Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Going To The Well Too Often

My grandfather is part of Brokaw's Greatest Generation. He grew up in the depression - saw its hard times on his family's hardscrabble farm. He joined the service in WW II - served his country. He worked hard, raised his family and pretty much did what everyone else in his age group did. He is in the twilight of his life. He rarely if ever invokes those tough times. I have never heard him justify his actions or excuse his failings with the unenviable experiences he suffered through. It is just part of what happened. I admire him for that; for the fact that he sees no need to flaunt it. I would respect his experience no less if he brought it up constantly, but it would lose its resonance; its power. Instead, it is a silence that impresses. It's old-school stoicism. Would that others did the same.

The attack dog must pinch his own primary catchphrase tonight. Biden need only toss out one pithy remark in his acceptance speech to put some perspective on things of late...

"A noun, a verb, and the Hanoi Hilton."

That will be enough.

Referring to McCain's answers of late when asked about anything from religion to domestic and foreign affairs:

McCain has been "milking every possible drop of advantage" from having been a POW. "John McCain was able to weave in his experience in a Vietnam prison camp, no matter what the question was. It's much better than talking about how he's changed his total character between being a senator, a kind of a maverick … and his acquiescence in the last few months with every kind of lobbyist pressure that the right-wing Republicans have presented."

- Former President James Earl Carter


Baywatch said...

ahem. if you are insinuating that McCain doesn't have the god-given right to tell all you lousy liberals to shut the eff up already because he served hard time as a POW so you could flunk out of school and smoke pot, you are one sorely unpatriotic swine. ahem.

arlopop said...

No, I am saying that when asked the softball, but direct question by of all people Jay Leno, how many homes he owns, he cheapens both his experience and those of his fellow POWs by offering the non-sequiter: "I didn't have a house as a POW - I didn't have a kitchen table."

It's embarassing.

As it was put so well last night, A good soldier does not necessarily make a good leader.

Bob Dole lost the use of his arm in WW II, but I don't remember him waving that fact like a flag throughout the '96 election cycle.

Joe Biden's son, Beau, is unable to campaign for his father this autumn because he's off to Iraq with his Guard unit. Did you even hear him milk it last night? No. We all have our crosses to bear - some worse than others - but sometimes what's left unsaid is more powerful.

McCain is slowly but surely allowing the only thing he had going for him to become a cheap and sad joke. If it does so, he will have only himself to blame.