Guilt by Association only applies if you're John McCain, and your "associate" is the Most Highly Decorated Living Veteran
By Jeff Emanuel Posted in 2008 | Bud Day | John Kerry | John McCain | SBVT | the pot calling the stainless steel black — Comments (27) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
According to Huffington Post writer Sam Stein:
Sen. John McCain's campaign on Monday launched the McCain "Truth Squad" - a group of political and Vietnam contemporaries who would counter attacks on the Senator's military record.
In hopes of nipping any criticism in the bud, the campaign brought on board a man quite familiar with how these types of attacks gain legs: Bud Day, a fellow POW who was part of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth that worked so hard to defame Sen. John Kerry's own Vietnam record.
Day has been targeted by the Left as a "right-wing extremist" ever since he spoke against John Kerry in the 2004 campaign (remember 2004? That was the year that service in Vietnam was supposed to make you qualified to be President -- as opposed to 2008, when the opposite is now supposed to be true).
The pundits and bloggers who attack Day for speaking out about Vietnam service, the effect of virulent protests like those engaged in by John Kerry after his return from combat, always seem to leave out any biographical information about the retired Colonel, except, occasionally, for the fact that he served in Vietnam, and that he was a POW for a period of time.
Given the dearth of information provided by media members bent on marginalizing the man and his opinions, you may be asking a very important question right about now: Just who is this Bud Day character, and why in the world does he matter?
I'll tell you why.
You might remember Col. Day's name if you were alive during Vietnam, or if you pay any attention whatsoever to military history.
However, if you don’t know who he is, here’s a down-and-dirty on a real American hero. According to the U.S. Air Force’s Air University website, Colonel George E. "Bud" Day earned “nearly 70 decorations and awards, of which more than 50 [were] for combat” (and one was the Medal of Honor).
He logged 5,000 career flying hours, including combat duty in WWII, in Korea, and in Vietnam.
After being shot down in 1967, Day suffered as a POW for 67 months (that's five and one-half years for the mathematically challenged), with a two week “respite” after escaping from the North Vietnamese, during which, despite serious injury, he evaded the enemy all the way back into South Vietnam, “earning the distinction of being the only prisoner to escape from North Vietnam” - only to be recaptured and imprisoned until March 1973.
That is who this "Bud Day" character the Left loves to pile on as a "right-wing extremist" really is. There is a very good reason why the building to my left in this picture carries the name it does -- Col. Day is a bona-fide American hero, and the very personification of the phrase "Return with Honor."
The opposite phrase could be applied to former Swift Boater John Kerry, who responded thus to the "Truth Squad" formation:
"Colonel Day's comments today only further highlight the McCain campaign's disregard for a new kind of politics," said Kerry. "John McCain condemned these kinds of attacks in 2004 when he called the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth 'dishonest and dishonorable.' Senator McCain should condemn these remarks and cut ties with the Colonel and anyone else connected to SBVT. Day's comments only serve to disparage all those who served on swift boats in Vietnam."
Again, if there is a veteran of Vietnam who is above reproach and deserving of respect from both sides of the aisle, it is Col. Day -- not John Kerry.
As my RedState colleague Dan McLaughlin points out, "So, Obama's associations with racists, Marxists and crooks is just fine....but how dare McCain associate himself with America's most decorated living war veteran?"
By the way, the commentariat at HuffPo is having quite a time with this. One reader, posting under the handle "bigdaddyvike," had this to say about the Medal of Honor recipient:
Col. Bud Day is not just a Swiftboater- he is one of the architects and top chickenhawks behind the PNAC/neocon boys. Apparently the neocons have now embraced McCain. Maverick that he is
Chickenhawk? As Mandy Patinkin's Inigo in the Princess Bride so famously said: "I don't think that word means what you think it means."
Especially not in regard to Bud Day.