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George McGovern’s touch of "class"
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, April 22, 2008

This really is pretty pathetic:
Let me tell you what I would say to John McCain: neither of us is an expert on national defense. It's true that you went to one of the service academies but you were in the bottom of the class. It's true that you were a pilot in Vietnam, that you were shot down and spent most of the war in prison and we all sympathize with that and honor you for your courage. But you and I both had these battle experiences, you as a Navy fighter plane, I as an army bomber. I am not going to criticize your war record and your knowledge of national security but I don't want you criticizing mine either.

If I'd be allowed just one little dig at Senator McCain, since he gave me. I would say, 'John, you were shot down early in the war and spent most of the time in prison. I flew 35 combat missions with a 10-man crew and brought them home safely every time.'
Yikes. Seems the sort of remark a total jerk would make, doesn't it? So this is how one celebrates a "McGovern Day" dinner? Stay classy, George.
 
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A small nit, but I recall McCain flew A-4s, not fighters.
 
Written By: Crusader
URL: http://www.coalitionoftheswilling.net
I’m wondering if the most singular reaction to McGovern’s comments won’t be, "Who is George McGovern?"
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
From Wiki:
He volunteered for the United States Army Air Forces during World War II and served as a B-24 Liberator bomber pilot in the Fifteenth Air Force, flying 35 missions over enemy territory from bases in North Africa and later Italy, often against heavy anti-aircraft artillery. McGovern was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for saving his crew by crash landing his damaged bomber on a small Mediterranean island.
Likely he flew in formation, and since the primary threat was AAA, the key to survival was luck. Of course, his plane did get shot up and he had to crash land. But WW2 era AAA isn’t exactly SAMs.

What stikes about McCain’s Vietnam experience is his behaviour as POW; not taking the commies up on the "go home now" plan, but staying with fellow POWs despite his wounds, despite torture.

His expertise in defense is more related to his subsequent career in the military as squadren leader, and his more recent experience with forign policy, including the surge.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Well Don far be it from me to defend the "Smellie Hippie Candidate of 1972" or defend the US Air Force...but let’s not diminish McGovern’s war-time service. Bomber crews suffered a loss rate equal to that of INFANTRYMEN in the Second World War. So I’m going to give Senator McGovern some love on his service...

It took 50 SAM’s to bring down an airplane in the 1960’s and 1970’s so it’s not like Mr. SAM was the killer, in fact most losses over Vietnam were to Flak, the SAM’s drove the air craft down into the range of flak.

Finally Flak might be a numbers game, but dealing with the damage it inflicted was a PILOT’S GAME...McGovern may not have had much to do with whether the plane got hit, but he and his crew had a lot to do with what happened when they did get hit.

I dare say that McGovern and Mr. Cranky Pants could have had equal National Security Experience, they were BOTH Senators, the only difference was McCain didn’t think the Hippies were right and McGovern did, so what they learned and what they thought was different.

Bottom-line: Ole’ George for all his myriad faults was a brave and honourable man, wrong-headed as could be, but nonetheless a brave and honourable man.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Likely he flew in formation, and since the primary threat was AAA, the key to survival was luck. Of course, his plane did get shot up and he had to crash land. But WW2 era AAA isn’t exactly SAMs.
so true. i wanna see mcgovern dodge a SAM in a b-24
 
Written By: josh b
URL: http://
McGovern convinced me he was a dimwit when he criticized the Proposition 13 Tax Revolt as "hedonistic." You know, because if you allow the tax serfs to keep a few pennies more of their earnings the next thing you know they’ll be blowing it all on booze and hookers and there’ll be orgies in the street.
 
Written By: Bilwick
URL: http://
You know, because if you allow the tax serfs to keep a few pennies more of their earnings the next thing you know they’ll be blowing it all on booze and hookers and there’ll be orgies in the street.
And this was felt to be a "bug" not a feature?
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Joe,

I’m not trying to take away from his WW2 service. It actually seems to me that their respective war service was similar except for McCain’s POW experience, which is really where he showed a difference (and considerable courage).

In any case, it was McCain’s post war experience as a squadren leader that’s really more applicable. He has actual military executive experience beyoned the pilot/swift boat level.

So with McCain you have:
1) The courage and class he demonstrated as a POW.
2) His post war squadren leader experience.
3) His Senate experience with things like The Surge.

On the latter, note that McCain isn’t just a random Senator, but one who has specifically engaged certain forign policy / defense issues.

All that said, McCain is still lacking in executive experience. He’s got an advantage over Obama/Clinton, because some is more than none.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
All that said, McCain is still lacking in executive experience.
Not in comparison to Obama and Clinton he isn’t - he was a commander at various levels in the Navy ending up, as I recall as a squadron commander.

That’s executive experience, although not of a political kind.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.QandO.net
Not in comparison to Obama and Clinton he isn’t - he was a commander at various levels in the Navy ending up, as I recall as a squadron commander.

That’s executive experience, although not of a political kind
Only in comparison to Obama and Clinton...let’s be honest a battalion command is NOT the sort of executive experience that is going to do the POTUS any good. Eisenhower had EXECUTIVE experience, or Reagan or Bush 43 as Governor’s but commanding a naval aviation squadron IS executive experience, so’s managing a McDonald’s but let’s don’t get too carried away with it.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://

I dare say that McGovern and Mr. Cranky Pants could have had equal National Security Experience, they were BOTH Senators, the only difference was McCain didn’t think the Hippies were right and McGovern did, so what they learned and what they thought was different.
Actually, McGovern was always a bit uncomfortable with the "hippies," and opposed things like legalization of drugs and a lot of the agenda of the hippy movement. He was personally rather conservative, and after coming home from the war he built the Democratic party in South Dakota (they really didn’t have one before McGovern) by going farm to farm, helping with chores, talking to people and creating an organization.

I think his jibe at McCain — probably meant more in jest than a real dig — is predicated on the fact that he always felt that people did not understand that his foreign policy was not about ’peace at any price’ — McGovern’s always been a pretty tough guy, as his military record indicates. He just didn’t think Vietnam was in the US interest, and he distrusted the direction of American foreign policy.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
.let’s be honest a battalion command is NOT the sort of executive experience that is going to do the POTUS any good.
Running a squadron is hardly commensurate with running a McDonalds, so don’t get to carried away with that comparision either.

And as noted, it certainly is much more executive experience than either Obama and Clinton have.

So it is worth something when there’s a measuring contest. +1 (or 2 or 3 depending how much weight you give it) is always better than 0 unless you’re subscriber to some sort of "new" math.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.QandO.net
is predicated on the fact that he always felt that people did not understand that his foreign policy was not about ’peace at any price’ —
That, most likely was caused by McGovern working only from his vision of what he wanted, whereas the voters were working from he reality of the thing.
This really is pretty pathetic:
No, That’s just Ugly George.



 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Geez McGovern is being quite an ass. Sure George you didn’t get shot down. You also were’t a few hundred feet off the ground, didn’t have to worry about supersonic enemy fighters nor radar guided SAMS. Instead you were miles off the ground, had to only play a numbers game. And he was only playing it at the end of the war (his flight training was in sept of 44)! Also McGovern had something McCain didn’t, a CO-PILOT! Lets stop acting as if anywhere McGovern’s plane went McGovern was solely responsible. His plane had 150 holes, yippee. Navy planes a third of the size would come back with as many if not more during WW2 AND have to land on a carrier.
Also anyone care to guess how many innocent civilians McGovern killed due to the inaccuracy of high altitude bombing? McCain was shot down during a low altitude raid so as to minimize civilian deaths.
Also McCain usually won’t refer to his military experience save for his commanding an attack squadron. Its his POW experience he refers to, not how many missions he flew (fyi is only 12 less then McGovern and McGovern didn’t have to do night carrier landings).
 
Written By: Myk Z
URL: http://
Boris:
Actually, McGovern was always a bit uncomfortable with the "hippies," and opposed things like legalization of drugs and a lot of the agenda of the hippy movement. He was personally rather conservative, and after coming home from the war he built the Democratic party in South Dakota (they really didn’t have one before McGovern) by going farm to farm, helping with chores, talking to people and creating an organization.
McGovern’s political role model was Henry Wallace, FDR’s pro-Soviet vice president who he dumped in favor of Truman in the ’44 race. Thank God.

Wallace, who was fully encased in Soviet influence and wanted nothing more than to have "peace" with them (Soviet "peace" meant letting the Soviets have whatever they wanted) ran for president on the Progressive Party ticket in ’48, not just advocating "peace" with the Soviets but pretty much adopting socialism for the United States.

So, mellow gentleman that George McGovern is, or can be, f**k that s**t about "going farm to farm." Anybody can go "farm to farm," it’s what they are trying to sell that marks them for who they are.

P.S.: And most of the old-line Lefties detested the "hippy" New Left, if that concept’s parts are even consonant with one another. McGovern inherited the nomination in ’72 not because he had anything special going for him other than the late Bobby Kennedy having praised him. No one had heard about him or knew who he was other than that compliment from Kennedy. He was otherwise a non-entity in national politics, ran for president from as far Left as could be tolerated in those days, got summarily clocked by Nixon who by that time was fairly much a liberal himself, and then slid back into non-entity status, where he fairly much remains today.

The only reason he’s "hot" right now is because people are comparing Obama to him, and McGovern probably thinks it’s a compliment.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
The only reason he’s "hot" right now is because people are comparing Obama to him, and McGovern probably thinks it’s a compliment.
Trust me - that is no compliment!

 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
Only in comparison to Obama and Clinton...let’s be honest a battalion command is NOT the sort of executive experience that is going to do the POTUS any good.
I don’t agree. It isn’t as good as some other exec experience, but it’s still a lot better than nothing.

 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
"he always felt that people did not understand that his foreign policy"

Wow! More evidence that the default Democratic position of the voters is "they’re just too stupid to understand" how wonderful any (idiotic) Democratic policy is. Looks to me like a straight line between McGovern and Obama.
 
Written By: JorgXMcKie
URL: http://
"Yikes. Seems the sort of remark a total jerk would make, doesn’t it?"

Well, he was responding to McCain’s attack on him—
"And in McCain’s first opening remarks, he said, well we all know that George McGovern knows little about national defense. Let me tell you what I would say to John McCain: neither of us is an expert on national defense...."


. "I flew 35 combat missions with a 10-man crew and brought them home safely every time.’"

Which has just as much to do with luck as it does his knowledge or competence. There were a lot of pilots with more experience, training, and probably skill who didn’t get home. John McCain probably had more training and experience but just didn’t have as much luck.

In any case, John McCain certainly has more education, training, and experience in the area of national defense than McGovern.

What really gets me is that McGovern is responding to a remark made "some years ago". He has evidently been holding a grudge and took this opportunity to hit back. Given that he has had "some years" to come up with this response, he showed, in addition to pettiness, either ignorance and/or dishonesty.


"he always felt that people did not understand that his foreign policy"

Like Erb, he blames the audience for his inability to communicate.


 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
That, most likely was caused by McGovern working only from his vision of what he wanted, whereas the voters were working from he reality of the thing.
History has proven McGovern right. Vietnam was a waste, and it weakened the US, allowing the Soviets to catch up in military capacity, dividing us at home, destroying our claims to moral authority, and killing a million Vietnamese, over 50,000 Americans, for no real purpose. An utter and complete waste. Nixon and Kissinger knew that, but believed we had to leave in a way that would save face — so called ’peace with honor.’ But they knew Vietnam was a fiasco, a pointless waste of life and national prestige. McGovern simply was tough enough to realize you don’t keep allowing people to kill and be killed just to ’save face.’
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Boris:
History has proven McGovern right. Vietnam was a waste, and it weakened the US, allowing the Soviets to catch up in military capacity,
Allowed the who to catch up in military capacity, Boris?
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Erb knows nothing about Vietnam.

1. We lost 58,249 Americans in South East Asia. About 1.1 million Vietnamese died on both sides.

2. The North Vietnamese invaded the South twice - with 84,000 VC and 20,000 NVA regulars during Tet and with 200,000 NVA regulars in the Spring of 1972 while we were negotiating a peace, yes with honor. Neither the South nor the U.S military invaded the North. By 1972, we had fewer than 40,000 troops in South Vietnam.

3. The NV delegation walked out on 18 December 1972. From 18 December to 28 December, the USAF flew 100 to 150 B52 strike sorties per night over Hanoi and Haiphong. Each B52 carried 106 Mk82 low drag general purpose 500 pound bombs. Do the math. The NVA ran out of anti-aircraft munitions with no hope of resupply. On 29 December, Le Duk Tho, the NV envoy, returned to Paris and agreed to all our demands in return for a halt in B52 strikes. That is the definition of a MILITARY VICTORY.

4. The U.S. military never lost a battle. No unit ever surrendered. If you know of one, please enlighten us. If not, STFU!

5. Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines did not fall. The War bought them time to build up and resist the NVA. Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia would not have fallen either had it not been for the Case Church amendment.

6. America lost prestige not for fighting in Vietnam, but rather for refusing to meet the commitments me made to our allies - the South Vietnamese.

7. Only a sniveling pimp would imply that we were "saving face" in South East Asia. The 850,000 South Vietnamese reeducated to death, the 150,000 boat people drowned, and the 2,000,000 Cambodians murdered by Pol Pot might consider that our effort was more than that. Had the democrats not ordered our withdrawal, those 3 million people would have survived.

8. As a former officer in two Weapons Systems Evaluation Programs, I can tell you that compared to US military hardware, the Soviets build an enormous amount of junk. Go to an air show and look at their engines - plumbing shop quality. Look at a GE or P&W engine - a Rolex.

George McGovern has always been a waste of rations and so is his pal, Professor Scott Erb.
 
Written By: Arch
URL: http://
As for McCain’s experience vs McGovern’s - George is another victim of selective amnesia.

McGovern voted for the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, then he blamed his colleagues for not defunding the war while we were negotiating in Paris. He opposed the war because his constituents complained about the draft. It was all about politics just like the anti-War democrats are today.

McGovern’s B24 faced visual AAA - 88 MM and quad 20 MM - not radar guided fire. The air defenses in North Africa and Italy were not even close to those over Hanoi and Haiphong.

By 1968, Route Pack 6 - the area around Hanoi and Haiphong - was the most heavily defended airspace on Earth. The Soviets had supplied the NVA with 100 MM and 85 MM guns with Fire Can radar guidance. At medium to low altitude McCain faced 57 MM, 37 MM, 23 MM and 12.7 MM. The 57 MM had a low cyclic rate of fire and a huge muzzle flash. In the humid air, you can see the actual rounds. (They look Bud cans.) 37 MM and 23 MM are deadly below 10,000’. They have high rates of fire and the gunners in Vietnam were highly proficient. The 12.7 MM heavy machine guns were everywhere. You can’t see the rounds unless they are very close [Read: 10 meters.] Then there were the surface to air missiles.

The Russians gave the NVA the SA-2 system - 33’ long mach 2.8 Guideline missiles, guided by a Fansong radar. McCain’s electronic warfare pods were less effective than the ones I used over there, but neither was effective. The 400 pound warhead on an SA-2 has contact, proximity, barometric and timed fusing capabilities. If you are hit by an SA-2 and live, you will never forget it.

I do not mean to diminish McGovern’s contribution, but his experiences do not measure up the McCain’s, nor does his executive experience. where McCain far exceeds McGovern and any of the democrat candidates is Character.

Sorry to be so caustic and long winded.

Arch
 
Written By: Arch
URL: http://
Sorry to be so caustic and long winded.
Not at all. Well said.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Where McCain far exceeds McGovern and any of the democrat candidates is Character.
Given the names McCain has called his wife publicly, his temper tantrums, and his anger issues, I doubt that. Disagree or agree with McGovern, he is a profoundly principled man who fights for what he believes in. It was his ability to connect with average farmers that allowed him to get elected and build a Democratic party in South Dakota, getting re-elected in a very Republican state until 1980 when Reagan’s coat tails helped bring Jim Abdnor to power. McGovern was the kind of politician who put principles ahead of politics, and even in the 1980 election refused to back down from positions that were becoming unpopular in South Dakota.

I met McGovern about five times between 1978 and 1980. During that time I was the state Secretary of the College Republicans, I went to the GOP convention in Detroit that nominated Reagan (though I was a Bush supporter that year). I had worked on Abdnor’s campaign, my roommate’s dad was friends with Abdnor, and in Yankton I actually had a small accident with Abdnor’s car (he was great about it), and my roommate and I actually slept in the same hotel room as Abdnor (we joked about seeing the Congressman, who would become Senator, in his underwear). On election day 1980 I voted for Reagan. But I was having real doubts about a lot of the GOP positions. In what symbolically started my move away from the Republicans I stood in the voting machine a couple of minutes, pondering my choice for Senator. I voted for McGovern. At the time I probably agreed with Abdnor on more issues, but I thought McGovern was the kind of principled, decent man we need in politics. And he was right about Vietnam. I wouldn’t be too harsh for his vote for the Gulf of Tonkin resolution. Most in Congress thought they were just giving LBJ the right to respond to aggression against American actions, they didn’t realize they were giving him a blank check. McGovern realized early just how wrong headed that war was, and in a Republican state, stood out against it, knowing his re-election would be tough every time.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Erb is wrong again. This is what Congress approved:

"Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

"That the Congress approves and supports the determination of the President, as Commander in Chief, to take all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against the forces of the United States and to prevent further aggression.

"Section 2. The United States regards as vital to its national interest and to world peace the maintenance of international peace and security in southeast Asia. Consonant with the Constitution of the United States and the Charter of the United Nations and in accordance with its obligations under the Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty, the United States is, therefore, prepared, as the President determines, to take all necessary steps, including the use of armed force, to assist any member or protocol state of the Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty requesting assistance in defense of its freedom.

"Section 3. This resolution shall expire when the President shall determine that the peace and security of the area is reasonably assured by international conditions created by action of the United Nations or otherwise, except that it may be terminated earlier by concurrent resolution of the Congress."

John McCain was a sailor, the son of a sailor and the grandson of a sailor. My step father was a sailor and from 23 June 1962 to 2 October 1967, I was a sailor. Sailors talk like sailors. Get over it.

With apologies to Winston Churchill, McGovern was a modest little man who has a great deal to be modest about.

And McGovern was 100% wrong about Vietnam.
 
Written By: Arch
URL: http://

 
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