This is a title of the article written by Russ Vaughn of Old War Dogs. Although I read this article already on the Old War Dogs site earlier today, since Russ was kind enough to e-mail it to me, I am posting it here, including his update. It looks like Russ will be contributing to this site on the regular basis. I certainly hope that this will be the case. So, here is Russ Vaughn:
I am troubled by tonight’s primary results, especially troubled by the prospect that I may be forced to vote for an unprincipled political chameleon like McCain in order to save our country from two politicians, Bill and Hillary Clinton, who are even more unprincipled, even to the point of felonious criminality. I wrote this piece this morning and tonight stand by it even more. Hillary just slapped my face and that of many other honorable veterans with her sneering, gratuitous reference to swift boating in her gloating victory speech. It just demonstrates how twisted their leftist thinking is when they use this term of honor as a pejorative.
I will follow the dictates of my old regimental motto: Honor and Country,
I was afraid this was going to happen when McCain started coming on stronger in the primaries. To an even greater extent than John Kerry, John McCain possesses the ability to politically divide American veterans more than any other presidential candidate. With Kerry, a key determinant of which way veterans’ loyalties fell was party affiliation. I’m sure there were many liberal Democrat veterans, particularly Vietnam veterans, who held their noses and supported a man they viscerally disliked because he was their party’s candidate and represented their overall liberal positions. It was easy for those of us who were politically conservative Vietnam vets to take a hard, unrelenting stand against the man we knew had smeared us because he was the candidate of the party whose positions we opposed.
Today, this division among veterans in general and Vietnam veterans in particular has been turned by McCain’s candidacy into a family fight among Republican veterans that threatens our already diminished prospects for victory in November. While virtually all of us admire and respect McCain’s military service and POW sacrifice, there are millions of us who feel that is simply not enough for him to be able to command our political loyalties four decades later. Setting aside the fact that McCain sided with John Kerry in 2004 and denounced those of us who dared to question Kerry’s very questionable war record, there are many reasons why we do not see John McCain as being someone we can trust to represent the mainstream views of the Republican party. I will spare you a Sean Hannity, rapid-fire recitation of the litany of McCain’s transgressions against his own party because I think there is a single issue far more compelling.
Go ahead and Google “McCain switching parties?” and look at the pages of hits which take you to articles from every sector of the media examining whether or not John McCain was preparing to switch parties as far back as 2001 and continuing into the 2004 campaign. The most chilling of all these reports is one from the Boston Herald in which McCain is quoted as responding to ABC’s Charles Gibson’s question as to whether he would even entertain the idea of running as John Kerry’s VP if Kerry extended such an offer,
“John Kerry is a very close friend of mine. We’ve been friends for years. Obviously I would entertain it.”
That is a very telling quote. In his own words, to further his political ambitions, John McCain would have considered abandoning his party and his supposedly conservative principles to serve on the ticket with one of the most liberal candidates ever to run as a Democrat presidential candidate. Even worse, reading down, one reads that Kerry now claims it was McCain’s people who initiated such a proposal, not that we’d be inclined to lend too much credibility to that particular source. Some very close friends, huh? No wonder then that McCain was able to denounce his fellow Navy Vietnam veterans as “dishonest and dishonorable” when they dared to attack Kerry’s self-promoting war record. McCain was selfishly attempting to curry favor with the man and the party which could do the most for his personal political future.
Now I ask you, just who was being dishonest and dishonorable here? Was it the sailors who served in combat with Kerry and raised issues with his war record that Kerry never successfully refuted and refused to release the Navy records which he claimed would do so? Or was it the self-serving maverick politician who was entertaining the possibility of forsaking his Republican party to fill the number two position on the Democrat ticket?
A good friend and fellow Old War Dog, Bill Faith, cites Mitt Romney’s contradictory and self-serving statements about not serving in Vietnam as proving Romney unworthy of his vote. To that I would respond that talking out of both sides of one’s mouth is congenital in politicians and that perhaps Romney might have gone AWOL on the issue. But Romney’s transgression completely pales against John McCain’s admitted willingness to “entertain” the possibility of full-fledged desertion to the enemy in the midst of political combat.
I don’t know about you but I don’t want a commander-in-chief who even entertains such considerations.
My own comment to this is that it appears from Russ’s update above the article itself that he will vote for John McCain, if McCain wins the nomination. I wholeheartedly agree with that position. Whatever McCain’s transgressions might be, he is infinitely better than any Democratic nominee.
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