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.


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Comment pages: 1 2

Way to go Tom insult us all! You are moron before during and after your time!

Archdean on May 17, 2008 at 10:15 PM

The difference between Tom Harkin and John McCain is that Tom Harkin didn’t crack under pressure and provide enemies of the US with aid and comfort.

jim m on May 17, 2008 at 7:45 PM

What kind of pressure do you have expertise in? Or the moral authority to judge by? Do tell. We’re full of expectation.

Entelechy on May 17, 2008 at 11:01 PM

Entelechy on May 17, 2008 at 11:01 PM

What jim m WON’T tell you is in that statement he named the front line of the Green Bay Packers as his squadron mates.

Limerick on May 17, 2008 at 11:27 PM

jim m on May 17, 2008 at 7:45 PM

What kind of pressure do you have expertise in? Or the moral authority to judge by? Do tell. We’re full of expectation.

Entelechy on May 17, 2008 at 11:01 PM

I forgot to add that if you don’t come back with an example of torture at least as severe with Mr. McCain’s, under which you did not break, then you’re a wuss and a eunich.

Entelechy on May 17, 2008 at 11:42 PM

why do the good people of iowa keep voting this guy in. so sad!!!!

vinllo on May 17, 2008 at 11:45 PM

McCain served and felt pressure in a dangerous place.

The only pressure Harkin knows is running for re-election.

old trooper on May 17, 2008 at 11:46 PM

Harkin is truly pathetic. And whoever is voting for this twit should be ashamed too.

Rick554 on May 17, 2008 at 11:47 PM

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.

And their uncles, cousins, etc. My son and nephews must be some of the warmongeringest people on the planet. Good for them.

Kowboy on May 17, 2008 at 11:48 PM

Hey jim m….

when was the last time you saddled one of these to your a**

http://s150.photobucket.com/albums/s87/Limerick_share/

Limerick on May 17, 2008 at 11:51 PM

sorry try this one

http://i150.photobucket.com/albums/s87/Limerick_share/610x.jpg

Limerick on May 17, 2008 at 11:52 PM

Harkin, quel idiot. Like the Rev. Wright, he just can’t keep his brain in check. It’s not like the lefties don’t need a big stretch to fool us on their support of the Soldiers, ahead of November.

Just watch the likes of Harkin, Wright, and what’s yet to surface about Michelle O. The year is so fresh, yet.

Entelechy on May 18, 2008 at 12:08 AM

Hey jim m….

how about those Saddam POWs from the Gulf War…

Here is an example…
http://i150.photobucket.com/albums/s87/Limerick_share/Stuartlockwood.jpg

What fools we for not keeping our troops at home….This kid must be a traitor too!

Limerick on May 18, 2008 at 12:12 AM

***** it. Too tired, too obsessed with kicking the dog.

Limerick on May 18, 2008 at 12:15 AM

Under Harkins crazed definition, Eisenhower, JFK and the Bushs should never have been elected. Personally I am more comfortable with a military ex who will have a better grasp on the world than anyone who has not seen military service.

docdave on May 18, 2008 at 12:55 AM

Harkin: Fear the military.

Bush: Actually what I say is you’re not a religious person if you’re a murderer, but you’re right, I’ve got to do a better job of making it clear when I talk about Islam I talk about a peaceful religion, which I talk about a lot.

At least Harkin is not President.

MB4 on May 18, 2008 at 1:40 AM

Under Harkins crazed definition, Eisenhower, JFK and the Bushs should never have been elected. Personally I am more comfortable with a military ex who will have a better grasp on the world than anyone who has not seen military service.

docdave on May 18, 2008 at 12:55 AM

Up until Clinton, that had been a basic prerequisite for the office. The Dems tried to play-act the part with Kerry and Gore, and failed. With Obama, they’ve given up entirely and gone back to the 1960s anti-war lefties.

Jaibones on May 18, 2008 at 3:45 AM

Harkin, on behalf of my father, whom was shot in the face in Nam, and myself who has served in a combat zone as well… We forgive you, we forgive your loss of will and heart, we forgive your weak character and we forgive your betrayal.

Although these traits are foreign to us, we humbly stood in harm’s way, we left our families behind for years at a time, we watched fellow Americans brothers die for your right to speak your mind without the fear. We, and millions of others like us, stand the wall for people like you.

Claypigeon on May 18, 2008 at 3:52 AM

Buy Danish on May 17, 2008 at 6:38 PM

Exactly. And with apologies to the term limits comments, the job of removing scum like Harkin from the public eye is one for the voters of Iowa, just as the job of removing scum like Dick Durbin is mine, as an Illinois voter.

Jaibones on May 18, 2008 at 4:02 AM

World class NUMBSKULL.

apoole on May 18, 2008 at 7:23 AM

This poor excuse for a human being is pure dog crap.

rplat on May 18, 2008 at 8:55 AM

Oh, do I hope that they continue this line of attack.

drjohn on May 18, 2008 at 9:28 AM

Excellent news! Harkin has decided to run for President, championing “fundamental values” like “honesty” and a “love of country.” He plans to kick off his campaign by forming exploratory committees to research these things called “honesty” and “love of country,” words which he expects to say many times during the campaign. Harkin is expected to be a formidable candidate, with almost a half-dozen key endorsements from family members. For his coma-inducing announcement, go to:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GiCph97vRSU

Sean A on May 18, 2008 at 10:30 AM

Remember the Spartans!

Just A Grunt on May 18, 2008 at 11:30 AM

I still think everyone in office needs to be voted out, regardless of party affiliation. Complete turnover for the next few years and if we keep our eye on the ball, we might save our country. The only way to eradicate termites is to kill them all.

Blackfive has some amusing and insightful stuff, as usual.

eaglesdontflock on May 18, 2008 at 1:05 PM

That sniveling, military-hating liberal yellow bellied COWARD should be thoroughly ashamed of himself.

Hey Harkin – how much would you like to live somewhere that you wouldn’t have the US military to protect your butt 24/7? I didn’t think so.

Dark-Star on May 18, 2008 at 4:25 PM

Harkin survives on the “Farm Bills” every year that do very little for family farms but provide the virtual “Horn of Plenty” for Corporations, Agribusiness types whose shoes never see dirt.

He has never been held responsible for either the Pork in the Farm Bills or the lies He has told about His Military Service, he stayed in the Reserve system long enough for a Military Pension!

He is a total waste of media attention and tax dollar$!

old trooper on May 18, 2008 at 5:03 PM

This is why military absentee ballots need to be counted. Every six years Iowans try to get rid of our village idiot.

Oh, and my USAF husband says that if Harkin wants to fear the military, he’s sure they can work something out.

pookysgirl on May 18, 2008 at 6:47 PM

How far has our country fallen?

Once upon a time in our history – and throughout most of the history of most of the great nations that ever were – there could be no finer compliment to a man’s character than that he came from a long line of soldiers and warriors.

What has happened to us? To Americans, and to all humanity?

I returned from my second drill with the Tennessee National Guard just a few hours ago; I leave for Fort Mcclelland, Alabama on June 13th for the official start of OCS.

I spent my day today listening to the sergeants and staff sergeants and specialists around me, to former sailors and Marines – all of us exhausted already, all of us educated, all of succeeding elsewhere in life.

We started with 60. We’re already down to 44. Not 30 will get to the start of the first real phase of training. We might graduate 15.

But I sat there with them today, and listened to an endless stream of speeches and lectures from lieutenants and captains and colonels and even a general and not one thing I’ve said matters except this:

History is right. Harkin – and all those who think like him – are forever wrong.

McCain’s service, his family’s service, is a national treasure. All who share such a tradition are our finest citizens. All who serve, especially those who lead, those who volunteer, those who choose to deal with endless bullshit for no reason other than love of country … they are America.

Don’t hate Harkin and those like him. Pity him and pity them.

My day sucked today and a bunch more will suck a lot worse, yet I know something Harkin will never understand, and it makes me and everyone who understands it infinitely more important.

Harkin isn’t worth your time. Ignore him and go fly a flag.

Professor Blather on May 18, 2008 at 9:59 PM

Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt!

….Harkin eastern Iowas’ fool!

dhunter on May 18, 2008 at 10:35 PM

I’ll never forget how I watched Harkin excoriate the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, I believe it was Gen Foglemen, because a female Lieutenant was reprimanded for not only having an adulterous affair with an enlisted man but for ignoring her Commander’s order to cease and desist…You should have seen Harkin work himself into a lather because one of Gen Foglemen’s Commanders had enforced discipline in line with Air Force Cultural Standards and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. It was a shame to see a highly decorated combat veteran who had risen to the pinnacle of Command in the United States Air Force being publicly humiliated by Harkin. I believe Harkin even made a veiled threat to investigate Air Force funding over this non-issue…He undoubtedly harbors an unnatural hatred for our armed forces. Also, I have to wonder why he as a Vietnam era Navy pilot was relegated to ferrying aicraft to Japan at the height of that conflict…There is probably a story there…

Nozzle on May 18, 2008 at 10:52 PM

You forgot this bit of history. Let us not forget that Sen. Tom Harkin had once claimed when he was considering a run for the Presidency and previously when running for the senate that he was a fighter pilot who had fought in the skies over North Vietnam and performed air recon missions. Wrong he ferried aircraft from Japan to the Philippines. See here. Barry Goldwater called him on those lies. I can’t believe he was allowed to remain a senator after that bit of lying, but now to attack Senator McCain! Has he no shame? If I was him I would count my blessings and keep my mouth shut.

amr on May 19, 2008 at 7:31 AM

Oh, great. My father served over 20 years in the USAF. My brother for over 27 years active duty and Guard, and I’ll go over 25 years this September. Per Tom Harkin, my whole family is scheming to take your civil rights away….

And for the record, if I were exposed to 1 tenth of 1 percent of what the residents of the Hanoi Hilton got (McCain, Denton, or any of them), I would confess to:

Killing the Russian Royal Family
The Lindbergh Kidnapping
Assassinating Lincoln, Kennedy and Trotsky
Inventing AIDS as a high school science project
and Faking the Moon Landing

… all in the first 5 seconds.

darkpixel on May 19, 2008 at 7:46 AM

Longhorn Six on May 17, 2008 at 11:15 AM

funky chicken on May 17, 2008 at 12:18 PM

pocomoco on May 17, 2008 at 12:32 PM

(In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve been a ‘REMF’ for 17 years. Go on, tell me I ‘didn’t accomplish anything’ or something similar.)

I grow increasingly weary of and irritated with people on this blog and others who cast aspersions on servicemembers who perform support roles. Military service isn’t all about glory, it’s about getting the job done. That cannot be accomplished without the efforts of those who know they’ll never get a chance to do anything that will be viewed as heroic, and yet continue to do it anyway.

So go ahead and call Harkin out on his lies and his idiotic statements, but don’t denigrate the job he was assigned to do.

James on May 19, 2008 at 9:57 AM

So go ahead and call Harkin out on his lies and his idiotic statements, but don’t denigrate the job he was assigned to do.

Agreed. I heartily agree that the support roles are demanding, risky, and require every ounce of energy, intelligence, duty, and honor from their servicemembers. The same goes for reservist/guard duty too.

Harkin does deserve condemnation for inflating his military experience for political gain. I would advance the notion that Harkin himself does not sufficiently respect support duty, as evidenced by his reluctance to honestly portray his military experience but instead to falsely associate himself with the presumed glory of being a combat pilot.

Recollecting Harkin’s earlier falsehoods on military service, his latest gaffe really exposes him (to anyone watching) as just an unethical opportunist. A typical lying politician (is that redundant?) who richly deserves to be put out to pasture.

iconoclast on May 19, 2008 at 11:16 AM

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. – Ed.

Unfortunately, not true that the rest of America grew up. There are many many (all liberals) that fear and loathe the military. I know this first hand living in Colorado Springs where we have a very large Military presence. My liberal friends often make comments about being “scared” to go down near Ft. Carson because of the Army “goons” down there. Makes me want to scream, and yes I do correct them. Bezerkley thinking is everywhere.

kirkill on May 19, 2008 at 1:07 PM

I didn’t really have time to read all the comments, so if this has already been said, I apologize.

It seems very funny to me that when the Democrats run a candidate who served (for however long, 3 months or a full tour), being in the military matters. When they don’t have a candidate who was in the military, being in the military either makes the person too war-like to be President, or it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t make a bit of sense to anyone with half a brain.

Torch on May 19, 2008 at 5:17 PM

This is hilarious!

The Left is twisting itself into pretzels trying to figure out how to neutralize McCain’s war record in this election.

I hope and pray that McCain’s campaign is smart enough to make an ad out of all these obnoxious quotes from the likes of Harkin and Rockefeller. Most Americans are highly offended when anyone’s military service is attacked. Much less that of a certified war hero.

rockmom on May 19, 2008 at 6:54 PM

James on May 19, 2008 at 9:57 AM

James, nothing wrong with support roles. I served in plenty myself over the years…However, Harkin’s Vietnam experience ferrying planes to/from Japan is significant in this respect. Any pilot worth two hundred pounds of jet fuel would not have been ferrying aircraft for a living during wartime unless he was flagged for poor airmanship, discipline, or his squadron couldn’t stand to have him around and got rid of him. Once again, there is nothing wrong with a support role but you have to read between the lines in this instance. Informed speculation on my part I know…

Nozzle on May 19, 2008 at 9:08 PM

Nozzle on May 19, 2008 at 9:08 PM

Sorry, but that’s completely untrue…it isn’t a made-up job to keep misfits busy. The need for ferry pilots doesn’t go away if everybody gets along or everyone has the potential to be an ace. Besides, the pilots entrusted to fly aircraft not yet certified as safe (functional check flights) are usually the best sticks in the squadron because these jets have a higher potential for mishap.

James on May 20, 2008 at 7:30 AM

I flew for most of my twenty years in the Marine Corps. My comments are based on personal experience. As well, I was a post maintenance check pilot. I know all about it. Tell me what that has to do with Harkins lies about flying combat sorties?

Nozzle on May 22, 2008 at 1:16 AM

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