General Wes Clark’s comments on John McCain were essential, needed, and to the point. McCain has a record of exemplary military service and painfully poor judgment. It is important voters not confuse his service with his judgment.
Predictably, the right wing elements in the media have gone into foaming reactionary mode and fired off a few rounds. There now being a “controversy”, the rest of the media converges taking a page from the discovery institute: Cover the Controversy. Facts are the first casualty (Juliet Eilperin, Wash Post):
ABOARD THE McCAIN CAMPAIGN PLANE — Sen. John McCain defended his Vietnam War military service against Democratic attacks Tuesday, and he pressed Sen. Barack Obama to remove retired Gen. Wesley Clark from any role in his campaign.
When asked how his opponent should treat Clark, who has repeatedly questioned whether McCain’s military tenure qualifies him for the White House, the senator replied, “I think it’s up to Senator Obama now to not only repudiate him, but to cut him loose.”
Wes Clark did not attack McCain’s military service. He attacked his judgment on current military matters like Iraq and Iran.
This was the question asked Monday by a reporter from ABC’s Kansas City affiliate, KMBC: “Yesterday Wesley Clark, on ‘Face the Nation,’ said because John McCain got shot down that doesn’t make him a leader. That seems to be violating the very rule you talked about today about questioning the military service of anybody.”
Obama’s answer: “Well, which is why I was very clear that General Clark’s remarks don’t reflect my beliefs. I have consistently said that John McCain is a genuine American hero and his service deserves to be honored.”
His service was never attacked. Another dishonest question, and a trap at that. Barack walked right into that one.
McCain has terrible judgment on the war, and his record on military issues has very problematic weak points (VoteVets). It is beyond insane to expect that simply serving in the military exempts one from any criticism of any and all military and foreign policy positions. Senator McCain served his country as a public servant for many years after serving in the military. Must one avoid criticizing him entirely to avoid criticizing his service as an elected official?