What is McCain running for?

Let me quite plain: the first thing I thought when I saw this is “What the h*** is he running for? Manchurian Candidate in Chief?” No, that’s neither nice nor fair, so I offer the thought with caveats.

But in 2008, I’d rather not re-fight the Vietnam War by proxy. And I’d rather not fight our current war indefinitely. At the last thing we need is a scold in the White House.

By Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 46, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.


  1. Typical. Every quote was edited to change its meaning. The first one, for example- you can hear that he was cut off mid-sentence; “Maybe a hundred- that’d be fine with me…” The rest of the quote can be easily Googled for: “…As long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed, that’s fine with me. I hope that would be fine with you, if we maintain a presence in a very volatile part of the world where al-Qaeda is training, recruiting and equipping and motivating people every single day.” An honest quote would also include the sentence before: “we’ve been in Japan for 60 years,” But then honest people don’t make those kind of campaign videos.

    I won’t be voting for McCain- but that doesn’t mean I appreciate a good man’s motives and character being questioned. Let the candidate who was given more for their country than he has throw the first stone.

  2. Typical or what or whom, pray tell? I’ll concede the quotes are clipped for partisan purposes — the point is to contast McCain’s tone and vision with Obama’s — but your comparison with Japan is grotesque, unless you you want to claim that MacArthur allowed Tojo to slip in from a nearby country and take over the hearts and minds of some of the Japanese after the fact.

    I’ll question McCain’s motives — and I won’t concede he’s good — because he wants to be President, and so far he’s gotten a pretty smooth ride. Neither his service in the Senate nor his wartime service counts as prior vetting.

  3. Joel – Even with your expanded quote, I do not find Senator McCain’s quote inspiring. In fact, I find it somewhat helpful in articulating why I can not vote for him. The analogy with Japan is a false analogy. While we have been in Japan for 60 years, we have not been occupying Japan for 60 years, nor have we been engaged in armed combat with the Japanese for 60 years. But how long is John McCain willing to keep us in the position of occupier? Would he have us build a relationship with Iraq that is closer to the Israeli relationship with Palestine?

    I also do not buy your argument that on the basis of McCain’s millitary service, those who have performed less millitary service than McCain are not allowed to speak negative opinions about him, nor allowed to present him in a negative light. We do not live in a millitary oligarchy where one’s millitary background grants censorial priveledge, and freedom from opposing partisan barbs.

  4. Scott: Typical of political ads, I meant. I’ve grown to detest the way they’re made- and it scarcely matters whose ads, as they all hire the same firms to make them. It was not “my” example of Japan, but McCain’s; I was completeing his quote.

    Derek: I didn’t say McCain was right- I did say I won’t be voting for him- I said his position was being misrepresented by editing his statement. Democratic workers are talking about McCain’s 100 year war, which is NOT what he said.

    My argument was *NOT* “those who have performed less millitary service than McCain are not allowed to speak negative opinions about him, nor allowed to present him in a negative light.” I have a negative opinion of him myself, and have expressed it publicly. My point, evidently poorly made, was to imply that saying someone who has experienced war himself wants to subject his people to it for 100 years for political reasons is to basicly call him a monster. He said “As long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed” which is not the same thing. I phrased it the way I did because I was thinking at the time that the lie was especially eggregious in that the total combined war experience of both Democratic candidates is dodging imaginary sniper fire in Kosovo.

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