What I Hope Will Be The Last Post I Will Have To Write Defending The McCain Service Record
By Pejman Yousefzadeh Posted in 2008 | Smearing And Sliming John McCain — Comments (14) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
Regarding this post once again, note that this piece on which it relies has fatal flaws. One such flaw is discussed at length here. And as this comment points out, the reason that McCain was not up for promotion to Admiral in 1981 was that only two years earlier, he had been promoted to Captain and he was not up for another promotion until 1984 or 1985.
The HuffPo piece notes comments by Gary Hart and Bill Cohen stating that they somehow (it is not revealed how) knew that McCain's career in the Navy was going to end without him achieving flag rank. First of all, the source of their knowledge is not revealed. Secondly, neither Hart nor Cohen were privy to the promotion and selection process in the Navy. While the HuffPo piece quotes from a passage in McCain's book where McCain said that he felt the achievement of flag rank was beyond his reach, the same passage also says that there were people who believed that McCain could achieve the rank of Admiral and who urged him not to retire from the Navy as a consequence.
We, of course, will never know what might have happened. It is entirely possible that McCain would never have achieved the rank of Admiral. But it is entirely possible as well that he could have if he had chosen to stay in the Navy. Instead, two years after becoming a Captain, McCain retired to run for office.
Nothing in either the HuffPo piece or the National Journal piece gives any reasonable person any cause whatsoever to believe that McCain somehow could not have been trusted with the responsibilities of an Admiral. No reasonable reading whatsoever could lead to that conclusion. I am sure that there are people who would like to believe otherwise, but until they inform me that they have achieved the power to travel to an alternate universe where John McCain stayed in the Navy until 1984 or 1985 when the promotional decision for flag rank would have been made, I am not all that likely to take them seriously.
Incidentally--and while we are on the subject--I have yet to hear any reasonable explanation for why Wesley Clark could lavishly praise John Kerry's service and tie that praise to Clark's belief that Kerry would have made an excellent President, but say of McCain that his experience didn't prepare him to be President because McCain never commanded a wartime squadron and because Clark doesn't "think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president." About the only good to come out of all of this, of course, is that Wesley Clark showed anew why he lost in 2004 and why he can't be trusted to do a good job as Barack Obama's running mate this year.