Just days after a Barack Obama surrogate referred to John McCain -- a war hero -- as a warmonger -- another surrogate is making outrageous attacks against him.
Sen. Jay Rockefeller, an Obama surrogate, recently said that as a fighter pilot, McCain,
dropped laser-guided missiles from 35,000 feet. He was long gone when they hit. What happened when they [the missiles] get to the ground? He doesn't know. You have to care about the lives of people. McCain never gets into those issues."What makes these comments absolutely despicable is that these are similar to forced-admissions McCain made under duress as a P.O.W. in the "Hanoi Hilton." In both cases, the idea that it is an act of cowardice to be a fighter pilot was advanced. The only accusation Rockefeller left out was in not calling him a "black criminal" or an "Air Pirate." But the idea that McCain's service was somehow dishonorable is still the same.
This is the second incident in less than a week where we have seen an Obama surrogate -- not just questioning Sen. McCain's ideas -- but directly attacking his character, integrity, and war experience. Is this a pattern we should get used to?
The latest attack on McCain is also interesting, in that it echoes a sentiment expressed by Bill Maher -- when he said the 9-11 highjackers were not cowards:
Lobbing cruise missiles from two thousand miles away. That's cowardly. Staying in the airplane when it hits the building. Say what you want about it. Not cowardly. You're right."(Clearly, the fact that McCain was shot down means considerable risk was involved. It's not as if fighter pilots were not putting thier lives in danger.)
Is there an effort to portray fighter pilots as somehow dishonorable? This would not be the first time Vietnam Veterans have been criticized and attacked for their service.
These attacks are disgusting and should be considered out-of-bounds in terms of appropriate political rhetoric.
But what makes them truly disturbing is that a pattern is emerging. If Barack Obama truly wants to be a new "brand" of politician, he should immediately condemn these remarks.
Who knows, maybe Bill Clinton was right when he said that Hillary and McCain could have a respectful debate on the issues ...