30 June 2008

Wesley Clark Goes off the Rails

Retired general, and former presidential candidate, Wesley Clark needs to publicly apologize to John McCain, and then stuff his fist in his mouth so he doesn't put his foot in it again.

Clark, a Democrat, said John McCain is "untested and untried."

"But he hasn't held executive responsibility," said Clark, a former NATO commander...He hasn't been there and ordered the bombs to fall. He hasn't seen what it's like when diplomats come in and say, 'I don't know whether we're going to be able to get this point through or not,' "

Admittedly, that's accurate. But it's also a wild red herring. Name one presidential candidate who wasn't a general or a former president who has that experience. Surely Clark isn't arguing that only generals are fit to be president?

And the whole thing smacks of criticizing a person's service record, as a smokescreen for criticizing their patriotism. Perhaps that's not what Clark meant, but following the Republicans' attack on the service record and patriotism of Purple Heart winner John Kerry, and of Representative Max Cleland, a man who lost both legs and part of one arm in in Vietnam (reportedly by a grenade dropped by another soldier), his comments have an unmistakeable odor of political bullshit. I've despised Republicans for most of my adult life for playing that dirty, "they ain't real ammuricans" game, and it sickens me to see a Democrat, and a man I once supported for president, treading on the boundaries of the same vile game.

Clark is a supporter of Obama, a man with far less experience than McCain. If military experience matters, Obama has no experience with the hell that war can be, while McCain knows all too well. If political experience is what matters, then McCain has far more experience in the Senate than Obama. If executive experience is what matters--having listened to the diplomats and ordered the bombs to be dropped--then maybe we should cancel the election and just draft General Clark back into the service of his country.


dwayne said...

Seems to me there's a big difference between the Swiftboaters trying to portray Kerry as an incompetent -- or worse, a traitor -- vs. lauding McCain's service while saying that that alone does not qualify him to be president.

Had Bush said that he appreciated Kerry's service but that that did not qualify him to be president, and left it at that, I would have had no problem with it. (And, of course, Kerry might have been president.)

Just because the two approaches attempt to downplay the opponents' perceived strength doesn't make them equal.

James Hanley said...


Agreed, Clark's comment are not nearly as bad as what the Republicans have done. But I think they head in the same direction, and I'd rather we cut him off at the pass before goes any further.