A Low Bar

6 Jul

When Republicans cry with indignation at mistreatment of John McCain, let us not forget 2004. Back then, the GOP brought new meaning to “honoring service” of a veteran and political civility. Kerry received three Purple Hearts serving in combat in Vietnam. That’s three more than Bush, Rove, and Cheney combined. This is how, in 2004, Bush’s supporters honored his service:

So, the civility bar has been set remarkably low, and so far the only thing that’s been questioned is whether getting shot down over Hanoi is a qualification for the Presidency. When Wes Clark made that observation, Bob Dole awoke from Bob Dole’s slumber. Bob Dole said this:

“The attack by General Wesley Clark on Senator John McCain’s war record and qualifications for the presidency is beyond comprehension. Clark’s absurd remarks signal further erosion in our nation’s political discourse. He should have stayed in bed Sunday morning.

It’s unfortunate that a former General who ran for the presidency on his own war record thinks it appropriate to attack a distinguished veteran and former prisoner-of-war in this way. Senator McCain’s entire life has been devoted to public service. His achievement and experience constitute unparalleled qualification for America’s highest office.”

This is what Bob Dole said in 2004 about John Kerry’s service:

And last week, former Sen. Bob Dole, the party’s 1996 presidential nominee, brought more attention to the allegations when he told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, “With three Purple Hearts, he never bled that I know of. And they’re all superficial wounds.”

In other words, Senator Dole, the erosion of our political discourse was helped along by the likes of you.

I happen to think that there is no set of qualifications for the Presidency. If there were, we could just us a headhunter and solicit resumes. So the question itself is a dumb one.

But gasps of righteous indignation from the crowd that wore purple-heart laden Band-Aids ring very hollow indeed.

HT The Humanist.

35 Responses to “A Low Bar”

  1. Jaquandor July 6, 2008 at 10:24 pm #

    Funny how Clark didn’t attack McCain’s war record; he merely stated, when asked directly by Bob Schieffer, that in itself McCain’s war record is not a qualification for the Presidency. Contrast that with the Swift Boat Liars implying, or stating outright, that Kerry’s wartime record never even happened.

    Yet another example of Republicans wanting to be able to say anything they want about Democrats, whether true or not, but if Democrats say something true about Republicans, why, it’s off to the fainting couch.

  2. Dick Strongbridge July 6, 2008 at 11:00 pm #

    “The real issue is this,” Dean said in March 2004, when endorsing formal rival Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., “Who would you rather have in charge of the defense of the United States of America, a group of people who never served a day overseas in their life, or a guy who served his country honorably and has three Purple Hearts and a Silver Star on the battlefields of Vietnam?”


  3. dougk July 6, 2008 at 11:04 pm #

    bp, i can ALWAYS count on you framing a discussion which gets under my skin

  4. mike hudson July 6, 2008 at 11:54 pm #

    from a military standpoint, the most important issue facing the voters in 2008 is iraq, gentlemen, not vietnam, which ended when pundit was eight years old. barack obama promised repeatedly he would have the troops out in 16 months. on the today show (interview with meredith viera, look it up), and until last night at least on his web page. it was a central issue in his primary campaign against clinton, probably the issue that cost her the nomination.

    most observers with any military experience (hi hank) knew that what he said he was going to do was logistically impossible, but were mocked by people like chris smith, who likely doesn’t know which end of a gun the bullet comes out of.

    on july 4, obama himself said as much. he clarified, i should say, prevaricated.

    “My 16-month timeline, if you examine everything that I’ve said, was always premised on making sure that our troops were safe,” he said. “I said that based on the information that we had received from our commanders that one to two brigades a month could be pulled out safely, from a logistical perspective. My guiding approach continues to be that we’ve got to make sure that our troops are safe and that Iraq is stable.”

    but pundit wants to talk about vietnam now.

    the soldiers on the ground in iraq will vote for mccain in overwhelming numbers. they, above all, don’t like being lied to.

  5. Chris Smith July 7, 2008 at 12:36 am #

    From: http://www.barackobama.com/issues/iraq/#bring-home

    Obama will immediately begin to remove our troops from Iraq. He will remove one to two combat brigades each month, and have all of our combat brigades out of Iraq within 16 months. Obama will make it clear that we will not build any permanent bases in Iraq. He will keep some troops in Iraq to protect our embassy and diplomats; if al Qaeda attempts to build a base within Iraq, he will keep troops in Iraq or elsewhere in the region to carry out targeted strikes on al Qaeda.

    This still hasn’t changed. He is setting a goal and he has stated it as such since Day Fucking One. During debates when this was brought up, he continually alluded to the fact that he would listen to his command authorities when it came to troop safety, but he would set the goals and direct the effort. If they fall short of the goal and it takes 18 months, who the fuck cares? The complications of removing the troops at this point are based on seven years of head up the ass planning by this administration.

    Also, while Hudson had his lips wrapped around a freebase pipe and his hand on a liquor bottle through the better part of his adulthood, I was serving in the military…as an intelligence analyst with a background in joint combat operation planning in the USCENTCOM CAOC and at JTF-SWA. You’re welcome.

  6. Snarky Snarkmore McSnarkamaphone July 7, 2008 at 1:45 am #

    @ Chris:

    But did you kill anyone?

    Because if not, that’s why you’re a democrat librul.

  7. Snarky Snarkmore McSnarkamaphone July 7, 2008 at 2:02 am #

    @ post


    c’mon BP; do an edgy post instead of a dumbass one designed to get people like those dipshits Hank and Hudson all riled up and droppin’ comments nobody needs bother reading. Everyone with a fucking brain understands the whole Wes Clark thing. Whatever.

  8. Chaz July 7, 2008 at 8:26 am #

    @Orchard Park Geek

    Since when does cleaning the shitters at Centcom qualify one as an intelligence analyst?

    This post is laughable. Cheap attempt to draw traffic to WNYmediaFAIL.

    I know, Pundit doesn’t care what people think because ultimately he writes these pages of excrement for himself.

  9. Buffalopundit July 7, 2008 at 8:48 am #

    @Chicago Chaz:

    Thanks for visiting, reading, & commenting on my exreta!

    Love, BP

  10. Buffalopundit July 7, 2008 at 8:59 am #

    @Snarky: But see this.

  11. Snarky Snarkmore McSnarkamaphone July 7, 2008 at 10:57 am #


    yeah, that was funny.


    You really think the Oamanator’s just calculating for to get elected, ann the suddenly… BWAHAHAHAH… off comes the Centrist mask? The Progressive Savior of America: Revealed!

    What evidence have you? ‘Cause there’s plenty of evidence already that when Dems move to the center, whatever their motivation, they FAIL. Why does pandering to the base only work for Republicans, eh?

  12. Jackson Smiles July 7, 2008 at 11:29 am #

    Mike I’m shocked that you know that the troops on the ground will overwhelmingly vote for MCCain. Did you fly there and interview every single one of them? Or at least a sub-set of 5,000 or more in 1,000 person sections across Irag and Afghanistan to prove your theory right?

    I’ll assume probably not, so don’t do what bad politicians and media people do and say “what the troops want.” Some would stay until the last day, some would come home immediately, some would stay just because the guy next to him would stay. The fact is less than 1 % of our population has an immediate connection to this war.

    I’m all for supporting this war properly, and if we stay in we need to stay in correctly – not the status quo and not just tossing 10,000 more troops in – but possibilities like: going over in force, setting reconstruction guidlines, giving the billion dollar contracts (which probably should be million dollar contracts) to firms based out of Iraq instead of Bush and Cheney’s buddies, stop using “hired contractors” who make 5-10 times what the average soldier makes so the US government doesn’t have to count them in the war dead, and creating solutions for the people or Iraq so the terrorists don’t have a big population to recruit from like they do now. I don’t claim these are the answers, but ideas to look into it.

    If we pull out we need to do is safely as well (not like a prom date who “promises to pull out” because that never happens the way it should. I don’t think that promising in 12-15 months is realistic for total withdrawal (maybe for the start of withdrawal), but neither is “staying the course.” Perhaps a re-deployment of our troops to concetrate on Afghanistan where the death tolls are rising and terrorist groups are (or were originally) based out of?

    Either way, staying the current course won’t “win the war on terrorism.” Although BP wasn’t talking about Vietnam, but discussing some of our countries leaders experiences there, Vietnam does have a strong tie to this war. The US is a country divided and no matter what a lot of people will be pissed off if we stay or leave Iraq. The opposing side will be there to say “I told you so” instead of working to improve America. We see soliders with PTSD in droves, which we didn’t see in Vietname simply because it went undiagnosed. Some people call it a “fake” injury, I wouldn’t dare do that because I’ve never had to kill a man, or watch a woman blow herself and a group of my buddies up, or shoot a child, or see a bus load of people burning alive. We have a government that was quick to rush to war without checking facts (not the war in Afghanistan, the one in Iraq – yes they can be considered two seperate wars and I believe they should be). We’re on the brink of war with Iran, the economy sucks, housing stinks and people want to be saved because they bought stupid unaffordable houses that the big banks told them they could afford to make some money. Now the banks are screwed and the people in the houses (or being kicked out of those houses) are screwed.

    Good look to both McCain & Obama. I doubt either one has the magic answer. The one that is will to work with both party lines to collaborate on a solution deserves to win though. Without 100 % on both sides (dems & reps) to figure something out together we’re all fucked… basically.

  13. hank July 7, 2008 at 12:16 pm #

    Pundit moves the Democrats–FORWARD—INTO THE PAST.

    to the last great victory of Liberalism–the “Big Skedaddle” from Vietnam

    Don’t look now-, but even for liberals–IT’S ANCIENT HISTORY. I have Vietnam Veterans in my groups that are almost 75 years old. Give it the fuck up.

    Anyone who has or knows about the Purple Heart Medal knows that it gets awarded for superficial wounds. John Kerry getting some rice kernels in his ass from what was kicked up by the practice grenade he threw in a basket of same while a friend took 8mm movies to help him jumpstart his political career Post Vietnam DID GET KERRY A PURPLE HEART. The other 2 were also for superficial wounds.

    I doubt strongly John Kerry would like to compare scars with John McCain, or compare health records post return RVN. Kerry couldn’t have made it through the first 30 seconds of the first round of THAT match-up. McCain was getting his ass beat,bones broken and starved nearly to death BEFORE,DURING AND AFTER John Kerry’s 120 day soujourn in Vietnam, (WHILE EVERYONE ELSE DID A YEAR) But he DOES beat Algores NINETY DAYS in Vietnam, with bodyguard supplied by (KKK) Daddy Sen Algore Sr, so give John Francois a ‘little credit’

    So the Geek was an
    “intelligence analyst with a background in joint combat operation planning”

    A good place for a liberal like the Geek to be–REMF (Rear Echelon Motherfucker) as they’re called by combat troops. Could probably hear artillery fire “WAY OFF IN THE DISTANCE” if he ever got anywhere near combat, which somehow I doubt.

    How was it “In the Rear, with the Gear” when I was on the DMZ in Korea and in Lebanon? The Geek was probably still in grade school then anyway.

    Here’s the BOTTOM line–

    Mc Cain–A full career in the Navy, Fighter Pilot, Squadron commander, prisoner.
    I’d say McCain he did his share and THEN Some.

    Kerry–2 years in the Navy, 120 days in Vietnam and he managed a Silver Star (which he wrote up himself), and 3 Purple Hearts, not a scratch on the fucking paint. Came home and shit all over the soldiers, volunteer and conscript still out on the firing line.

    Obama–No idea what end of the rifle the bullet comes out of. Don’t like people to own handguns–not even law abiding people. Waffles his ass off over any foreign policy discussion. NO MILITARY SERVICE AT ALL.

    Actually, when it came to experience, military and foreign policy, if Kerry was running against Obama, if I were a D Kerry Still gets my vote for the experience.

  14. mike hudson July 7, 2008 at 1:06 pm #

    jackson etc…..the american troops in iraq voted for bush in 04 by better than 70 percent. and kerry was a far more qualified candidate than obama, and bush was/is a far more laothsome individual than john mccain.

    it’s funny, but the assholes who mocked the “hillbillys” of west virginia, pennsylvanis etc. for voting for clinton in the primaries still depend on those people to fight their wars for them.

    as i’ve said repeatedly, i cannot wait for carter, i mean obama, to take office. with the dem’s congressional majority now in its second year, people are already tiring of the “it’s all bush’s fault” mantra. sometime, in 2010, i would guess, with america in throes of an economic recession of depression-like severity, inflation, $10 a gallon gas and war without end, the bush era will start to feel like the good old days and the proprietors of propagandistic web operations like this one will be eating a lot of shit.

  15. Buffalopundit July 7, 2008 at 1:48 pm #

    Mike: So, whom shall we elect who won’t result in: “america in throes of an economic recession of depression-like severity, inflation, $10 a gallon gas and war without end”?

  16. Chris Smith July 7, 2008 at 2:01 pm #

    So, my military service doesn’t count, good to know Hank. I’d detail my military experience for you, but why should I bother? This is why internet comments are totally pointless. I’ll tell you where I was and what I did and you’ll tell me how your service was more important and more dangerous or discredit it. Whatever, GI Joe.

  17. Mike July 7, 2008 at 2:12 pm #

    hank, why would being a funky in the military make someone a better president? He’s a hero because he got shot down? Then does proganda films for them like Jane Fonda. He should of used the last bullet for himself. Carter was a vet wow he worked out so well.

    Hudson is bitchey because hillary lost and he hates uppitty negro’s.

  18. EMS July 7, 2008 at 3:20 pm #


    Thanks you for the hat tip….that’s my blog (The Humanist). It’s a honor to be noticed.

    The only reason this bullshit was an issue in the first place is that our so-called “liberal” media caught the vapors when someone had the temerity to discuss McCain’s service in Vietnam without calling him the most heroic, iconic American figure since Captain America was smokin’ Nazis. Quite the contrary – Wesley Clark had the nerve, the utter gall to suggest that, while he honors McCain’s service and heroism in captivity, that does not make him any more qualified to be our next President and clean up this hell of our occupation of Iraq than Obama. Clark was responding directly to a ridiculous question from Bob Schieffer who asserted that getting shot down and held in a Viet Cong prison for 5 years makes you the greatest candidate in history and certainly better than some jive Negro who was blowing lines and singing do-wop on the corner when he should have been getting the same “experience” as Saint John.

  19. Steve in DC July 7, 2008 at 3:29 pm #

    I fall on neither side of this deabte, but maybe you guys should read the op-ed in the FT about Obama being the next Jimmy Carter. Not completely comparable but a good read.

  20. Mike July 7, 2008 at 3:37 pm #

    Steve, Bush is Carter!!

  21. Mike July 7, 2008 at 3:40 pm #

    Where is asshole hank, is his boss watching him now? Wasting company time and stealing band width might get him fired, hank repeat after me “Do you want fries with that”

  22. EMS July 7, 2008 at 4:11 pm #

    @ Steve

    If by the “next Carter” you mean runaway inflation, increasing unemployment, a staggering federal budget deficit, shameful loss of credibility and integrity among our foreign allies and a spiraling decline in the approval ratings of the President….then I think we already have the “next Carter” amd have so for the past 7 years. I think you mean the “next Bush” but I understand your reluctance…anymore like Bush and I don’t think this country will make it to the mid-century point.

    But, if by the “next Carter” you mean someone who will broker a historic peace agreement in the Middle East, commit to innovative and progressive energy policies to wean us off dependence on foreign oil, protect Social Security, protect the environment, oppose federal and state efforts to discriminate against LGBT citizens, strengthen (that’s right, strengthen) our defense, institute foreign policies that put human rights as the first consideration, restore honor and integrity to an office shamed by Republican corruption, malfeasance and violation of the Constitution, and become a model of public service, diplomacy and international respect upon leaving office….Obama would do quite well to follow in Carter’s footsteps.

  23. Christa July 7, 2008 at 6:54 pm #

    A great take on this. Can we get more blogs from this guy (girl?).

  24. mike hudson July 7, 2008 at 7:01 pm #

    hi christ, i mean chris…your military service was not pointless, it was/is highly admirable and i’m impressed. which is why it surprises me that you didn’t call yer man on the bullshit he’s spouted for more than a year about having our people out in 16 months. i can’t recall any comment here about how he fired top advisor samantha powers a few months ago for suggesting that his 16-month timeline wasn’t written in stone. you certainly wouldn’t have made alan’s mistake of pointing out that john kerry won three more purple hearts than bush, rove and cheney combined, as it would invite discussions concerning the fruit salad mccain was permitted to wear on his chest as opposed to obama’s complete lack of military experience and ignorance on military matters.

    that said, your remark that “This is why internet comments are totally pointless” was an interesting one. wnymedia itself has become pointless, in that the overwheming number of posters, and therefore readers, it attracts seem to be interested primarily in poking holes in the ridiculous arguments, justifications, rationalizations and intentional ignorance displayed here on behalf of the man from hyde park.

    he has reneged on his vow to filibuster the fisa legislation, he has spoken out of both sides of his mouth on campaign finance and now he admits that the 16-month withdrawl was nothing more than a cynical ploy to beat clinton — who should have said she’d get the troops out in 16 days — and, at the same time, that he fired a top advisor because she had the temerity to tell the truth before he was.

  25. dougk July 7, 2008 at 7:40 pm #

    comments prove as valueless as bp original rant, bye bye forever!

  26. Chaz July 7, 2008 at 8:55 pm #

    @Mike Hudson

    Everyone should worship and agree with Clarence Pundit or Orchard Park Geek.

    WNYmediaFAIL is a shell of its former self.

    When WNYmediaFAIL was established, there were a bevy of local progressive people blogging and contributing. My WNYmediaFAIL sources tell me that the focus shifted away from the people who built WNYmediaFAIL and it really became Clarence Pundit’s and Orchard Park Geek’s failground.

    If Clarence Pundit’s litigation skills mirror his debating skills, he couldn’t win his way out of a paper bag.

    He also voted for Bush in 2000. What an assdouchehat.

  27. Denizen July 7, 2008 at 9:12 pm #

    A picture is worth 1,000 words

  28. mike hudson July 7, 2008 at 9:51 pm #

    obama’s first vp choice, sen. jim webb of virginia, a patriot, war hero and former secretary of the navy under ronald reagan, announced today he wouldn’t serve in the coming administration if they asked him.

    telling. and it happened, like, today.

    but let’s focus on what karl rove did to john kerry, or how many medals everybody won in a war that ended 36 years ago.

    it makes allan and chris soooooo happy!

  29. indabuff July 7, 2008 at 10:07 pm #

    Only 4 more months of this to go…


  30. EMS July 7, 2008 at 10:14 pm #

    @Mike Hudson

    Obama has not made any choice for VP, so what are you crowing about?

    And the focus is on Republican wingnuts (most of whom haven’t served a day in uniform, but seem fervent on telling the rest of us how to wage war and “support the troops” even though they don’t give a damn about protecting them in combat or getting them adequate care when they come home) going apeshit over a decorated Vietnam veteran (and Supreme Allied Commander of NATO) saying that a fellow decorated Vietnam veteran’s service and captivity are to be honored and admired, but don’t make him any more qualified for President, especially considering this candidate’s stated intention to keep U.S. troops in Iraq for “100 years.”

  31. mike hudson July 8, 2008 at 12:11 am #

    ems….wesley clark has undergone a rehabilitation on wnymedia since clinton lost the nomination. when he was at her side offering unwavering support, nobody here had much use for him.


  32. Jackson Smiles July 8, 2008 at 10:56 am #

    Mr Hudson,

    Since when was Bush and McCain the same person? And when was Kerry and Obama the same person? You can’t compare an election of 4 years ago in war time with a sitting president the same as an election after another 4 years of mismanager war with the sitting president leaving and most of the political polls show an unfavorable % for him. You can use your 70 % statistic to say the majority of troops at the time felt Bush was the best shot at running the country, but not how they’ll vote in McCain v. Obama.

    I’m not saying because people don’t like George Bush that they won’t like John McCain, but one can’t also say – hey they liked Bush 4 years ago… McCain’s going to get the vote now!! That’s illogical.

    Most of the 70 % (and I wonder where you recieved that figure from – although I’m not saying it might not be close) have also gone back for a 2nd and 3rd tour of duty. That alone will impact their vote. I bet their wives, husbands, sons, and daughters would vote to bring them home.

    I have a few good friends who have served both in Afghanistan and Iraq, and they’d go back again if asked because they love the military and the men/women they served with, most are even part of your 70 % who voted for Bush, the thing is all but one wouldn’t vote for him again this time around. And I am not claiming the dozen or so people I know represents the feelings of all armed forces oversees. No one should claim that.

  33. mike hudson July 8, 2008 at 3:39 pm #

    the whole premise of pundit’s original post, you moron, was the behavior of bush supporters when he ran against kerry compared to the behavior of wes clark — who was persona non grata here during the entire primary campaign because of his support for clinton — towards john mccain over mccain’s service in the vietnam war, which ended 33 years ago.

    there is even a four-year-old picture of a bush supporter sporting anti-kerry regalia at the very top of this page for chrissakes.

    the difference between the troops who are there now and the ones who were there four years ago is that the ones who are there now knew where they were going when they signed up. enlistments run four years, so anyone who is in uniform now signed up in 2004 or since.

    in 2004 you still had people who’d enlisted pror to 9/11/01, not knowing or expecting they’d ever have to fight. this is a whole new ballgame. if anything, more of the troops are likely to vote for mccain than for an inexperienced touchy feely facci-due.

    try reading stars & stripes — which serves the military, polls them and is independently operated — before you go spouting off about what the enlisted man thinks or doesn’t. you won’t get much sense of that here or at moveon.org.

  34. hank July 8, 2008 at 5:11 pm #

    Chris–never tried to denigrate your service. You just did your all out best to find a place where you would NEVER see any combat. And you succeeded. Many a career military person would admire your ability to be in the military and never see action.

    I didn’t volunteer to be a combat corpsman–I WAS VOLUNTEERED.

    Mike–I have permission to do what I want when the phone isn’t ringing.

    Don’t like it? Go fuck yourself. Or move to NC and get a REAL job.


  1. In da Buff (Buffalo, New York) » Blog Archive » Unfortunately… - July 6, 2008

    […] …this is how Presidential elections are fought, won, and lost in our country…no debate over things that truly matter…only the endless one-upmanship by the left and the right on issues with little bearing on the rest of us…the sad part of it all is that some people will gauge their vote on such things…to be honest, I think most folks are already set on who they are going to vote for anyways. […]

Contribute To The Conversation

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: