Are You Experienced?

Last week on Face The Nation, Wesley Clark said crashing a jet doesn't qualify John McCain to be the next president, and hawkish conservatives everywhere clawed at their breasts and howled "Traitor!"

Mark Hemingway at NRO's The Corner, who is one of the more relaxed members of the McCain cabal, didn't go so far as to defend the record of National Review's barely-breathing second-choice nominee, but he did passively entertain a fantasy of pushing Clark off the national stage and (presumably) on to a tuba player in the orchestra pit.

Clark is a little rough around the edges, but I agree with David Reese at the Huffington Post that standing idly by while McCain lists "crashed an expensive plane" on his resume would have a devastating trickle-down effect on potential appointees:

Riding on a rollercoaster and flying out of your seat but then landing on a waterslide and sliding down to into the water and almost drowning but then being rescued by an Elvis impersonator: QUALIFIES YOU TO BE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR....

Getting really, really drunk at Thanksgiving and crying, "Why was I never good enough for you, Dad?" and then literally eating a banjo, and then saying, "Am I man enough NOW, Dad? Now that I've eaten my banjo-- the one thing I loved, the one thing you could never understand?": QUALIFIES YOU TO BE CHAIRMAN OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE.

Read the rest of Reese's qualifications here. Peruse reason's McCain archive here.

Hat tip to my associates at The F*ck Squad and Bill Watterson.

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  • ||

    huh?

  • Kolohe||

    Dammit, Riggs. You're now going to make me waste my morning looking for other alt text captions in previous posts.

  • Guy Montag||

    However, voting "present" in Springfield, ILL around 160 times is exactly the resume item we should be looking for.

  • Naga Sadow||

    I've slept with some of the cocktail servers at the casino I work at . . . so I have enough experience to be CEO of MGM?

  • Mike Riggs||

    I've hidden little alt text treats everywhere.

  • Naga Sadow||

    I have something like seven speeding tickets . . . so I have enough experience to run the Department of Transportation.

    Hey! This is fun!

  • ||

    bill watterson? the greatest cartoonist since walt kelly?

  • ||

    hawkish conservatives everywhere clawed at their breasts and howled "Traitor!"

    I know, I left work yesterday and there they were, about 20 of em, foaming at the mouth yelling "traitor traitor!!" I'm thinking, what the hell did I do? Then I went to McDonalds, and there were more. There everywhere Mike, everywhere. Run for your life!!!!

  • ||

    I hate government, so I can run the country. Actually, that one might work.

  • ||

    Dammit, Barack, fold already! Fold!

    Look, I know you haven't been around very long, so I'm going to walk you throught this:

    You, or someone you know, or someone who's black, says something. We howl about it. Then - and this is the important part, boy - you apologize, and stop doing it, and fire somebody.

    Look, you're friends with Daschle. Ask him about it.

  • Episiarch||

    I've hidden little alt text treats everywhere.

    I'm surprised your blogging software gives you that much control.

  • Guy Montag||

    Wow, those hawkish conservatives are a bit late to the party. I was yelling Commie Traitor when GEN(Ret.) Clark was touting the Communist Manifesto as the values our nation was founded on.

    When the former NATO commander, fired in 2000 for his own stupidity during Kisovo operations, said this stuff I just scratched my head and laughed.

  • ||

    Oh yeah, crashed an expensive plane, shot down by a communist missile over enemy territory, same difference right?

  • ||

    "communist missile"

    I am somewhat of a collector of wingnuttia, and that is beyond awesome.

  • Naga Sadow||

    Shouting "Traitor"! Like from the scene from 300?

  • ||

    Alt-text doesn't play well with Firefox. Title text does, though.

  • ||

    DAMMIT! Stupid cookies.

  • ||

    Wasn't the Hanoi deal something like the third time McCain had managed to prang up an expensive airplane?

    And I believe the first two he managed to accomplish without even get shot at.

    Look, I won't knock McCain's service. Getting shot down on a combat mission is a hazard that a pilot faces and is not a sign of incompetence as a pilot. It's mostly just shitty luck. Enduring what he went through in captivity indicates a level of character that most of us will never show.

    But Wesley Clark is right. Neither of those things get to go on a resume as "executive experience."

  • nutwing||

    That was the fifth plane McCain lost. Having him held prisoner for years saved the taxpayers lots of $$$.

  • Guy Montag||

    capital L,

    I think he lost a couple in flight school too, but, as I am sure you all know, those are on the instructor, not the student.* So you might be technically correct.

    *For two-or-more seat aircraft.

  • Cornholio||

    Wow, those hawkish conservatives are a bit late to the party. I was yelling Commie Traitor when GEN(Ret.) Clark was touting the Communist Manifesto as the values our nation was founded on.

    You Bush rednecks need a little remedial course in American history.

    Our nation was founded on the liberal principals of John Locke - notably due process, freedom of speech/press, democracy, separation of church and state, separation of powers, gun rights, and the such.

    Nowhere in the Constitution is there a prohibition on taxes or tax collection. As odious as government has grown in its current bloated state - it has not betrayed Constitutional foundations.


    When the populace embraces a fiscally responsible government then it will happen. As of yet, neither party can claim the mantle of "fiscal responsibility".

  • nebby||

    This "crashed a plane" stuff is pretty rich. He was shot down by enemy fire. Fell free to contrast this with your own experience in flying combat jet missions.

  • Guy Montag||

    Shouting "Traitor"! Like from the scene from 300?

    I was thinking more like Ethel Merman yelling at her son-in-law in Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.

  • Guy Montag||

    Cornholio,

    You are reading challenged aren't you? Perhaps a dose of amnesia.

    Presidential candidate, GEN. Clark, would on a regular basis state that people of means should gladly 'give' through government, for those of little means.

    Sound disguised but familiar?

    GEN Clark NEVER stated any appreciation for anything from John Locke.

  • David||

    That's funny, a few months in country followed by a couple do-nothing decades in the Senate seemed to be great qualifications four years ago. It'd be fun to see some of Clark's statemnts from back then.

  • Guy Montag||

    nebby,

    This "crashed a plane" stuff is pretty rich. He was shot down by enemy fire. Fell free to contrast this with your own experience in flying combat jet missions.

    I never crashed a helicopter in over 1200 hours of flight time.* But the one day I knew that I was getting shot at I might have crashed if the Pilot in Command was not reminding me to slow down.

    No rockets though, just rifle bullets. Not even a "war zone", just central Tennessee.

    Did crack a skid shoe in flight school learning how to do low-level engine failures at night.** Not sure that is even Senate worthy.

    *Would have to go back and dig up records to be sure of my hours, but that is what I did from 1985 - 1992.

    **Instructor barked about my cracking the skid shoe, I responded "no, it is your skid shoe" :)

  • Elemenope||

    This "crashed a plane" stuff is pretty rich. He was shot down by enemy fire. Fell free to contrast this with your own experience in flying combat jet missions.

    Nebby, as has already been covered, he managed to crash all by himself a good handful of planes before he finally was actually shot out of one.

  • Guy Montag||

    That's funny, a few months in country followed by a couple do-nothing decades in the Senate seemed to be great qualifications four years ago. It'd be fun to see some of Clark's statemnts from back then.

    Good luck with that. He was a General then and was fired when that administration was in charge.

  • Guy Montag||

    David,

    Ooops, I was still thinking GEN Clark, you are obviously speaking of the Senator from Arazona vs. the Intertubes Invenroinator.

  • Mike M.||

    However, voting "present" in Springfield, ILL around 160 times is exactly the resume item we should be looking for.

    Now now, he also managed to organize the community to get some asbestos removed from a building in Chicago, and don't forget about his extensive foreign policy experience he obtained as a ten year old living in Indonesia!

  • David||

    Guy,

    I was referring to LT John F Kerry.

  • ||

    Wesley Clark campaigned for precisely one presidential candidate before this year.

    Q: Is Guy Montag too stupid to know who that was.

    A: Yes.

  • zoltan||

    Didn't he finish in the last 5% of his naval academy class? The whole crashing a plane (disregarding the one shot down, of course) shouldn't be too surprising then. Not that either of those incidents should have any bearing on his ability as president it's just fun to bring up.

  • Cornholio||

    Presidential candidate, GEN. Clark, would on a regular basis state that people of means should gladly 'give' through government, for those of little means.

    Then you must agree that McCain's leadership credentials are lacking.

    After all, all you could muster up was an attack on Clark in a Obama/McCain contest.

    Yes, you GOP hacks are really desperate.


    You are getting what you deserve however. You tied our country to a miserable piece of shit like Bush.

  • Tym||

    I took flight lessons a few years ago. The second time I landed I didn't do a great job, I touched down and went back up while flaring, it was a fast approach without flaps. I guess I am at least qualified for the House of Representatives or something.

  • ||

    "Communist missile" is a funny wording. I didn't mean to imply that the missile itself was an avowed communist, rather that it was fired by the NVA and, I assume, constructed in the USSR or "Red China."

  • Guy Montag||

    David,

    Guy,

    I was referring to LT John F Kerry.


    Holy crap! Those guys are almost interchangable aren't they?

  • Guy Montag||

    'Republicans',

    Wow, some 'smartest person in the room', hiding his regular handle, is completly unaware that GEN Clark competed for the Democrat nomination in 2004.

    And he is trying to be cute by calling others stupid, thus fulfilling his own rule.

    Wow, who could it possibly be . . .

  • Nigel Watt||

    Is a missle capable of declaring itself a communist a smart bomb or a dummy?

  • Nigel Watt||

    Can I spell?

  • Guy Montag||

    And 'Cornholio' is confusing me for some sort of McCain supporter? Wow, how does joe keep all those handles straight. Must take a big giant brain to do that.

  • ||

    McCain of course has been a Senator for a couple of decades as well. That would seem to count as relevent experience wouldn't it? Moreover, whatever the presidential merits of spending time in the Hanoi Hilton, what exactly are Obama's relevent experiences? Does being a community organizer and sitting through hundreds of hate whitey sermons at the local church really qualify you to be President anymore than getting shot down over Vietnam?

  • Guy Montag||

    Is a missle capable of declaring itself a communist a smart bomb or a dummy?

    It can only change itself if it really wants to, deep down inside.

  • ev||

    man. bill watterson is one of my heroes.

    can anyone imagine anything more decidedly badass than a t-rex flying an f-16? while taking down stegasauruses*?

    that's right. you fucking cant!!

    *(i...do not know the plural)

  • Guy Montag||

    NW,

    Also, a missile can call itself whatever it wants, but its actions will show what it really is.

    Perhaps the missile we are talking about was calling itself a Progressive. Oh, bad example ;)

  • B||

    Mike Riggs has to be the worst columnist this fucking magazine has ever hired. Where has McCain ever said crashing (I love the choice of words, as if it was pilot error instead of enemy bullets that brought him down)was a qualification. I think most Americans see it as a benefit because he volunteered to fly combat missions in a time of war, a sacrifice most Americans would not make. He refused to leave the Hanoi Hilton when given a chance by his captors. Instead he endured five years of gruelling torture. I see such resilience and strength of character as admirable. Foolishly mocking it with stupid jokes about Elvis impersonators is the realm of the tinfoil-hat left, and it is fucking pathetic that Mike "douchebag" Riggs repeats it on this site. Evidently selflessly serving your country during a time of war and receiving life-long injuries because of it is now a liability in the eyes of these assholes.

    And by the way, I challenge you Mike, you ignorant fucking nitwit, to find one prominent conservative commentator who referred to Wesley Clark as a traitor. It quite simply did not happen.
    And for Cornholio, exactly what qualifies Barack Obama to be Commander-in-chief? For all the qualifications you claim McCain lacks, at least he has military experience and has been in the Senate for more than four years. What the fuck has Barack Obama done, other than promise change to sycophantic dumbasses ready to lap up his meaningless words?

  • B||

    "communist missile"

    "I am somewhat of a collector of wingnuttia, and that is beyond awesome"

    The missile that shot down McCain was launched by the North Vietnamese, who happened to be communists. Exactly what the fuck don't you understand joe? You quite simply can't go a day without proving you are the stupidest fucking person to ever post on this message board. No wonder you support a candidate who thinks the United States is comprised of 57 states.

  • Guy Montag||

    B,

    Slow down there buddy, you got a detail a little off.

    Senator Obama was sworn into office January 4, 2005. He is a few months shy of four whole years in the US Senate.

    For all the qualifications you claim McCain lacks, at least he has military experience and has been in the Senate for more than three years and change.

    Better. See?

  • Guy Montag||

    B,

    As noted above, well maybe obsured a bit, but many of those folks don't call themselves Communists any more, they are 'Progressives'

    The newer ones really don't want the old word coming back, so they throw a big distraction fit to try to get everybody else off track.

  • zoltan||

    B, the missile wasn't communist. That was the point. I'm no joe fan, but the description of a missile as communist is kinda ridiculous. Kinda like a "Nazi mortar".

  • aircraft pedant||

    can anyone imagine anything more decidedly badass than a t-rex flying an f-16?

    Maybe so, but the aircraft in the drawing is actually an F-14. Though I'm sure flying and F-16 would be just as badass. :)

  • Guy Montag||

    zoltan,

    Yea, everybody knows that WWII German mortars were of Polish and Czec manufacture.

  • Kolohe||

    And by the way, I challenge you Mike, you ignorant fucking nitwit, to find one prominent conservative commentator who referred to Wesley Clark as a traitor.

    Does this count, from from a new outfit called vets for freedom? who have been all over the blogs and fox news lately, so i suppose that makes them prominent.

    Even worse, your arrogant and careless words undercut the credibility of all those who served and continue to serve, in wartime and peacetime.



    Where I come from, deliberating undermining the armed forces = treason. Persons who commit treason = traitors. ymmv.

  • Mayday mayday!||

    I love the choice of words, as if it was pilot error instead of enemy bullets that brought him down

    In fairness, McCain lost other aircraft as well. Dropped one in the drink off of Corpus Christi in 1958 and another one on his way to the Army-Navy game (ended up bailing out onto a deserted beach). He also flew too low in Spain and cut through some power lines. Then there were the last two which you can't really blame him for -- getting hit by an errant rocket on the deck of the carrier and then getting shot down. Whatever his culpability in any of them, if McCain is flying, I'm not getting on that plane!

  • ||

    "B, the missile wasn't communist. That was the point. I'm no joe fan, but the description of a missile as communist is kinda ridiculous. Kinda like a "Nazi mortar"."

    I clarified my meaning, but please save the semantics-- if I called the Me262 a "Nazi Jet" you'd know I didn't mean the jet self-identified as a Nazi. (for that matter if I called it a German Jet you'd wouldn't assume that the Jet considered itself a German citizen.)

    And speaking of misconceptions, the grievance that many people have with characterizing McCain's experience as "crashed expensive jets" isn't that it's technically true that he crashed a few jets (heh... Gee whiz you guys, it was only a couple...), it's that its a rather deconstructionist reinterpretation of his notable "crash" (In my opinion it's only the one incident that people are immediately thinking of.), devoid of context.

  • Guy Montag||

    zoltan | July 3, 2008, 2:59pm | #

    B, the missile wasn't communist. That was the point. I'm no joe fan, but the description of a missile as communist is kinda ridiculous.

    Yea, like all those idiots talking about Japanese cars, German cars and American cars. They have no nationality!

    International Socialist built military hardware is so different. No way of telling if it was a Marxist, Maoist, Stalinist or other variety of the Communist blanket all of the countries supplying North Vietnam shared.

    Yea, such is crazy talk.

  • ||

    "Yea, like all those idiots talking about Japanese cars, German cars and American cars. They have no nationality!"

    Is "communism" a nationality?

  • ||

    Whatever his culpability in any of them, if McCain is flying, I'm not getting on that plane!

    Finally, an explanation for why McCain and Kennedy are so comfortable working with each other.

  • ||

    So, would it be ridiculous to say that a WWII pilot was shot down by Nazi AA? Or, for that matter, Allied AA?

    I don't think so, really.

    But kudos to joe for an excellent crypto-troll. No telling how many pixels have been burned on this non-issue thanks to him.

  • ||

    Guy Montag | July 3, 2008, 2:41pm | #

    And 'Cornholio' is confusing me for some sort of McCain supporter? Wow, how does joe keep all those handles straight. Must take a big giant brain to do that.


    Ohai, gai. Im n yr hed, obsessin yr thawts agin.

  • ||

    McCain was not a particularly good pilot. He was of course stuborn as hell and drove his captors crazy. I leave to it other people to judge what that says about his qualifications to be President.

  • ||

    "Is "communism" a nationality?"

    Amdended: "Oh yeah, crashed an expensive plane, shot down by a communist-manufactured missile over enemy territory, same difference right?"

    Is it sufficiently clear for you the grammar authoritarians? No I suppose not, because the actual physical territory of North Vietnam wasn't our enemy, and he certainly wasn't
    "shot down" by the missile, as missiles don't have the capacity to make such a decision and so on ad infinitum because who can take the trouble to just fucking think anymore.

  • ||

    Is "communism" a nationality?

    Dammit, Lamar, don't you know that I wrote that comment?

    Isn't that enough for you to know it's teh stoopid?

    RC, it works, because people just can't help themselves. You, too, apparently.

  • ||

    capital L,

    Everyone gets it.r You don't need to explain anymore. It was obvious what you meant the first time.

    It reads funny, that's all.

  • ||

    Personally, I'd like to see a Watterson illustration of an actual (card-carrying!) communist missile, as it would likely be awesome. I imagine it would have a grin right across the nosecone and a big Stalin 'stache.

  • Guy Montag||

    Lamar,

    Try getting past the nationality bit, past the white space, all the way to the flavors of Communism part. It is just a couple of lines down from where you stopped.

  • ||

    Or, a bunch of missiles sitting in a warehouse, and one of them starts trying to get the other missiles to read his newsletter.

  • ||

    "It is just a couple of lines down from where you stopped."

    Uh, Guy, the whole about being snarky is that I didn't read the post, comments or know what the f*ck I was talking about. I think you're right. Nazi tank means German, WWII era. Commie missile can mean so many things that the label is useless.

    "Communist missile" is like saying "Democrat Party." We all laugh at it, but we understand what he meant.

  • ||

    Hey, man.

    If dinosaur military pilots are your thing, have I got the candidate for you!

  • Bob||

    There are no committees investigating Communist missiles any more, but if you ever see a missile on steroids Congress will be there to save us!

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "Clark is a little rough around the edges, but I agree with David Reese at the Huffington Post that standing idly by while McCain lists "crashed an expensive plane" on his resume would have a devastating trickle-down effect on potential appointees:"

    Categorizing the sum total of McCain's military career and experience as "crashed an expensive" plane is absurd to begin with.

    As for Clark, after Kerry got the Democrat noimination the last time around, he was running around citing Kerry's military experience as a qualification for being President.

    Now he's saying McCain's isn't.

    Clark is full of shit.

  • ||

    "Oh yeah, crashed an expensive plane, shot down by a communist-manufactured missile over enemy territory, same difference right?"

    You could say Vietnamese, or more specifically North Vietnamese.

    That would be like calling JDAMs democratic bombs.

  • ||

    How similar are two military "lifers," McCain and Clark in their concept of what it takes to be "qualified" to be President!

    I don't vote, but my first "qualification" would be that my candidate have a firm grasp on reality and how reality impinges on politics.

    Of the two choices we have this year, Obama leaves McCain in the dust.

  • ||

    Or, a bunch of missiles sitting in a warehouse, and one of them starts trying to get the other missiles to read his newsletter.

    So there's presumably a Dondero missile and a Lew Rockwell missile in there somewhere?
    Also, you and Guy are doing a good quasi-reenactment of the Palestine-Israel conflict.*

    *Yes, quasi- and crypto- are such utile prefixes I'm not sure I can stop using them.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "I don't vote, but my first "qualification" would be that my candidate have a firm grasp on reality and how reality impinges on politics.

    Of the two choices we have this year, Obama leaves McCain in the dust."

    On the contrary, Obama is a socialist twit.

    And that precludes him from having a "firm grasp on reality". There aren't ANY socalists/liberals/progressives/leftists or whatever other euphemism they dream up for themsevles who do.

    They keep on believing in socialist/collectivists policies despite the fact that there has never been so much as one single instance anywhere on this earth in the entire span of human history when any of those policies has ever been proven to be anything other than an abject failure.

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