My analysis of notorious conservative apologist Ben Steins stated political imperative.
Last night on the Craig Ferguson show, Ben Stein gave his rationalizations for supporting John McCain. He seemed to actively not support Sarah Palin however. Claiming he was never attracted to her, and when he first saw her in person, thought she was someones call girl.
He cavalierly rejected any of Obama’s strengths as mere illusionary. He went on to give his strongest recommendation for McCain, which was, (and I condense the implications of his position); We owe McCain anything he ever wants since he was a prisoner and all. This was termed in this way; ‘I can not turn my back on John McCain. Since he did what he did for us.’ So why do I call such reasoning ugly?
I am sure people like John McCain do not serve their country so they can have a permanent free pass for absolutely anything they decide to do. Turn ones back? It is obviously an ad-hominem idea of persuasion akin to sophistry. We could say that anything anyone once in the military wants to do has an imperative for our support. Well. Then we do not really have a free market or a free country. Implied is; Whenever one from the military runs for office, we cannot turn our backs on them. Now that is a scary precedent custom fit to a military dictatorship.
Do all those interrogated and confined at Abu Ghraib, then come home to their respective nations, now all deserve to lead them by this same reasoning; can not ‘turn ones back’ on their soldiers? Where does such reasoning lead? The world is in for horrendous trouble if all or any who fall captive while bravely serving are seen in this light of entitlement. It is a phony reason, seemingly meant to sway the non rational, but those suitable to feeling guilty.
The reasoning is a familiar “logic” on the right; make people guilty and or fearful, and have them act from there. Ignore reality for manipulable emotional “connection”.
It is odd this alleged loyalty to the troops. For which party is most often not helping veterans benefits? Which party implies that the soldiers “know what they are getting into.’, so do not require any more socialistic consideration? McCain, who some feel has unresolved emotional issues from his service, is in the party that tries to not treat PTSD ills acquired by returning troops. I guess being against big government equals cutting veterans benefits as well.
Not turn ones back. It is an insult to all who serve and have served. To think that they are entitled to the keys to run the nation for serving, is quite an insult to our citizens who serve. As if then it is a known that joining the military sets one up for life, and we should owe them absolutely anything they dream up. Including being president since; ‘I cannot turn my back’. A clever piece of pandering propaganda, true. I saw how fast my cousins two volunteer terms as a sniper in Vietnam was forgotten with no societal quilt or culpability shown.
America’s finest serve this nation to do just that; serve and protect it. We honor them by being free to chose as we will, no entitlements, as if in a military dictatorship. We do owe veterans for what they have sacrificed; They may well need health care including emotional care. They my need other job training. They may need more thank you’s from all of us, and more pride shown them for their service. But owe one the presidency? Absurd nonsense in a still free country.
What Ben Stine should be asking himself instead is; What kind of leader would John McCain be, when he is known to have picked Sarah Palin as his first appointment act of his possible presidency? Someone who many, even some noted Republicans believe, demonstrated how little they know of the lower 49, or how government works here. This is who he chose to succeed him, as if the rest of We the People were some kind of a reckless gambling joke.
There may be more to Ben Steins guilty philosophy which we can infer from their places in society. The super rich may well feel quite a debt to one of their owns sacrifice for them. Unfortunately, turning ones back on ones troops as an entitlement for one who served, to be emotionally mandated as a reason to be president is beyond mere harmless opinion. It may well be turning ones back on the very nature of a free country and a free civil society. Seems a luxury some who benefit so much from their societal positions might entertain. But it has little reasonable place in a real democracy. And that is the rub…
Maybe millionaires like Ben Stein, and hundred millionaires like the McCain’s, have a bond here stronger than this ugly interpretation of loyalty given as a just cause for voting last night.
More on McCain’s character issue questions
Voice of America
Economy Among Issues Leading Some Veterans Away From McCain – Oct 29, 2008
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Another powerful ad from Vote Vets, and they really let Limbaugh have it. Rush can’t help himself as he continues his attacks on our troops and veterans, …
Wednesday 10 September 2008
by: Andrew Sullivan, The Atlantic
Senator John McCain at a campaign rally in Virginia. (Photo: Reuters)
Editor’s Note: Historically a John McCain supporter, conservative journalist and blogger Andrew Sullivan takes on the issue of John McCain’s integrity as he strives to win the presidency. – vh/TO
For me, this surreal moment – like the entire surrealism of the past ten days – is not really about Sarah Palin or Barack Obama or pigs or fish or lipstick. It’s about John McCain. The one thing I always thought I knew about him is that he is a decent and honest person. When he knows, as every sane person must, that Obama did not in any conceivable sense mean that Sarah Palin is a pig, what did he do? Did he come out and say so and end this charade? Or did he acquiesce in and thereby enable the mindless Rovianism that is now the core feature of his campaign?
So far, he has let us all down. My guess is he will continue to do so. And that decision, for my part, ends whatever respect I once had for him. On core moral issues, where this man knew what the right thing was, and had to pick between good and evil, he chose evil. When he knew that George W. Bush’s war in Iraq was a fiasco and catastrophe, and before Donald Rumsfeld quit, McCain endorsed George W. Bush against his fellow Vietnam vet, John Kerry in 2004. By that decision, McCain lost any credibility that he can ever put country first. He put party first and his own career first ahead of what he knew was best for the country.
And when the Senate and House voted overwhelmingly to condemn and end the torture regime of Bush and Cheney in 2006, McCain again had a clear choice between good and evil, and chose evil.
He capitulated and enshrined torture as the policy of the United States, by allowing the CIA to use techniques as bad as and worse than the torture inflicted on him in Vietnam. He gave the war criminals in the White House retroactive immunity against the prosecution they so richly deserve. The enormity of this moral betrayal, this betrayal of his country’s honor, has yet to sink in. But for my part, it now makes much more sense. He is not the man I thought he was.
And when he had the chance to engage in a real and substantive debate against the most talented politician of the next generation in a fall campaign where vital issues are at stake, what did McCain do? He began his general campaign with a series of grotesque, trivial and absurd MTV-style attacks on Obama’s virtues and implied disgusting things about his opponent’s patriotism.
And then, because he could see he was going to lose, ten days ago, he threw caution to the wind and with no vetting whatsoever, picked a woman who, by her decision to endure her own eight-month pregnancy of a Down Syndrome child in public, that he was going to reignite the culture war as a last stand against Obama. That’s all that is happening right now: a massive bump in the enthusiasm of the Christianist base. This is pure Rove.
Yes, McCain made a decision that revealed many appalling things about him. In the end, his final concern is not national security. No one who cares about national security would pick as vice-president someone who knows nothing about it as his replacement. No one who cares about this country’s safety would gamble the security of the world on a total unknown because she polled well with the Christianist base. No person who truly believed that the surge was integral to this country’s national security would pick as his veep candidate a woman who, so far as we can tell anything, opposed it at the time.
McCain has demonstrated in the last two months that he does not have the character to be president of the United States. And that is why it is more important than ever to ensure that Barack Obama is the next president. The alternative is now unthinkable. And McCain – no one else – has proved it.
JOHN MCCAIN — 61 FLIP-FLOPS AND COUNTING
By Steve Benen, The Carpetbagger Report
McCain argues that flip-flops are an example of a political
leader who can’t be trusted — so he might as well drop out
of the race.