a pass — and they’ve been doing it for the last four decades.

Well, it all ends now. It starts with Wes Clark, continues with me, and there will be others, some louder than others. I refuse to sanctify or venerate some service more than others.

If John McCain wants to milk his Vietnam experience for votes and support — and he’s been doing it pretty blatantly for forty years — then he’s going to get called on it. It’s as simple as that. If he doesn’t want that to be part of the debate, then the decision is simple — quit talking about it, or referring to it, even implicitly. Simply put, step it up, brother, or shut it down, as the lyric goes.


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