Open Thread

I don’t feel like blogging. Nothing I want to talk about.

You are on your own.

*** Update ***

And no, I don’t care about people attacking McCain’s service. It doesn’t surprise me in the least that people on one side of the aisle can be just as bad as folks on the other side of the aisle were in 2004 to Kerry. In fairness, what I have seen to date doesn’t even compare to 2004, to include the shit I peddled while trying to “seriously” evaluate the Swiftboat charges- and sometimes buying into them. I should have just dismissed them.

But I really don’t care. I am not going to spread the nonsense (not even going to bother linking it), but I am not going to howl in outrage over what people are doing to poor John McCain. The GOP, right-wing bloggers, and the media with their McCain mancrush have no one to blame but themselves that this line of attack is so prevalent. I will do what I should have done in 2004- just dismiss the shit outright and pretend it isn’t happening. Just assume that I consider questioning people’s service is wrong, whether it is George Bush, Bob Dole, or, well, anyone. Although I think no one got hosed more than John Kerry, and I personally blame the media for the bulk of that. It was an issue because they played ball with it.

And I will note that I haven’t seen anything linking the Obama campaign to this line of attack, and I hope it stays that way.

*** Update #2 ***

On the other hand, anything that gets Uncle Jimbo and the wankosphere (who, by the way, have spent the last 4 years questioning the service of anyone who disagreed with them) this bent out of shape can’t be all that bad






72 replies
  1. 1
    Punchy says:

    First! I’m First! Look at me! Dumb, pointless comment, but at least im FIRST!!

    /1 of Atrios’ 2000+ retarded commenters

  2. 2
    Zifnab says:

    Shotgun

  3. 3
    Incertus says:

    I jumped all over that article Punchy mentioned in the thread below. Try to imagine that article being written about McCain.

  4. 4

    Floyd Landis is still a doping fiend.

  5. 5
    dmsilev says:

    Some good clean fun for the morning: An evolutionary biologist deals out the mother of all smack-downs to the people of Conservapedia: Check out my diary at GOS.

    -dms

  6. 6
    asl says:

    I don’t think that every mention of McCain needs to include the obligatory bow to his service, but to attack it when there are sooo many other things to attack is insane. But like you said, who cares?

  7. 7
    AkaDad says:

    Fun Fact:

    McCain has crashed more planes than the 9/11 terrorists.

  8. 8
    rob! says:

    i can’t understand why Clark’s “Being shot down doesn’t make you qualified to be President” line is so controversial, at least to the idiot Pundit class.

    i mean, then why didn’t we elect Audie Murphy in the 1950s? or Sgt. York? or any local Fire Man? they’re very brave, too.

    Clark wasn’t diminishing McCain’s service (like what was done to Kerry), but simply stating being shot down and/or a POW makes you qualified to lead the free world. i don’t get it.

  9. 9
    rob! says:

    Clark wasn’t diminishing McCain’s service (like what was done to Kerry), but simply stating being shot down and/or a POW doesn’t make you qualified to lead the free world. i don’t get it.

    er, fixed.

  10. 10
    jrg says:

    CNN is jumping all over the radical left-wing meme that 5 years of torture does not automatically make someone the best candidate to lead the most powerful country on earth.

    Someone call the RNC – there are thousands of vets out there who are qualified to run for president.

    Thank God for this fair and balanced reporting from CNN. Pointing out that years of harsh treatment does not magically make a great leader is clearly a lie. Next thing you know, General Wesley Clark is going to mock McCain by wearing a purple heart band-aid to the Democratic convention.

  11. 11
    TTT says:

    ^Exactly right. This is nothing like “Swift-Boating”. No one is denying McCain’s service; instead, far too late and too timidly some people are at last asking why it supposedly qualifies him for command. John McCain never led troops at any level, never had to plan or implement strategy. He got shot down and captured. Where’s the leadership quality in that?

  12. 12

    The only criticism of McCain’s service that has real merit is Wes Clark making the argument that being a pilot and a POW does not in and of itself instantly qualify McCain as an expert on military or international affairs. Sure he deserves our thanks for his brave service, but he never had any command that required him to lead. His decision to remain in captivity until everyone else was released, after being offered early release because his father was the CINCPAC was courageous and worthy of great praise. McCain proved himself to be one tough SOB, but I fail to see why his service is any more praiseworthy than thousands of others whose names we will never know.

    Of course to be “fair” the reporters like to point out that Obama doesn’t have that experience either. Clark’s response is spot on when he notes that Obama is not running on his military experience or intimate knowledge of what its like to be shot at in combat.

    Clark doesn’t discount McCain’s service. He calls into question what it has to do with being President. Especially something that ended 30 years ago. A lot has happened since and McCain has proven himself to the as much an opportunist as any other politician. He never really was the maverick the media likes to make him out to be.

  13. 13
    Splitting Image says:

    Yeah, to be honest I’m already tired of hearing about War Hero McCain. No one had any trouble voting against Carter, the elder Bush, Dole, Gore or anyone else who had substantial military service but a party platform they didn’t like.

    I’m just as tired of hearing about Honest John the Maverick. McCain is obviously still benefitting from the news companies having a crush on him, but I wonder if that will last until November. Journalists are consistently picked by people as the one profession less trustworthy than politicians, and this is a perfect example of why.

  14. 14
    Dork says:

    i don’t get it.

    It’s very, very simple. Here are the media’s rules: You can repeat, regurgitate, remark, and pontificate on every possible rumor (war-related, or otherwise) involving a Democrat. A Republican’s voting record, ideological consistency, and above all, war-related topics are verboten. I know that sounds hyperbolic, but really, it isn’t.

  15. 15
    Incertus says:

    Even if McCain had led troops, even if he had been the greatest military mind of his generation (as opposed to Alexander, who was the greatest military mind of his generation), that still wouldn’t necessarily make him the best candidate for President. We’re not electing a Supreme General, after all, though with McCain we’ll be getting someone who’s more than willing to try to play that part.

  16. 16
    rachel says:

    Of course being a POW makes one qualified to be POTUS; just think what a great president Col. Hogan would have made! Why, he ran an Allied spy ring right under the noses of Col. Klink and all the rest of the Nazis. He was cunning, brave, practical and well-organized… Too bad he was fiction.

  17. 17
    Doctor Jay says:

    Personally, I think it’s just as well. It drives coverage, and if it makes McCain get angry and go off on a diatribe at some point so much the better. The perfect follow-up would be for some reporter to ask Clark, “Why would you question John McCain’s service and patriotism?” To which Clark would reply, without hesitation, “I wasn’t questioning his patriotism or his service. I was questioning his competence as President, which is an entirely different job.”

  18. 18
    Dork says:

    Clark doesn’t discount McCain’s service. He calls into question what it has to do with being President.

    A very clear, easy, and simple distinction that 99.7% of all right-winger bloggers will intentionally and egregiously overlook and ignore.

  19. 19
    libarbarian says:

    For pure wingnuttery, Lucianne.com can give any site a run for its money.

    Take this.

    The story:

    Tomeika Broussard thought it was so absurd when she overheard her supervisor refer to her as a “reggin” that she just laughed. Then she realized it was the n-word spelled backward.

    The only African-American in the small medical clinic in Los Gatos, Calif., Broussard said she was subjected to racial slurs almost daily. They were not the overt ones that most people would immediately recognize, but rather subtle, surreptitious code words that sometimes take a while to figure out.

    With both trepidation I approached the comments:

    Reply 2 – Posted by: GreatGreyhounds, 6/30/2008 9:19:08 AM

    Try going to an Islamic Country and see what they call you honey…

    If you aren’t a Muslim, you are a third class citizen.

    Reply 10 – Posted by: tangles, 6/30/2008 10:23:23 AM

    Chances are she wouldn’t have friends no matter what color she was.

    Reply 11 – Posted by: Ad Lucem, 6/30/2008 10:37:05 AM

    So how did this “Black” woman get hired in the first place if they were prejudiced? Well check the demographics of Los Gatos, CA and you find that it is 60 miles from San Francisco and as liberal an enclave as you can get! http://www.town.los-gatos.ca.us/index.asp?NID=296

    Reply 16 – Posted by: greggojo, 6/30/2008 11:15:29 AM

    …..

    While pockets of bigotry of all kinds still exist in America, it is Black against white bigotry, fueled by political correctness, the outrageous financial power of the NAACP, and so on that divides this country.

    Wow.

  20. 20
    El Cid says:

    Wesley Clark did not attack John McCain’s service or his record. He simply pointed out that McCain could not logically claim that either being a fighter pilot who got shot down or being in military positions without executive authority makes one more qualified for President than others.

    Did any Republican, even one, ever suggest that John Kerry’s heroic service getting shot at on a Vietnamese river defending his men qualified him to be President? Or did they at best grudgingly admit he did in fact serve and at worst alleged that secret documents and vague recollections by people who weren’t there meant Kerry fakes his purple hearts?

    The fact that such logical points makes one of CBS’ chief anchors dizzy with pearl-clutching offense is a problem of the idiot, rightwing / mainstream nexus, not of anything Clark said.

    By the way, how ’bout we show some clips of Republicans at the convention with purple band-aids again?

  21. 21
    Martin says:

    Not to mention that Commander in Chief is probably the last responsibility of the job that a president would ever take on. Madison the last sitting president to possibly actually command troops. Ike was probably the most qualified president to do the job and he never did it.

    Does the media point out that people are getting worked up over nothing? Of course not…

  22. 22
    MikeR says:

    I just want to weigh in here, John. I agree with the comments above that nobody is attacking McCain’s military service. Clark was just pointing out that it doesn’t make McCain uniquely qualified to be president. If anything, McCain’s military service has resulted in a view of the world that’s particularly dangerous right now, i.e., that everything can be accomplished by military action.

    I think the point is that electing a guy who thinks we should have “won” in Vietnam if we’d just had the political will is a bad idea, and his own personal experiences probably cause him to pursue “success” in Iraq as a vindication of our failures in Vietnam.

  23. 23
    DBrown says:

    Don’t ever say that bush served honorably or deserves a pass – he went AWOL and that is a FACT. As an officer, that is criminal and discredits your entire record. Facts are facts and bush used his ANG service to avoid real combat. His record is fair game and he has never been properly evaluated by the media for the coward he really is.
    As for McSame, he was a terrible pilot but served in real combat and as a POW, did his time in a honorable way – that the enermy knew his father was an admirl is his fault? That is bullshit and if he ever got better treatment is not something anyone can blame him for and should be out-of-bound. But is he a war hero because he was a POW – that is bull. Honorable, yes; serve, yes; combat, yes; brave (hey, to get into a plane and land on a carrier takes a special person) but does that make him a war hero, no. That is part is open to discussion.

  24. 24
    cleek says:

    i can’t understand why Clark’s “Being shot down doesn’t make you qualified to be President” line is so controversial, at least to the idiot Pundit class.

    Sullivan calls it “Swift Boating” and says what Clark did was “revolting”. so silly.

  25. 25
    Neal says:

    I’m not a fan of questioning anyone’s service in the military – I don’t think the pundits or the average guy on the street have any business doing so.
    That being said, if General Washington himself ran for office these days, his service would be questioned. That’s just the nature of it now…on both sides, sadly.

  26. 26
    BP says:

    I haven’t seen anyone on this side of the aisle “attacking” McCain’s military service. I’ve seen Wes Clark stating the obvious and questioning this nonsensical free pass McCain receives on his alleged “national security” qualifications as a result of nothing more than his military service. This is not “attacking” the military service of McCain or anyone else.

    A few days ago, I thought I was just dicking around simply polishing my skills by posting what I thought was a random link in the comments to an open thread. Looks like the Balloon Juice comment board has the power to turn a randomly chosen link into the Republican Outrage-Du-Jour. If used carefully, this mystical power could be a useful way to manipulate the Republican Outrage Machine throughout the remainder of the campaign.

  27. 27
    AkaDad says:

    McCain is the type of guy I’d like to have greeting me at Wal-Mart.

  28. 28
    Dreggas says:

    cleek Says:

    i can’t understand why Clark’s “Being shot down doesn’t make you qualified to be President” line is so controversial, at least to the idiot Pundit class.

    Sullivan calls it “Swift Boating” and says what Clark did was “revolting”. so silly.

    as much as I like reading sully sometimes, he still is deluded in his man crush on the walking pile of shit that is John McCain.

  29. 29
    Cam says:

    As far as Bush is concerned, people question whether he actually did any service. They don’t question the service itself, assuming it was done.

    McCain makes being a POW the foundation of his qualifications on national security issues. Questioning how that’s relevant isn’t an attack on his service. It’s an attack on the idea that those are sufficient credentials.

    And it’s nowhere near the Swift Boat nonsense from ’04. Hell, nobody in the traditional media even bothers to call him a flip-flopper though he’s arguable worse than Kerry in that respect.

  30. 30
    Dreggas says:

    AkaDad Says:

    McCain is the type of guy I’d like to have greeting me at Wal-Mart.

    Welcome to wal-mart you cunt.

  31. 31
    Sloegin says:

    We can and should honor the fact that those who join the military put “their skin in the game” as a measure of service to the nation.

    Their contribution as citizens should be noted, praised, and remembered as something ordinary citizens can’t or won’t do. It *is* arguable that their service does give them that.

    Beyond joining however, everything that happens to servicemembers is dumb luck, good or bad. Being POW shouldn’t give any additional supercitizen mojo to McCain.

  32. 32
    AkaDad says:

    Sullivan calls it “Swift Boating” and says what Clark did was “revolting”. so silly.

    I’ll make it easy for Sully.

    Swift-Boating. Equals. Lying. Clark. Didn’t. Swift-Boat.

    Even Sully can understand this, I think.

  33. 33
    El Cid says:

    Andrew Sullivan can’t tell what is or is not revolting in politics until the sh*t has literally been wiped on his nose for years ’til he finally, belated acknowledges the connection between the sh*t smeared by the Republicans all over his food and utensils and plates and his continual bouts of cholera, and then pronounces in high fashion that, you know, after all, he has in fact concluded that although he didn’t believe it when the gross dirty fringe hippie ultra-leftists said it, sh*t does, in fact, stink.

    I don’t need that pompous pin-head lecturing me about one solitary, single thing, and it still (unfortunately) surprises me that the liberal blogosphere continues tendency toward Anglophilic citation of Sullivan because he’s now come to the oh-so-brilliant conclusion that Bush Jr. is a loathesome idiot.

  34. 34

    If being tortured for 5 years uniquely qualifies someone for being President, is McCain going to pick Khalid Sheikh Mohammed as his running mate?

    After all, KSM has done plenty to boost the GOP ticket. And he’d certainly help shut down any trace of liberalism in domestic programs.

  35. 35
    Incertus says:

    Even Sully can understand this, I think.

    You overestimate him. I liked him a lot better when he was calling us liberals a bunch of fifth-column traitors–at least then I didn’t have to feel dirty about agreeing with him once in a great while.

  36. 36
    Dreggas says:

    OMFG The morons are TV are trying to equate this to swiftboating. I think my head is about to explode. Swift-boating would be saying that McCain faked his injuries at the hands of his captors and his treatment was nothing worse than a fraternity prank and he didn’t deserve any medals he got for it.

    What a bunch of fucking morons. My god I wish I could get paid to spout off such stupidity.

  37. 37
    Garrigus Carraig says:

    This whole non-issue just makes me feel dumber and sad. Sharin’ the country with these people. Christ.

    As for Sullivan, I still can’t figure out why people read him. Hasn’t he been wrong enough times that we can ignore him? Is he any more influential than, say, McArdle? Time spent reading Sullivan is time that could be spent learning Pushto, or watching reruns of Room 222, or importing ghost chilis, or something.

  38. 38
    pinola says:

    I don’t recall anyone questioning McCain’s service. As I understand it, Wes Clark said getting shot down in a plane does not qualify him to be president by default. There *are* bad places to go with his record, if that’s your game, but that’s not what Clark did.

  39. 39
    Michael D. says:

    Welcome to wal-mart you cunt.

    FTW!

  40. 40
    pinola says:

    And can someone explain to me please why no one in the Republican party gave a shit about McCain’s war record when he was running in 1999? If anything, it was swept under the rug, much to my amazement at the time.

  41. 41
    jake says:

    And I will note that I haven’t seen anything linking the Obama campaign to this line of attack, and I hope it stays that way.

    Has Obama denounced and rejected every single person who has dared to speak of McCain military record without genuflecting?

    No?

    OMG HEZ ATTAKING MCCAIN.

  42. 42

    You mean to say that Swiftboating is a Bad Thing? My memory must be going because I thought that the Republicans were the ones who invented Swiftboating. I could have sworn that it was during the same election that they were declaring that a candidate’s Vietnam service in no way qualified him to be president.
    Forgetting everything that your party has done before you woke up this morning is now mandatory for Republicans.

  43. 43
    Dreggas says:

    Michael D. Says:

    Welcome to wal-mart you cunt.

    FTW!

    *bows*

  44. 44
    Face says:

    Lemmie summarize:

    Outstanding solider, led a group of men, never got captured, got lots of medals for performance on battlefield. Not Presidential material.

    Damn near last in graduating class, crashed myriad planes, crashed in battle, captured, and may/may not have squealed while in captivity. Solid Presidential mettle.

    Makes sense. Or something.

  45. 45
    John Cole says:

    I wasn’t talking about Clark, btw. I was talking about a certain prominent left-wing blogger who is going to go too far, and everyone here knows it.

  46. 46

    Barack Obama is making what is being billed as a “speech on patriotism” now (live, CNN.com) in Missouri.

    If anyone is looking for reasons why some of us enthusiastically support Barack’s run for the presidency, I suggest listening to this speech.

  47. 47
    Incertus says:

    You mean to say that Swiftboating is a Bad Thing? My memory must be going because I thought that the Republicans were the ones who invented Swiftboating. I could have sworn that it was during the same election that they were declaring that a candidate’s Vietnam service in no way qualified him to be president.

    IOKIYAR. Same as it always was.

  48. 48

    “Patriotism is supporting your country all of the time, and your government when it deserves it.”

    Mark Twain, as referenced by Barack in the speech he is giving now.

  49. 49
    Incertus says:

    I was talking about a certain prominent left-wing blogger who is going to go too far, and everyone here knows it.

    My money’s on Aravosis.

  50. 50
    cleek says:

    As for Sullivan, I still can’t figure out why people read him.

    i read him because he’s a reliable source of interesting links.

  51. 51
    David Hunt says:

    I don’t recall anyone questioning McCain’s service. As I understand it, Wes Clark said getting shot down in a plane does not qualify him to be president by default.

    It’s worse than that. The wording of that 5 second soundbyte is what’s really being used as coal in furnace of the Right-wing Noise Machine. A person could interpret that as a dig at McCain’s service. But let’s back up that conversation just a few more seconds:

    SCHIEFFER: Can I just interrupt you? I have to say, Barack Obama hasn’t had any of these experiences either, nor has he ridden in a fighter plane and gotten shot down.

    CLARK: I don’t think getting in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to become president.

    So even the wording of this was set up by Schieffer, not Clark. I got this from dday over at Dibby’s place.

  52. 52
    cleek says:

    But let’s back up that conversation just a few more seconds

    no, sorry. context is a tool of the liberal elites.

  53. 53
    David Hunt says:

    A clarification of my early post @11:35. I left something out.

    “A person could interpret that as a dig at McCain’s service if they were really looking for an excuse to be outraged.”

  54. 54
    Geeno says:

    Hmmm. Im not aware of any hard attacks on McThuselah at any of my regular stops, but I stopped reading Aravosis a while back. I’ll go with him, too.

  55. 55
    jake says:

    Since this is an OT. Carpetbagger Report demonstrates why wingnuts should not be allowed near the internons.

  56. 56
    mark says:

    McCain has crashed more planes than the 9/11 terrorists.

    Wingnut comment-miner in three, two … John Cole sez McCain is worse than the terrists!

  57. 57
    rob! says:

    i emailed andrew sullivan:

    “andrew-

    Can you explain how someone saying “Being shot down does not make you qualified to be President” is SWIFT-BOATING?

    Is bravery all that counts? Then why didn’t we elect Audie Murphy back in the 1950s? Or howabout Sgt. York? I guess having personal courage in war makes one qualified to LEAD THE FREE WORLD four decades later?

    Andrew, you are better than this. Swift-Boating is denying and belittling someone’s service, as the Right did to John Kerry. I won’t deny some on the Left are trying this tactic, but Wesley Clark’s comments are NOT “Swift-Boating.””

  58. 58
    jrg says:

    Since this is an OT. Carpetbagger Report demonstrates why wingnuts should not be allowed near the internons.

    Priceless! Thanks for making my Monday. Way too funny.

  59. 59
    TenguPhule says:

    i can’t understand why Clark’s “Being shot down doesn’t make you qualified to be President” line is so controversial, at least to the idiot Pundit class.

    Dear Leader shits ponies and candy. And serves them steaming hot to what passes for reporters these days.

  60. 60
    Face says:

    Can you imagine if Clark wore a purple bandaid while talking to the stiff at CBS? Pure apoplexy.

  61. 61
    Kiril says:

    Welcome to wal-mart you cunt.

    We are the cunts we’ve been waiting for.

  62. 62
    Incertus says:

    Andrew, you are better than this.

    He isn’t, but I understand why you threw it in there.

  63. 63
    pinola says:

    El Cid @1103: LMAO

  64. 64
    KRK says:

    Here’s an entire post from AMERICAblog. I really don’t think Avavois can be the one John’s thinking of:

    Honestly, besides being tortured, what did McCain do to excel in the military?

    It’s not “nice” to ask the question, but it’s actually a pretty good question. Yes, we all know that John McCain was captured and tortured in Vietnam (McCain won’t let you forget). A lot of people don’t know, however, that McCain made a propaganda video for the enemy while he was in captivity. Putting that bit of disloyalty aside, what exactly is McCain’s military experience that prepares him for being commander in chief? It’s not like McCain rose to the level of general or something. He’s a vet. We get it. But simply being a vet, as laudable as it is, doesn’t really tell you much about someone’s qualifications for being commander in chief. If McCain is going to play the “I was tortured” card every five minutes as a justification for electing him president, then he shouldn’t throw a hissy fit any time any one asks to know more about his military experience. Getting shot down, tortured, and then doing propaganda for the enemy is not command experience. Again, it’s not nice to say say, but we’re not running for class president here. We deserve real answers, not emotional outbursts designed to quell the questions.

    He makes a jab about the propaganda film, but basically says what Clark’s saying.

    J.C. is clearly overestimating our consumption of “prominent left-wing blogs,” or maybe overestimating a certain blog’s prominence?

  65. 65
    cleek says:

    awww… fuck you, Obama campaign.

  66. 66
    Randall says:

    Andrew Sullivan can’t tell what is or is not revolting in politics until the sh*t has literally been wiped on his nose for years ‘til he finally, belated acknowledges the connection between the sh*t smeared by the Republicans all over his food and utensils and plates and his continual bouts of cholera, and then pronounces in high fashion that, you know, after all, he has in fact concluded that although he didn’t believe it when the gross dirty fringe hippie ultra-leftists said it, sh*t does, in fact, stink.

    Reading Sully helps me understand my mother.

  67. 67
    John Cole says:

    J.C. is clearly overestimating our consumption of “prominent left-wing blogs,” or maybe overestimating a certain blog’s prominence?

    Trust me. Aravosis will not stop there and will cross a line. Just give him time.

  68. 68
    Sirkowski says:

    Clark never questionned McCain military service. He questionned that getting shot down gives McCain somekind of special insight over military affair; it doesn’t.

    Besides, Clark won a war. Seems the chickenshits should listen to someone who could achieve that.

  69. 69

    […] Open Thread […]

  70. 70
    Garrigus Carraig says:

    i read him [Sullivan] because he’s a reliable source of interesting links.

    Thanks, cleek. I now have partial understanding, at least.

  71. 71
    liberal says:

    Dreggas wrote,

    What a bunch of fucking morons. My god I wish I could get paid to spout off such stupidity.

    While I agree with all the usual reasons for press bias favoring the Rethuglicans, I think the mediocre intelligence of many in the press is underrated as a contributory factor.

  72. 72
    Koz says:

    Before anyone goes too far apeshttt about “swiftboating” let’s realize that all the accusations against John Kerry level by the Swift Boaters, etc., were all more or less true. Kerry’s lies and doubletalk in particular are “seared in my memory.”

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