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2008-05-22 5:35 PM
Obama vs McCain on military service
The Senate passed the 21st century G.I. Bill to give college money to people who have served in the armed forces. Obama voted in favor of it, McCain did not show up for the vote but expressed his disagreement with the bill.
Obama said this (clipped from Political Punch)
"I respect Sen. John McCain's service to our country," Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, said as he spoke on the Senate floor of his support for the bill. "He is one of those heroes of which I speak. But I can't understand why he would line up behind the president in opposition to this GI Bill. I can't believe why he believes it is too generous to our veterans. I could not disagree with him and the president more on this issue. There are many issues that lend themselves to partisan posturing, but giving our veterans the chance to go to college should not be one of them."
McCain responded like so (clipped again from the link above):
In a statement, the Vietnam War P.O.W. said he "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."
"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," McCain said. "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."
Ok, now it's my turn.
I think McCain's attack on Obama's nonexistent military service is disengenuous. The issue was never one of military service, Obama in fact called McCain a hero for his service. The point where Obama disagreed with McCain was in his Senatorial service. McCain has been taking shots at Obama constantly in the last 2 weeks, and when Obama disagrees with him on a vote and accuses him of political posturing in regards to this vote suddenly the sky is falling.
It's theatre and it's stupid. The only reason McCain didn't support this bill was because McCain supported a slightly different Bill on the same topic.
McCain tried to make the argument into a question of military service when it wasn't about who had military service. McCain didn't even show up for the vote, so perhaps he doesn't have many stones to throw on the vote.
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