Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The man who wasn't there

By Capt. Fogg

John McCain is at it again. Just a short while ago this evening he was whining to Wolf Blitzer and pleading to voters on CNN about how he's been tested. He did the same thing yesterday in Moon Township, Pennsylvania. He took part in the Cuban Missile Crisis, said he. He was there, he said proudly. He sat in an airplane and waited for orders. He was 26 years old. 45-year old John F. Kennedy was 27 years younger than McCain is today and had never faced anything like that in his life.

Of course, the possibility of any superpower attempting to set up missile bases on our borders without being detected, is one of the least likely things the next president will have to face. The experience John McCain had in the military has nothing to do with the kind of situation the younger-than-Obama JFK managed to pull off without a shot being fired. The virtues that guided Kennedy had little to do with piloting a PT boat or sitting in a cockpit or even the bombing of cities McCain was involved in several years afterward. Indeed, John McCain never had a leadership position that involved strategic or tactical decision making. In fact, relative to all such things, he was never there.

Was a shooting war avoided because JFK had the kind of wild, uncontrollable temper McCain is noted for? No it wasn't. Did Kennedy employ the bluster, the whining, begging, pleading, and wheedling we see in McCain day after day? Calm, steady nerves and even perhaps luck played a bigger part, and that's something McCain doesn't have and Barack Obama does have. Who wouldn't rather play poker with twitching, grimacing, mumbling, and blinking McCain than with the ice man?

But McCain is losing. We can see him sweat and we can hear him beg and plead and whine to us "his friends" about how a younger, vastly smarter and more unflappable man will invite a "test" from a Soviet Union that for John McCain will always be the enemy. For him, the answers to the questions of today will always be found in the ever less relevant struggles between the gigantic military forces of the 1960's. Those were the days before a global economy and before all kinds of things John never troubled himself to learn about. Not only was he never there, his "there" doesn't even exist any more.

(Cross-posted from Human Voices.)

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