Friday, October 24, 2008

another must-read article on senator mccain

as if that article about senator mccain in rolling stone weren't enough, slate comes up with this is not a test written by fred kaplan, a blistering analysis of exactly what he was doing on that aircraft carrier in 1962. he keeps going on and on about how being a carrier pilot means that he'd know what to do in a moment of crisis in the folksy speeches he makes. i thought military personnel of his rank did what they were told to do. it's high time somebody checked the facts on this.

here's my favorite quote that deconstructs the issue quite nicely:

I mean no disrespect for carrier pilots, especially those poised for combat. The job requires a special sort of skill, nerve, and bravery that few of us have ever faced. (Certainly I never have.) But it is not at all clear how this experience tested McCain—or any of the other pilots on the four aircraft carriers off the coast of Cuba—for the job of making strategic decisions in a crisis, any more than working an assembly line tests someone to be president of a major manufacturing corporation.

As a 26-year-old Navy lieutenant in October 1962, John McCain was prepared to follow orders, fly his plane along a predetermined path to a preselected target, drop his preloaded bombs, and fly back. Again, this is not to be minimized. But neither does it constitute being "tested" to be—either then or 46 years later—the president of the United States.

i think that kind of sums it up.

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