Harkin: Fear the military
posted at 10:15 am on May 17, 2008 by Ed Morrissey
According to Tom Harkin, a man who served his country for decades in the military and follows a family tradition of service must be feared rather than respected. Harkin told reporters that John McCain’s family history of service makes him too “militaristic” to be President, unlike those who got drafted against their will to serve the nation. Unfortunately, neither describes Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton:
Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s family background as the son and grandson of admirals has given him a worldview shaped by the military, “and he has a hard time thinking beyond that,” Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Ia., said Friday.
“I think he’s trapped in that,” Harkin said in a conference call with Iowa reporters. “Everything is looked at from his life experiences, from always having been in the military, and I think that can be pretty dangerous.”
Harkin said that “it’s one thing to have been drafted and served, but another thing when you come from generations of military people and that’s just how you’re steeped, how you’ve learned, how you’ve grown up.”
A McCain spokesman said Harkin’s remarks were offensive and showed that Democrats are out of touch with Americans’ values.
“Senator Harkin’s comments are an affront to the many thousands of Iowans who have served our country so valiantly for generations,” said spokesman Jeff Sadosky. “This sort of attack shows just how out of touch Democratic leadership has become with the values that have made our country so great.”
So let’s get this straight. Anyone who serves in the military is at least a little suspect, but those who volunteer should be considered warmongers, especially if they follow their father and grandfather into the service of their country. It’s one thing to have been drafted — that excuses someone from their association with the military — but to have actually volunteered? Quelle horror!
This comes, of course, from the same party whose Senate Intelligence chair suggested that military pilots have little human feeling. It precedes an effort by the New York Times tomorrow, along with some of McCain’s oh-so-courageous unnamed Senate colleagues, to suggest that McCain didn’t really experience Vietnam because his five-plus years as a POW kept him from learning all of the lessons John Kerry experienced in his three months in a Swift Boat. This also comes from the same party that celebrated Kerry’s military experience while denigrating George Bush’s National Guard service. According to Harkin today, Bush would be a better candidate — right?
If the Democrats want to party like it’s 1968, that’s their choice. The rest of America grew up. People stopped drinking the New Left Kool-aid a long time ago and quit treating veterans like baby-killers and Dr. Strangelove. Tom Harkin, Jay Rockefeller, the New York Times, and a good portion of the Left apparently never stopped.