I don’t watch TV, but even I know that Retired General Wesley Clark farted very loudly in the Church of St. John McBush McSame McCain two days ago when he opined that
“I don’t think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president.”
Au contraire, General Clark!
Heck, George Bush the first got shot down TWICE, and he was president, wasn’t he? JFK didn’t get shot down in a plane, but he got shot down in a boat, which is close enough. Jimmy Carter served in a submarine, which is a boat which gets sunk on purpose, Ronald Reagan acted like his horse had been shot out from underneath him, George W. Bush got grounded by the Texas Air National Guard for being a drunk coke-head, and Bill Clinton had Monica Lewinsky go down on *him*! I trust you see the pattern here.
By contrast, John Kerry’s Swift Boat Did not get sunk, which proves pretty conclusively, I think, that he was unqualified to be President (although I won’t go so far as to say he was a coward and traitor–let the reader form his or her own opinion, sez I). Digby, that hard-hearted commentator, is actually making fun of the whiney-ass titty-babies of the McCain camp and their perpetual hand-job crew in the so-called national so-called media for the little fainting spell they’re having over Wes Clark’s (horribly incorrect but nevertheless not incivil or disrespectful) opinion about the good senator’s unfortunate encounter with a heat-seeking missile as it relates to preparing one for the Oval Office, so to speak.
After the jump: But what about Admiral Stockdale?
As Jay Bookman of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution helpfully reminds us,
[James] Stockdale, like McCain, was a Navy aviator shot down over Vietnam and imprisoned in the Hanoi Hilton. Like McCain, he was a brave man — in Stockdale’s case a Medal of Honor winner — who later rose to admiral. He served his nation with great courage and distinction.
In 1992, however, Stockdale was named by Ross Perot as his running mate on the Reform Party ticket. And on the campaign trail, the brave and honorable admiral quickly proved himself to be in way over his head as a candidate for national office, as he himself later acknowledged.
Riding in a fighter jet and getting shot down did not qualify Stockdale to be president.
(Well, obviously Bookman is wrong about this last part; Stockdale wuz robbed!)
Anyway, to get back to my main thesis, clearly McCain is qualified to be president by virtue of his having been shot down, just as Obama is qualified to be president by virtue of the politcally unpopular but courageous stands that he has taken in defense of our Constitution.
So the only question then becomes, which of these two men is better qualified to be president?