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What Did McCain Do In The War?

I’ve about had it with McCain’s incivility. The latest is attacking Obama for using the phrase, “Lipstick on a pig,” referring to the McCain campaign’s attempt to hijack the theme “Change.” McCain tried to imply that Obama was calling Palin a pig, when Obama wasn’t even talking about Palin. CNN found an example of McCain’s using the “lipstick on a pig” phrase referring to Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

OK, so McCain what did you do in the war? How many missions did McCain fly over Vietnam? According to this perhaps biased website, he was shot down in 1967 on his 23rd mission. He then spent 5 1/2 years as a POW. No doubt his years as a POW were awful, but his battle in prison was basically a personal battle; he did not do anything to help the US win the war against North Vietnam. The referenced column by David Hackworth, written in 2000, probably during the campaign when I supported McCain, also says that the many medals received by McCain upon his return from being a POW were basically boilerplate citations, not awards for individual acts of heroism.

So, what did McCain do for America during those 5 1/2 years? Not much. He spent much of it in bed due to his injuries, or in solitary confinement after he recovered enough to get out of bed. Those are extraordinary personal triumphs, but they don’t win wars.

So, enough McCain! Shut up about being a heroic POW! Shot up about lipstick!

Speaking of POW. Basically, McCain used his celebrity as a returning POW to win his way into the House and Senate. His Navy career essentially ended when he was shot down as a lieutenant commander, far below his father’s and grandfather’s rank as four star admirals. He got some subsequent promotions when he was released, but like his medals, they were proforma promotions for any POW. His Navy career was respectable, but not a great success, especially for someone who graduated from Annapolis. However, the fame he acquired when he returned advanced his career outside the Navy.

It no doubt helped him woo Cindy Hensley, the Paris Hilton of her day. She was a rich heiress with a hot body. McCain dumped his old wife, who waited years for him while he was in prison, to marry Cindy and her money. His old wife never speaks; I think it’s because he paid her off with some of Cindy’s money. He has taken care of his children with his first wife, most recently illustrated by the fact that his son Andrew was a director of a bank that recently failed, and is also a big shot in the Hensley beer business.

Then with Cindy’s money and his POW celebrity status, McCain won a House seat in Congress from Arizona, later upgraded to a Senate seat.

In Congress, McCain has been a maverick, which he can afford to be because Cindy has made him extremely wealthy. He doesn’t have to worry about kowtowing to the big money lobbyists to get re-election money, which is good. But what about the big deal he makes about earmarks. Sure they are bad and McCain doesn’t use them, partly because he has Cindy’s money for re-election and doesn’t need the dirty money that other politicians get for earmarks, e.g., Ted Stevens. But earmarks are basically an inside the beltway Congressional issue. Why hasn’t he done something about them while he has been a Senator. He says he will veto any bill with earmarks, but we know from experience that the earmarks will be inserted in a bill containing appropriations for the troops in combat, or some other essential function. Will McCain be willing to veto that? He should be talking about some serious issues, like the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, health care, the budget deficit and the national debt, the stability of our financial system, etc. The Republicans have poor records on all of these issues, so McCain avoids the issues and talks instead about personalities, in particular personally attacking his opponents. It works for the election, but it’s not good for America and illustrates that McCain doesn’t really care about America, despite all his hypocritical campaign slogans like “Country First.” McCain is not putting his country first.

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