Tag Archives: Vietnam

McCain’s Myopic Military Experience is Disqualifier

In today’s TPM post, “More on McCain’s Myopia,” Josh Marshall raises the point that John McCain lacks the big thinking to be president. Marshall suggests McCain’s navy pilot experience does not avail itself to strategic thinking.  

I wholeheartedly agree, and would like to add some of McCain’s bio to the conversation.   As Marshall suggests, there is nothing about military experience the mitigates the capacity for strategic thinking. Yep. Marshall finds the source of McCain’s myopia in his military experience.  Again, I agree.  McCain was trained to see immediate tactical questions, not larger strategic visions. I would add the following: While McCain’s military service is certainly heroic for his sheer self-preservation, it provides little other training or experience that makes him qualified to be commander in chief. According to the historical record, nearly all of McCain’s combat duty was spent off the battlefield. Consider the following: McCain was assigned to the USS Forestall in December 1966. His combat duty commenced spring 1967 as part of “Operation Rolling Thunder.”  McCain later wrote that these missions were micromanaged and as such were virtually worthless.” In all candor, we thought our civilian commanders were complete idiots…”  My purpose here is to show McCain’s own assessment of the value of this experience.   He is likely to concede “Rolling thunder” was not something that would qualify him to be commander in chief. A short time later, July 29, 1967, McCain was almost killed in a friendly fire incident aboard the Forrestall.  A rocket fired and hit his plane; the resulting fire killed 134.  McCain escaped. Then, after 23 bombing missions, on October 26, 1967, his A-4E Skyhawk was shot down. McCain remained prisoner of war until March 1, 1973.  The question:  Exactly which part of this military experience renders John McCain, or anyone with similar experience, to pass the Commander in Chief threshold.  Hey, the guy walked through fire– literally– and far worse, but really, where is the credential, tactical, strategic or otherwise? see TPM:http://talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/184630.php