Jim Geraghty catalogs the seven (now eight) Democrats who have belittled John McCain's military service. The most recent is "informal Obama adviser" Rand Beers who says McCain had the "wrong kind" of military service.
While Barack Obama was urging supporters not to devalue the military service of rival John McCain, an informal Obama adviser argued Monday that the former POW's isolation during the Vietnam War has hobbled the Arizona senator's capacity as a war-time leader.
“Sadly, Sen. McCain was not available during those times, and I say that with all due respect to him," said informal Obama adviser Rand Beers. "I think that the notion that the members of the Senate who were in the ground forces or who were ashore in Vietnam have a very different view of Vietnam and the cost that you described than John McCain does because he was in isolation essentially for many of those years and did not experience the turmoil here or the challenges that were involved for those of us who served in Vietnam during the Vietnam war."
One would hope that the rank stupidity of these remarks should be obvious (e.g., McCain had limbs broken, teeth broken, and was subject to brutal physical and mental torture, but he didn't experience the "turmoil" of Vietnam?).
This is a pattern. When Bill Clinton ran against legitimate war heroes in George H.W. Bush and Bob Dole, military service meant nothing. When it was Al Gore and John Kerry running against George W. Bush, their Vietnam experience was crucial, indeed for Kerry is was elemental to his campaign. To even question Kerry's rendition of facts of his service was to "swift boat," now a verb of opprobrium indicating a false and unfair attack (even though even Kerry had to admit that parts of his story were false, namely that the "Christmas in Cambodia" that had been "seared" in his memory never actually happened). But apparently that truth is no longer operative and today's truth is the John McCain didn't serve in the right way, making him ill equipped to be commander-in-chief.
From the Jerusalem Post:
Anyone can talk about "supporting our troops"; the McCains serve. McCain's father and grandfather were respected American admirals. Of McCain's four sons, three have gone the military route. One was a Navy pilot like his father, one enlisted in the Marines at age 17 and recently completed a tour in Iraq, and one is completing his education at the Naval Academy (raising the strong possibility that, for the first time in half a century, the United States will have a president with a son at war).
Yet, likely because of those same values, McCain maintains a strict code of silence about his sons' military service, no matter how legitimate his pride or politically useful their military status. Through 2007, McCain was the strongest Senate advocate of vastly increasing troop levels in Iraq, strongly influencing the administration's wildly successful "surge" strategy.
Yet McCain never brought up his own son's service in some of the roughest areas of Iraq. His principled refusal of political advantage from his son's Iraq service extends to refusal even to be interviewed on the subject, or to introduce his son to campaign audiences.