McCain loses his temper with a flair that has to be admired. He is unhinged in releasing statements, and that is no small feat. A staffer has to write these things, edit them, and re-write them. And get the final draft approved. That's a lot of eyes on what, in this case, amounts to a full-blown temper tantrum that is unrestrained and unhinged.
"It is typical, but no less offensive that Senator Obama uses the Senate floor to take cheap shots at an opponent and easy advantage of an issue he has less than zero understanding of. Let me say first in response to Senator Obama, running for President is different than serving as President. The office comes with responsibilities so serious that the occupant can't always take the politically easy route without hurting the country he is sworn to defend. Unlike Senator Obama, my admiration, respect and deep gratitude for America's veterans is something more than a convenient campaign pledge. I think I have earned the right to make that claim.
"When I was five years old, a car pulled up in front of our house in New London, Connecticut, and a Navy officer rolled down the window, and shouted at my father that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor. My father immediately left for the submarine base where he was stationed. I rarely saw him again for four years. My grandfather, who commanded the fast carrier task force under Admiral Halsey, came home from the war exhausted from the burdens he had borne, and died the next day. I grew up in the Navy; served for twenty-two years as a naval officer; and, like Senator Webb, personally experienced the terrible costs war imposes on the veteran. The friendships I formed in war remain among the closest relationships in my life. The Navy is still the world I know best and love most. In Vietnam, where I formed the closest friendships of my life, some of those friends never came home to the country they loved so well .
"But I am running for the office of Commander-in-Chief. That is the highest privilege in this country, and it imposes the greatest responsibilities. It would be easier politically for me to have joined Senator Webb in offering his legislation. More importantly, I feel just as he does, that we owe veterans the respect and generosity of a great nation because no matter how generously we show our gratitude it will never compensate them fully for all the sacrifices they have borne on our behalf.
"Senators Graham, Burr and I have offered legislation that would provide veterans with a substantial increase in educational benefits. The bill we have sponsored would increase monthly education benefits to $1500; eliminate the $1200 enrollment fee; and offer a $1000 annually for books and supplies. Importantly, we would allow veterans to transfer those benefits to their spouses or dependent children or use a part of them to pay down existing student loans. We also increase benefits to the Guard and Reserve, and even more generously to those who serve in the Selected Reserve.
"I know that my friend and fellow veteran, Senator Jim Webb, an honorable man who takes his responsibility to veterans very seriously, has offered legislation with very generous benefits. I respect and admire his position, and I would never suggest that he has anything other than the best of intentions to honor the service of deserving veterans. Both Senator Webb and I are united in our deep appreciation for the men and women who risk their lives so that the rest of us may be secure in our freedom. And I take a backseat to no one in my affection, respect and devotion to veterans. And I will not accept from Senator Obama, who did not feel it was his responsibility to serve our country in uniform, any lectures on my regard for those who did.
"The most important difference between our two approaches is that Senator Webb offers veterans who served one enlistment the same benefits as those offered veterans who have re-enlisted several times. Our bill has a sliding scale that offers generous benefits to all veterans, but increases those benefits according to the veteran's length of service. I think it is important to do that because, otherwise, we will encourage more people to leave the military after they have completed one enlistment. At a time when the United States military is fighting in two wars, and as we finally are beginning the long overdue and very urgent necessity of increasing the size of the Army and Marine Corps, one study estimates that Senator Webb's bill will reduce retention rates by 16%.
"Most worrying to me, is that by hurting retention we will reduce the numbers of men and women who we train to become the backbone of all the services, the noncommissioned officer. In my life, I have learned more from noncommissioned officers I have known and served with than anyone else outside my family. And in combat, no one is more important to their soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen, and to the officers who command them, than the sergeant and petty officer. They are very hard to replace. Encouraging people not to choose to become noncommissioned officers would hurt the military and our country very badly. As I said, the office of President, which I am seeking, is a great honor, indeed, but it imposes serious responsibilities. How faithfully the President discharges those responsibilities will determine whether he or she deserves the honor. I can only tell you I intend to deserve the honor if I am fo rtunate to receive it, even if it means I must take politically unpopular positions at times and disagree with people for whom I have the highest respect and affection.
"Perhaps, if Senator Obama would take the time and trouble to understand this issue he would learn to debate an honest disagreement respectfully. But, as he always does, he prefers impugning the motives of his opponent, and exploiting a thoughtful difference of opinion to advance his own ambitions. If that is how he would behave as President, the country would regret his election."
Patronize, much? I think the country would probably "regret" the election of a out-of-control, raging, angry and frustrated man who cannot accept the slightest criticism.
All Obama has to do is roll his eyes at such a statement. That's the only response this thing needs.
Grand Moff Texan has more...
And you "moonbats" should just relax. It's not like McCain has PTSD or anything...
There are behaviors associated with the candidate that would be consistent with a diagnosis of PTSD. Author Robert Timberg mentions McCain's intense explosions of anger --- a hallmark sign of lingering mental trauma from war -- in his book "John McCain: An American Odyssey." Timberg describes the episodes as "an eruption of temper out of all proportion to the provocation." Timberg, who McCain has said "knows more about me than I do," wrote that McCain's sudden fury is a result of Vietnam coming "back to haunt him." McCain has himself described having an adverse reaction to the sound of jangling keys, which reminds him of his Vietnam jailers. McCain also told doctors that during solitary confinement he had strayed pretty "far out" and had referred to himself as "mentally deteriorating."
UPDATE I / Warren Street / 8:27 PM
Notice anything about this picture?
That's right--on the day when McCain decides to blast Obama for not serving in the military, McCain is skipping a vote on a funding bill for the Iraq war to hang out in California with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Who, if you'll recall:
Schwarzenegger served in the Austrian army in 1965, to fulfill the one year of service required at the time of all 18-year-old Austrian males. He won the Junior Mr. Europe contest in 1965. Schwarzenegger went AWOL during basic training so that he could take part in the competition, and spent a week in an army jail: "Participating in the competition meant so much to me that I didn't carefully think through the consequences. When I got to Stuttgart, I was all confused. I forgot my posing routine, I had to borrow posing trunks, but still I won!"
Always leading by example, even if it is the Austrian Army.
Oh, and Senator McCain? Yeah, a good number of those Republicans in Congress who "support" you? A hell of a lot of them didn't serve in the military, either. But we're not going to bring up Patrick McHenry, John Cornyn, or Norm Coleman if you don't...
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