Monday, August 25, 2008

Statue Of Limitations On POW Status

A quick musing on what's been on my mind lately. I want to know one thing: How long can a Presidential candidate use his POW status on every issue related to the American people? I'm talking about Sen. John McCain of course. I wholeheartedly respect his sacrifice for our country but I'm getting tired of all things POW as an answer for any counter-attack on an issue.

The latest was an interview he had with CBS Katie Couric about the "how many houses he owns" where he needed to check with his staff gaffe. Obviously, he heard Joe Biden's Saturday afternoon comment about Americans at their respective kitchen table but McCain would be at a loss for what kitchen table out of the seven he needs to sit at.

McCain's answer: POW! To be exact, he talked about a time for years he didn't have a kitchen table to sit at. Imagine me feeling like throwing something on my TV screen but the economy is too bad to be worrying about buying another TV. I felt like "Oh for the love of God and all things decent, can we hear something else; it's been 40 years now."

A week ago at the Saddleback Church, he must have brought the POW situation on three different questions - picture me rolling my eyes. At what point does a defining moment in one's life becomes a crutch instead of a catalyst of change? He reminded me of another Republican Presidential candidate (Rudy Giuliani) who used 9-11 as an anwswer to everything.

Reporter: Mayor Giuliani, how're you going to handle our crumbling economy?

RG: Well, with the terrorists attacking our commercial center on 9-11, we have to first secure our defense fund . . .

Reporter: But what about education?

RG: On 9-11, America became a different world. We need to educate folks on the evil doers of the world.

Reporter: But Mayor, that wasn't what I meant . . .

RG: 9-11 defined everything for the American people. We need a leader who could face a crisis (BLAH BLAH BLAH).

See what I mean? The above scenario is a synopsis of Giuliani's failed Presidential attempt. Joe Biden said it best: "How can Giuliani run for President. Giuliani only knows a noun, a verb and 9-11." And Biden knows what he's talking about after facing a tragedy of his own of losing a young wife, his infant daughter and two sons in critical conditions at the hospital from a car crash only for his near-death experience years later with a brain aneurism. You don't hear him broadcasting that tragedy every time. You've got to read some articles or his book to find out he went through such ordeal. He's known more as a "happy warrior."

I'm seeing the same technique of Giuliani from John McCain. When it was insinuated that he might have peeped the Saddleback questions at his motorcade (instead of him being in the green room at the right time). His campaign's answered: How dare you suggest such thing from somebody who has sacrificed his life . . . yada yada yada.

Obama saying to John McCain not to question his patriotism for his country. John McCain's Answer: Not your patriotism but your judgment and in my days in Vietnam . . . (POW). Now I ask the senator: OK. Senator McCain, how can we fix our broken healthcare? McCain: In my days as a POW for five years, I had no healthcare. I had to walk around that Prison ground to get some exercise with my broken are . . .

AAW: But Sen. I would like to know why the funding for education has been drastically cut for support an already baloon sized defense fund?

McCain: My POW status shows we need to defeat the evildoers of the world. I would follow Osama Bin Laden to the gates of hell if I have to . . .

See where this is going? Of course some of these scenarios are satirical but one can see the truth no less. Tragedies strike many Americans and they make them stronger and a POW is one that is unfathomable. But when does a public servant choose to see the plight of the people he is supposed to serve with a different lens than those of his POW days especially when it was almost four decades ago. Can we get a statue of limitations on POW excuses PLEASE?

Tags: POW, Saddleback, Joe Biden, Rudy Giuliani