“Have you left no sense of decency?”

Vietnammemorialsoldier "On Saturday, though, McCain released a new television advertisement in which the announcer says that on his trip, Obama “made time to go to the gym, but canceled a visit with wounded troops. Seems the Pentagon wouldn’t allow him to bring cameras.”

"John McCain is always there for our troops," adds the announcer, before concluding with the campaign’s new slogan: “McCain, country first.”

The slogan’s inverse implication for his opponent was made clear earlier in the week, when McCain accused Obama of placing the his political ambitions before the national interest.

"It seems to me that Obama would rather lose a war in order to win a political campaign," McCain said Tuesday in New Hampshire, a line he’s been using regularly since.

While Republican presidential candidates have long sought to paint their Democrat foes as insufficiently devoted to the country, the military or both, McCain’s suggestion that Obama preferred to hit the gym than to visit wounded soldiers is considerably more personal than, say, President Bush’s 2004 attack on Sen. John F. Kerry for voting against bills to fund troops in Iraq. In some ways, it bears more of a resemblance to the third-party Swift Boat campaign that denigrated Kerry’s service in Vietnam. "  Yahoo News


Is winning all?  Has John McCain become a modern man, a man for whom winning is all and a prize to be sought above honor, above truth, above all?

Are we to believe that McCain thinks that Obama cares nothing for American soldiers?  I do not believe McCain thinks that, but he should consider that, in implying it, he risks the disdain of those who should regret his defeat in the coming election whether they support his candidacy or not.

Hagel was not a prisoner of war in Vietnam.  No, he and his brother were in the same rifle platoon in the infantry.  Senator Hagel was a buck sergeant, a fire team leader.  He was a 11B, a light weapons infantryman.  For those who understand, that says a lot, a whole lot.  What will Senator Hagel think of his old friend McCain after this?

Since I do not believe McCain really believes the rubbish that his consultants are telling him to say, I can only think that he is cynically and untruthfully seeking to manipulate public opinion.

I have never been a fan of John Kerry, but the people who slandered him are the same kind of scumbags who are advising McCain now.

It’s not worth it, John.  Nothing is worth it.  pl



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29 Responses to “Have you left no sense of decency?”

  1. Matthew says:

    Col: For us non-military types, could you please explain this: “He was a 11B, a light weapons infantryman. For those who understand, that says a lot, a whole lot.”

  2. First things first. Right or wrong the DEMS are blamed for Viet Nam and all that war encompasses. Acknowleging Nixon’s [NO] secret plan and 5+ years of more fighting to gain what he could have had in 1968. Still that 5 years imbedded US culture in Viet Nam. Kerry as a candidate, Swift Boat attacks aside, is probably one of the few Americans of his age cohort who has yet to make up his mind on Viet Nam as necessary cold war hot war or just an American/Viet Nam tragedy. As a result almost the only candidate the DEMS could have thought up that revived fully the public’s condemnation of the party that led us into that war. Clear from the Johnson tapes that that low-life ilk, Robert McNamara was clearly well under war crimes conviction standards (agent orange alone) guilty and lucky friends of those on Mya Lin’s wall have let him live in peace.
    Now on to the campaign. McCain has one chance to win. Do as little as possible to cause Obama turnout to be big. Hope that most don’t really care or are willing to express their prejudices by voting against Obama and vote for McCain. Either way he is likely if he wins to have won a pyrrihic (sic) victory given what has to be done. Yes McCain is a credible candidate. Yes, he is a brave man. But in fact his political career was blemished long ago for mis-steps on ethics. Now it only remains to be seen what the turnout of voters is and which party can twist the incredibly corrupt voting machinery of the states into victory. In the long long run Nixon’s finest moment may have been his decision not to challenge the Kennedy victory based on Illinois (Chicago) and West Virginia. Agree fully with PL that better to be able to sleep at night but then we are not the candidates.

  3. fnord says:

    Sir: Amen. How does he look himself in the mirror?

  4. jonst says:

    No, it is not worth it at all.But then again, what else does he have? The GOP, as it is presently constituted, is so hopelessly out of touch with most Americans, they have to focus on the fear/’liberals’hate America card. The environment…the economy, most of the cultural issues, they are simply out of step. America is changing. Has changed. Demographically, ethnically, culturally. It is a young–under 40–world. He is clinging to the “greatest generation” and the Christanists. A tidal wave is about to engulf them, Congressionally. If Obama were any white canidate I am convienced he would be up by 20% in the polls. This is less, much less, a vote for the insipid Dems…than it is going to be a vote against the GOP of George W. Bush.
    I listened to talk of this weekend on the gab fests on Sun morning about whether we are in a recession or not. My god. You should hear the talk in Maine. People are terrified. Perhaps more so than they should be. Perhaps not. Time, and heating oil prices, will tell. But after listening I asked my self, how many people under 50 are evening watching this crap? How many read the papers anymore? How many watch the evening news? It is a changed world. An online world. And McCain is clueless, and arrogantly so, about this world. So, like I said, what else has he got?

  5. wrensis says:

    I believe he actually hired some of the swift boaters for this campaign. Apparently they are doing their job well.

  6. b says:

    For the record

    NBC’s Andrea Mitchell reports that there was never a plan for Obama to take the press to Landstuhl, despite the claim by McCain folks and others. The plan was to go with his military aide, retired General Scott Gration. The Pentagon said Gration was off-limits because he had joined the campaign — violating rules that it not be a political stop.
    Obama had gone to see wounded troops in Iraq earlier in the week, without even confirming he’d been there. No press, no pictures. He has done the same when he goes to Walter Reed — never any press.

  7. ked says:

    Indeed, we will see who places political gain above service to the nation.
    Don’t fool yourself, to the extremists & amoral political hacks who have come to dominate the GOP, control of the gov is quite clearly worth it.
    We have observed a sea-change in our politics – dehumanization of opposition by theocrats and neocons during their reign in the Bush admin is unmatched in US history.
    Their cause so just, so self-evident, their genius so profound (Rove & Cheney are merely sterling examples) – nothing is beyond them. It is naive, even fatal to the American Experiment, to misjudge the extent of their self- righteousness and the course of action that they are capable of pursuing.
    They truly do not value the lives of those they count as enemy – American citizen or other.

  8. Bodo Reisling says:

    I don’t know how you can separate the man from the action. He is what he does and what he stands for.

  9. Florestan says:

    Col.Lang, it’s not John anymore. His campaign has been taken over by the Rovian dividers and the Bush fundraising juggernaut. The Straussian’s believe they can create and control reality by manipulating the exoteric narrative which capitalizes on red flag cultural stereotypes. Not honest, but worth it? McCain may not think a war is worth losing for an election, but what about his soul?

  10. Paul says:

    John McCain is an ignorant bastard.

  11. lina says:

    It worked in 2004.
    This is all they’ve got.
    The John McCain who ran for president in 2000 is gone. The new McCain has no choice but to go Rovian.
    It worked before; they believe it will work again.
    The people who get their information from FOX News believe Saddam Hussein moved his WMD into Syria.
    Lies, distortions and slander are what they’re all about.
    It might not work in 2008.

  12. linda says:

    it’s been interesting watching a couple of hours of msnbc and how this is being played. despite laudable efforts by andrea mitchell to correct the record, the msnbc fratpac wholly endorses this ad. hey, mccain’s just doing what he needs to do to win. he’s a tough guy and this is a tough ad. he’s a maverick, doncha know….

  13. Bobo says:

    “Have you left no sense of decency”
    This is Politics 101.
    Obama made the decision to pass on a Landstuhl hospital visit and continue with his speach to thousands of Germans. It was an uplifting speach. He could very easily had stopped at the hospital sans entourage and completed the visit, afterall he is a candidate for President of the United States.
    McCain got an opening and took advantage of it.
    Granted the Ad struck a nerve and I would expect some more of this.

  14. Mad Dogs says:

    I disagree slightly with the conclusion of this statement:
    “..I do not believe McCain really believes the rubbish…”
    McSame has always been known for his out-of- control temper tantrums that rankle and mystify even his own Republican colleagues.
    The “real” McSame tends to act using the “Ready, Fire, Aim” mannerisms of the impulsive individual that he is.
    Such as is the case of his “Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran” comment, and many others littering his entire life history.
    While his comment of “It seems to me that Obama would rather lose a war in order to win a political campaign” was certainly scripted by his handlers, I have no doubt that it both fits McSame’s personality profile as analyzed by his handlers, but that it also has his own personal approval.
    And more importantly in my view, this should be highly telling to the American voting public as to McSame’s temperament and his lack of judgement.
    Does anyone else see the parallels with Junya’s “Bring it on!” false bravado?
    More of the McSame.

  15. vincente says:

    Pat, I’ve been away for a while, but this post is interesting because I think it illustrates one of the fundamental character schisms in American Politics – and beyond that, in many ways.
    I call this the “George Wallace Syndrome” (with apologies to the Drive By Truckers). To the majority of middle America, Wallace was the voice of the ‘good people of Alabama’ railing against the federal government and standing in doorways against integration.
    However, a casual student of history knows that Wallace did not wake up as a segregationist. He ran for office the first time and hedged on the race issue and lost… a mistake he never repeated, and reaped the rewards as a result. Later in life he went a long way to making amends for his actions, a fascinating story that others can look up in their own time.
    Still, he likely is keeping the devil company as a friend says. Not because he was an avowed racist.. no, he wasn’t, no more than any other man of his time.
    No, his sin was he sold his principles to fulfill his ambition – in my book, and I suspect many others’, a far more grievous and fundamental sin. He knew what he believed in his fiber, but went the other way for want of fortune and glory.
    I have no doubt in my mind this is the road that John McCain has decided to embark on, the fork being after his loss to GWB back in 2000.
    In some way, this is also the same reason I could never support Hillary Clinton’s candidacy. Not because she voted for the disastrous Iraq war – heck, as she pointed out many times, a lot of people did.
    No, I strongly believe that in her fiber, in her being, she wanted to vote against it. But, like Wallace, she let the future get the best of her and she put her principles on the back seat.
    As you said, it’s never worth it. I’d say it to both of them.

  16. EL says:

    Thanks, Pat. That needed to be said.

  17. JerseyJeffersonian says:

    Florestan (more of a Eusebius kinda guy myself, but the world needs both…),
    I fear that McCain mislaid his soul some ways back. Now he’s just playing out his string minus a functioning moral compass. Just like Karl likes ’em…
    Mad Dogs,
    Bravado and Bluster you say? True dat.
    We don’t need another blinkered jackass at the helm. No way, no how. Let’s stave off Ragnarok for a while, shall we?

  18. Stormcrow says:

    This post interests me. I raised this issue in a comment you elected not to publish, some few months ago. I now think that you understand where I was coming from.
    John McCain has a galloping case of Potomac Fever. He is obsessed by his desire to become President. It has stained everything he has done, every public gesture he has made, every stand he has taken (or, in the case of torture, has refused to take) for the last seven years.
    His use of the filth who promulgated the so-called “Swift Boat Veterans” smears should not come as a surprise to anyone who has watched him at all carefully over the last half decade.
    He is not, of course, the only person running this year who has fallen to that risk. It’s wrecked Hillary Clinton already. And, in my judgment, her case of this sickness was less severe and debilitating than John McCain’s.
    Barack Obama? Of course, he’s ambitious, and of course, he wants to win this. But he rules his obsessions rather than being ruled by them. This can’t be said of either Clinton or McCain. Both of these people are the hostages, and ultimately the victims, of their own uncontrolled desires.

  19. Stormcrow says:

    We don’t need another blinkered jackass at the helm. No way, no how. Let’s stave off Ragnarok for a while, shall we?

    My thoughts exactly.
    We’re not going to save the Republic. That’s been lost for some time. Probably from the day President Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon, and thus taught every other scumbag criminal in the Republican Party how to game the system to the point of its utter irreparable ruin.
    But I’d like to stave off final nightfall for a while. At least until I’m safely dead.

  20. frank durkee says:

    Perhaps Lord Acton’s dictum arrived at after a deep study of the Papacy is
    germane: “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” I think our founders knew this in their guts as well as their heads.

  21. jr786 says:

    As he completes his metamorphosis into Col. Blimp expect more of the same nonsense. The only thing that surprised me was how churlish and unintelligent McCain actually is.

  22. rjj says:

    But he rules his obsessions rather than being ruled by them. This can’t be said of either Clinton or McCain. Both of these people are the hostages, and ultimately the victims, of their own uncontrolled desires.

    What astonishing attributions. On what do you base these intense convictions?
    How does one distinguish “vaulting ambition” from a vocation – in any field — art, science, military, public policy???

    We don’t need another blinkered jackass at the helm.

    Human scale of human things, and all that … We choose one of the jackasses based on our best guess about the nature of his/her blinkers; this guess is based on the nature of our own.

  23. rjj says:

    The Army evidently told the Obamanauts that a campaign gig at a hospital is not appropriate. Good. There has been enough of generals (and other politicians) shaking hands with soldiers at bedside and passing on the “thanks of a grateful nation.” The world will soon forget the mutilated and damaged in the beds, but one can hope that politicians would have some care for their dignity.

    That is principle. Who could disagree! In practice: the prospects of a visit from a celebrity candidate who has been hyped and packaged like a rock star, would provide relief from the tedium of hospital routine and a distraction from the business of adaptation, adjustment, and convalescence. To raise their expectations, then fail to deliver? Not Good.

  24. Mike Martin, Yorktown, VA says:

    Two comments, if I may:
    – McCain’s temper may result in a “Macaca Moment”, a la former (thank God) VA senator George Allen.
    – While I’d hate to see a “POWs for the Truth” group emerge, I’m surprised that only Bud Day, among all the other POWs, has, as far as I know, publicly appeared to support McCain.

  25. arthurdecco says:

    “The comments here look like an Obamessiah troll convention.”
    Posted by:graywolf 28 July 2008 10:24 PM
    Is this your way of telling us you’re not an Obamessiah troll, graywolf? (asked wide-eyed and earnest, tongue in cheek)

  26. LaurieAnn says:

    Having at times been in hospital for several weeks, I understand the tedium patients feel. I can understand that patients might feel bored by a visit from a 4star general, but this was from the phenomenon Obama. Someone hundreds of thousands turn out to see. Someone to talk about, write home about. The visit was planned, scheduled, patients were looking forward to it. It was called off for the most futile of reasons.
    Who cares if a silly woman on a London red bus tried to take photos of BO with her cell phone? Princess Diana was popular because she made secret visits to the needy. Those visits only came out after she died.

  27. The McCain camp better start focusing on issues or else they’re not doing themselves any favors. I would think they’d let the 3rd parties do the mudslinging for them. Maybe there’s none around this time, though.

  28. DrLeoStrauss says:

    Agree. We’ve worked closely with the political operation in 2000 and his office and Committee staff 2000-2003 on a host of issues on the Hill. Definitely my sense too that McCain does not believe a shred of this; as we are 100% sure re the social conservative nonsense he must chase and pretends to adopt as his own.
    On the otoh, remember also Bush 41 and the venality of his attacks in both ’88 and ’92. For elder Bush, at least, he compartmentalized what he did in a campaign and what and how he governed.
    Campaigns and how they are run do matter. And unfortunately, this is not the McCain we supported, worked on the ground for in South Carolina in 2000, or per supra, worked with 2000-2003. Very sad.

  29. Christianus says:

    i believe mccain is absolutely right about mr. hussein obama. mr. hussein obama’s actions over the last four-five years certainly speak for themselves. in addition, to defend kerry’s war record is absurd. he was an opportunist (at best) who cheated and lied about his military service whenever he thought it would serve his political ambition. then, upon his return to the us, quickly sensing the power of the radicalized political climate, he changed his strategy and began slandering the troops merely to further his political career. now, i almost hope mr. hussein obama wins the election – a large segment of america certainly deserves it. what a sad spectacle to see the great america succumb to the blatantly deceitful media gymnastics of a certified leftist and dangerously unexperienced politician. hysteria is what it is.
    sad dane.

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