First off, I find it fascinating that John McCain, who is refusing to vote for the GI Bill for our troops because “it’s too generous,” is himself getting $58,000 a year, tax-free, from the US government for his military service. Had McCain been getting that amount every year since Vietnam, that would total $2,000,000 for the man who isn’t into overgenerous government. I just find that interesting.
His staff responded with the classic “he was tortured for his country.” Yeah, we get it. The torture card. It’s to McCain what 9/11 was to Giuliani’s candidacy – the never-ending name-drop. Though what McCain’s staff actually said was downright, um, we’re being nice to Clinton now, so I won’t say Clintonian. Here’s the quote:
McCain campaign strategist Mark Salter said Monday night that McCain was technically disabled. “Tortured for his country — that is how he acquired his disability,” Salter said.
Technically? What does that mean? Usually, it means that under the strict reading of the law, you’re covered, but in fact it’s kind of a nudge-nudge-wink-wink situation – that’s what “technically” means. It’s called parsing, which is something you do to “technically” claim something is true, when on its face it really isn’t. So is McCain “technically” disabled, and taking $58,000 a year tax free from the government, or is he actually disabled? I would imagine there are other solders who are actually disabled who could use the money. And if he is actually disabled, just how disabled is he?
So let me help clarify things here: McCain’s decision not to support an expensive proposed Democratic “G.I. Bill” is a total red herring and using it as a pretext to ask, “Just how badly was he tortured, anyway?” is pretty vile. Technically, John McCain can’t lift his arms above his shoulders as a result of being tortured as a P.O.W. While that shouldn’t impair his ability to be President, it does make him clearly disabled. McCain isn’t doing anything remotely improper by accepting a disability pension he earned the hard way. For liberal blogs (and regrettably, the L.A. Times) to make an issue of this is as ridiculous as it is disrespectful. But hey, support the troops, right? You know, provided that one of those “troops” didn’t serve their country in the most difficult situation imaginable and then have the temerity to run for president as a Republican. In which case, screw ‘em.