The war prisoner card

by Michael O. Allen on August 24, 2008

The presidential campaign of Sen. John McCain in recent weeks has brandished his stint as a war prisoner every time anyone deigned to criticize the good senator. The inimitable Maureen Dowd offered a catalog:

So it’s hard to believe that John McCain is now in danger of exceeding his credit limit on the equivalent of an American Express black card. His campaign is cheapening his greatest strength — and making a mockery of his already dubious claim that he’s reticent to talk about his P.O.W. experience — by flashing the P.O.W. card to rebut any criticism, no matter how unrelated. The captivity is already amply displayed in posters and TV advertisements.

The Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell, the pastor who married Jenna Bush and who is part of a new Christian-based political action committee supporting Obama, recently criticized the joke McCain made at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally encouraging Cindy to enter the topless Miss Buffalo Chip contest. The McCain spokesman Brian Rogers brought out the bottomless excuse, responding with asperity that McCain’s character had been “tested and forged in ways few can fathom.”

When the Obama crowd was miffed to learn that McCain was in a motorcade rather than in a “cone of silence” while Obama was being questioned by Rick Warren, Nicolle Wallace of the McCain camp retorted, “The insinuation from the Obama campaign that John McCain, a former prisoner of war, cheated is outrageous.”

When Obama chaffed McCain for forgetting how many houses he owns, Rogers huffed, “This is a guy who lived in one house for five and a half years — in prison.”

As Sam Stein notes in The Huffington Post: “The senator has even brought his military record into discussion of his music tastes. Explaining that his favorite song was ‘Dancing Queen’ by Abba, he offered that his knowledge of music ‘stopped evolving when his plane intercepted a surface-to-air missile.’ ‘Dancing Queen,’ however, was produced in 1975, eight years after McCain’s plane was shot down.”

It is an all-around excuse for Bad Boy McCain. He could commit adultery and engage in rank political corruption because, you guessed it, he was a prisoner in the infamous Hanoi Hilton.

Never mind that he is the least temperamentally suited man  to run for the office since Barry Goldwater, the presidency of the United States is his for the asking simply because he was a war prisoner.

McCain has even not bothered to develop a plan for many of the problems ailing America because we deserve to have him as our president because he’s a prisoner of his and our past.

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