I see where Senator McCain has started the standard election-year practice of the Republican candidate hammering on the (presumptive) Democratic nominee for lack of foreign policy experience, spinelessness, ass-kissing our "enemies" left and right and all round wimpishness when it comes to "handling" the World.
The Republicans have gotten away with this bullshit ever since I can remember. And to make it even worse, they parade out iconic macho-man images to serve the purpose of making their party the "Red-Blooded He-Man Woman Hater's Club" party. Iconic macho men like John Wayne (who never served a day in his life except when he single-handedly attacked Iwo Jima in the movies), or Ronnie Rayguns (whose only experience in battle were the dogfight scenes in "Hellcats of the Navy".)
Hardly a week goes by without some family-value spouting Republican getting caught, drunk, with his pants down, in some men's room or else shacking up with his girlfriend (and their infant child) in Virginia.
The Republican Party is the party of blatant hypocrisy and of sheer, "fuck you", capitalism. It's the party of panty-waisted, draft-dodging, pasty-faced, Pillsbury Doughboy chicken-hawks. It's the party of self-loathing, closeted Capitol Hill staffers who spend their summers in Rehoboth Beach, screaming their Nelly-Queen heads off before heading back to DC to help their fag-bashing bosses get re-elected. They don't call it the Gay Old Party for nothing in DC.
Show me a Republican and I'll show you somebody who never thinks twice about blaming somebody (or something) else for all of their problems (fags, immigrants, niggras, wetbacks, spics, cocksuckers... women). Show me a Republican and I'll show you somebody who thinks that war is just dandy... as long as somebody else fights (and dies) in it.
The Republican Party gave us, in my lifetime, Eisenhower (who sat idly by twiddling his thumbs while McCarthy conducted his witchhunts), Nixon (and what an anti-semitic, bottom-feeding insecure little scumbag he was), Ford (who meant well but was pretty incompetent), the unemployed actor who pleaded stupidity when told that he'd APPROVED the sale of arms to Iran in order to illegally fund the Nicaraguan Contras), King George the First ("a thousand points of light...") and King George the Second (IRAQ -- brought to you by KBR and Halliburton).
To give a few of those gentlemen their due, Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford and KGI actually did serve in the armed forces, during wars.
But along comes Senator McCain. And the Republicans LOVE to trumpet the fact that John is a "genuine American hero" because he flew sorties over North Vietnam, had his plane shot down, bailed out and was captured and held for years.
To which I take exception.
Don't get me wrong. I feel for him. I'm sure he suffered the insufferable at the hands of the North Vietnamese. But the fact of the matter is, merely being captured by the enemy does not automatically confer "hero" status on anyone.
Thousands of others flew missions over the north, and the vast majority of them returned unscathed.
Senator McCain, however, had his plane shot out from under him. And when I was in the same Navy that he was in, that would've been far more likely to elicit ridicule and scorn amongst his fellow pilots than it would've stirred up any feelings of hero worship.
I respect the man as a well-intentioned, doddering old fool.
But a hero? HAR! Not likely.