Countdown: Why Doesn't McCain Respect The Troops?

[media id=5530] [media id=5531] (h/t Heather) Brandon Friedman of VoteVets appeared on Countdown on Wednesday to give his reaction to McCain's comm

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Brandon Friedman of VoteVets appeared on Countdown on Wednesday to give his reaction to McCain's comments that it wasn't "too important" to consider bringing home the troops from Iraq. Normally, the military is a pretty safe demographic for the Republican party at election time, but if Friedman is at all representative, I think it's safe to say all bets are off this year. The tone-deaf and callous way in which McCain refers to the sacrifices made by the troops can't win him any votes from those stop-lossed from coming home to their families.

We’ve come to not expect a lot from George W. Bush. But when you have a veteran like John McCain, who has gone through so much in Vietnam, you really expect a lot more out of him because the way you see it, as a soldier, or Marine or Airman or whatever, is that John McCain should know better. You know, he’s been in our shoes. He’s had it worst than most of us. You know? But he should know better. And for those of us who’ve been there, who’ve lived through this, we just would expect a lot more and it really saddens us you know, to see this happen. Because there are thousands and thousands of veterans who just disagree with him on this.
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We’ve been in war too. And we know what it’s like. And he doesn’t get a free pass, especially from us, because we hold him to a higher standard and all I can say is, is we respect John McCain’s service, all we ask in return is that he respect ours. And for many of the people I talk to, who are on active-duty or who have just come off active-duty, who have served over there, we don’t feel we’re getting that a lot of the time.

Transcripts below the fold:

OLBERMANN: How do veterans, how do veterans’ families feel when they hear that the man who wants to be the next Commander in Chief does not think it’s too important when they come home?


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FRIEDMAN: Keith, this is a morale crusher. Um, you know, if you can imagine, say a sergeant, whose on his third tour, and he’s in the fourteenth month of that tour, and he hears the potential president saying something like this. It kills morale. Um, you know, the troops are over there--and you know, I’ve been there, I’ve had to deal with this—but the troops over there hang on every word they hear from a leader, you know especially the Commander in Chief, but also someone who could be the Commander in Chief. And when they hear something like this, you know, it really…it really kills them on the inside, because you know, their families want them home, they want to come home, or you know, focus on the real Global War on Terror elsewhere. But this is…this is really killer when you hear something like this.

OLBERMANN: What I hear, when I hear from servicemen or I talk to vets, more than anything else is their astonishment when generals or veterans like McCain or “the brass” to use the general term there, don’t get it. That of all people, these are the ones they naively thought would understand risk and sacrifice. Does it, does it matter more that they are abandoned by a John McCain, who did serve as opposed to a George Bush, who did not?

FRIEDMAN: Absolutely, Keith. We’ve come to not expect a lot from George W. Bush. But when you have a veteran like John McCain, who has gone through so much in Vietnam, you really expect a lot more out of him because the way you see it, as a soldier, or Marine or Airman or whatever, is that John McCain should know better. You know, he’s been in our shoes. He’s had it worst than most of us. You know? But he should know better. And for those of us who’ve been there, who’ve lived through this, we just would expect a lot more and it really saddens us you know, to see this happen. Because there are thousands and thousands of veterans who just disagree with him on this.

OLBERMANN: And the Lieberman reaction—or the reaction to his reaction, where basically he referenced McCain’s status as veteran, as POW, as war hero as carte blanche for the excuse for this, as if McCain is immune to military criticism simply because he was a POW, that the merits can’t even be discussed. Then that reminds me of every bit of Army red tape I’ve ever heard of or every bit of censorship that a military sometimes invokes in a times of war, relative to its own personnel.
FRIEDMAN: Absolutely. You know, we all respect John McCain’s service, but he’s not the only person who’s suffered in war. We have troops coming back from this war who are quadriplegics, who’ve been maimed, who’ve had to go through so much. And you know, it doesn’t give him a carte blanche reason to say something like that. He doesn’t get a free pass. You know, we’ve been over there too. We’ve been in war too. And we know what it’s like. And he doesn’t get a free pass, especially from us, because we hold him to a higher standard and all I can say is, is we respect John McCain’s service, all we ask in return is that he respect ours. And for many of the people I talk to, who are on active-duty or who have just come off active-duty, who have served over there, we don’t feel we’re getting that a lot of the time.

About Nicole Belle

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Mom, Wife, Media Critic/Political Analyst, Blogger, Austen Fanatic, Unapologetic Liberal NicoleBelle@crooksandliars.com

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