RealClearPolitics Cross Tabs Blog

« Can Obama Put Mississippi in Play? | Cross Tabs Blog Home Page | "Jewish Lobby" Story Overinflated »

Bloggers Go After John McCain's Torture Injuries

By Michael van der Galien

The political debate is incredibly passionate, aggressive, and personal in the United States. We all know that, so do I. Even though I know that political operatives do not know shame, I was shocked to read this post at AMERICAblog. It is one of the most insulting blogposts I have read in my three year history of blogging.

Senator John McCain is a veteran of the Vietnam War. In that war, he was captured by the North Vietnamese, who tortured him for years. Ever since, McCain cannot raise one of his arms above his shoulder and he obviously has mental issues to deal with. Being tortured does not merely affect one's body, it affects one's mind.

But McCain has been able to do deal - or so it seems - with the mental side of things, and has become one of the most respected US Senators in US history. Not only that, he has now even become the nominee for one of the big parties.

Although McCain has a history as a veteran, he understands that one should separate emotions from politics, when it comes to governance at least. He opposed a GI Bill introduced by Democrats for a variety of reasons, none of them being that he does not care about veterans. How can he not care about them when he is one of them.

But all of this does not matter to John Aravosis of AMERICAblog. It's irrelevant. After all, the only veterans that deserve respect and appreciation are... Democrats. Republicans who suffered for their country are not merely irrelevant, they are looked down upon. Nor does Aravosis understand that governance, laws, do not necessarily have to be related to one's own life, let alone to one's emotions.

So here is what Aravosis wrote:

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?

And they wonder why Republicans often say that Democrats hate the troops.

Macsmind comments:

None of your business ass wipe (literally). First, it's not "parsing", its the law. Disability income is tax exempt per federal law.

USC, Title 38, 5301(a)(1), Payments of benefits due or to become due under any law administered by the Secretary shall not be assignable except to the extent specifically authorized by law, and such payments made to, or on account of, a beneficiary shall be exempt from taxation, shall be exempt from the claim of creditors, and shall not be liable to attachment, levy, or seizure by or under any legal or equitable process whatever, either before or after receipt by the beneficiary."

Secondly, you just don't "get disability", it's awarded after careful review and a medical board convenes to establish eligibility. After the review it's awarded or not awarded based on the findings.

I'm disabled from service, and I know exactly what it took to get it. A ton of paperwork. Yet the paperwork was a cakewalk compared breaking my back in the line of duty protecting American so that idiots like Arovosis - who's only service has been to out gay republicans - can announce their ignorance to the world.

Perhaps Aravosis should be tortured for a couple of years. Lets see how he talks then.

Mark Hemingway:

 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.

Michael blogs at PoliGazette