July 02, 2008

The Hanoi Hilton vs. Harvard Law School

Tony Blankley at Townhall:

Wes Clark is right. Merely being a war hero is not qualification for the presidency, although it is a hell of a start when compared with those of us who never served in uniform. And the more than five years as a prisoner of war with constant torture that McCain suffered through is also not qualification for being president -- even when compared with Obama's tough seven years of service at Columbia undergraduate and Harvard Law School.

But just maybe, the strength of character and the wisdom of knowing what really matters in life that young John McCain formed on the anvil of his captivity -- just maybe, those attributes are the beginnings of qualifications for leading the rest of us through a dangerous, morally ambiguous world. And when a man so formed then dedicates the next 30 years of his life to studying and leading from the United States Senate on national security issues, perhaps then we have the makings of a man fit to be president.

The test for Sen. Obama in this campaign will not be whether he can fly a jet fighter under enemy fire as well as McCain did or whether he can put up with torture in as manly a fashion as McCain sustained for more than five years or whether he can go through his life not being able to raise his arms to his shoulders because his body was broken by the [ . . . ] torturers. Obama, just as most of us, has been spared facing such tests and perhaps been found wanting -- as many of us surely would be.

So far, Obama has faced less taxing tests, such as whether to wear a flag lapel pin. So far, he has scored an incomplete after three tries. First he decided to wear a pin. Then he thought better of it and announced that he no longer would wear the pin, explaining: "You know, the truth is that right after 9/11, I had a pin. Shortly after 9/11 -- particularly because as we're talking about the Iraq war, that became a substitute for, I think, true patriotism, which is speaking out on issues that are of importance to our national security -- I decided I won't wear that pin on my chest. Instead, I'm going to try to tell the American people what I believe will make this country great, and hopefully that'll be a testimony to my patriotism."

Then on his third try, during the heated climax to his primary campaign, he started wearing the pin again, I suppose as -- in his previous words -- "a substitute for true patriotism." Hard to know for sure what his calculations are on this vital matter. But that he does calculate constantly whether to wear the pin or not, there can be no doubt. The demands of patriotism are sometimes hard to know. What's a patriot to do? Life can be hard, very hard, out on the old campaign trail.

. . . . . . .

Anyway, John McCain had it easier over the North Vietnamese skies. He didn't have to decide about such things. He was required to wear his dog tags -- evidence of his patriotism. Some people get all the breaks.

h/t: Carol, The "Median Sib."

Posted by Attila Girl at July 2, 2008 12:20 PM | TrackBack
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About Joy W. McCann: I've been interviewed for Le Monde and mentioned on Fox News. I once did a segment for CNN on "Women and Guns," and this blog is periodically featured on the New York Times' blog list. My writing here has been quoted in California Lawyer. I've appeared on The Glenn and Helen Show. Oh—and Tammy Bruce once bought me breakfast.
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