26 February 2008

VoteVets.Org takes on McCain

VoteVets released a 30-second ad that targets the McCain camp to come clean on how they are going to support a long term presence in Iraq. Predictably, the response from the McCain campaign was quick and partisan as they sought to portray the attacks as a liberal smear job. VetVoice has the reply posted:

National Liberal Democratic groups are rolling out their strategy for the General Election. It appears that the politics of "hope and change" are euphemisms for even more vicious attacks than we've ever seen before. All the usual liberal suspects; MoveOn.org, the Democratic National Committee, The New York Times and others are adding to the efforts under way by VoteVets and are plotting to spend over $20 million to smear John McCain. A line has been drawn in the sand.

This is reminiscent of Melanie Morgan, hack queen pundit of the "You don't support Bush, You Don't Support the Troops" meme, who had a similar attack on VoteVets last year deriding the group for taking donations from various left-wing groups. Of course, this is a case of the pot calling the kettle black, as her Move America Forward is in bed with big-money Freedom's Watch. Other pundits may liken this to some sort of "Swiftboat" campaign against the Senator, but Jon Soltz says McCain's military record is honorable in this AFP article. The skeezy politics involved cannot distract from the point of the ad which seeks an answer from McCain on his plans for foreign and defense policy with a troubled military and economy.

Hot Air called attacking McCain's "100 Years in Iraq" comment a "distortion". I give props to Hot Air because they tried to rationally dispute the claim, instead of calling the patriotism or "military credentials" of VoteVets into question. They retorted with the following:

the “100 years” comment isn’t a call for another century of hot war; it’s a projection of a token presence in a stable country along the lines of our “occupation” of Okinawa, one that certainly wouldn’t require the trillions of dollars being disingenuously tossed around here.

In response to that, the comparison of Cold War era bases in a stable country to bases in a country with an active insurgency is a bit foolhardy. Herschel Smith at the superb Captain's Journal has routinely questioned the need for bases in South Korea and Germany, while the nation fights two wars on extremism with an over-stretched military. I tend to agree with him. Most importantly, the fact that the military is at the breaking point has not been addressed by Sen. McCain (do we need a draft? more defense funding? fill us in on your master plan, sir). I only need to step outside my trailer in the IZ to understand this grim reality. Overuse of contractors, 55-year old reservists in uniform, active duty guys on their 3rd/4th tours, etc. Not that I'm bitching about my personal situation as a member of the military, but I'm quite concerned as a citizen about the future of our military as a whole. Sure partisan politics might be nasty business during an election year, but let's not stray too far from getting the McCain response to how, as commander-in-chief, he plans to support an enduring presence in Iraq with a military in trouble. While I do write at the Vetvoice blog (part of Votevets) frequently, I don't think I have political affiliation with the left or the right. I just want to see our military not all fucked up, but still able to win the Long War against Islamic extremism. I think it's a reasonable ad, IMHO. But I'll get off this proverbial soapbox and let you decide.

Flurry of controversy, just my style!


Anonymous said...

Really don't think the commercial is all that death-defying strong of a "statement". I mean, is that supposed to be real hard-hitting? Who exactly is going to be influenced one way or the other by that?

LT Nixon said...


I think it's more about bringing important issues to the forefront of political debate instead of Obama in costume and McCain's lobbyist tryst.

Anonymous said...

And Hillary crying?

LT Nixon said...

I'll admit I don't know thing one about womens, but I thought that was supposed to generate empathy from the ladies.

Bag Blog said...

Just out of curiosity, what exactly is Obama and Hillary's strategy for the future of the military? Are their strategies more realistic? Is VoteVets going after them too? The commercial mentions healthcare for the future. McCain actually has some good ideas on tax reform as well as healthcare reform.

It is good to get important issues to the forefront, but none of the canidates have been very forthcoming on their plans for the future of America other than fancy words and dreams.

Anonymous said...

Well, yes, we've established over and over that you don't know one thing about "womens", but her crying makes me feel sad the same way I would vote for Obama bec. someone tells me he is good looking.
And shame on you -- that's a pretty sexist comment, SIR!!

Aren't men the ones supposed to melt at a woman's tears???
Hillary is so fake, though, I can't imagine anybody fell for that performance. Which is why she has moved on from that -- tried it, didn't work, let's do something else.

Anonymous said...

For what its worth, I appreciate your service in Iraq. (I'm prior service Army 1976 to 1980.)

As to military bases in "stable" countries, I think your opinion is a little off. Germany was not "stable" when we occupied it. There was at least one or two years worth of insurgent combat in West Germany after 1945, although this was widely ignored. Japan, being a different culture, had fewer post-war problems to its occupation, although they did exist. Republic of Korea, although not exactly "occupied," was far from stable at the end of the Korean War, and American policies almost succeeded in convincing the South Koreans to adopt communist economic policies. In the end, we succeeded, and those countries became "stable" (and mostly democratic). Thus, I think it is too soon to be making the comparison between Iraq and other countries, but it is not too soon to hope that one day Iraq will be as stable as those other countries.

Best of luck to you, and come home safe.

509th Bob, Washington, D.C.

LT Nixon said...


That's why I'm votin' Kingery in '08! I'm not a big fan of any of the front runners though, seriously.


Sexist, ouch! I'll shut my yap now before I get in anymore trouble.


Thanks for your comments, sir. I too hope for a stable Iraq as most people do, but I'm wondering how Sen. McCain plans on having a DoD to support this effort.

Mike Seaver said...


I don't find your comments at all sexist. This commercial is playing off human emotions and very obviously targeted to a female demographic. That is reality. Whose attention were they planning on grabbing by showing a young wholesome looking white woman holding a baby?

Anonymous - you are indeed naive.
LT - continue to spout truth from your keyboard. Thank you for your service and keep a sharp haircut.

Anonymous said...

Well, "Mike", the woman portrayed -- wait, the wholesome white woman portrayed in the commercial says she is a veteran, baby was born after she got back from Iraq. What worries does she have about health care if she's military? My point was a lot of money spent on something that I, personally, didn't think was exactly what I said, not real hard-hitting.

So if you're calling me "naive" I say you're wrong.
And Lt. Nixon and I already have an understanding to agree to disagree about MANY things.

Jonn Lilyea said...

Isn't VoteVets that organization behind which that peckerhead Solz hides when he's not making a goober of himself yelling at sergeants for the peace-at-any-price crowd's cameras? Yeah, nice non-partisan organization ya got there.

LT Nixon said...

Miss K,

Don't worry about Mike Seaver. He's either the adorable oldest son of the hit TV show "Growing Pains" or one of my wiseass friends.

Mike Seaver,

Better go back to your apt. above the garage and fix your water bed with your buddy Boner.


I think the event you reference was when a young SGT came to the YearlyKos convention to speak his mind on political matters. I'm sure you know from being a veteran that you're not really supposed to do that. I hardly consider Jon Soltz a "peckerhead", even if my political views might not jibe with him 100% of the time. Of course my political opinions don't jibe with anyone 100% of the time. I'm not a big fan of calling other veterans names since I believe it denigrates the movement as a whole.

Jonn Lilyea said...

I wasn't calling names, I was using an accurate adjective. If you don't agree with me, you must not have seen the video (which has mysteriously disappeared from YouTube).

I've had commanders like Solz, I've had LTs like Solz, and they were all peckerheads. And they're probably all veterans now.

Being a veteran doesn't make one less of a peckerhead if one is so inclined. I'd gladly tell Solz to his face, given the opportunity.