McCain UnHeroic Outside of Prison

There's no debate that John McCain was heroic as a POW. Unfortunately, his behavior in uniform in more normal circumstances is more controversial.

The case for the prosecution is laid out at John Mccain: Unfit to serve as Commander-In-Chief, a screed aptly summarized by its subhead: “The spoiled son of military privilege got a free ride throughout his military career despite repeated instances of sex scandals and screw-ups.”

I knew he dated strippers. (And so what?) But losing five planes, three in training accidents or while joyriding (or should that be 'skylarking'?) and two in the field—is that some sort of post-WWII record?

And this doesn't even begin to get to the question of his more recent judgment about Iraq, Iran, or other wars…

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11 Responses to McCain UnHeroic Outside of Prison

  1. Archit Shah says:

    I thought the problem was that he dated strippers while married.

  2. PHB says:

    Lets see:

    Underachiever.
    Hard drinking backslapper.
    Got into pilot school ahead of better qualified applicants through family connections.
    Questionable military record.

    Sounds strangely familiar.

  3. C says:

    I was angry at the swiftboating attacks on Senator Kerry, and I’m angry at this. If you don’t like Senator McCain because he “partied” too much, that’s one thing. To imply that he’s “unheroic” as a result is quite another. That’s absurd. Yes, he came from a family with a long, distinguished record of service, but that did not keep him out of combat. The opposite is true. He flew 23 missions over North Vietam in the face of anti-aircraft fire. That’s how he was shot down. I am an Army veteran, and while I have made many jokes at the expense of hotshot pilots, I will readily admit that they face a danger I have never had to face. They are up in the air, alone, flying missions way behind enemy lines. If they are shot down, or their aircraft fails (a not uncommon occurence, even in peacetime – it’s a dangerous job), they fall into the enemies’ hands. I was in a tank. While I faced other dangers, I never once feared being taken prisoner by the Iraqis and tortured. Senator McCain faced that danger every time he flew, and he never used his connections to avoid it. By the way, Senator McCain was one of the victims of the fire on the USS Forrestal, not the cause of it, as the linked blog implies. You don’t have to vote for Senator McCain. You don’t have to like him. These sorts of attacks on veterans are wrong, regardless of whether that veteran is running for office, regardless of his or her party affiliation, and regadless of whether it is 2004 or 2008.

  4. C says:

    I was angry at the swiftboating attacks on Senator Kerry, and I’m angry at this. If you don’t like Senator McCain because he “partied” too much, that’s one thing. To imply that he’s “unheroic” as a result is quite another. That’s absurd. Yes, he came from a family with a long, distinguished record of service, but that did not keep him out of combat. The opposite is true. He flew 23 missions over North Vietam in the face of anti-aircraft fire. That’s how he was shot down. I am an Army veteran, and while I have made many jokes at the expense of hotshot pilots, I will readily admit that they face a danger I have never had to face. They are up in the air, alone, flying missions way behind enemy lines. If they are shot down, or their aircraft fails (a not uncommon occurence, even in peacetime – it’s a dangerous job), they fall into the enemies’ hands. I was in a tank. While I faced other dangers, I never once feared being taken prisoner by the Iraqis and tortured. Senator McCain faced that danger every time he flew, and he never used his connections to avoid it. By the way, Senator McCain was one of the victims of the fire on the USS Forrestal, not the cause of it, as the linked blog implies. You don’t have to vote for Senator McCain. You don’t have to like him. These sorts of attacks on veterans are wrong, regardless of whether that veteran is running for office, regardless of his or her party affiliation, and regadless of whether it is 2004 or 2008.

  5. LACJ says:

    It was clearly labeled as a ‘screed’. If you take a look at the site it is just a typical rant site, and even has a rant about Obama with a pic on the side. This website will convince no one to vote against McCain.

    Nothing like what was done to Kerry in 04.

  6. Joe says:

    C is wrong. When I was on active duty in the early 80’s, in Washington, I knew several pilots/POWs who knew John McCain. McCain did something heroic after he was shot down. However, his reputation outside of that incident was NOT good, and he probably would not have been promoted to O-6 without spending time in the Hanoi Hilton. He was Navy royalty, no question about it, but he had spent most of that goodwill before he got shot down.

    If you check the record of McCain’s grandfather, “Slew” McCain, it is hard not to wonder how he escaped court-martial. Slew, while commander of the Task Force 58 under Halsey, sailed into TWO typhoons. There are more details in a recent book about Halsey and the December, 1944, typhoon.

  7. Joe says:

    Correction:
    Slew McCain commanded Task Force 38.

  8. Bill says:

    And what McCain’s grandfather did means what exactly?

  9. Joe says:

    It means that the apple does not fall far from the tree, and that americans should analyze all of their candidates for sainthood.

  10. Bob Breh says:

    The term “hero” is thrown around much too easily. A true “hero” is a person who suddenly, and in an unanticiapted manner, risks his own life in an extraordinary way to save other lives. The man who jumped onto the subway tracks to save another man who fell there; and the man who jumped off the bridge in Washington DC into the icey river to save a woman after an airline crash——they are heros.
    A soldier who throws a wounded comrade over his shoulder and runs across a field of enemy fire or a soldier who throws himself on a greande to save his fellow soldiers—-they are heroes.
    McCain was definitely performing a dangerous mission but he was flying alone, unloading ordinance on a factory building (knowingly kiling civilians in the process) and was unlucky enough to get shot down. He should count himself lucky that the Vietnamese didnt kill him on the spot.
    In spite of his 5 years as a POW he has led a sheltered life in a bubble of privilege and being well connected. Like Bush and Clinton, he has a “brand name” that he has used to his advantage.
    He doesnt sound like he is a hero to his crippled disabled ex-wife whom he abandoned and bailed out on, once he found a millionaire heiress who was 17 years younger than he.
    Barak Obama, who was born into nothingness and non-existent privilege, deserves far more praise and admiration, than McCain.
    McCain is basically a man of questionable intelligence; is a shallow thinker; uncurious in the same sense that Bush is uncurious; and is a man who can not in any way relate to the average American paying $4 a gallon for gas; $1200 a month for health care insurance (or uninsured); out-of-work; and having their home foreclosed on.
    McCain drips with arrogant privilege.

  11. Bob Breh says:

    The term “hero” is thrown around much too easily. A true “hero” is a person who suddenly, and in an unanticiapted manner, risks his own life in an extraordinary way to save other lives. The man who jumped onto the subway tracks to save another man who fell there; and the man who jumped off the bridge in Washington DC into the icey river to save a woman after an airline crash——they are heros.
    A soldier who throws a wounded comrade over his shoulder and runs across a field of enemy fire or a soldier who throws himself on a greande to save his fellow soldiers—-they are heroes.
    McCain was definitely performing a dangerous mission but he was flying alone, unloading ordinance on a factory building (knowingly kiling civilians in the process) and was unlucky enough to get shot down. He should count himself lucky that the Vietnamese didnt kill him on the spot.
    In spite of his 5 years as a POW he has led a sheltered life in a bubble of privilege and being well connected. Like Bush and Clinton, he has a “brand name” that he has used to his advantage.
    He doesnt sound like he is a hero to his crippled disabled ex-wife whom he abandoned and bailed out on, once he found a millionaire heiress who was 17 years younger than he.
    Barak Obama, who was born into nothingness and non-existent privilege, deserves far more praise and admiration, than McCain.
    McCain is basically a man of questionable intelligence; is a shallow thinker; uncurious in the same sense that Bush is uncurious; and is a man who can not in any way relate to the average American paying $4 a gallon for gas; $1200 a month for health care insurance (or uninsured); out-of-work; and having their home foreclosed on.
    McCain drips with arrogant privilege.

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