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Obama vows not to question anyone's patriotism

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Oh, good. Another vow.

Another vow and more confusion. Clark was not questioning McCain's patriotism (as Bush seemed to do in 2000). Clark was asserting that McCain's unfortunate command experience in the military was not a qualification for the presidency.

Likewise, McCain's time as a POW says something about McCain's power of endurance. While endurance is an important quality, that in itself is not a qualification for the presidency either. We must also have the wisdom to know what to endure in.

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Ok, here is my point of view.

The US president is the highest authority in the military, i.e. he can declare war without the consent of senate. Correct me if I am wrong.

So logically, do you want a guy that never served or a guy that experienced war as a president?

I would go with a guy that experienced war and has seen the downside and the cruelty of war.

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"Bill Clinton was often a harsh critic"

Bill and Hillary still can't believe this junior senator came from out of nowhere to beat them.

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"Obama vows not to question anyone's patriotism"

Good. This "Do you wear a lapel pin?" rubbish was bringing the childrens' sandpit to U.S. politics.

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Zen Builder,

I think it is far from clear whether the President can declare war without the consent of the Congress. I think that the Unitary Executive folks of this administration would be happy if you believed that to be the case, but I don't think it is that simple.

The Constitution gives the bulk of governmental power to Congress. Congress is the first article and the longest article. It says that Congress "shall have the power to declare War". Some folks want that to read "shall also have the power to declare War" even though there is no prior assignment of that power to anyone else. The President is the Commander-in-Chief and he has the power to command forces for defensive purposes but I don't think he has the power to declare war without Congressional authorization.

However, whether he has the authority or not, the question still stands as to whether or not you want a guy who never served to be Commander in Chief. You seem to say that experience and observation are determinative. I don't think that is the case.

Experience is of the "that and a dime will get you a cup of coffee" sort of phenomenon. Pertinent and successful experience is what is needed and wanted. Our current president has experience in the oil business. Would you choose him to run your oil company?

Likewise, I don't think you have to have seen firsthand the downside and cruelty of war to know that war has a downside and can be cruel. There is a time to jump out of your second story window and a time not to do so. We do not ourselves have to have previously jumped or watched others try to perform the feat in order to understand that it can be dangerous. Not many things are as storied as the downside and cruelty of war--unless of course it is honor and glory of it.

The United States has been at war almost continuously since its birth. We have never had any shortage of parties to take issue with. In my view, not only is it not necessary to have a president who has experienced war but it may also be counter-productive. Electing warriors is a vote for war.

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I would go with a guy that experienced war and has seen the downside and the cruelty of war.

And normally I would agree with you, if it weren't for McCain's behavior in the last four years.

I was a McCain guy in 2000 and 2004. Not now. Bush crapped all over him and he took it.

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Sezwho.

Nice personal attack.

BUT I have served my time, spend time in war-zones, etc and talked to a LOT of veterans/friends. I have killed people and seen friends being killed and let me tell you it changed my view on war.

Also seen guys been blown apart from guys like PLO, ANC, etc and those were all innocent just trying to get to work, etc. Ever wondered why Vet don't talk much about their experiences.

To me it sounds like you haven't been there and simply blowing it.

Said that when was the last time that the USA experienced the total destruction of their infrastrucute/homes that they wrecked on other countries.

And DON'T give me Pearl Harbour as it was way beyond the main-land. None of the returning soldiers lost their homes/family and had to rebuild their country.

Not saying that the USA is wrong but simply saying that the average US citizens experience of war is different than from the nations where the wars are fought and war don't end when the shootings stops.

If you want to elect a guy that never seen war as a CIC go ahead but I would say you will say more of what bush advocated.

As for the wars that the USA fought, compare that to a few millenia that the rest of the world did.

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bringing the childrens' sandpit to U.S. politics.

Ironic coming from you, no? ;)

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Zen Builder - "If you want to elect a guy that never seen war as a CIC go ahead but I would say you will say more of what bush advocated."

Exactly, Americans did - twice - with Bush, and look where it got them.

On another angle, I'm asking - with the U.S. economy rapidly tanking, why exactly is 'war experience' even being discussed?

Americans need someone with a wise mind and some decent economic acumen.

Sen. McCain has admitted he isn't hot in this department, and yet some people are trumping his war experience as some kind of qualification to be C-in-C.

I believe Gen. Clark hit the nail on the head yesterday when he questioned whether McCain's experience of being shot down in an airplane is a qualification to be C-in-C.

Obviously it's not.

I also find it interesting how most of the guys on JT who have experienced war are not voting Republican this time, and yet a lot of Chickenhawks, who have only seen combat in their computer screens, are.

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Zen Builder,

What personal attack are you talking about?

You're right that I haven't been to war. So what? Your experience in war may have changed your view of it, but I have no idea what your view is. Again, it is not necessary to experience war to understand that it is terrible. What's your point?

I don't think that the US has ever experienced such total destruction of infrastructure and homes that other countries have experienced, some at the hands of the US. I still don't get your point. If you are saying that "Bomb-bomb-bomb bomb-bomb-Iran" McCain is more sensitive to the horrors of war than the "I would talk to their leaders" Obama, I'm pretty sure that I have not seen any evidence that this is so.

As for comparing US wars for the last 230 years to what the rest of the world has done for a few millenia, I don't think that is an apt comparison. Why don't we compare what the US has done for the last 230 years to what, say England, has done. Or Australia? Or Norway? Or ...?

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I am glad he distance himself from Clark's statement. I agree that McCain's military service is by no way an indication that he can lead a country, but what the hell was he running on in the past? He was a just then retired General using his experience as that to be president.

BTW, I haven't heard McCain praising himself for being in the military nor his capture. I have heard if from news sources, but never out of his mouth. Of course, I am just saying I haven't heard it out of his mouth. If you have please let us know.

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SezWho.

I can't explain it and I don't think you could ever understand my point. If you have never been to war or experienced occupation, our worlds are just too different. Like I said your people never lived through 10 yrs of occupation, etc.

What the US has done in the last 70yrs alone is enough, they got involved/sponsored a lot of wars that were not neccesary.

Right now I don't care for any US candidate as they will simply be a figure head for the powers. And I don't think that either party will make a change/difference. IMO, both parties have the same goals thus the US election is no better than the old russian elections where they offered 2 parties as a front for the true power.

No matter who you elect it won't make a change in the short-term.

Let see Bush invade Iran in 5 months(highly likely) do you think that any elected president can rectify it and undo the damage done?

But I guess you don't see it that way.

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Not to question one's patriotism" How does one question another's patriotism? This is the same problem I have with religion, even if you believe in god, you have one group of people saying you are believing it in the wrong way. I care about my country, but if I ain't down with all of the government's policies, does that make me non-patriotic?

Issues like this keep going around and around. Racism seems to hold the same, as does sexism, etc... Man, just leave people alone. If one is not patriotic to their country, they usually come out and say it straight.

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Zen: What the US has done in the last 70yrs alone is enough, they got involved/sponsored a lot of wars that were not neccesary." I have been hearing words like that my whole life, but what gives you or anyone the right to say what is neccessary and what is not? Vietnam, Korea? As I understand it both countries were about to be taken over and in fact they did (North Korea, but they did get as far south as Pusan). Were they not worht defending?

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"McCain... said he would give a $300 million prize ( to ) the developer of a battery capable of efficiently powering automobiles"

McCain has $300 million to give away?

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Skip: Counter argument.

What gives the USA the right to do as they did. A few studies?

How come the USA is VERY selective in what countries they intervene. NO involvement in africa, etc. Darfur, etc where is the US?

We can play that till the cows come home.

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We can play that till the cows come home." You are right! That's my point. But unless we go back to the Monroe Doctrine, we are going to have to help some countries in their wars.

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Skip.

Again who decides which countries are worthy of their help? Question your leaders. Do they follow your ideals, etc.

If not stop them.

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Zen Builder,

I'd still like to know what personal attack you are accusing me of.

If you don't think I could ever understand your point because our worlds are too different, then surely you can appreciate that you will never be able to understand my point--and for the same reason. Or do you pretend that your experience has given you a greater understanding of the world in general?

In the first instance, there would be little point for us to talk. You would seem to have made your mind up that either you cannot explain your point of view or that I am incapable of understanding it. You would seem to discount the possibility that I might understand your point but still disagree. And you would seem to discount the possibility that we might find common ground.

In the second instance you would be pleading greater wisdom. It's entirely possible that you do have greater wisdom. But that would be something that you would have to demonstrate, not simply claim.

I agree with you that the US has been involved in unnecessary wars over the last 70 years. I would exempt WW2 though. But I don't see how perpetuating a pattern of military-experienced leadership would do anything to change that.

I also agree about the two candidate from the major parties. I don't particularly like either one--McCain because of his age, his temper and his support of Bush's policies in Iraq and in the war on terror; Obama because of his capitulation to wearing a flag pin, his obsequiousness to Hillary, his reneging on campaign funding and a general amorphousness in policy.

In general, though, of the two I prefer Obama. I think there is very little chance that Obama is going to inspire into another war. There is a sizable chance that McCain will terrify us into one.

Please don't guess at what I think. If you want to know, just ask.

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The idea that having served in the military makes you a better a candidate than a person who doesn't, as some sacred rule, is false in my opinion.

Our current president served in the military and look how well he's handled Iraq.

Gen. Westley Clark made a comment recently, that just serving the military as a soldier doesn't automatically give you executive experience.

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Sezwho.

My point is the same as a guy saying that he claims to understand what his pregnant wife goes through but has never been there.

Yes, we can claim to understand and feel for the person but do we truly understand.

Chose that example as I can relate as I watched my wife through 9 months of pregnancy and Postpartum Depression. Will I ever truly understand what she went through, honest answer = NO WAY. That is my point. And no argument can convince me otherwise.

Same with war, you won't know it unless you been there.

I accept your views, etc and apologize for mistaking you,

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Nordon.

I said war not military service.

And by that Kennedy, McCain, etc are more qualified than bush who never left the states.

Said that military service is a good thing, IMO, and should be experienced by all males.

Would cut down a lot of problems, IMO.

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Wise move, for a presidential candidate who thinks we have 57 states in the Union.

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Let's don't get into the experience crap and who's best for this country.

The republicans selected this National Guard dropout who had the experience of weekend airjocky who couldn't complete his reserve time. Then they jumped on the bandwagon of this bold faced liar and supported his taking us into a war of choice.

I don't know whether there's a litmus test that tests a person's patriotism, but you can't judge it by experiences that aren't shared by both.

I guess since you can't test for patriotism, you'll have to either accept that they are both patriotic or some of you republicans can continue posting lies like he's a Muslim or an Athiest or some other lie being created. < :-)

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O.K. Here's the thing. The office of the President of the United States is more than just being the Commander-in-Chief.

Sen. McCain was a pilot. Does that mean he knows all there is to know about logistics or climatology or book keeping? No. He knew about flying jets.

Yet, a president will make decisions that affect the infrastructure of America, the environment and the economy.

I think that military service does, indeed, provide valuable perspective in regards to the use and abuse of the military, however, that is only one piece of a very large pie.

Taka

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adaydream.

Agree (sorta), for me the problem is not the candidates but the people voting for them.

Too many swallow the party-line. IMO, Not about patriotism either.

IME and IMO, few elected politicians can cause a change in a 4yr tenure as they directions have been decided long before they were put forward/elected.

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Taka.

Agree, yet again how much influence does the President truly yield. If already know that Hitler during the WWII was exploited by the SS and Gestapo for his military mind but held little true power.

He was a puppet used for his benefits.

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Silly stuff. After 9/11 Sen. Obama, like many other Am. pols, took to wearing a flag pin on his lapel. Sometime later he stopped wearing the thing and himself made a campaign issue of public displays of patriotism by desribing flag pin-wearing as a sign of inauthentic patriotism. Now he's taken to wearing one again - and criticizing pols (like his earlier self) for questioning others' patriotism.

Although I have my doubts about his wife, I think Sen. Obama is admirably patriotic - but, given his recent flipflopping on the issue, I think it's a bit rich for him to be lecturing others on the subject now.

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I think General Clarke picked up on a good point. What leadership experience does a former airforce pilot have? Under normal conditions (unless you get shot down), it is a job that involves sleeping in a warm clean bed, having warm meals, hauling ordinance to a target, dropping it, and coming back to base just in time for gin and tonics with the nurses. Where are the man management skills in such a job? Moreover, bombing somebody from 5 miles up tends to give you a pretty sanitized view of combat. If you consider this, McCain is as unqualified as Obama. If the US really wants to pick a present with hands-on leadership experience in the military, they should be looking at somebody like John Kerry (of swiftboat fame) or possibly Senator Inouye of Hawaii (who aint that much older the McCain).

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Taka313,

Good post. At the very least, I hope the office of the President is more than just being the Commander-in-Chief.

I agree that military service can provide valuable perspective. My only reservation is that--as with every other experience I know of--not everyone gains the same perspective. So it is who a person is after having undergone that experience that counts.

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shimajiro - He started wearing his lapel flag pin again because people like yourself judge someone's heart and patritism based on trinkets worn. Not the truths that he speaks. < :-)

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Obama wears a flag pin because his handlers tell him to.

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Sorry, just remembered that McCain was a naval aviator and not an airforce pilot. Same arguments, however, apply. Being an ordinance delivery man does not necessarily mean that an individual has strong leadership skills.

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McCain was also a squadron leader, wasn't he? What leadership experience does Obama have?

Zero.

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RedMeatKoolAid - Why don't you go and find out what his experiance is, besides just badmouthing him. You might be surprised to find out that war experiance doesn't make McCain a better leader. It just gives him some experiance that he had 35 years ago. Being tortured doesn't give you leadership skills, just showed he could deal with torture. Doesn't give clarity to economic problems that McCain's already said he didn't have any economis skills. < :-)

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RedMeatKoolAid,

Why not ask the crowds of people who seem to be following Obama? The ultimate test of whether anyone is a leader is when he looks around and there are people still behind him. Without the people behind him, a person can be a seer, a prophet, a visionary, the smartest human on the planet and so on--but not a leader.

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In case this has not been covered, but since the Vietnam War, the War Powers act was added to the US Consititution. In its original form, the President coud use military force against another naion for up to 90 days. At that time, the President must ask congress for an offical declaration of war or the troops must be removed.

It has been modified several times, and it was a big discussion not with the current war with Iraq, but with Bill Clinton's use of the US military in Bosnia. Since there was no clear threat to US interests, discussion at the time was that he was misusing his presidential powers by sending troops into the area.

As far as Obama and his statement, I think it is just another act. Sure McCain may not have been a General as Wesly Clark, but he did take the time out of his life to serve, so he has that advantage over Obama. What has he to show?

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"a president will make decisions that affect the infrastructure of America, the environment and the economy."

Indeed. And that's why the junior senator from Illinois should not be president.

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Well, the President of the USA is a civilian office and Wesley Clark may be right if he's simply suggesting that military service in and of itself should not be a litmus test for election to America's Oval Office (but being a tin-pot, "dugout Doug", generalissimo? Why, that's another matter entirely...).

That said, it's quite interesting to see American Democrats go through rhetorical contortions trying to explain how all that super-duper Vietnam War experience that Bush, jr. lacks suddenly doesn't matter anymore (sorry, folks! We were just kidding!).

Did I mention John McCain's Absolute Moral Authority (TM)?

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"The ultimate test of whether anyone is a leader is when he looks around and there are people still behind him."

He hasn't taken office yet. It's basically American Idol at this point.

What accomplishments can Barrack Obama point to as proof of his leadership abilities?

He has none.

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Lots of Starship Troopers people here!

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You have laugh. The same folks telling us four years ago that Kerry's wartime experience made him the only choice for a country at war are now saying McCain's experience in Vietnam and in the AF is irrelevant. Strangely, we are told Obama's lack of real world (not to mention military) experience is "not really an issue."

Or wait - maybe Iraq is going so well we can say we have basically won and we need a president who can rebuild our supposedly broken ties?

Only trouble with that one is that Obama declared the war lost even before the surge while the true leader - McCain - risked his career making a decision that was very unpopular but which his experience and expertise told him was the right thing to do.

Pretty clear cut to me.

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RedMeatKoolAid,

It doesn't matter that Obama hasn't taken office yet. Leaders do not have to hold office. They only need to have followers. And it seems that Obama has plenty of those.

So you ask what experience Obama has in leadership? You're lookin' at it firsthand.

I have to say that I'm disappointed in Obama. I may not vote for him. But unless McCain is some kind of Ernest Shackleton in disguise, I don't see any particularly noteworthy leadership there. I'm not sure I would like to be locked on the ice with either one of them.

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Questioning Obama's patriotism is completely reasonable given the rhetoric coming from at least two people closest to him, his wife and pastor. It took her husband being nominated for president before Michelle could even consider being proud of her country (apparently a life of wealth and privilege and $320K a year just wasn't quite enough). And Pastor Wright's hate speech against America is nothing but disgraceful and abhorrent. This was Obama's mentor and spiritual advisor for 20 years.

I'm not buying Obama's damage control and attempt to take the high road on the issue of patriotism. If he wants to vow not to question anyone's patriotism, that's fine. But no reason this recurring theme of his patriotism shouldn't be further addressed.

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"Or wait - maybe Iraq is going so well"

Sure lunch. So well only 532 reported dead people last month. I'd hate to see what you'd class as not going so well.

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I have to say that I'm disappointed in Obama. I may not vote for him. But unless McCain is some kind of Ernest Shackleton in disguise, I don't see any particularly noteworthy leadership there. I'm not sure I would like to be locked on the ice with either one of them."

I'm with Sezwho here. Both McC and O don't seem to have the qualities I prefer, but since we really don't have any choice beyond these two its the big O for me simply because I like the way he can gather the masses. Also as a person who only half white like he is, I am hoping he can bring the main issue the US has had for years and that is the issue between blacks and whites. Once he brings these two groups together, so all can understand each other, the other races, including my mom's will follow suit. McC offers nothing really. I praise his military experience, being caught and what not but I don't think he can bring the people of the US together.

I also agree with Helter but again, do we really have a choice?

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"Obama vows not to question anyone's patriotism" is how the media spins the spectacle of the outspoken Wes Clark becoming the most recent advisor Obama has thrown under the bus.

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I see a classic neo-con tactic at work here.

Let's take our own weakness, in this case the use and abuse of someone's military career (lest we forget, karl rove did a very nice number on Sen. McCain on behalf of the dear leader in 2000) and project it onto our betters.

So now, 8 years after portraying Sen. McCain as gay (which would have made his enlistment fraudulent), a traitor and mentally unstable from his time as a POW and 4 years after swift-boating Sen. Kerry, it's become sacrilege to even suggest that someone who was in the military is not fully qualified to serve as president.

If you ever wonder what is on the opposite side of the universe from the truth, it would be a neo-conservative.

And before any of you bitch, I am a Vet therefore, by your own newly found sense of (heh) morality, I must not be besmirched!

Taka

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Some horrible neo-con Instapundit reader, reacting to Wes "Timeranger" Clark's claim that John McCain's military experience is limited to his getting shot down:

"The Saddest Thing About Barack Obama's Available Military Expertise... ...is that though he has Wes Clark in his corner, the only person he knows with the experience of getting a bomb on target is Bill Ayers."

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Obama vows not to question anyone's patriotism

Gee I wonder why. Could it be that he obviously has much more to lose on the issue?

RR

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It seems Obama understands the implications of questioning someone else's patriotism:

Americans...seem to think that the patriotism of a candidate might be a real question. Do Americans have any reason to fear that people running for public office aren't really patriotic? Does anyone truly imagine that an anti-American subversive would have any trouble putting the flag on a campaign poster and repeating incantations to American patriotic values?

Patriotism once upon a time meant self-sacrifice for the group good. By that standard, McCain's service speaks for itself. Hence it had to be disparaged by GWB backers to explain away their guy's ducking combat (for a war he believed in). Not to mention, Dick Cheney's draft dodging through a series of deferments. The first person I heard question the value of McCain's service was a die-hard Republican whom I assume had gotten this take from el Rushbo: "He thinks just because he was a POW he should be president!"

The Vietnam war, in retrospect, was largely seen as a mistake which cut both ways: it enabled those who hadn't served to pursue public service careers without much stigma while, at the same, it prevented those who had from being regarded as war heroes. Someone wrote "John McCain forgave his captors." More importantly, the Vietnamese forgave us! I know this is a controversial proposition to those who lack the capacity for moral self-judgement.

Enter the manufactured controversy which "fetishizes the [flag] pin itself over and above the already superficial colors and imagery designed to invoke feelings of patriotism."

All you have to do these days to demonstrate your patriotism is put on a flag pin, no sacrifice required (as the records of too many of those who sport them reveal).

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With a record as undistinguished as Obama's you can only judge him by his acquaintances. He talks about his patriotism, and how we can't question it, or anyone else's. But it only makes me think of the 'love' his friend the failed terrorist-turned-yuppie Bill Ayers once explained he had for America:

"Guilty as sin, free as a bird. What a great country!"

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Looks like obama's handlers don't want to open this pandora box. If military and congressional experience don't qualify Mr. McCain to be president, what in the world qualifies obama?

RR

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If military and congressional experience don't qualify Mr. McCain to be president,

Indeed, that's what a lot of Dems wondered in 2000 when the Republicans selected GWB rather than McCain as their presidential nominee.

Serving in Congress may not constitute great preparation. It's a lot new conferences using material prepared by aides. Being in the state legislature, where Obama spent 8 years, probably constitutes better experience because legislators have to be much more on top of the issues than in Congress.

Obama's thin resume is fair game, but not from those who refused to acknowledge GWB's own thin resume.

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I don't understand why so many Dems like to talk so much about about what happened to McCain/2000. My guess is it's because about one-third of the party fundamentally refuse to believe that America is different after Sept 11, 2001. The other third of course, think we "had it coming." Obama plays to both.

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ramen,

It's advanced age and of course, ties to the failed bush regime that disqualifies the old boy's chance.

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"Retired Gen Wesley Clark"

Isn't this the guy who got fired by Bill Clinton?

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I don't understand why so many Dems like to talk so much about about what happened to McCain/2000.

Please explain why McCain was the wrong man to lead America then but the right one now. By contrast most Dems think he was the better one then but not now. Back in those days he was his own man. Now he's running for GWB's third term (permanent tax cuts, endless war, etc). At this time of serious challenge, when we find ourselves battered by two wars, ballooning debt and a faltering economy, the only modification John McCain has proposed is ending earmarks.

As for his war experience, it certainly wasn't evident in 2003. He proclaimed on national TV in early March 2003 "the war would be one of the best things to happen to America." Then in April he claimed, "the end is in sight." In short, he had no more insight than those who had sat it out (in contrast to Colin Powell who appreciated the dynamics of guerrilla warfare).

Had he been in charge instead of GWB, however, he would have been able to ask the American people to make sacrifices when it became clear Operation Iraqi Freedom was gonna last longer than "6 weeks to 6 months." John McCain had made them himself whereas GWB had not and therefore couldn't ask anything of the American people.

Where McCain was wrong was to blast Obama Barack Obama for never having served in uniform when they ended up on opposite sides of the legislation guaranteeing full university tuition for those who serve in the military for three years. "I will not accept from Senator Obama, who did not feel it was his responsibility to serve our country in uniform, any lectures on my regard for those who did," McCain said in a statement.

This is a dumb response. Does McCain also reject the right to weigh in on the part of those who also did not serve but just happen to agree with him? I doubt it. The draft ended when Obama was 13. As the Right is fond of pointing out, "it's volunteer." Hence the problem with this legislation. It threatened their position that those who serve do so out of patriotism rather than to reap benefits which are financially out of their reach. Yet if material benefits are not a major draw, then why do so few whose parents can afford to pay for a four-year college education enlist? Again, the answer is that "it's volunteer."

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McCain was trash in 2000 when george bush was running.

But now they have no-one of quality that they wanted, so they choose the old guy.

Wasn't good enough to be president then. He's just the best thing since sliced bread now. < :-)

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But now they have no-one of quality that they wanted, so they choose the old guy.

In addition to Rudy Guiliani's pathetic excuse for a campaign strategy, Mike Huckabee dividing the anti-McCain vote, and plenty of anti-Mormon bigotry, there seems to have been a lot of Democrats crossing over to vote for McCain in the primaries (like some Republicans did for Hillary in Texas)- so I don't think it was so much of Republicans "changing their minds" post-GW Bush as much as the weird consequences of some states' open primary laws.

Yet if material benefits are not a major draw, then why do so few whose parents can afford to pay for a four-year college education enlist? Again, the answer is that "it's volunteer."

Not a lot of rich kids "volunteer" to be firefighters, police officers, or paramedics, either (also, the "first-responders" of Beverly Hills, Manhattan, etc. don't usually themselves live in those communities).

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So, to recap,

obama has come out against clark's remarks today. However, clark's remarks of yesterday are called taking one for the team during a political campaign: Send out a surrogate to make the allegations then obama steps forward and assumes the position of empathy, while decrying what he knew would be said by clark in the first place.

Notice how obama comes forward today and conveniently mentions that he has been the victim of the same and similar attacks on his patriotism, while quickly brushing past the reality and difference between his own experience and the purposeful attack on Mr. McCain by clark yesterday.

The reality and difference is rather glaring. No one questioned obama's patriotism until after he had demonstrated his failure to speak to it directly and then further exacerbated that reality by stating that he didn't believe that he had to demonstrate his patriotism by virtue of either a lapel pin or placing his hand over his heart during the national anthem. (An anthem representative of oppression according to the senator who claims to want to represent all Americans.)

I have found, for the first time, my patriotism challenged—at times as a result of my own carelessness, more often as a result of the desire by some to score political points and raise fears about who I am and what I stand for

Certainly the rookie senator from Illinois shouldn't be penalized for his carelessness or his inexperience and naivete. Those are qualities that are only fair for him to criticize in others it would seem. But once again we see the nothing to fear but fear itself commonality of tactic and reference, that seems to be the recurring theme of his campaign plans to discredit any serious questions of his lack of experience and openly stated and displayed lack of patriotism to date.

Chalk up another political backfire from the man who represents change.

RR

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John McCain should be commended for his wartime record service, particularly since so many others (including the current occupant) hid. Yet that was over three decades ago. Sadly the aging Senator has morphed into an empty suit without the courage to hold firm to his "maverick" principles. This is evidenced by the complete abandonment of virtually every stance he took, on issues as varied as offshore drilling and torture, before he found himself to be the last man standing among the Republican hopefuls.

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adaydream: "McCain was trash in 2000 when george bush was running. But now they have no-one of quality that they wanted, so they choose the old guy. Wasn't good enough to be president then. He's just the best thing since sliced bread now. < :-)"

Annnd this differs HOW with Obama? Let's face it Americans we're in DEEP yogurt either way.

At least McCain has some substancial plans. Skillions of reactors.. whatever, at least it's building something. Obama only ever brings up hypothetical situations and refutes stuff like "patriotism" like ANYONE ASKED! Do we CARE right now about what INDICATES character?

Man, I'm the lowest pion below a senator and I'd have a detailed plan laid out by now, AND have the opponent arrested if that's what it takes to trap them into a public debate.

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I thought those who endlessly criticized Bush for his "thin" military record would show McCain some respect for his. Guess I was wrong.

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If military and congressional experience don't qualify Mr. McCain to be president...

Yet when McCain, presumably based on his own experience as a POW who was tortured, speaks out against torture he runs up against the party line. So much for his military experience. A real leader would have spoken out and perhaps been able to convince since he has personal knowledge most of us will never acquire. Instead he caved and flip-flopped.

Dems have nothing to apologize for on this one. Nothing can compare to Karl Rove intimating McCain's experience in the Hanoi Hilton left him mentally unstable and therefore unfit to serve as president.

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adaydream -

He started wearing his lapel flag pin again because people like yourself judge someone's heart and patritism based on trinkets worn.

That's the kind of gratuitous ad hominem I have come to expect from people who lack a good argument. I trust you will be unable to substantiate your charge by producing any statement of mine that would suggest that I equate trinket wearing with patriotism. For in fact, I do not.

Not the truths that he speaks. <

Do you suppose, now that he's taken up wearing a flag pin again, that Sen. Obama still thinks that trinket wearing is an inauthentic expression of patriotism? Personally I doubt it and wonder to what to attribute the change. Does he lack the courage of his convictions or is he just willing to do anything to get elected? Your comment suggests you believe it is the latter. Could be.

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Betzee: Yet when McCain, presumably based on his own experience as a POW who was tortured, speaks out against torture he runs up against the party line.

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Betzee -

Yet when McCain, presumably based on his own experience as a POW who was tortured, speaks out against torture he runs up against the party line.

Only Nixon could go to China, as the saying goes. IMO, McCain is better positioned to champion detainees rights both because his personal experience grants him a measure of moral authority and because he's better positioned to deliver Republican support/votes for desirable legistlation that most Democrats will, in any case, support.

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So you're saying we should trust McCain will do what he thinks is right after he's elected to office? He could have delivered those Republican votes in his capacity as a Senator. It would have meant taking on the GWB administration, however, and that would have led to questions about his patriotism. We all know the drill here....

Violence, including torture, is always expedient in the short-run. I'm sure torture has yielded information (along with confirming things which the detainee thinks his captors want to hear). But you have to win over the person's trust to get them to spill their guts which yields much more valuable information. I'm sure McCain's keepers at the Hanoi Hilton never gained his trust. And I doubt they got anything useful from him (or any of the other detainees).

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Betzee-

So you're saying we should trust McCain will do what he thinks is right after he's elected to office?...It would have meant taking on the GWB administration...

He's long been an outspoken proponent of banning torture and closing Guantanamo. As you suggest, his position didn't win him many plaudits (or votes) in the Republican primaries. McCain deserves credit for taking a principled stand that was unpopular within his own party.

He could have delivered those Republican votes in his capacity as a Senator.

He'd have far more influence as president and leader of his party.

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McCain deserves credit for taking a principled stand that was unpopular within his own party.

For the record, I've never had the occasion to question anybody else's patriotism. Nor would I allow myself to be intimidated by those who've questioned mine (which has happened a number of times on this site). But I'm a private citizen not someone running for public office.

I felt what happened to McCain and his family in 2000 was deplorable. He was a psycho who'd fathered a black baby and his wife was a prescription drug pill popping addict. Yet he didn't resign from the Republican Party and wanted another chance (which he now has).

In my experience, the way to deal with bullies is simply to make sure I'm the most knowledgeable person in the room on any issue I care about. And to make an articulate case. McCain certainly can claim to be the most knowledgeable about torture among his Senate colleagues. But he's not an articulate person and that is really a problem in galvanizing people to action.

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shimajiro - I wasn't saying that you said anything of the such. I was just tagging onto your post.

You made the point that he was wearing one again: Now he's taken to wearing one again - and criticizing pols (like his earlier self) for questioning others' patriotism.

I was only stating that there are those who would judge a person because of as trinket he may or may not be wearing. < :-)

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Yet when McCain, presumably based on his own experience as a POW who was tortured, speaks out against torture he runs up against the party line. So much for his military experience.

McCain has stood up and spoken out against torture. He's said it doesn't work. He said he's going to close Gitmo. Do you support John McCain when he says this? You can add in pages and pages of extra text criticizing the Republican Party and telling us what other people though of McCain's position, but at the very least please write your own opinion of his position and attach your agreement or disagreement to it.

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adaydream

I wasn't saying that you said anything of the such. I was just tagging onto your post.

You were trying to associate me with beliefs I do not hold. I asked for evidence, suspecting (correctly, it now appears) you had none.

I was only stating that there are those who would judge a person because of as trinket he may or may not be wearing.

Clearly, there are such people - Obama among them, depending upon what day you ask him - but not I.

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Well, make an argumant out of nothing, if you like.

But it's the republicans that cried when he didn't wear the trinket on his lapel.

No difference than pouring French wine down a drain or renaming French Fries, Freedom Fries.

All trash talk about a materialistic piece of tin. He wasn't a patriot because he didn't wear the trinket made in China.

And John McCain is so much more patriotic. heh...heh...heh...right. < :-)

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Betzee -

LOL. Rather than simply agreeing with me that Sen. McCain is, in this one respect at least, admirable, you go into considerable length casting aspersions on elements of his party and then, lest anyone get the idea you might have gone soft on the Republican candidate himself, throw in a criticism to boot. Priceless. Don't worry, Betzee, no one would ever mistake you for a McCain supporter.

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Good for Obama. He has stayed courteous and respectful throughout the campaign. Of course you can leave it to the Republicans to launch slanderous campaigns against their opponents. Wearing a flag pin? He supposedly didn't put his hand on his chest during the Pledge of Allegiance? Fox News said he got sworn in as a senator with a Quran? We all know these are all baseless and petty attempts to degrade Obama's character. I hope Americans choose wisely, not based on one's color or religious upbringing.

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Shima, I simply think McCain looks a bit silly denouncing Wesley Clark's criticism of his record and how it relates to his ability to serve as president when he never denounced a personal smear campaign which finished his chances back in 2000.

If you make your military record an asset then it's fair game for others to question that or, more precisely, "fill in the details." John Kerry's mistake was in leaving out his anti-war activities, maybe the only principled stand he took in his career, leaving him vulnerable to the swift boat campaign.

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McCain has stood up and spoken out against torture. He's said it doesn't work. He said he's going to close Gitmo. Do you support John McCain when he says this?

Talk is cheap, I based my comments on his voting record. Specifically, he voted against the Feinstein amendment which would have codified the limits of invasive interrogation techniques. Why did he do that? Well, according to conservative commentator Andrew Sullivan who wrote this back in February:

McCain feels the need to appease the Republican far right at this point in time, and, tragically, the right to torture has now become a litmus test of "conservative" orthodoxy. It's a Karl Rove wedge issue of a classic kind: using the crudest of emotional appeals to gin up populist authoritarianism for the sake of Republican partisan advantage in wartime. There is nothing conservative about torture, of course. But the authoritarians of the far right are hardly conservatives in the traditional sense either.

Now one can say, as Shima essentially did, "OK, he needs to take this position to get elected and then he'll 'do the right thing.'" But then he's in the same boat as Barack Obama who's now wearing a flag pin, a flip-flop you wrote off as a bow to reality, SuperLib. If you go back in my archive, Shima, you will see I criticized Obama on that and spelled out the implications.

Appeasing the electorate to garner votes is not a sign the candidate will be able to lead if he wins.

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"conservative commentator Andrew Sullivan" . LOL.

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Who care about patriotism. God Bless USA, bible, Israel, the land of the brave wa wa wa.

USA is sinking faster than Titanic. Their useless paper/Dollar is devaluating, the Federal reserves are printing more money to be able to pay off their debts thus the Dollar is sinking even more. Every Dollar the Federal reserves pay becomes debt. For every Dollar the Federal reserves prints it lends to the government with interest. The interest is paid by the American tax payers. For them to be able to pay their debt they need to borrow more money and the debt expands.

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"conservative commentator Andrew Sullivan" . LOL.

So patriotism is not the only thing in play during this game of "capture the flag," but conservatism too? It's a sad sign of how far things have descended over the past eight years...

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barack obama's entire campaign has been based on telling his followers how bad America is and how it is fundamentally flawed (sitting in "Rev." Wright's church, bittergate). Those are hardly signs of his "patriotism".

RR

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how bad America is

Country is not the same thing as government. It was Mark Twain, one of the most famous American writers, who observed: "Patriotism is supporting your country all the time and your government when it deserves it."

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obama's real patriotism problem is he's basically a Communist trying to become the leader of a free-market nation.

RR

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I'd be convinced Obama's patriotisn is more than just "speechifying" if he'd release his birth certificate.

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I'd be convinced Obama's [sic] patriotisn is more than just "speechifying" if he'd release his birth certificate.

I know of no other democracy where people's patriotism is so regularly challenged. This is the bread-and-butter of dictatorships.

Setting such "patriotic hoops" (release your birth certificate!) reflects the inability of those imposing such arbitrary conditions to make an argument in defense of their own beliefs and the policies they favor.

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Statement by a scared republican.

obama's real patriotism problem is he's basically a Communist

Wrongly calling Obama a Muslim isn't enough lies. Let's make up a few new ones. < :-)

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Betzee -

Shima, I simply think McCain looks a bit silly denouncing Wesley Clark's criticism of his record and how it relates to his ability to serve as president when he never denounced a personal smear campaign which finished his chances back in 2000.

I don't recall, didn't he?

If you make your military record an asset then it's fair game for others to question that or, more precisely, "fill in the details."

Clark's effusive praise of Kerry's military service four years ago is in stark contrast to his current criticism of McCain's military service.

John Kerry's mistake was in leaving out his anti-war activities, maybe the only principled stand he took in his career, leaving him vulnerable to the swift boat campaign.

That and making certain mistatements of fact about his tour of duty and assuming that only those of his former comrades who held a high opinion of him would be heard.

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But it's the republicans that cried when he didn't wear the trinket on his lapel.

Actually it was Obama who, over a year ago, took the affirmative step of stopping to wear the flag pin and ostentatiously explaining that he had done so because it "became a substitute for, I think, true patriotism, which is speaking out on issues that are of importance to our national security."

I think it is unreasonable for him or you to expect that he would not attract attention (and some criticism) for having done so. He was, afterall, criticizing others who continued to wear patriotic badges.

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Shimajiro - I don't recall Obama ever criticizing anybody for wearing a patriotic lapel pin, until he was attacked by the republicans for not wearing one. But I'm will to look at your link that proves your statement. < :-)

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From a global liberal living in a daydream:

Wrongly calling Obama a Muslim isn't enough lies. Let's make up a few new ones

Frank Marshall Davis, an obama friend and another one of his mentors, was a member of the Communist Party USA. Please try to keep up.

RR

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obama's official campaign blogger, Sam Graham-Felsen, a contributor to the Socialist Viewpoint, helped form the Socialist Workers Organization in 1999 in an attempt to build a political party that follows to the teachings of Marx, Lenin and Trotsky.

Heh, the democrat's "patriotic" candidate this time around sure has a thing for Marxists. He befriends them, listens to their counsel and he even hires them to work on his campaign.

RR

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Again, prove your assertion that Obama is a communist. < :-)

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I don't recall, didn't he?

He complained that GWB portrayed him as indifferent to veterans (based on some vote). He never addressed what happened to his family. Perhaps this was politically wise; Ed Muskie's career was finished after he choked up in response to nasty comments about his wife in the uber-right wing Manchester Union Leader. But Cindy McCain has not forgotten and a recent Newsweek cover story about her reported that young Bridget had asked her parents, "Why does President Bush hate me?"

John Kerry's mistake was air-brushing his past in the anti-war movement from his resume. And he should have met the criticism of the swift boaters head on. The Republicans, however, went way overboard in claiming he didn't deserve those purple hearts, for just "a couple of scratches" according to Bob Dole. This gave someone the idea of printing up purple heart band-aids which were passed out at the Republican Natl Convention to the delegates.

I don't think there's anything in Wesley Clark's criticism which raises doubts of the type raised about Kerry's service which was intended to deflect attention from GWB's own record. Clark's not insinuating McCain falsified his record; only questioning its value to the presidency (which many Republicans also did before McCain got the nod).

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Questioning the patriotism of domestic political adversaries has been used to advance a partisan policy agenda. Have doubts about invading Iraq? Well that means you're soft on terrorism which automatically casts doubt on your patriotism.

Balk at approving one emergency appropriation after another to fund the ongoing occupation of Iraq? Then you're not supporting the troops, a very unpatriotic act.

So, here we are, at the end of an administration which introduced flag pins and also doubled the national debt which will stand at over 10 trillion in January 2009. How's that for patriotic?

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RomeoRamenII,

If the best the Republican Party can muster in terms of opposition to Obama is "He's a Pinko," then there are deeper problems plaguing the GOP than unfettered selfishness. Of course, the Republican Party isn't calling Obama a communist. Just ill-informed, and more-often-than-not entirely wrong keyboard trolls like yourself.

You've been wrong on so many issues over the past 8 years of Bush's debacle of a presidency that your opinion carries very little weight here anymore. You do realize this, don't you?

Just some advice: If you're going to comment, try couching your opinions in something a little more current "The Commies are coming"! That's so 1950s. At least have the courtesy to bring your smear tactics up to date. Try something more snappy and hip like, "He's an Islamo-fascist!" I thought that term was still in vogue with your ilk these days. Or has it fallen out of favor since Bush's disapproval rating cracked the 70% mark?

The truth of the matter is you and most of the Republicans who oppose Obama have little else to go on when it comes to his candidacy other than whether or not he’s wearing little US Flag pins. And that’s truly pathetic. If you want to question his candidacy, go after he wartime senate voting record or his Illinois congressional work. But to call him a Marxist? I guess there really are no gutters or cesspools that you are too uncomfortable to slither through.

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In fact the McCain has lurched to the right while Obama tries to grap the center, each abandoning long-held positions in a bid to garner enough votes to win the general election. In other words, the same script that has been followed by the respective parties since as far back as 1976. Meanwhile our country sinks deeper not only into debt, to the commies no less, but mediocrity.

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"The truth of the matter is you and most of the Republicans who oppose Obama have little else to go on when it comes to his candidacy other than whether or not he’s wearing little US Flag pins."

Hardly. Most conservatives judge politicians by the positions they take on the issues. It's quite simple.

Obama is to the left of the only avowed socialist in the US Senate, Bernie Sanders of Vermont. It's a matter of public record. http://nj.nationaljournal.com/voteratings/

He wants to raise taxes.

He wants to raise the tax on capital gains from 15 to 25 and maybe even 28 percent.

He opposed Illinois legislation that was designed to protect the lives of infants who survive abortions.

Obama still hasn't released his birth certificate.

He still won't clarify his relationship with Tony Rezko. And more troubling is how his 'flexible' position on Iraq appears to have mirrored Rezko's investments - he was initially opposed to the war but when Rezko and his network land contracts in Iraq Obama says his position is not that different from Bush's.

It was revealed yesterday that Obama, who likes to portray himself as the sharing folks' indignation about the sub prime fiasco, was himself recipient of a sweetheart deal:

"Compared with the average terms offered at the time in Chicago, Obama's rate could have saved him more than $300 per month."

Washington Post, July 2, 2008 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/01/AR2008070103008.html?hpid=topnews

His mentor in Hawaii, Frank Marshall Davis, was a diehard sentimental old communist. Obama concealed his identity in his book.

Obama - who we are supposed to revere for his superior 'judgement' - sat for 20 years in the church of bitter, angry neo-segregationist nutjob, having chosen this ,uh, house of worship and congregation from among many in Chicago, making Obama either an admirer of Wright's racist Black Liberation Theology or a hopelessly naive man-child.

Most glaring though is his complete lack of accomplishments.

There is nothing presidential about the man.

As senator he has broken at least 2 federal laws.

I question his patriotism.

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He wants to raise taxes. He wants to raise the tax on capital gains from 15 to 25 and maybe even 28 percent.

We have added nearly USD five trillion to the national debt over the past eight years since GWB introduced his tax cuts, any other ideas on how to pay it off?

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Yeah, I was gonna say. How, precisely, is the US supposed to recover from this staggering debt it's racked up as a result of a piss-poor economy coupled with the astronomical costs of a war in Iraq and Afghanistan? Who's going to pay down this debt and how? Republicans? You mention the word "tax" and they collapse in paroxysm of litanies against the evils of Socialism, ignoring all the while that taxation, yes, TAXATION, i.e., a shared investment by the entire populace in the wellbeing and future of the nation, is what makes this country go.

You rage against taxation and send your kids to private schools. You rage against taxation and form exclusive communities that keep out the "riff-raff." You rage against taxation and do everything in your power to maintain the illusion that this little Merry-Go-round we're all on functions just fine without the "riff-raff" (see the latest anti-immigration craze that is the bread and butter of Republican dinnertime conversation), and you are completely oblivious to the eventuality that one day, much sooner than later, the poor who have been left behind to watch you tool around in your luxury cars and expensive homes paid for with regular mortgages rather than the scam that was sub-prime mortgages issued by banks with, well, let's just say it for what it is, wealthy Republicans at the helm, are going to look with envy at all the wealth that continues to come to you through a system manipulated and rigged in your favor, and they're going to come to a momentous decision:

They're going to come and take your wealth from you.

Not all the guns in every wealthy household in America are going to be enough to fend off their rage, because - and this is the richest irony of all - thanks to the Republican-backed NRA, the poor have, if nothing else, a whole lot of guns too.

So, yeah. Keep on whining about taxation and how we don't need it. Keep on lessening the chance that a child in a public school will ever succeed while you retreat to school vouchers and private schooling. Go ahead and refuse to be a part of the entire community (not just the White one) and go ahead and give the poor an excuse to just take by force what you believe is yours by birthright.

You’re gonna’ hang yourselves and everyone else in this nation on those bootstraps you keep going on about if you don’t get your heads out of you collective behinds and do something to actually help the entire country, rather than just your own bank accounts.

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I see the ad here that has a picture of george bush in front of the Whitehouse and ask the question, "WAR CRIMINAL?"

I say yes. And that War Criminal backs McCain.

Ha!! Nuff said!! < :-)

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"Obama vows not to question anyone's patriotism"

No kiddin'. I wonder why.

Obama can start by not questionin' his wife's.

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As an Independent Voter I support Obama and I find those that claim to be Patriots nothing more than empty suits. At least he is not going to go after someone Patriotism.........

Ok anyone here wears their Patriotism on their jacket? In my book, the folks that wear those little happy happy pins would not defend the Constitution for no reason.

Gut check baby, what would you defend......The Constitution or the Flag?

My book I did not join and serve to defend the Flag, I did it to defend the Constitution.

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What Obama is saying that that topic is uncomfortable for him, so anyone who brings it up will be smeared as a racist or some such. Simple and effective.

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someone should question the war record of McCain. According to many POWs during vietnam he was nicknamed the songbird by the VC due his singing before they could ask him any questions. But at least he served in the war while bush cowered in some bar in texas afraid to go on the line for his country.

No matter, no one as old as mccain can win the presidency, songbird or no.

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zurchromium, you've confused McCain with someone else.

The enemy offered McCain early parole because of the propaganda value it would bring for releasing the son and grandson of two US naval admirals.

McCain followed the Military Code of Conduct and refused early parole.

McCain was also one of the most brutally treated prisoners in captivity from Day One, and the last I heard, he still can't raise his arms above his head.

zurchromium, you may be hearin' songbirds, but no one else is.

And I see you're still upset with Dubya for winnin' the presidency... twice.

I feels your pain.

USAR

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Ronin,

according to what I heard mccain sang and taped many propaganda films for the VC without being tortured at all. He cant raise up his arm cause he broke them when ejected from his shot down plane, He forgot to raise his arms, he admits this himself.

so you are just singing the same old song, like mccain did apparently in selling out his fellow POWs who didnt have a Dad who was running the Navy.

And yes, rove did win those elections for bush. He is running mccains campaign now too insuring that mccain will be just the third term of the bush/rove/cheney axis of incompetence and corruption if elected.

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zurchromium, what you're sayin' about McCain is just complete silliness.

The NVA - not VC - didn't treat him for the longest time, and even tortured him on his injuries sustained in his crash.

Even one of McCain's NVA jailers recently said he respected McCain so much he'd vote for him if he were an American.

zurchromium, ya gotta sink real low to do what you know you're doin' to a real American hero.

Real low.

Bush. President. Twice.

USAR

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"According to many POWs during vietnam he was nicknamed the songbird by the VC due his singing before they could ask him any questions."

Can't post the links/proof, you are no better than the man you imagine Karl Rove to be...

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JayBee, McCain?

I think you're confusin' the issue with Hillary and Obama. So many-odd months ago everything was all Hillary, and then as Obama gained momentum, leftists viciously turned on her. It was interestin' to watch the left's short-term conundrum... Hell's bells... Now you're forced to choose between a white woman and a black man. Eventually, leftist white guilt won out and Obama became your candidate.

A newspaper had a site where a visitor answered about twenty or so questions and their system came up with the guy who best met one's political ideals be it Dem, Repub, Lib or Looneytoons Kucinish. I was told my guy was Mitt Romney.

Since Romney didn't make it that suggestion is moot.

I'm still votin' for the most conservative guy on the ticket. If it's McCain, I hope he takes Romney with him.

USAR

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mccain made 20 plus tapes for the enemy while a POW. He says he did this under torture threat but his captors say he was never tortured, although now they would vote for him if they could.

He has sealed his records of being a POW. If he had nothing to hide he could make them open.

Songbird and McCain, just google it. Attacks come mostly from the far right, the normal sources for the winger brigade here on JT that is still looking for WMD in Iraq.

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"Songbird and McCain, just google it. Attacks come mostly from the far right, the normal sources for the winger brigade here on JT that is still looking for WMD in Iraq."

WMDs are gone. The last batch of Saddam's "non-existent" yellowcake uranium has been secured and shipped out of Iraq. Done in secret.Imagine that, just like they do things in wartime. It arrived last week at a port in Canada.

Glad that you lot got to help in your own way.

<strong>Moderator: All readers back on topic please.</strong>

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