I am not a military wife. I am not a member of the armed services. But I am an American. And when those men and women fight and die, they fight for me too. For my children, for my right to live the American way of life.
This week, you went on national television and said of John McCain:
“He hasn't held executive responsibility. That large squadron in the Navy that
he commanded -- that wasn't a wartime squadron...."
“Well, I don't think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president.”
You not only impugned my favorite candidate, but did so by dishonoring the service of millions of men and women and their families. You confirmed the most shameful of sentiments: that troops' service is only admirable until they come home, at which point it makes them an irrelevant footnote in our country's history and a burden on its present. And nothing could be further from the truth.
In the interest of fairness, there is one valid point there. Military service alone is not sufficient to rubber-stamp an otherwise unqualified President (hence the public's rejection of your own short-lived bid for the Presidency). McCain's "leadership" as a POW alone includes coordinating covert communications among imprisoned troops, maintaining morale under unspeakable conditions, conducting Christian services from memory, honoring his commitment to country above his own hide.
They say that a good soldier 'never leaves a man behind.' So it is truly a sad day when someone of your stature and accomplishment puts partisanship ahead of respect for the importance and relevance of serving one's country. John McCain gave a lifetime of service to his country, and you sold him out for a sound bite. Shame on you.
To his credit (and yes it pains me to give him any), Obama rightfully disowned your remarks. But unfortunately the damage - to the morale of our troops, fighting daily in 100+ degree heat, is done. Considering the foolish fracas over his temper, John McCain's response to you was more gentlemanly and courteous than mine - as always, McCain is more interested in discussing what's best for the country - affordable energy, freedom from terrorism, and financial security - than what's best for McCain.
The essence of leadership is the courage to do what is right, putting the needs of those you serve above yourself. On the battlefield. In captivity. In Congress. In the media. And with the American people. And *that* is what John McCain is really about.
Today, I invite every American who disagrees with you, General Clark, on the relevance of military service, to donate $19.64 - one PENNY for every day of McCain's captivity in VietNam. (See 'Slatecard' link at right.) Please add a comment that this is in honor of General Clark and I'll be sure to pass along our total for your edification.
General Clark, this week Moms across America - even those of us who are challenged by gas and grocery prices, will shake our couch cushions and hold Freedom Bake Sales and Yellow Ribbon Lemonade Stands. We will get out the vote and we will get out the funds to ensure that our nation has strong, proven leadership under President John McCain. And know that when you speak indifferently about anyone in my country's uniform, you do NOT speak for me.
Moms for McCain