March 3, 2008

"I mean, hello? This is supposed to be a qualification to be president? I don’t think so."

Why is a 73-year-old woman — feminist "icon" Gloria Steinem — talking like a teenager and making a mindcrushingly stupid attack on John McCain for the respect we give him for his years as a prisoner of war?

You might think she's lost her mind, but in fact, she's just using an old feminist rhetorical device:
“Suppose John McCain had been Joan McCain and Joan McCain had got captured, shot down and been a POW for eight years. [The media would ask], ‘What did you do wrong to get captured? What terrible things did you do while you were there as a captive for eight years?’” Steinem said, to laughter from the audience.
The audience laughs because it's the ritual to laugh at this point. They take it on faith that men's accomplishments are valued more than women's. They may even recognize the device of naming the female version of the male hero. To ask us to visualize "Joan McCain" is to allude to Virginia Woolf's "A Room of One's Own": "Let me imagine... what would have happened had Shakespeare had a wonderfully gifted sister, called Judith, let us say."

But Woolf's vivid device is horribly abused in Steinem's hands. Judith Shakespeare fell into oblivion because she was denied access to education and opportunity. Joan McCain actually becomes a pilot and suffers the same fate as John McCain, but people, looking on, deny her credit simply because she is a woman.

And yet the audience laughs.

***

By the way, I'm surprised the Wikipedia entry for "A Room of One's Own" is so skimpy. I guess feminists are underrepresented among Wikipedians. If it wasn't Wikipedia, you'd be able to argue that women's accomplishments are slighted by the bad people who put together encyclopedias. In fact, that this entry is little more than a stub is evidence of female underachievement.

153 comments:

Roger said...

I see that Mrs Clinton has already recognized that line was not very smart and distanced herself from it. It is simply out of touch to go after someone who was a POW for six years, and how refused repatriation until all of his fellow POWs were released. All that silly attack is going to do is further marginalize the rapidly fading elder women's movement--if that is even possible any more.

ricpic said...

I hereby exercise my blogger's prerogative to puke all over Gloria Steinem.

The Drill SGT said...

McCain has been up front about his mixed feeling concerning his POW time.

He was shot down, breaking both arms and 1 leg. When captured, they shattered his shoulder and bayoneted him in the leg and stomache. given miserable treatment, he can not lift his arm above his shoulder yet today.

He resisted, broke, made statements, then got himself together and resisted till released.

He wasn't perfect, but he showed a lot of guts and had the respect of his peer POWs. That's good enough for me.

Balfegor said...

“Suppose John McCain had been Joan McCain and Joan McCain had got captured, shot down and been a POW for eight years. [The media would ask], ‘What did you do wrong to get captured? What terrible things did you do while you were there as a captive for eight years?’” Steinem said, to laughter from the audience.

We've had one or two women taken prisoner in Iraq. I don't think that was the public response.

That said, as a qualification for public office, it's slightly better than a talent for reading portentous phrases off a teleprompter (Obama), and only slightly behind having been Lady MacBeth to a public official for three decades (Clinton).

Trooper York said...

"marginalize the rapidly fading elder women's movement--if that is even possible any more."

Ouch that's gonna leave a bruise. You better be careful, they can break a hip very easily at that age. Just sayn'

John Lynch said...

I'd be more receptive if a lot of antiwar folks didn't hammer politicians for their lack of military experience. What are they going to say now?

I don't like militarism and I think military service is overvalued in a President. Other than Washington, the best Presidents had little or no military service. Civilians should control the military and in a democracy veterans should not have a greater voice than anyone else. I say that having served seven years. Respect for veterans is nice, but it's getting out of hand.

If the Left keeps hammering war leaders for not having served then electing McCain seems to be a good response. Chickenhawk that.

George said...

Soon it will be Easter. But here is a bunny to look at now.

MadisonMan said...

Respect for veterans is nice, but it's getting out of hand.

My own opinion is that veterans have truly gotten the shaft in the recent past. I's not clear to me my the military needs to cut corners in veterans' care.

PatCA said...

And Steinem went on to say that being a secretary is the best preparation for taking over a job! (Or being the wife of the boss?)

You're right, the feminist establishment has become a ritualized, hollow shell.

rhhardin said...

The POW qualification for President is from being a mean old bastard, not from being a POW.

I'm not sure Joan is contemplated to be similar in the thought experiment.

People get honoring veterans completely wrong in any case, but that's another thread. They take it as soap opera.

rcocean said...

i too have mixed feelings about McCain's being a POW. While I respect it, could we please stop talking about it?

Honestly, it happened 34 years ago. Being a POW/war hero is no qualification for being POTUS and I can think of several "war heroes" -McGovern/Kerry/Wallace - who would have been terrible Presidents.

I always that it absurd for Dole, 40 years after the fact to keep talking about his WW II experience. I think McCain should stop talking about the past and more about the future.

Sheepman said...

This must be the dregs HRC's kitchen sink.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I think Gloria Steinam is too old to be making such remarks as they clearly demonstrate the advent of her senility.

Middle Class Guy said...

"And she claimed that if Clinton’s experience as First Lady were taken seriously in relation to her White House bid, people might “finally admit that, say, being a secretary is the best way to learn your boss’s job and take it over.”

So, taking her argument further, Hillary slept with the boss and got experience by injection? That gives feminism a real shot in the arm! (Sarcasm)

The real issue is one of stupidity. Women voting for Hillary because she is a woman is just as stupid as Blacks voting for Obama because he is Black, Italians voting for Giuliani because he is Italian, or Mormons voting for Romney because he is Mormon.

Wurly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roger said...

Of all the asinine arguments that emerged post 911, the "chickenhawk" argument was the most foolish. I suppose were Obama or Clinton to be elected, they would be unable to take the country into a war because they would be chickenhawks? Am I following that premise OK?

MadisonMan said...

It will be such fun, though, watching those who crowed that Kerry was the better candidate because of his service in Vietnam

...and who were these people, exactly? Pundits with nothing better to write about, I'd wager.

Chip Ahoy said...

Trying, and failing, to stay relevant.

Question; what do Old-School feminists have against hair products?

It could be argued McCain's experience as POW inculcated the real horror of war and so would cause greater reluctance to engage one. Whereas a woman, or a man for that matter, having never served feels less compunction.

Balfegor said...

And Steinem went on to say that being a secretary is the best preparation for taking over a job! (Or being the wife of the boss?)

Traditionally wasn't that the route, though? Back when we had male secretaries, at least. Around 1880. I think Lord Curzon got his start as a secretary/clerk for someone or other (probably Lord Salisbury), and he rose swiftly to become Assistant Secretary of State for India (hah! Secretary!), and then Viceroy in the waning years of Victoria's reign.

Fen said...

We've had one or two women taken prisoner in Iraq. I don't think that was the public response.

We made Jessica Lynch into a hero. While any combat vet reading between the lines would discover that she was captured because she & her crew did not properly PMCS their weapons.

[...]

"It will be such fun, though, watching those who crowed that Kerry was the better candidate because of his service in Vietnam"

...and who were these people, exactly? Pundits with nothing better to write about, I'd wager.

John Kerry himself. He made it the cornerstone of his campaign. Don't you remember the feeble [and wrong] salute coupled with "reporting for duty" at the Dem convention?

Fen said...

Powerline: This exemplifies, I think, the dilemma that Hillary's campaign faces. She is trying to convince Democratic voters that Barack Obama is not a serious, qualified candidate, while at the same time arguing that "being a secretary [read, First Lady] is the best way to learn your boss’s job and take it over.

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives2/2008/03/019933.php

I still have a pair of kneepads autographed by Steinem during the Clinton impeachment. Steinem doesn't really believe in the things she lectures us about, so I don't take her seriously.

Middle Class Guy said...

Ms. Steinem and other 60's icons like Tom Hayden have come out of the wood work and speaking or writing a lot of drivel lately. The problem is they refuse to acknowledge that the 60s are long over.

Politics has moved on. They are like Jesse Jackson; living in the past and always seeking relevancy in their irrelevancy.

that-xmas said...

You know, I wouldn't give Jessica Lynch any crap about getting captured. Nor would I question the actions of any of the women listed on this Wikipedia page just because they are women(War Criminals and Abu Gharaib guards are right out though.)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women_in_warfare_(2000-present)

Fen said...

You know, I wouldn't give Jessica Lynch any crap about getting captured.

[shrug] Military values are different from American society. For example, in the Marines, if you see someone doing something wrong and don't step up to correct them, you're just as guilty as they are.

And I'm not giving Lynch crap about getting captured. I'm noting that it was due to her own negligence and that we made her a hero for it.

The Drill SGT said...

Fen said...Don't you remember the feeble [and wrong] salute coupled with "reporting for duty" at the Dem convention?

My curiousity is piqued. Wrong? Because he saluted indoors while not under arms, like a dogface? Not questioning your call, just wondering what the crime was :)

BTW: for the rest. Officers of the Naval service don't normally salute inside or without head gear. as I understand their bizarre rituals :)

MadisonMan said...

Fen, and look where that got him. It's not like anyone believed him.

And becoming a hero for incompetence is the American Way! See Tenent, George.

Zeb Quinn said...

I suppose were Obama or Clinton to be elected, they would be unable to take the country into a war because they would be chickenhawks?

The term chickenhawk is exclusively reserved for use by Dems as something to call Repubs. Elsewise FDR would be the prototype for the concept, but they wouldn't ever want to go there.

The Drill SGT said...

Zeb,

FDR did 7 years as an Asst SecNav when that sort of position had power. meaning before DoD. 1913-1920.

I think he knew a lot more about our military than Hillary or Barak.

dbp said...

"BTW: for the rest. Officers of the Naval service don't normally salute inside or without head gear. as I understand their bizarre rituals :)"

You have got that exactly right. Plus, he wasn't wearing a uniform.

Christy said...

Wasn't Steinem just saying that we treat the experiences of women differently than the experiences of men? And I agree with that as I recognize it is changing in our society.

However, I do think that the act of surviving nearly 6 years of torture in prison and coming home to build a successful life shows character, determination, and a grip on reality that I want in my president.

Zeb Quinn said...

BTW: for the rest. Officers of the Naval service don't normally salute inside or without head gear. as I understand their bizarre rituals

It isn't just officers. Naval personnel don't ever salute without their covers, and covers are not normally required indoors, so salutes aren't usually required indoors (there are exceptions to the latter). I'm sure the reasons derive from the rigors of shipboard life, especially in the days when the ships were of wood and the men were of iron.

Bottomline, Kerry's faux pas was saluting without his cover. I'm sure he knew better, but he didn't care. He had a bigger point he wanted to make.

Fen said...

My curiousity is piqued. Wrong? Because he saluted indoors while not under arms, like a dogface? Not questioning your call, just wondering what the crime was :)

Never learned to render a proper salute

For the civillians here, its a military thing. For perspective, imagine a self-proclaimed "star quarterback back in college" who can't throw a proper spiral.

Roger said...

Fen: that is a genuinely crappy salute--but, of course, it is Kerry attempting to execute it.

Zeb Quinn said...

The Drill Sgt,

Yeah, I know about FDR's Assistant Secretary of the Navy thing. I'm of the opinion that he got that political appointment to help shore up his bona fides because he was such a sorry comparison to his cousin Teddy. It's not a coincidence that this was precisely the same position that Teddy had previously held, at least before Teddy resigned it to form up the Rough Riders, and to ultimately lead the charge up San Juan Hill.

The Spanish American War was going on when FDR was between the ages of 17 and 21. He could've joined up. he didn't.

But the point isn't to disparage FDR on that basis. He acquited himself quite nicely as a war time president. And I'm sure he did know a lot more about the military than either Hillary or Barack. The point is the selective use of the term.

Richard Dolan said...

"Bottomline, Kerry's faux pas was saluting without his cover."

So the election was lost for want of the magic hat when he needed it most? Further proof that God truly loves America.

Fen said...

Kerry's faux pas was saluting without his cover.

Nah. I go easy on former vets in the political ring re that kind of thing. The faux pas was the salute itself. Check the pic I linked.

Fen said...

The term chickenhawk is exclusively reserved for use by Dems as something to call Repubs

And I still don't understand their blindspot re the hypocrisy.

People who support the war have no credibility because they won't risk their lives by fighting in it?

Fine. Then those that oppose the war have no credibility because they won't risk their lives by staging a hunger strike to stop it.

dbp said...

For those civilian readers: The forearm and hand should form a straight line and the upper arm should be more-or-less perpendicular to the body.

The Drill SGT said...

wow fen

That was a truly limp wristed salute. I bet there was a retired Marine DI (ex Navy officer basic course tac) that chewed his way through his whole campaign hat when he saw that one.

Bush on the other hand I think does a credible salute for a Zoomie. My wife (the colonel)however still can't salute worth a damn, but she knows it. She's operating with several handicaps however.

The 3 best salute givers? Cavalrymen (lots of flair and individuality), Rangers (snappy), and Marines (uniform). In deference to Roger, I put them in that order.

Hoosier Daddy said...

And I still don't understand their blindspot re the hypocrisy.

People who support the war have no credibility because they won't risk their lives by fighting in it?


I have always countered that by saying you can't be all for crime prevention if you refuse to don a badge and go catch bad guys.

Also, the chickenhawk argument is only used in wars they disagree with. Needless you didn't hear it when Clinton was bombing Serbia. That of course was diffrent.

Trooper York said...

Of course the best salute performed by a candidate this year was the Italian salute offered by Mayor Giuliani in a exchange with Mark Green.

Hoosier Daddy said...

The 3 best salute givers? Cavalrymen (lots of flair and individuality), Rangers (snappy), and Marines (uniform). In deference to Roger, I put them in that order.

I don't know about those Sarge. I still think Benny Hill has the all time best salute.

Evenin all!

Hoosier Daddy said...

My Grandfather once told me when he was in the Polish army, they had to stop martial arts training because of all the saluting injuries.

I'm pretty sure he was joking.

Kirby Olson said...

That McCain thought he had shamed his dad when he did break says a lot about him and is still relevant. His father and grandfather are always with him -- it's a lineage.

He's Henry Vth!

Balfegor said...

He's Henry Vth!

Haha. It's funny because he's John Sidney McCain III, his father was John Sidney McCain Jr, his grandfather was John Sidney McCain Sr, and his great-grandfather was John Sidney McCain. And his son is John Sidney McCain IV.

His last male-line ancestor not named John Sidney McCain apparently died in 1863.

Jim Howard said...

I'm retired military, and I'm starting to think that military experience is being somewhat overvalued in politics. A lot of this is collective guilt over the shabby way we treated our Viet Nam veterans.

I retired in 1994, and have been in the small business private sector ever since.

I really wish voters would put a value on private sector experience.

A senior officer on a military base or ship is a whole lot like a king. The military is by definition a top-down command system, a place where Authority always knows best. The Senate isn't much different, expect that unlike senior military officers, Senators answer to no one and never take personal responsibility for anything bad that happens. These environments may not produce the best civilian leaders.

Neither McCain nor Obmama have any private sector experience. Being a lawyer even in private practice is just brokering government power, it's not the private sector.

Hilary was on the BoD at Walmart, but that was really just legal bribery.

I wish for a candidate who was veteran who then went into the private sector.

Revenant said...

Steinem isn't a feminist -- she's a female supremacist.

Zeb Quinn said...

Being a lawyer even in private practice is just brokering government power, it's not the private sector.

Having been in private solo practice since 1983, I know that's not true. Rent, utilities, and other bills need to be paid. Payroll needs to be met. Customers (clients) need to be serviced and otherwise be kept as happy as possible. My personal income is at stake in there. It all amounts to being in the private sector.

Being a veteran and a lawyer, the problem I have is that people ascribe too much value to a politician's status of being a lawyer, and I know a lot of lawyers who think they know everything important there is to know by virtue of being a lawyer (and I know some doctors who think that way about being a doctor too). Being a lawyer is worth something, but it just isn't worth that much.

Daryl said...

I guess feminists are underrepresented among Wikipedians.

Why are feminists underrepresented at Wikipedia?

Because people at Wikipedia are doing something useful.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I'm retired military, and I'm starting to think that military experience is being somewhat overvalued in politics. A lot of this is collective guilt over the shabby way we treated our Viet Nam veterans.

I think its more due to the fact that we're in a war more than anything else. Absent a military conflict, a President's military bona fides really don't come into question. On the other hand, a candidate's willingness to serve in the military does tend to provide more cred in that he/she was willing to take on a generally thankless and dangerous job rather than running straight into political office. I think it says something about an individual's willingness for sacrifice versus running straight for office.

I'll admit I haven't been paying much attention to McCain's campaign so is he wrapping himself up in the POW flag for votes?

Chris said...

RCOCEAN,
"I always that it absurd for Dole, 40 years after the fact to keep talking about his WW II experience."

You are kidding, right? Dole barely ever brought up his WWII experience throughout his entire political life, including in the '96 campaign. As a matter of fact, would be willing to bet Clinton mentioned it more than Dole. Not so much in praising Dole, mind you. More along the line of "You're the past, I'm the future. Thanks for your sacrifice and now get out of my way."

The Harlem Ghost said...

What a nasty beast ... Gloria, you have messed up the lives of millions of women with your man hating nonsense ... please go into the night quietly and not acting like the fool you have always been ...

Fen said...

I'll admit I haven't been paying much attention to McCain's campaign so is he wrapping himself up in the POW flag for votes?

Nah. The Left is trying to tag him with PTSD, thats why they keep bringing up the POW thing.

JBlog said...

What's truly astonishing here is not that Steinem made the remark, but that anyone noticed at all.

She and her followers have had absolutely no credibility and no impact on public opinion for the last 10 years -- if you tossed them into a pond, they wouldn't make a ripple.

Pogo said...

“Suppose Tori Amos had been Tom Amos and Tom had got tied down and raped. [The media would ask], ‘What did you do wrong to get raped? What terrible things did you do while you were there as a captive that night?’” Steinem said, to laughter from the audience.

It gets less and less funny with each retelling.

Doyle said...

Military experience is only respected by Republicans insofar as the person with the military experience is a Republican.

Kerry, Murtha, Wesley Clark... their records are regularly trashed because the lizard brains don't like their politics. Same thing with Iraq Vets: they're American heroes unless they oppose the war, in which case they're "phony soldiers."

The selectivity of wingnuts' "support" of the troops is just blindingly obvious. They're just handy props to use while they're telling everyone how tough they are for supporting disastrous wars.

Fen said...

they're American heroes unless they oppose the war, in which case they're "phony soldiers."

No dumbass. They are "phony soldiers" because, like Jesse MacBeth, they pretend to be soldiers [or Army Rangers] when they are not. And people like you embrace them.

Or, like Scott Beauchamp, they make up phony stories about the war. And people like you swallow their fabrications as fact.

paul a'barge said...

Steinam. Austin, TX. Althouse's son lives in Austin and Althouse has been to Austin several times.

It's a great place to eat Norteno Mexican food and a great place to listen to music but the politics of Austin make Steinem look like Mr Rogers.

These feminist mutts only speak this way in places like Austin, TX and New York City and San Francisco.

I question their patriotism, ever one of them.

From Inwood said...

Interestingly enough, whenever a Woman who is right of center runs against a Man who is left of center, the Glorias support the Man.

So, playing "what if", what if our 21st Century Judith Shakespeare, were conservative or Gloria's Joan McCain were a, gasp, militarist?

I can see a reaction just like the Talia Shire shrink in the caveman commercial.

Doyle said...

That's right fen. All the military members who oppose the war are impostors.

Roger said...

There is, IMO,absolutely nothing wrong with a soldier who opposes the war. Political opposition does most certainly does not make them a "phony soldier."

The phony soldiers are the Jesse McBeths of the world, who invariably claim to be Rangers or Seals, WHO HAVE NEVER SERVED, and stake out positions that attract media attention.

Does that distinction help?

Jason said...

No, dumbass. Just the phony soldiers. Are you innately this obtuse? Or did you take night classes?

Cedarford said...

Balfegor - That said, as a qualification for public office, it's slightly better than a talent for reading portentous phrases off a teleprompter (Obama), and only slightly behind having been Lady MacBeth to a public official for three decades (Clinton).

Agree, though if John McCain had not been passed over for Flag command on matters of temperment, and had successful executive experience in the military, he would be well up on a MacBeth. As is he still has vastly more experience than Clinton. But his POW "resume`" only counts on the character and guts side of the equation, not in the ability to lead or manage at the highest level.

****************
John Lynch - "I don't like militarism and I think military service is overvalued in a President. Other than Washington, the best Presidents had little or no military service."

Not true. Most of our best Presidents were military Vets. There is something to leading other young men in life and death service that "sharpens the mind" and prepares an executive leader to truly lead (or show signs of failure and flaws of character during their service that helps screen them out of later positions of high responsibility). Even Lincoln who is called "light" in military service was tromping through swamps with mens lives resting on his judgment in the Blackhawk War, prepared to kill or be killed.

John Lynch - - in a democracy veterans should not have a greater voice than anyone else. I say that having served seven years. Respect for veterans is nice, but it's getting out of hand.

As a Vet with 7 years of service as well (Gulf War extended me another year), I agree. Though I would listen to a Vet on military matters more than a Vegan anti-war Lefty. Just as I would listen to the Vegan on tasty eggplant dishes as having higher knowledge and credibility more than I would a Vet that only sampled eggplant in eggplant parmesian.
I'd add that some enlisteds and "no-military ever" civilians I knew had better judgment and leadership skills than some officers I knew, so just being a lieutenant back when does not an automatically, a superior Commander in Chief, make.

And I'll add that there were 562 Vietnam POWs. McCain is the only one that has sought high office. Suffering and sheer "victimhood" are NOT what people should go on in choosing anyone in a position of responsibility.
That holds true for the supposed "moral authority"
of other "survivors" of this or that in our Cult of Victimhood that use their victimhood as a club over other people to claim it gets them to the head of the line in getting what they want.

********************
Fen - You nailed it with Steinham and her Bill Clinton kneepads forever losing any right to open her ignorant Lefty mouth and be taken seriously.
*******************
Zeb Quinn - The Spanish American War was going on when FDR was between the ages of 17 and 21. He could've joined up. he didn't.

That is all ignorant. The War was declared in spring in 1898, when Roosevelt was still in high school, and 16. It was over in 109 days, in the summer of 1898.

In WWI, FDR was a powerful Assn't Secretary of Navy, running naval policy in the Americans and strongly supporting the modernization of the Navy then and as President that turned out to be such a help in WWII.

Yes, you can serve the military well as a civilian employee. Gain experience in military matters and command, even executive leadership..FDR did.

Doyle said...

Jason-

I was saying that military experience, for wingnuts, doesn't count for Democrats or for veterans who realize what a disaster Bush has been.

The idea that there's some rash of antiwar activists posing as US special forces is yet another fever dream of the batshit crazy right so you all can continue to labor under the laughable idea that you are advancing the interests of the American armed forces with your slavish devotion to the manifestly idiotic policies of George W. Bush.

The Drill SGT said...

one minor nit Cedarford...

Stockdale ran as Perot's VP.

he was a lot smarter than that one debate showed.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I was saying that military experience, for wingnuts, doesn't count for Democrats or for veterans who realize what a disaster Bush has been.

No that is not what you said Doyle. Quit the whining wingnut-batshit insults and try to have an honest conversation. There are plenty of conservatives on this forum who can debate honestly with liberals. Your insistence on framing anyone as a wingnut who disagrees with your utopian view on how the world should be shows how immature you really are.

Grow up already

Doyle said...

No that is not what you said Doyle.

Care to give me your summary of what point I was making with my initial 2:12pm comment?

Before Fen started in with the "OMG Scott Beauchamp the (pro-war) TNR editors are brainwashing fake soldiers to tell fake stories suggesting the Iraq War isn't awesome, OMG!" business.

Fen said...

Dolye: That's right fen. All the military members who oppose the war are impostors.

No dumbass. They are "phony soldiers" because, like Jesse MacBeth, they pretend to be soldiers [or Army Rangers] when they are not. And people like you embrace them.

Or, like Scott Beauchamp, they make up phony stories about the war. And people like you swallow their fabrications as fact.

Fen said...

Dolye: OMG Scott Beauchamp the (pro-war) TNR editors are brainwashing fake soldiers to tell fake stories suggesting the Iraq War isn't awesome, OMG!"

Not what I said. Here it is again:

"Or, like Scott Beauchamp, they make up phony stories about the war. And people like you swallow their fabrications as fact."

Doyle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Doyle said...

Let's look at a more recent example: Obama's story at the debate about US troops having to use scavenged Taliban weapons.

The instant verdict of the Hot Air/Wingnut/Too Dumb to Breathe side of the blogosphere was to use its collective military wisdom to declare the story totally fishy and probably something completely fabricated.

The only reason for this conclusion was that it reflected badly on the administration. Not the troops, mind you. They would stand to benefit from better weapons procurement.

And of course they were proven totally wrong. The grownups in the military said they had no reason to doubt the story was true.

Even the Beauchamp thing ended up hinging on whether on story took place in Kuwait or Iraq, right?

But by all means, continue your pursuit of truthe, wherever it may lead :-)

I swear you folks are adorable.

Doyle said...

And didn't Jamil Hussein end up existing, too?

Pogo said...

Even the Beauchamp thing ended up hinging on whether on story took place...

No Doyle. That story was entirely false, and Beauchamp was never able to corroborate a single thing he claimed. It was total bullshit, from start to finish.

David Rogers said...

John Lynch said " Other than Washington, the best Presidents had little or no military service."

Hmmm. GHWBush. Military service was four years+ in Navy, including being shot down near Okinawa. No Check.

Reagan. Military service was stateside making propaganda films. Check.

LBJ. Military service was in Congress almost exclusively. Check.

JFK. Military service was four+ years in Navy, including being sunk by Japanese Navy. No check.

Eisenhower. Long military career capped by service as Supreme Allied Commander in Europe. No check.

FDR. Assistant Secretary of the Navy. No check.

Calvin Coolidge. No military service at all. Check.

Woodrow Wilson. No military experience at all. Check.

Theodore Roosevelt. Assistant Secretary of the Navy. Leader of the Rough Riders volunteers in the Spanish-American War. No check.

Abe Lincoln. Volunteer in Illinois milita, 1832. Saw no significant action. Check.

Andrew Jackson. Commander of U.S. forces at battle of New Orleans, 1815, and many other military actions. No check.

Thomas Jefferson. No military experience. Check.

So, I'm not sure the sweeping statement John Lynch made is supportable. But this much is certain; the presidents that have take America to war, ending in the deaths of tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of American boys, have had almost no military experience. While it is the ex-military who are routinely tagged as warmongers, it is the life-long civilians who lead us to death and destruction.

Generally speaking.

Fen said...

While it is the ex-military who are routinely tagged as warmongers, it is the life-long civilians who lead us to death and destruction.

I would also add the failures of diplomacy and over-reliance of "soft" power to that list. For example, if Clinton had responded to the suicide attacks on the Khobar Towers and USS Cole as acts of war instead of acts of criminals...

former law student said...

It could be argued McCain's experience as POW inculcated the real horror of war and so would cause greater reluctance to engage one. Whereas a woman, or a man for that matter, having never served feels less compunction.

My biggest fear about HRC becoming President is that she'll do something goddam stupid with the military to prove she has balls. While McCain has nothing to prove to anyone.

This is not exclusively a female thing; I think Ehud Olmert's poorly-thought-out invasion of Lebanon arose from the same need to show he had stones.

Fen said...

Dolye: They would stand to benefit from better weapons procurement. And of course they were proven totally wrong. The grownups in the military said they had no reason to doubt the story was true.

Another lie by Dolye. Go figure.

Also via Ace: "Obama claimed our troops HAD TO — not chose to on occasion — capture the very weapons with which they were expected to fight the enemy."

Doyle said...

Doesn't even Ace concede that the story checked out?

Revenant said...

et's look at a more recent example: Obama's story at the debate about US troops having to use scavenged Taliban weapons.

... which, of course, turned out to be a complete lie.

The truth, when it came out, was that US forced used captured Taliban weapons -- not that they had not, not that they were forced to capture enemy weapons because that was easier than getting them from the US government, none of the horseshit that Obama tried to peddle.

Just that our troops had made use of captured weapons. Like they have in every war they've ever fought.

megapotamus said...

While certainly ALL of the anti-warriors are not phonies, the ones that make the most press are. Same thing happened during Viet Nam, and John Kerry, of course, was in the leadership of the Viet Nam Vets Against the War. He may have been the only true veteran of the theater in that organization as the JAG never could find ONE of those hundred-odd persons (including Kerry, eyewitness to Jenjhis Kahn-like depredations, or so he said when not under oath) to go on record with their fabrications. Not one. It Iraqi Vets Agains the War suffer from nearly the same disability: nearly all the principles are NOT what the name claims, and the main cat whose name escapes me and who actually IS an Iraqi veteran has lately turned sides. But for the Doyle's of this world none of this matters. The fraud, whether new or antique, is a Greater Truth. It indicts the hellish Bush. And Cheney. And you and me, of course. At the same time, supporting the liars, he denounces anyone with the temerity to believe contrarily to him a loon, a magpie, a fraud. Pathetic. You should check that mirror. But the day is long gone when a liar like Kerry can operate with impunity. Liars and Doyles go hand in hand but it is more difficult to maintain a stellar level of ignorance since the days of Walter Cronkite. Yes Doyle. It is a rash, it is a plot; this program of Kerryesque slanders like Haditha, the parade of Hollywood lies, Beauchamp and MacBeth. It is a lie and the oldest lie known to history: the pathetic carping of cowards agains the better men on whom they rely for their squandered liberty. Word.

Doyle said...

LOL. Okay, guys I give up. There is no factual information on earth which could ever call into question the idea that the Iraq Was has been a nonstop Freedom Party which we can only hope goes on all night.

George Bush will be spirited up to heaven on the wings of four star angels for all the good he's done.

Anyone who says otherwise is a liar, an American hater, or a covert Islamofascist like Barack Hussein Obama.

Happy?

Doyle said...

the pathetic carping of cowards agains the better men

Bwahahah!

Yes, keep this up fellas. We're tapping a rich mine of lunacy here. Keep it coming.

Fen said...

Doesn't even Ace concede that the story checked out?

Nope. He accuses your side of a bait & switch:

"Tapper sternly scolds bloggers for calling bullshit on Obama, but right there, he himself calls bullshit -- he just wants to pretend Obama's got it right. The source himself denies he had to "capture" enemy weapons and equipment to fight -- he is claiming that he did in fact use such weapons on occasion, but that is different than warfare generally... how?"

http://ace.mu.nu/archives/255523.php

For example, its not unusual for our forces to capture and use AK-47s. The M16A2 is a more accurate weapon at medium to longer ranges. But the AK is good at short range, is designed with low tolerances so it can take a beating, and its sometimes useful to have the enemy hear their own AK fire ["oh it must just be Omar's crew] rather than the American M16.

Bottom line is, yes, we routinely capture and use enemy weapons. Contrary to Obama's statement about the "anonymous Captain" [which he got second-hand through a staffer] we do not do so because we are forced to.

Revenant said...

And didn't Jamil Hussein end up existing, too?

It is likely that he exists, although the story he was cited has having confirmed turned out to be fake. So he's a Beauchamp, not a TANG Memo. :)

Doyle said...

Why would American soldiers use the weapons they captured if they already have enough of their own weapons and their own weapons are superior?

Doyle said...

In any case, the story the captain told was clearly to illustrate supply problems, not as an interesting fact about the situational virtues of the AK-47.

megapotamus said...

Oh, I love this part. Where the Lefty sez, "Hey, you win. You're right and I'm wrong. Ha ha, just kidding." but marches off yet more impressed with his own righteousness. One can presume if he/she/it had any insights supportive of his baseless positions, we might hear it. I restate that this pathetic flatulence is naught but... well, as I said. History will judge. But if you are impatient, check the membership and activities of those two august organizations. If you care.

Fen said...

BTW, I don't understand your comment re how this reflected poorly on the administration. Its Congress [waves to Obama] that funds the logistics of the war. And its those weasels on the left who have tried to defund the troops so they will be forced to "redeploy" to Okinawa.

Doyle said...

History will judge.

Indeed, and you folks are gonna look like apes.

Pogo said...

LOL. Okay, guys I give up. There is no factual information on earth which could ever call into question the idea that the Iraq Was has been a nonstop Freedom Party....

Criminey. Both of your examples were demonstrated to be entirely and utterly false, and you think it proves we're warmongers.

Jenny?
Things got a little out of hand.

It's just this war and that lying
son of a bitch Johnson
and...
I would never hurt you. You know that.


Yeah Doyle, it's the right that makes you peddle bullshit like it's truth.

Revenant said...

FDR. Assistant Secretary of the Navy. No check.

"Assistant Secretary of the Navy" is not a military position.

Fen said...

Why would American soldiers use the weapons they captured if they already have enough of their own weapons and their own weapons are superior?

Because the term "superior" is situational dependent.

Again: its not unusual for our forces to capture and use AK-47s. The M16A2 is a more accurate weapon at medium to longer ranges. But the AK is good at short range, is designed with low tolerances so it can take a beating, and its sometimes useful to have the enemy hear their own AK fire ["oh it must just be Omar's crew] rather than the American M16.

Bottom line is, yes, we routinely capture and use enemy weapons. Contrary to Obama's statement about the "anonymous Captain" [which he got second-hand through a staffer] we do not do so because we are forced to.

Roger said...

Doyle: On which weapon to use, you answered your own question re situation advantage. Example: you are point man on patrol; rather than being armed with an M4 or M16 you carry an AK--when you come under fire, you return fire with the AK--the enemy isnt sure who you are so they mmight withhold fire for a few seconds. In short, tactical advantage based on the differing sounds each weapon makes.

We frequently used AKs in viet nam precisely for that reason--esp on dismounted patrols. Another reason: AK ammunition in viet nam days used green tracers--M16 used red tracers, so it was possible to tell the difference.

There is more: it is generally not good policy to rely on the other guy's weapons. Why? because our supply system does not provide ammunition for non-issue weapons.

Doyle said...

we do not do so because we are forced to.

"We." I love it.

Revenant said...

Indeed, and you folks are gonna look like apes.

Even if history judges the Iraq war to have been a mistake, Doyle, your sort -- the folks who cheered every setback America faced and chortled at every tale of suffering -- will still be viewed as the amoral embarrassments to the Left that you are, just as your parents and grandparents were when they spit on American veterans during the Vietnam era.

History respects good people who opposed bad wars. But people like yourself are never viewed favorably, because the simple truth is that you aren't a good person.

Revenant said...

Hm, weren't we asked to ignore Doyle, actually? Or am I thinking of a different troll?

I don't want to disrespect Ann's wishes.

megapotamus said...

Actually, we ARE apes, don't you know that? And your witless straw man of the Right's position on the war is as mindcrushinly stupid as the Steinem comment that spawned all this. The reformation of the Middle East is, as a pretty okay guy has said, the generational challenge of our day. The Left sez, no no. We say, yes yes, although we are not, of course, a monolith. And no one ever said it was pixie dust or suchlike that will bring success but precarious work and plenty of it. With half the nation denouncing and carping in utter ignorance and baleful malice, it's harder still but history, if you know any, is unkind to these people generally. And that is you. Deal. It might surprise you to know, your presumptions of religiousity notwithstanding, that I am an unbeliever myself. You? Cuz if you are you might want to rethink which side you support. Sharia and dhimmitude are unkind to sarcastic atheists. Bushism however is a bit more accomodating. It is no non-stop freedom train. It is a strategic action with the weight of history strongly behind it, not to mention morality and the Machiavellian interests of the US, if that sort of thing is of interest. But I write in sadness. It is like explaining economics to a cat but with less prospect for success.

Fen said...

the story the captain told was clearly to illustrate supply problems

First off, the captain's story had alot of holes in it, esp his account of how platoons operate [check the link I provided at 3:29]

Second, the "captain" is an anonymous source. Combined that with the holes in his story, and it makes me skeptical. Consider: an anon source claims to be an ER nurse, but she confuses insider terms like lactated ringers and doesn't know what guage the IV needle is... skeptical?

Third, the captain's story is secondhand. He told it to a staffer, the staffer relayed it to Obama. No telling what mischief was done to the statement, or what was lost in translation.

Fen said...

Hm, weren't we asked to ignore Doyle, actually?

Ah hell, I forgot. Sorry.

megapotamus said...

"We"... nice little snark there. I don't go in for that sort of thing myself but for someone who seems to have drafted himself onto the Mets starting lineup on his own blog, you might rethink the implications. Or just "think" for the first time.

Fen said...

Its funny how all-of-a-sudden this is an issue for the Left.

When Bill Clinton was president, I was in the 2D and 3D LAR BNs [LAV-25s]. Our TO weapon was the 9mm. None of us carried one though, because there wasn't enough ammo to qualify with. This was during peace-time.

Same with the 25mm cannon. We were only given enough ammo to fam-fire once per year, about 120 rounds per gunner. Hardly enough to develop proficiency. As a result, our units were routinely C4 in training.

Bill said...

I've never understood what about military service is supposed to qualify someone for political office.If it made George W. Bush more cosmopolitan, that I suppose would be an argument-- but it didn't. If service made John McCain less likely to support torture, that would be an argument-- but it hasn't. I suppose it made Bob Dole more compassionate, at least towards veterans, but that wasn't military service, per se. Dole's understanding came from the fact that he was horribly wounded, and suffered a complicated, difficult rehabilitation. If he'd had been in a bad auto accident the experience would have been the same, except maybe he wouldn't have had access to the same quality medical care. There is nothing about Dole's experience in the military that seems unique to having been in the military.

Pogo said...

There is nothing about Dole's experience in the military that seems unique to having been in the military.
I would have agreed with you when I was twenty-something.

Not any more.

I have no military experience, and it was not until years later did I understand how its absence caused me harm, and how stupid I was in college to be so dismissive of those who chose to serve.

I have met many people at work with military training, and it tells me alot about them; mostly that I can trust their work. Leadership is often inculcated in that environment.

I don't believe it's lack is a deal breaker, but its absence coupled with an anti-military stance is.

Beth said...

Steinem's analogy was an artless imitation of Woolf's Judith story, but it was also just plain stupid. There's no traction in a strategy that demeans McCain's service. That's just obvious. Republicans can get away with that kind of smearing, but Democrats have never made it work, even when so richly deserved, as with Bush. I'm frustrated with the inability of Democratic campaign strategists who seemingly cannot learn the lessons of elections past.

Beth said...

I should add that attacking McCain's service isn't a matter of doing it well, or artlessly. It's a bad tactic -- and indefensible. If he chooses to run on that as his main qualification, he'll lose. It's part of his character and experience, but it's silly to attack it as if he's put it forth as his qualification for office, because he hasn't.

Beth said...

I should add that attacking McCain's service isn't a matter of doing it well, or artlessly. It's a bad tactic -- and indefensible. If he chooses to run on that as his main qualification, he'll lose. It's part of his character and experience, but it's silly to attack it as if he's put it forth as his qualification for office, because he hasn't.

Beth said...

I should add that attacking McCain's service isn't a matter of doing it well, or artlessly. It's a bad tactic -- and indefensible. If he chooses to run on that as his main qualification, he'll lose. It's part of his character and experience, but it's silly to attack it as if he's put it forth as his qualification for office, because he hasn't.

Beth said...

I should add that attacking McCain's service isn't a matter of doing it well, or artlessly. It's a bad tactic -- and indefensible. If he chooses to run on that as his main qualification, he'll lose. It's part of his character and experience, but it's silly to attack it as if he's put it forth as his qualification for office, because he hasn't.

Fen said...

Republicans can get away with that kind of smearing

Care to elaborate?

but Democrats have never made it work, even when so richly deserved, as with Bush.

When Mary Mapes met FreeRepublic & LittleGreenFootballs... CBS would have gotten away with it too, if not for the unforseen rise of bloggers as rapid fact-checkers.

Democrats smeared Bush as a draft dodger, even though the ANG flew over 40,000 combat sorties over Nam. To this day, I still hear Dems falsely asserting that Bush dodged the draft or went AWOL.

"As Bush was completing his training and being certified as a qualified pilot, there was always the possibility that the ANG might be mobilized to send F-102 squadrons to Vietnam. However, the F-102 had originally been stationed in that theater to guard against the possibility of air attack from the North, a danger that never materialized since North Vietnamese pilots refused to stray south of the border and outside their own protective SAM barrier. This lack of a threat prompted the Air Force to gradually withdraw the F-102 from southeast Asia beginning in December 1969 and concluding in May 1971. The F-102 was instead returned to its primary role of providing air defense for the United States. This vital mission had been almost entirely transferred to the ANG by that time since the Air Force had become increasingly tasked with its overseas responsibilities in Europe and Asia."

http://www.aerospaceweb.org/question/history/q0185.shtml

/also, re Bush's request to transfer to a Nam-based unit:

"Fred Bradley, a friend of Bush's who was also serving in the Texas ANG, reported that he and Bush inquired about participating in Palace Alert. However, the two were told by their flight instructor, Maj. Maurice Udell, that they were not yet qualified since they were still in training and did not have the 500 hours of flight experience required. Furthermore, ANG veteran Col. William Campenni, who was a fellow pilot in the 111th FIS at the time, told the Washington Times that Palace Alert had stopped accepting new applicants before Bush would have been eligible."

Synova said...

Military experience would be good for anyone to have. It's quite different than anything else. Some people are really and truly not suited to it and that shouldn't be considered a criticism, but most of those who claim they are not suited to it believe that it is something entirely different than it is, stereotypical and utterly fantasitc... as in fantasy... or perhaps more accurately... lies.

Any young person who can pass the physical should consider spending a few years in the military simply to broaden their life experience.

Revenant said...

If service made John McCain less likely to support torture, that would be an argument-- but it hasn't.

Maybe you should actually try paying attention to politics before commenting on political discussions.

John McCain has been a vocal opponent of both torture and of aggressive interrogation, and has routinely cited his own military experience (during which he was tortured by the North Vietnamese) as a motivating factor for his hostility to torture. Apparently you didn't think any further than "Republican = pro-torture, McCain = Republican, ergo McCain = pro-torture". Try again.

Revenant said...

Republicans can get away with that kind of smearing, but Democrats have never made it work, even when so richly deserved, as with Bush.

Quite a few people think Bush failed to complete his service, and quite a few others go beyond that to claim that he was AWOL. There is no evidence for either belief, and of course the military itself denies the charges. So I think you'd have to say that the Democrats successfully smeared Bush's military service, since even if it *was* true that he didn't fulfill his obligations it is an objective fact that his failure to do so remains unproven.

In contrast, the worst you can say about the SBVT is that on one topic (Kerry's medals) there are conflicting stories. That could be called "a smear" in the sense that the Democrats smeared Bush with similar, but much less comprehensive, anecdotal evidence (and of course forged documents to support their smears).

On the other hand, the other SBVT accusations -- that Kerry gave aid and comfort to the enemy, that he rejected the very medals he later bragged about, that he slandered his fellow troops to Congress, and that he is widely hated by other Swift Boat veterans, that his "Christmas in Cambodia" story was phony -- there was no "smearing". Just objective truth.

joewxman said...

Gloria Sternum has ceased being relevant a long time ago. And as some have observed...history will not be kind to her and her ilk when they look back at the 90s and their blind support for a president who got blow jobs from his female interns.

If military service is no qualifcation for holding office then neither is having shared a bed(perhaps) with a president for 8 years. Sternums approach is just another trip down the road of divisiive politcs that have failed radical feminists and have been rejected by most in the mainstream.

Cedarford said...

The Drill SGT said...
one minor nit Cedarford...
Stockdale ran as Perot's VP.
he was a lot smarter than that one debate showed.


Yah, right you are. Maybe I tried to forget Stockdale, who was a hero, but a political disaster. That 2 of 562 Vietnam POWs, and no POW from previous wars - indicting they are not, by pure dint of "suffering for all of us" anymore than victims, though sometimes victims with character...

Just as similarly unlucky soldiers that get maimed are not made into great leaders by the fact.

*****************

More silliness from David Rogers following John Lynch's silly attempt to sort out "relevant" military service.

Since Anne is on a Wikipedia thing today, here is a complete list of Presidents by military rank:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_Presidents_by_military_service

The list should come with qualifiers, such as certain civilians have had deep associations with the military that familiarized them with the organization and mission and definitely helped their performance later as CiC. Just as much, the insipidly ignorant Lefty "maxim" from people who have a hard time separating a soldier from a sailor if they saw two on the street - is to confidently assure us that "only those who saw combat" are the real soldiers, who know what is going on. Those with no "real combat like in jungle paddies" are effectively just civilians...which is horseshit.

(Eisenhower was never personally in combat. Reagan was part of the strategic communications effort that learned on the job what values the military held dear and what the organization is.)

Adams was a revolutionary and insurrectionist that met and worked with elements of the miliary and army for 10 years on tactics, financing them, before becoming President.

Jefferson commanded the Virginia militia.

Nixon was a quiet hero who served magnificently in WWII - and who understood the military and was the guy that brought detente because he knew up close the horror of war. Any list of Presidents should include him as an example of an important President greatly helped in his duties by past military experience.

The "list" also omits that governors automatically have the status of executive commanders of the military (of their state guard), and also that Hoover had executive military background by virtue of his command of military units for WWI logistics and famine relief.

Obama and Hillary are way down the list on potential Presidents with any background in understanding military ways and culture and what they can and cannot do. Or leading military. You are basically talking just them plus Harding and John Quincy Adams as never been in the military, never been a governor in command of forces, or never been a high ranking civilian within military leadership.

*************
Just my two cents: I like certain Soviet weapons as as good as or better than American ones. The AK47, the Soviet 12.7 mm heavy machine gun (especially in the duo or quad anti-air platform), and the RPG. (Until we finally came up with a better but more expensive answer to the RPG).
[It was heartwarming to watch Kuwaitis on a "liberated" 12.7 duo on a truck shoot up a few vehicle hulks to pieces as Coalition and a crowd of hundreds cheered them.
A bad-ass weapon and very useful in Afghanistan, from what I hear..]

And another dirty little secret is that while the US will not supply ammo from captured weapons, it really isn't a problem. The ammo is either all over the place or magically appears when US soldiers waive bucks, porn, or cigarettes for barter. I've thought it better, particularly with the corrupt Muslims we are fighting now, if we just bought up a good chunk of the weapons stockpiles now buried in many back yards.

former law student said...

A classmate of mine, a tech in the Air Guard, volunteered for active duty a couple of times in the early 70s, taking a semester off each time. I presume a trained fighter pilot like W. could have activated himself as well, between 68 and 74. According to the Air National Gurad website, June of 68 was the last time that Air Guard fighter groups were sent to SE Asia, before LBJ decided not to call up the National Guard to serve in Vietnam, for the first war since it was established.

former law student said...

Comparing the semiautomatic AK with the civilian AR-15, the AK is a lot funner to shoot, without the ridiculous handle on top.

Beth said...

Fen, sure, Bush tried and tried to get to Vietnam. It's the fault of the plane! It's the fault of his instructor! Amazing that so many others made it. If only they'd have let him, I'm sure he'd have bravely fought. And taking time off to work on a political campaign, why that's no shame at all.

Just getting into the unit he was in is enough to give him the raspberry. Sons of politicians, Dallas Cowboys up for the draft -- they all skipped the line ahead of the regular guys.

He's a Fortunate Son, that's no smear. Just facts.

Fen said...

Beth: Just getting into the unit he was in is enough to give him the raspberry. Sons of politicians, Dallas Cowboys up for the draft -- they all skipped the line ahead of the regular guys.

No. This is what I'm talking about. Check your facts: there was no line to get into TANG - they were actually short on pilots.

As for charges of nepotism, the Texas legislature is huge. Freshman congressmen are a dime a dozen - they don't have the same clout as they would in smaller states like LA.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

the feminist establishment has become a ritualized, hollow shell.

Old cats, with the fur all falling out.

Synova said...

FLS, I don't see any reason at all that you should be able to presume that an Air Guard pilot could put himself on active duty just because he wanted to.

Revenant said...

Beth,

Fen, sure, Bush tried and tried to get to Vietnam.

If you want to say "Bush didn't actively try to get sent to Vietnam" then sure, go ahead and say it. It is obviously true!

But the smears Democrats used went far beyond that and you know it. Your lot accused him of being AWOL (a lie), of joining a "safe" unit (also a lie -- TANG units were seeing combat), of failing to fulfill his duties while in the Guard (also, according to the military at least, a lie)... etc, etc.

I would also point out that when John Kerry joined the Navy it was the safest place in the military to be (ever heard of the notoriously dangerous North Vietnamese Naval Forces? Me neither). Once he was transferred to an actually dangerous job -- river patrols -- he got out as fast as he could. It would be fair to say that both men tried to avoid danger, but only one of them proved that he couldn't handle it once it could no longer BE avoided.

But of course it remains a truism in the media that the SVBT criticisms of Kerry were "smears", while the media's own role in the smears against Bush (I'm looking at you, CBS) have been conveniently swept down the memory hole.

Beth said...

they don't have the same clout as they would in smaller states like LA

They have more clout than the parents of average Joes.

Bush was a couple weeks away from losing his deferment, and he stepped into a nice way of avoiding running off to Canada. He didn't score well on the pilot test, but they let him in anyway. There were thousands of guys on waiting lists across the country, and if this unit had a couple of pilot spots open, why give it to someone scoring in the 25th percentile? It's ludicrous to believe Bush's ANG service is anything other than a privileged young man's way of escaping the draft. I don't blame him for going that route, but I'm not going to respect him for it, either.

Beth said...

It would be fair to say that both men tried to avoid danger, but only one of them proved that he couldn't handle it once it could no longer BE avoided.

Right, Bush never had to prove himself, or fail to. Was that ever in doubt?

AWOL or not, he larked off to work on a campaign, and didn't finish his service. He did very well for himself. At least Kerry risked something. Of course, McCain puts them both to shame, easily. As do my brothers who served, and their high school buddies who didn't manage to leapfrog over any legislator's sons, some of whom returned, some of whom did not. Most of them likely faced moments when they couldn't handle it, either, but none had the option to avoid it or escape it.

JBlog said...

"I was saying that military experience, for wingnuts, doesn't count for Democrats or for veterans who realize what a disaster Bush has been."

If you honestly think Bush has been a "disaster" you need to get yourself a couple of good history books and spend a little time with them.

Or maybe take a night class.

MadisonMan said...

If you honestly think Bush has been a "disaster" you need to get yourself a couple of good history books and spend a little time with them.

Hmm, let's see. The biggest domestic terrorist attack in history. Entangled in a war with no real definition of success. Massive new entitlements that aren't paid for. A deficit that has exploded. Pork barrel spending is through the roof.

Synova said...

Well, I think it's fair to say it hasn't been wonderful either!

But when people talk about Bush being a disaster they generally aren't saying that someone else would have done a bit better. Generally they're talking about the end of life as we know it.

It lacks perspective and reading some History would certainly help that.

From Inwood said...

Good grief.
A post on Gloria S’s attempt to minimize McCain's service brings out the loonies who still think that Bush 43 was AWOL, The Swift Boaters were smear artists, Obama knows the difference between a Capt. & a Lt., how platoons are deployed, & which end of the rifle the bullets exit from.

I could go on but, as someone has said:

You cannot reason someone out of a position he (or she) has not been reasoned into.

Revenant said...

Right, Bush never had to prove himself, or fail to.

Well that's the point, isn't it? We don't know how Bush would have held up in combat, but we do know that Kerry proved himself to be a coward and a traitor. Personally I'll take the unproven fellow over the known scumbag.

Was that ever in doubt?

Apparently it was, since your fellow liberals have spent most of the last four years loudly insisting that Bush failed to meet his obligations to the National Guard. If you now concede that he served honorably in the comparably low-risk TANG then great, I'm proud of you.

It remains the case, though, that service in the Guard was (when Bush joined it) neither safer than risking the draft nor less likely to result in your being sent to Vietnam. There were plenty of safer ways to get out of going to war.

AWOL or not, he larked off to work on a campaign, and didn't finish his service.

The military says he did. Feel free to prove otherwise. Maybe you could forge some more documents to help your case.

At least Kerry risked something.

No -- Kerry was placed at risk. And he pussied out as fast as he could.

Revenant said...

Hmm, let's see. The biggest domestic terrorist attack in history. Entangled in a war with no real definition of success. Massive new entitlements that aren't paid for. A deficit that has exploded. Pork barrel spending is through the roof.

By that logic, Franklin Roosevelt was by far the worst President in US history. We endured worse attacks, wasted a LOT more money on a war with no more purpose than the war in Iraq (i.e., the war in Europe) and ended up assisting in the domination of most of Europe and Asia by the single worst ideological movement in human history. Oh, and saddled the country with the entitlement programs that are currently bankrupting it -- the cost of the Iraq war is pocket change compared to the cost of paying for the Boomer retirement.

Beth said...

It remains the case, though, that service in the Guard was (when Bush joined it) neither safer than risking the draft nor less likely to result in your being sent to Vietnam.

That's absolute BS. Anyone alive at the time knows what a load of BS that is.

As for the military saying he served, they don't have records showing that. They have records he showed up some times in Alabama, including making a dental appointment. And from the moment he transferred from Texas to Alabama he stopped flying -- so much for any risk, whatsoever.

Fen said...

That's absolute BS. Anyone alive at the time knows what a load of BS that is

Wrong. Bush's unit was tasked with Soviet Bomber interdiction along the Gulf. Flying the F102 is not the same as being in the rear with the gear. Hell, we lost Captain Holly over the Atlantic during a routine peace-time op.

Fen said...

Perhaps we can start at the baseline, Beth: Are you willing to admit the CBS docs were forged?

MadisonMan said...

Personally I'll take the unproven fellow over the known scumbag.

So you're voting for Obama then.

MadisonMan said...

...and let me add: If you don't think Bush was a disaster, you must think that Roosevelt was not, either.

I think that Roosevelt's ability to communicate effectively places him head and shoulders above Bush (II).

yakzilla said...

Beth,

W flew F-102s. Not exactly the safest or easiest jet to fly - even if no one is shooting at you. And he got his wings - not an easy thing to do in itself. And he was a fighter pilot in a single seat jet - meaning he had to do everything himself. Aviate, navigate, communicate and run the weapon system, in particular the radar. Running intercepts at night, in bad weather, using an early 60s radar was no piece of cake. And he was fully qualified. Not a job for wimps or simpletons. Just to give you an idea, the jet landed at close to 200 mph - compared to a Cessna single at about 65.

Doesn't really matter how he got in - he got his wings on is own and then flew fighters.

Fen said...

I think that Roosevelt's ability to communicate effectively

Pork barrel spending is the purview of Congress, not the executive branch. I guees Bush could line item out all the earmarks?

And 9/11 was prepared and planned under Clinton's watch, while America took a break from reality to party. Kinda cheap to place all the blame on Bush's shoulders, when its Clinton's failed policies that enabled it.

Is that going to happen all over again? The Dems will kick the can down the road, and the GOP will come back to pick up all the pieces. Same pattern: Carter -> Reagan, Clinton -> Bush, Obama -> ?

former law student said...

It remains the case, though, that service in the Guard was (when Bush joined it) neither safer than risking the draft nor less likely to result in your being sent to Vietnam.

Of my friends who volunteered, only the Marines ended up in combat in Vietnam. Our armed forces were deployed around the world, after all. There were plenty of low risk slots even for people sent to Vietnam; carrier duty was relatively risk free, save for the chance of being blown overboard.

Further, I'm not going to deny that W. could have crashed his plane at any time -- an F102 is not a Cessna 150. But LBJ decided Guard units would not be activated before W. completed basic at Lackluster.

Revenant said...

That's absolute BS. Anyone alive at the time knows what a load of BS that is.

The revelation that you're that old explains a lot about your paleoliberal obsessions.

Anyway, a lot of folks "know" things about the Vietnam era that have no basis in reality, and your belief on this topic is an example of such. Only a few percent of the men Bush's age were drafted during the course of the war, while TANG fighter units regularly saw service in Vietnam. The *infantry* branches of the National Guard were good places to dodge service, but fighter pilots had a good chance of being called up prior to 1969.

As for the military saying he served, they don't have records showing that.

His honorable discharge from the Texas Air National Guard is on record. So my question to you is -- were you simply ignorant of that fact, or was your previous statement an overt lie?

And from the moment he transferred from Texas to Alabama he stopped flying -- so much for any risk, whatsoever.

Well, duh -- by 1972 the United States involvement in the war was drawing down, and the domestic roles the ANG had taken over during the war were resumed by the professional military.

Ralph said...

Speaking of ol' Judy S, my sister found out recently that one of our ancestors was the double first cousin of Wm Shakespeare's mother and first cousin of his father (Will's parents were also first cousins). That ancestor also married his cousin, another relative of Will's mother, Mary Arden. As they say, spice is nice, but incest is best.

My father retired from the Navy in 1980, but still returns the guard's salute when he drives on a military base. 34 years of reflexes are hard to undo.

Balfegor said...

...and let me add: If you don't think Bush was a disaster, you must think that Roosevelt was not, either.

I wouldn't go that far. Bush II has not reworked the very fabric of our Constitutional order in his own image, by threatening to pack the highest court in the land with his cronies. And Bush II has not -- as far as we know -- simply had American citizens shot for treason after adjudication by a tribunal composed of his cronies (see Ex Parte Quirin).

On the other hand, to be fair, Bush II didn't have to, since Roosevelt II had wreaked pretty much all the havock one could possibly want already. If Bush had become president in a political order like that which faced Roosevelt, he might have engaged in similar excesses. Who knows?

Revenant said...

So you're voting for Obama then.

I've already said, many times, that I refuse to vote for John McCain.

...and let me add: If you don't think Bush was a disaster, you must think that Roosevelt was not, either.

The reason I think FDR was a disaster is that we're *still* suffering from his screw-ups over sixty years after he croaked. You're welcome to make a case for Bush's disastrousness, but I just don't see how any of his actions will have that kind of far-reaching impact.

I think that Roosevelt's ability to communicate effectively places him head and shoulders above Bush (II).

It made him better at getting the public to agree to go along with him, if that's what you mean. But surely you don't think that a leader is good for his country solely because he can convince people to follow him. America would be a much better place if Roosevelt hadn't been so good at convincing everyone that the one and only solution to every last one of America's problems was a massive government bureaucracy ruled by unelected government careerists.

Cedarford said...

MadisonMan said...
...and let me add: If you don't think Bush was a disaster, you must think that Roosevelt was not, either.
I think that Roosevelt's ability to communicate effectively places him head and shoulders above Bush (II).


Allow me to be the 1st to say that *duh* FDR was a more capable President than Bush II. So was Nixon. So was Clinton.

And Beth is flat wrong on her assessment of Guard Service and risk level of flying the F-102, perhaps the most dangerous front-line jet the US military ever flew. Any Vet that knows air service and the skill and courage it took to fly such warplanes (death & injury rate of such pilots was equivalent to front line troops in the Vietnam era. Carrier pilots like McCain - much higher) And his Cold war job of intercepting Cuban or Soviet bombers in the Gulf was a high, deined aa critical mission, of the US military. Her bias - one reason it is a waste to talk to her - is clear in her smear that if Bush wasn't able to get into the Guard on double the time commitment of draftees, spend close to two years active duty in rigorous training and qualification, bury at least one classmate who died in a warplane - then he would have cut and run for Canada. Rather than seek another spot - even a safe spot like John Kerry thought he landed 30 miles offshore..

But the issue is qualification. Being a POW doesn't qualify you in and of itself to be President. But the sum of a man's military service - if objective people see it as favorable, does. It shows an ability at leadership, teamwork and propensity towards patriotism. Even if not ever in combat, the commitment to go in harms way and maybe become a casualty for the higher good of the nation and it's people is there.

When someone does not join the military, but serves in a civilian role of military leadership - like FDR, Hoover, all the governors who became President - that also prepares a Commander-in-Chief - and 95% of Presidents have sent determined a compelling need to send our guys up against armed foreign guys.

Commander-in-Chief is the highest Presidential duty. If it was to be Lawyer-in-Chief to the Constitution, all Presidents would be expected to be Constitutional lawyers. If it was to "reach out and comfort and console" the 70 million Americans claiming they are hapless, depressed victims of something - then we would have our Presidents come from the "compassionate caregiver" ranks or be qualified psychotherapists dealing with the Harlequin Romance crowd and the dependent. And jet off to every tragedy involving more than 30 casualties to hug "Victim Families".

That is not the case.

Only two Presidents had no preparation for CiC. Warren Harding and John Quincy Adams.

John Kerry had the prep, but revealed himself as a scumbag.

This election, we have Hillary and Barack down at the level of inexperience of poor JQ and the worst President of the 20th Century. Worse than Carter, even.

Beth said...

Rev, what's your bias against age, experience, and witnessing events as they happen, rather than revising them to fit your bias? I lived in military communities (on and off base) during those years; other than a few civilian neighbors, everyone in our circle were serving. It was very common to try to get teen sons in the Guard, and the belief was that the odds were highest that they'd never see combat.

The percentage of men drafted may have been low, but the percentage of Guard members who went to Vietnam was much lower. And until it was your turn at the wheel, there was no way to know if your number was up. Young men didn't just hang around hoping luck would be on their side and they wouldn't be drafted, or they wouldn't meet combat standards. I knew several who signed up to get it over with, knowing their grades weren't good enough to get a college exemption.

Do you seriously believe that wasn't W's motivation in seeking that position in that unit? And that despite scoring in the bottom quarter of those testing for pilot positions, just luck and fate scored that berth for him? Of course he wanted to stay in the U.S. and not ship out. Again, I don't blame him.

Nor would he have had to run for Canada, not in a million years. There'd have been a Guard slot open for him somewhere.

Cedarford said...

FLS - There were plenty of low risk slots even for people sent to Vietnam; carrier duty was relatively risk free, save for the chance of being blown overboard.

Never heard of the Forrestal, the Belknap, the many crashes that took out not just flight crew but deck crew, or all the men killed in engineroom, hydraulic, electrocution mishaps? The Navy, even in peacetime, is a dangerous place. Carriers, especially so. No carrier has ever deployed for a 6-9 month deployment in US history without losing at least half a dozen men at sea or at landfall. People got killed in the Yards, too. The risks are high on other vessels, too.
My brothers 1st job on the ship he reported to was supervising hauling out 4 bodies from an area with a freon leak.

*****************
Balfegor - (FDR) simply had American citizens shot for treason after adjudication by a tribunal composed of his cronies (see Ex Parte Quirin).

Just one American, who along with 6 fellow Nazis who happened to be German citizens, was electrocuted. Him for being a traitor and unlawful enemy combatant, the others without the traitor designation.
Turned into wormfood months after after capture and trial (by military officers, not FDR cronies), after a 9-0 SCOTUS decision against their appeal - and their bodies were cold before the ink dried on the SCOTUS decision.

That was before US Law was Talmudified into endless debates and appeals stretching decades on death penalty cases. We still have ACLU Jews fighting the frikkin format the 9/11 mastermind will be tried in after 6 1/2 years with no trial yet and estimates that his appeals will take at least 10 years.

Despite the Lion of Civil Liberties, William O Douglas calling Ex Parte Quirin a "no-brainer" in a 1962 interview. The tribunal was objective and fair, he said, and the ruling on no civilian rights of due process for enemy was just. And Douglas said swift justice worked, as after his agents were fried - the Nazis gave up sending spies and saboteurs here.

Douglas has it right. Today's ACLU Jews have it wrong. KSM should have swung from a rope years ago. Better traditional American justice than the Jewish sort of endless debate, plantiff-favoring, money-favoring justice our court systems have migrated to in the last 40 years.
(And maybe the coddling sort of justice is simply Jewish atonement for the Bolshevik-style kangaroo justice inflicted on the peoples of the Russian Empire 90 years ago.)

Revenant said...

Rev, what's your bias against age, experience, and witnessing events as they happen, rather than revising them to fit your bias?

It isn't bias, it just explains why your beliefs seemed so dated to me.

The older a person gets, the harder it is to get that person to look at the facts and question their long-held beliefs. The problem with "experience and witnessing events as they happen" is that people, you being an excellent example, generally assume that the tiny little bit of life that they personally get to witness must represent universal truths, and as they age those "universal truths" become unquestionable truths. Which is why you stubbornly insist that the TANG was the safer alternative, despite the irrefutable and objective fact that the percentage of TANG enlistees deployed to Vietnam was higher than the percentage of men of draft age who actually got drafted. But the facts disagree with what you "know", so the facts can go jump off a bridge I guess.

It was very common to try to get teen sons in the Guard, and the belief was that the odds were highest that they'd never see combat.

That's nice. Being that you're from Louisiana I'm guessing that it was widely believed in that community that blacks were inferior to whites. Was that true, too? Or is it possible -- just maybe -- that people can widely hold a belief that simply has no basis in reality? Like I noted above, the beliefs about National Guard service likely stem from the fact that the infantry WAS much less likely to get sent to Vietnam. But it is simply ignorant to assume that that was true for all branches of the Guard. The notion that flying fighter jets was the "safe" way to get out of the war just doesn't pass a laugh test.

The percentage of men drafted may have been low, but the percentage of Guard members who went to Vietnam was much lower.

Overall, sure, but the chances of deployment varied by branch and by duties. The chances of fighter pilots getting sent to Vietnam were higher than the percentage chances of being drafted. And that's just it, of course -- if, as you claim, Bush had the connections to get into the Guard, and wanted to avoid risk, he could have picked a nice, safe little infantry division somewhere and faced no real risk beyond blisters on his feet. So why didn't he?

I knew several who signed up to get it over with, knowing their grades weren't good enough to get a college exemption.

Just because a certain number of gullible or foolish people give in to hysteria doesn't mean that there is a real danger. Just look at the "ritual satanic abuse" scares of the 1980s, for example.

Do you seriously believe that wasn't W's motivation in seeking that position in that unit?

I think that he, like John Kerry, wanted some plausible form of service on his record that he could point to later in life, but didn't actually want to fight in Vietnam. So, like Kerry, he signed up for a form of military service that had relatively low chances of seeing combat and allowed him to do something he enjoyed (boating in Kerry's case, flying in Bush's). He was fortunate and didn't get sent into combat; Kerry got unlucky and was. Would Bush have been revealed as a coward and a traitor the way that Kerry was? I guess we'll never know, but based on his behavior since then I think we can safely say he wouldn't have.

Nor would he have had to run for Canada, not in a million years.

"Had to"? How odd that the vast majority of men whose numbers were drawn didn't "have to" flee the country.

The Drill SGT said...

FLS said... carrier duty was relatively risk free, save for the chance of being blown overboard.

FLS that statement demonstrates a tru ignorance of the dangers of even peacetime operations. where to begin?

1. up until a few years ago we were losing more servicepeople in peacetime acidents each year than we do today in Iraq

2. up into the 60's, the probability of being seriously injured or killed flying off carriers was above 50% over a 20 year career. landing a damaged plane on the rolling deck of a carrier in the rain at night is the most challenging flying possible

3. flight operations on the deck of a carrier is the most dangerous work environment in existence. it is not unknown to have folks sucked into jet engines, etc. it is so dangerous that they don't allow pilots out there alone. pilots get led to their planes by crewmen who understand the ballet of potential death all around them.

4. Then there was the Forrestal fire. McCain was suited up in an A-4 sitting there on the deck waiting takeoff when an F-4 behind him launched a 4.5" rocket that struck his plane, igniting the fuel drop tanks and releasing several 1,000lb bombs onto the deck. With the deck covered in flaming fuel and the bombs cooking off (ultimately 8 thousand pounders went off on the deck amidst 20-30 planes), McCain unhooked himself, climbed out of the cockpit, jumped up on the nose of his A-4, walked out on the refueling probe and jumped into the flames to the deck and rolled out into the clear where he had to be extinguished. After the fires were put out, (100+ dead) and the ship returned to port, McCain volunteered to switch squadrons and return to the war rather than wait with his old squadron till the Forrestal was repaired. he was shot down 3 months later. he broke both arms and 1 leg landing. the NVA baynoted him in the stomache and leg as well as shattering his shoulder with a rifle butt.

(that is some amazing video if you ever see it.)

MadisonMan said...

There is nothing unconstitutional about trying to put more justices on the Supreme Court -- it's not like the number has remained constant since the birth of the Nation. If I recall right, the executive has to have the legislature pass a law authorizing it.

FDR really stumbled in the execution of that plan, however; result: No President really considers adding justices.

JBlog said...

"
I think that Roosevelt's ability to communicate effectively places him head and shoulders above Bush (II).
"

He also provoked the Japanese into attacking us, missing all the clues on Pearl Harbor and nearly losing the Pacific Fleet.

He failed to intervene sooner to stop the Holocaust, even though he knew full well it was occurring.

He sanctioned the firebombing of civilian populations in Germany and Japan, leading to hundreds of thousands of innocent deaths.

And he sent 120,000 people to concentration camps -- including women, children and the elderly, many of the American citizens -- simply because of their ethnicity.

See, you can make anyone look like a disaster if you cherrypick you facts -- and I didn't even try that hard.

Registration for night classes still available.

Beth said...

Rev:

Being that you're from Louisiana I'm guessing that it was widely believed in that community that blacks were inferior to whites.

I'm not from Louisiana. I live there now. If you pay attention, you'll see from my comments that I'm a military brat. Growing up, we moved from base to base around this country and overseas.

Your remarks on young men exposed to the draft "giving in to hysteria" say a lot about your own age and lack of perspective. You've never been exposed to that risk, so you can belittle those who grew up facing it. Classy.

We agree on one thing: I think that he, like John Kerry, wanted some plausible form of service on his record that he could point to later in life, but didn't actually want to fight in Vietnam. I believe they were both thinking ahead in those terms. And they both had the pull to make sure their plans could be carried out.

I guess we'll never know, but based on his behavior since then I think we can safely say he wouldn't have. What behavior gives you that fantasy? It's amusing that you accuse me of avoiding facts when you're so devoted to a romanticized heroic vision of Bush that you indulge in this kind of speculation.

sfcmac said...

Re: Steinem

Oh christ. Does this broad realize how many women (like myself) were trained to kill, served in the military, and deployed to war? I like the idea of a Commander-in-Chief who’s spent at least a little time in uniform, if even to give them a taste of what it means to be on the other side of the nation’s foreign policies.

You do take your chances, though. I bet Gloria loves the shit out of Jimmy Carter. He’s former Navy and a pusillanimous asshat who never met a dictator he didn’t like.

On the other hand, draft-dodger Bubba Clinton loathed the military and said that in a letter to his draft board. Once he got in he picked up where Carter left off; eviscerating the military even further, neglecting national security, and wagging the dog in Somalia and Bosnia while he collected Chinese cash and blow jobs from Monika. I bet Steinem giggles like a school girl over that.

Moron.

Revenant said...

Your remarks on young men exposed to the draft "giving in to hysteria"

... were entirely accurate. You know, or would if you looked at the facts instead of relying on your personal biases, that the vast majority of draft-eligible men did not rush out and join the Army just to "get it over with". It is both fair and accurate to say that the tiny portion of men who DID do that were giving in to hysteria.

say a lot about your own age and lack of perspective. You've never been exposed to that risk

So, Beth, at what age did you register for selective service?

Oh yeah, that's right -- you're a woman. So that's "never", then. Funny, because I registered when I was 18. As small as my risk of ever being drafted was, it was still greater than yours.

So spare us the bullshit about your "experience". You haven't got any. You just have secondhand exposure to male members of your generation, and guess what -- so do I. I've also got the facts and the numbers on my side. All you've got is a lot of empty second-hand anecdotes about the war years and forty-year-old prejudices you're unwilling to question.

What behavior gives you that fantasy? It's amusing that you accuse me of avoiding facts when you're so devoted to a romanticized heroic vision of Bush that you indulge in this kind of speculation.

You're setting up a false dichotomy. I'm saying that I don't think Bush would have done what Kerry did -- weasel out of combat at the first opportunity and devote himself to actively assisting the enemy upon returning to the United States. You don't have to be a romantic hero to not be a coward and a traitor to your country. You just have to have the ordinary kind of courage and decency that the overwhelming majority of soldiers have.

In closing, I'd just observe that there's no rational reason to assume I hero-worship Bush. I've never said anything that would give that impression.

Beth said...

Rev, you trumpet facts gleaned post-conflict and try to use them to explain behaviors of people during the conflict. That's useless. Then, you jump from an assertion of fact, for example that fewer men enlisted than were drafted to confidently conclude that "It is both fair and accurate to say that the tiny portion of men who DID do that were giving in to hysteria." That's a ridiculous conclusion, and no more supported by facts than any other speculation about motives. Pragmatism is as likely a motive as hysteria. Resignation will do, as well. You have no data to explain behavior, and your speculations about behavior are no more valid than mine. When you make those speculations you bring your own beliefs to the process.

Perhaps you suffered a little frisson of worry when you registered, but if, as your youth indicates, you did so when we have no draft. It's illogical for you to project your feelings about that experience as being universal to all men who've registered, especially those facing an active, not theoretical, draft.

colleenjk said...

I understand that Gloria Steinman used the symbology of language and thought to show how our society is sexist in general, but I would not have used the McCain story to prove her point. Its never a good political move to attack a war hero and no one is denying McCain's story or their appreciation for his service. Steinman just became one of those people who give feminists a bad name.