Donald Trump

Trump's Dismissal of McCain's Heroism Shows Lack of Judgment and Human Decency, And Is Also Dead Wrong

When will Republican voters start punishing the serial lies of an idiocratic TV huckster?


The…hor-ror. ||| Todd Krainin
Todd Krainin

What has gone underplayed in today's widespread outrage over Donald Trump's dismissal of John McCain's war heroism is that the GOP national-poll front-runner's comments, besides demonstrating an idiocratic lack of basic human judgment and decency, are also dead wrong.

Because this is Donald Trump, and Donald Trump is a vulgar anti-intellect who cannot string a coherent paragraph together, his full statement contradicts itself several times within 57 short words. So let's just focus on the bolded part from his remarks:

He's not a war hero. He's a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren't captured—OK, I hate to tell ya. He's a war hero because he was captured, OK? And I believe perhaps he is a war hero, but right now, he said some very bad things about a lot of people.

Slacker! ||| U.S. News & World Report
U.S. News & World Report

As someone who wrote a very critical book about the Arizona senator, titled McCain: The Myth of a Maverick, I am more familiar than most television entertainers with the weak points in John McCain's record. His experience as a POW is not one of them. Back in October 2008, the people making the McCain's-no-hero arguments were not Republican presidential contenders, but liberal journalists, such as those who work for Rolling Stone. As I responded to their findings back then in the L.A. Times,   

[T]he most pertinent part of McCain's heroism [is that by] all accounts, his noisy resistance to everyday humiliations, and his profane outburst at a made-for-propaganda Christmas service in 1968, gave great strength to his fellow POWs. McCain was an inveterate communicator in Hanoi, tapping code like mad to keep his comrades' spirits up and even acting as chaplain when conditions in the prisons started to improve.

Which is to say, the main driver of McCain's heroism was not the fact of his capture, it's how he comported himself under circumstances more trying than 99.9% of us could imagine, let alone endure. And let's remember that, as I wrote in the LAT piece, "According to John G. Hubbell's book, 'P.O.W.,' 'No American reached Hoa Lo in worse physical condition than McCain.'" The guy still can't comb his own hair due to the injuries he suffered in Hanoi, and yet he gave great comfort and inspiration to his fellow prisoners under duress.

Trump's hostility to the factual universe is not breaking news—he's been wandering around the country making shit up about Syrian Christian refugees being banned from the U.S., Mexico conducting a Mariel-style prison-emptying exercise across its northern border, and so on. The question is, when do Republicans decide to start caring, and/or acknowledge the viruses within their own ranks that reward and stoke such atavistic behavior?

C'mon, dude. ||| ABC News
ABC News

On the elite side, that process is playing itself out embarrassingly in the form of Weekly Standard Editor William Kristol, the Sarah Palin svengali who as recently as this morning was tweeting that

On @ThisWeekABC I'll defend my claim @realDonaldTrump is not only older & richer but wiser than @HillaryClinton.

… but who a few hours later was re-tweeting a Weekly Standard piece with the headline "Trump GOP Candidacy Blows Up." Before today, all it took to reject any possibility of Donald Trump adding value to the 2016 presidential race was listening to the fool speak for five minutes, or not sharing his inaccurate obsessions about rapey Mexicans, or not seeking to use him as some savantish ploy to blow apart the whole system, man. The Bill Kristols of the world should always know better, and yet they way too often do not.

Never forget! ||| Reason

Rupert Murdoch, who has been dinging the Donald on immigration, may have tweeted tonight "When is Donald Trump going to stop embarrassing his friends, let alone the whole country?", but his Fox News chief Roger Ailes (my ex-boss, not that I've ever met the guy) reportedly broke bread with his networks' frequent guest for a long lunch right before he announced his candidacy. I can testify from personal experience that Trump's narcissistic blurts are sometimes treated with a wholly undeserved on-air respect at 1211 Avenue of the Americas. It's almost as if Dr. Frankenstein is becoming belatedly alarmed at the activities of his monster.

As for grassroots voters and the politicians who compete for them, the situation is both more complicated and more predictable. As I pointed out in my typology of GOP anti-establishmentarianism, there is a class of outsider contender whose very selling proposition is that they'll say any damned thing:

These are candidates, typically though not always from far outside the corridors of power, whose very existence in the race, however theoretical, is a thumb in the eye of both the media and the Establishment. They tend to be unpolished culture warriors who make constant headlines with provocative and hyperbolic statements, often about matters of next to zero concern for the resident of 1600 Pennsylvania. […]

Ben Carson is this year's pre-eminent Petulant thus far, with the ghost of Donald Trump's hair long behind him…. Ted Cruz has more than a toe in this camp as well

Hmm, let's see who were the two presidential candidates to not come out swinging at Trump's McCain comments? Here's Ben Carson's Clintonesque statement:

It depends on your definition of a war hero. I think he has done some wonderful things, certainly history is consistent with what we would consider a war hero…Do we take that away from him because some people disagree with him politically? I think that's probably stupid.

Pass. ||| Reason

And here's Cruz:

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), who has been perhaps the loudest defender of Trump's remarks about immigrants and met privately with Trump a few days ago in New York, refused to condemn Trump over his comments about McCain.

Cruz said that he considers McCain a friend and "an American war hero" and that it is an honor to serve with him in the Senate. But he said he would not criticize another Republican candidate, including Trump.

"I recognize that folks in the press love to see Republican-on-Republican violence, so you want me to say something bad about Donald Trump or bad about John McCain or bad about anyone else," Cruz told reporters here. "I'm not going to do it. John McCain is a friend of mine. I respect and admire him and he's an American hero. And Donald Trump is a friend of mine."

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who is a different brand of anti-establishmentarian, tweeted today that "I don't always see eye to eye with @SenJohnMcCain. But I honor his service and the sacrifices he made for our country." The rest of the GOP field has been virtually unanimous in its scorn.

In the run-up to and aftermath of the November 2012 presidential election, I roundly mocked those on the journalistic left who portrayed the Obama vs. Romney contest as a partisan contest between virtuous truth and ignoble lies. If Republican voters reward the type of grotesque behavior coming out of the pinched mouth of Donald Trump, they will have come to fully inhabit their own caricuature.

NEXT: Black Lives Matter Protesters Heckle Martin O'Malley and Bernie Sanders at Netroots Nation

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  1. You can’t spell turnip without trump.

    1. I think you’d better check your spelling.

      1. T U R M I P.

        1. fucking autocorrect?

        2. R U M P

    2. I LOVE it! The GOP are eating their own again! Always entertaining, never boring. Of course this process guarantees Hillary will be president, as if she wasn’t a shoe-in to begin with.

      IT’S ALL OVER FOLKS! And the socialists have won. Thailand here I come.

      FUCK America … and the idiots residing here!

      PS. But be sure to send my Social Security check to my bank in Bangkok. Thanks and FUCK off!

      1. That’s the weird thing about lefties. You can never tell if a particular comment is parody or not; there’s so little difference.

      2. Trump isn’t a serious candidate. I’m not even sure if he’s actually a Republican. This is a publicity stunt. The fact the media are paying him any mind is a reflection of America’s passion for train wrecks and reality television.

        Speaking of eating their own, Hillary Clinton will be skewered by her own party before too long. I’ll be shocked to see her get nominated.

        Retiring to Thailand sounds great. I’d want to live near Chiang Mai. Enjoy.

      3. So, if you want to “EndTheGOP”, then you should be happy the socialists took over and be eager to stay, since, as bad as they are, the GOP is the only viable party that can, at least, slow down the march towards the workers’ paradise.
        Oh, wait, no, don’t make be ROFLMAO, you think the libertine-arians have a chance?
        That’s the best laugh I’ve had all week.

    3. You mean, “You can’t spell strumpet without trump.” Right?

  2. As someone who wrote a very critical book about the Arizona senator, titled McCain: The Myth of a Maverick,

    Copies still available! Look for one under the short leg of non-wobbly remaindered closeout table at a Big Lots near you.

    1. Ouch! I don’t think Matt deserves that.

  3. And Kristol is still leaving the door open for Trump to apologize.

    Anybody who parrots neocon foreign policy talking points (which Trump does in spades) is good in his eyes. Up to a point at least.

    1. Billy Kristol is a war mongering asshat

  4. Trump seems to be running an excellent campaign so far.

    1. I agree.

      He is tapping into that Tea Party angst dormant since 2010. They hate immigrants, free trade/NWO types, and Muslims.

      1. Trump-supporters hate the GOP Establishment and Jeb Bush.

        1. Uh, this is so fucking boring. Trumps’ ridiculous outbursts are hilarious and entertaining. Articles that actually try to seriously address the assbrained shitstorm of incoherence that comes out of Trump’s mouth are not. May be Matt wants to tackle the orthodox teachings of the Church of Scientology next, so we don’t fall prey to its seductive wisdom?

          1. It’s like Connor Friedersdorf writing about Rush Limbaugh.

        2. So what’s not to hate?

          Not that Trump is an improvement.

        3. I heard some talking head say that he is hurting the republican party. To that I say, Go Trump, destroy as much of that side of the one political coin as possible. Now, if Sanders can destroy the other side we’ll all be better off. Trump is an idiot, he is a hypocrite. The right hates him because he forces them to deal with issues they just want to side skirt and are content to answer with just a sound bite. The press hates him because he isn’t willing to cower to them and they can’t direct the discourse. The left hates him because there are some immigrants who are giving the impression he is right about immigration, they hate people who aren’t politically correct along their lines of thought, they hate those who believe they are right about anything without equivocation, and well, they just hate.

          I’m so tired of the word “hero” being thrown about, so much so it is losing it’s intended meaning. McCain, as well as everyone who serves, is to be respected for their service, they are to be honored for what he were, and now are, willing to give up at the call of their country regardless of what one may think of that war. Tapping out code to encourage his fellow pow’s may be a judge of character, being the most beaten pow to arrive at the hanoi hilton may be a judge of his willingness to live but neither make one a “hero.” I would think that all the beating he took he wouldn’t be so fast to want to go to war with country that doesn’t bow to US interests.

    2. Trump seems to be running an excellent campaign so far.

      I agree – which goes to show that most political campaigns are Kabuki theater bullshit.

  5. When will Republican voters start punishing the serial lies of an idiocratic TV huckster?

    Hasn’t this been going on for less than a month, for an election that is sixteen months away? What is the rush? I think the calls for him to get out of the race, or for voters to reject him, will just embolden him and a large number of the people who think he speaks for them.

    1. This incident is going to cost him a lot of support on the right.

      And the primaries begin in just over 5 months, with the debates coming up in a few weeks. With 20 candidates, the GOP needs to be getting rid of dead wood right now to get some focus. (That includes losers like Pataki and Kasich as well)

      People are naturally going to be more flippant about their responses to a telephone poll than an actual final vote, that’s why he’s ahead. He’s got name recognition, visibility, and is speaking out against things that many on the right don’t think the GOP speaks out enough against. I don’t think anybody really thinks he speaks for them.

      1. Losers like Pataki and Kasich will eliminate themselves and need nobody’s help.

      2. This incident is going to cost him a lot of support on the right.

        Bacause the right loves McCain? Bwaaaaaaaaaa!!!

      3. This incident is going to cost him a lot of support on the right.

        I don;t think so.

        Remember this whole dust up started because McCain went out of his way to insult his own constituents that attended some of Trumps events.

        Trump is attack McCain in defense of the honor of those people.

        The thing that really has the phant base furious is the sense or perpetual betrayal by the politicians that they send to DC. This situation demonstrates that betrayal and has Trump as the ‘hero’ fighting it and defending common folk.

        Besides, McCain is a worthless asshole that’s been milking his War Hero status for forty years now. He should of moved on decades ago.

      4. Heck, I’d be tempted to tell a poll taker Trump is my choice just for the lulz.

        1. I suspect that at least half of Trump’s polling support is exactly that: mocking the pollsters by picking the most ludicrous choice they can offer.

        2. at this point in the last election Herman Godfather’s Pizza Cain was the GOP frontrunner.

  6. I’m just glad that for once there is a candidate treating presidential primary campaigning with all of the gravitas it deserves.

    1. I think the dubstep and animals shitting video you posted the other night is more fitting.

      1. What if I told you that “the Labrador” was Jeb Bush?

        1. I thought he was one of the cows.

          1. Oh from, this video. That changes things.

    2. Hear, hear. I hope Trump is in it for the long haul just so he can flush whatever scraps of credibility these glorified freak shows possess right down the toilet.

  7. Donald Trump is a vulgar anti-intellect who cannot string a coherent paragraph together

    Dubya won twice with that same formula.

    1. I’d give that one an 8.

      1. The stench of Bush is still wafting through the nostrils of most GOPers and all independents/liberals. But to the Team Red faithful (like John here on this board) Jeb is a godsend from Jesus his badass self.


          Never change, shriek

        2. Granted I’m not on here as much anymore, but I don’t think I’ve seen John rooting for Jeb a single time.

          1. John is adamantly against Jeb and has spoken against him plenty of times.


    2. Bush certainly wasn’t vulgar. As far as I know he didn’t curse or insult his opponents on a constant basis.

  8. Our Chipoltle hating HnRers probably not read this article.

    1. I read it…yahoo(news) is fucking retarded. Who gives a rat’s ass.

    2. Our Chipoltle hating HnRers

      These are the kind of people that would vote for Trump.

      1. Trump is to politics what Chipotle is to Mexican food: vastly overrated, unauthentic, a big ugly mess, and for some reason a lot of people seem to like it/him.

  9. “Donald Trump is a vulgar anti-intellect who cannot string a coherent paragraph together”


    America doesn’t need Paragraphs. America doesn’t need Losers who Lose. America needs RealDonald.

    ” Donald J. Trump ?@realDonaldTrump 12h12 hours ago

    I am now in Iowa getting ready to speak. People are always amazed to find out that I am Protestant (Presbyterian). GREAT.”

    1. Oh, shit. Now I have to change my RELIGIOUS affiliation, too? Shit, shit, shit.

      #CantBePresbyNoMore #ThanksForRuiningItTrump!!


      2. John Calvin didn’t ruin it for you already?


        1. Show us on the doll where the Presbyterian touched you, Eddie. No, the Presbyterian – not the priest….

          1. Lighten up…ah, John.

            1. Back atcha. And I don’t prefer chubbies.

              Call me….Ishmael….

              1. Sorry, but Agile Cyborg has already filled the weird-ass drug-fueled monologue position…but nice try.

  10. When will Republican voters start punishing the serial lies of an idiocratic TV huckster?

    Maybe when there’s something to actually, you know, VOTE on? Not a Republican, but just guessing.

    Jesus, the angst is just….weird. Let it play out, dude. Who gives a fuck? Well, YOU, apparently. Relax. This pants pissing is unbecoming.

    1. Exactly, Al. I think Donnie poo is in the midst of a later life crisis, he’s bored. He has lot’s of buildings and golf courses, after awhile buildings and golf courses get boring.

      So he decided to go on the biggest trolling binge in recorded history and it’s working. Matt, please don’t feed the troll. He feeds off the attention. Don’t be like the progs (and apparently a lot on team red) who are going after this like a Muskie after a flashy spoon. Don’t bite, Matt.

  11. Wonder how many INDEPENDENTS support Trump. Situation with libertarianism (to say nothing of their favorite whipping boy the GOP) is so grim you have to laugh.


      I bet he polls well with Millenials too.

  12. “As someone who wrote a very critical book about the Arizona senator, titled McCain: The Myth of a Maverick….”


  13. There’s nothing like cold beer and live hard rock.

    1. Titties and beer for me. I had Harpoon UFO White at the local Tilted Kilt. OK, that’s a bit of a let down from “titties and beer”, but close enough. I had some Newcastle Brown after I got home.

      1. This reminds me of a great weekend at the Lumberjack Saloon on Graves Creek Road 30 years ago. Wet T shirt contest with the music Talking Head’s “And She Was”. Good times.

      2. “titties and beer” is one of my favorite sayings. I sat it in situations where it has no application. I also like ” hookers and blow”. The saying; my actual use of either is confidential.

  14. Whatever happened to McAbel?

    1. “McCain has no idea. Why are you looking at me funny? No, I don’t think something smells funny. And no, there’s not a body hidden behind that McBush”

  15. How many idiocratic tv hucksters have been elected to a national office? Don’t answer that.

    1. Unfortunately, ^this

  16. “The guy still can’t comb his own hair…”

    You’d think that two guys with this much in common would get along better.

    1. Funny!

  17. OK, McCain showed heroism in prison. But he’s not on the ballot any more, and even if he were, he would still suck for non-POW-related reasons.

  18. Back in October 2008, the people making the McCain’s-no-hero arguments were not Republican presidential contenders, but liberal journalists, such as those who work for Rolling Stone.

    I don’t remember that as ever being a disqualifier to the Reason editorial staff before. I mean, this is a blog that routinely sources articles from the likes of Mother Jones and the Huffington Post. Suddenly being a liberal journalist is sufficient reason to undermine somebody’s credibility without further qualification?

    This one is definitely getting bookmarked for future reference!

  19. Looks like the reason staff won’t have to draw straws to see who writes “The libertarian case for Jeb Bush”. Matt’s on it!

  20. This is a REALLY weird Saturday night thread.

    We need Agile Cyborg to come to the rescue. With peyote or something.

    Dear Agile Cyborg – we beseech thee – who croaked Lester?

  21. john mccain is a scum bag sob – how many dictators and sellouts to democracy were current or former soldiers ? we dont respect the person we respect the office and mccain fits that example like a glove.
    respecting the life of an individual who would destroy millions of their own – for their own personal gain doesnt deserve to wear a uniform…its ironic the same things applied to his platoon
    the point with progressives and liberals isnt that their complete ass nine liars and cowards – its that they know so much that isnt true – that requires military protection from the people they claim to represent –
    the government prefers not to use convicts in war because they’ll just trade sides – im not sure what mccains excuse is….
    no matter how big of a pos mccain is –
    wearing a uniform doesnt bear reflection on the person as much as the person bears reflection on the uniform.
    mccain is a scum bag.

    1. Christ, you write like a retard.

    2. Lol. Wot m8?

  22. I almost suspect Matt is in on the joke when he writes headlines the way The Donald (or his staffers write Tweets)

    I mean, this? = “Trump’s Dismissal of McCain’s Heroism Shows Lack of Judgment and Human Decency, And Is Also Dead Wrong”

    Is basically a TrumpTweet with the nouns replaced.


    1. God, that is so fucking spot on!

      *tips hat to GILMORE*

      1. That said, i don’t mean to belittle matt’s very honest respect for mccain

        I just think he’s actually more humoristically avant garde than we might appreciate at face value.


  23. Because this is Donald Trump, and Donald Trump is a vulgar anti-intellect who cannot string a coherent paragraph together

    Because we’ve been so well served by Clean and Articulate. Right.

    Let me introduce you to a man of whom it was once said, “He may not have not known how to pronounce “precinct”, but he sure knew how to work one”.

    1. Your example of a great non-articulate is the creator of The Daley Machine? Yokeltarians gonna yokel.

  24. I suppose no one should criticize stallin, lenin, hitler, mao or mussoulinni either right …..mccains just doing the same thing…no big deal.

    american’s need to stop standing up for these fu-king politicians that just sh-t all over you – next we’ll be thanking them for taking our friggin guns and making us all slaves.

    wake up!!!!!!!!!!

    1. “I suppose no one should criticize stallin, lenin, hitler, mao or mussoulinni either right …..mccains just doing the same thing…no big deal.”

      Well no.
      McCain is a tired old fart who should be sent out to pasture, but Stalin and the others he ain’t.
      Have your doc give you a check-up; seems you’ve got a serious case of hyperbole there.

  25. still doesn’t mean im voting for trump – mccain is a piece of crap though.

    ted cruz…rand paul 2016

  26. “When will Republican voters start punishing the serial lies of an idiocratic TV huckster?”

    ‘Bout the time (D) voters will punish Clinton for destroying evidence.
    (Am I late to the party again?)

    1. “Of course you realize, this means war!”

      /Bugs Bunny

      1. Ya gotta post a link to the youtube of Bugs losing it.
        Donald Duck shorts work well, too.

        1. Reading a new book: Hawk by Stephen Brust.


          1. *Steven* Brust


          2. I looked; pretty much non-fic for me.

            1. I swing back and forth between fic and non-fic. Been reading this guy for years, ever since the first book Jhereg.

  27. When will Republican voters start punishing the serial lies of an idiocratic TV huckster?

    The same time the Democrat base start punishing their idiots: probably never.

    Although I would pay good money to see either base rebel and throw out prominent national leaders, repudiating the shenanigans of the last sixteen or so years.

    1. HA!
      *You’re* late this time!

  28. He’s a great American. He enthusiastically participated in the bombing of civilian areas in north Vietnam, and was rescued from drowning by the Vietnamese who nursed him back to health. I guess the residents of Hanoi, who mathematically couldn’t have avoided knowing someone who was killed by guys exactly like McCain, should have responded by putting McCain in a scented luxury cabin in ha long bay.

    “Can’t comb his hair because of his injuries in Hanoi”

    Because he was flying a bombing mission over a country that never attacked us. If it wasn’t for the Vietnamese, John McCain would have been a skeleton at the bottom of truc Bach lake. I missed it… Did he ever thank the Vietnamese for saving his life or did he just bitch about the treatment he received at the hands of the people he was bombing? Poor him, I say.

      1. Shitbags gonna be full of shit.

    1. Oh, and shitbag?
      I got a hint for you: Outside of our resident shoot-em-up guy (who gets a helping of crap whenever he posts on the issue), you’re going to have to look far and wide to find anyone here who supported that war. So your ‘oh-so-clever’ sarcasm is wasted.
      And another hint; as a writer of sarcasm, you make a very good bag of shit.

      1. I didn’t support the Vietnam war you imbecile.

        1. Cytotoxic|7.19.15 @ 12:42AM|#
          “I didn’t support the Vietnam war you imbecile.Z”

          My mistake; you claimed the US *won* it. I presumed you meant it was a good idea. You’re not quite the ignoramus I thought.

    2. You’d be on better ground talking about the people his ass hattery got killed on the USS Forrestal and how he only avoided court martial because his daddy was the admiral.

    3. You are truly a traitor to your very core. And a prime example of why this country needs a thousand Joe McCarthy’s to root you all out and destroy you.

  29. Fuck John McCain.

    He’s a lying establishment shit weasel that goes out of his way to say offensive things about the people that sent him to Washington. All to gain some sick twisted favor for the socialist press.

    He’s the embodiment of everything that is wrong with contemporary national politics.

  30. Hey, AFSlade, if you’re still monitoring this site, why did you slither away with your tail between your legs when I spat out some truth at you? Are you too busy rubbing one off to a picture of John McCain while your wife was choking on my jizz?…..nt_5451709

    1. AFSlade is another self-proclaimed “patriot” who fled the field of battle under fire while I was giving his wife the best sex of her life.

      1. Is your real name Paulo?…..inism.html

        1. “…my wife is out on a date with a man named Paulo. It’s her second date this week; her fourth this month so far. If it goes like the others, she’ll come home in the middle of the night, crawl into bed beside me, and tell me all about how she and Paulo had sex. I won’t explode with anger or seethe with resentment. I’ll tell her it’s a hot story and I’m glad she had fun. It’s hot because she’s excited, and I’m glad because I’m a feminist.”

          Let’s say this much in favor of the French…at least in the old days, if this guy had killed Paulo, the jury would have been like, “Not Geelty, Your Honneur!”

          1. In these parts it’s called death by natural cause. Yokeltarians unite….

        2. What a cuckolding bitch tried to teach one man about feminism.

      1. AFSlade can deal with it. If he can put up with the smell of his wife’s shrivelled cunt, he can put up with anything.

        1. Did Eddie get a hold of Agile Cyborg’s stash?

          1. I just want to leave a record showing that I will *not* be bullied.

              1. AFSlade is a commenter who made the decision to insult me, call me a “papist,” and hide behind his alleged veteran status, all in defense of John McCain.

                He caught me in a bad mood.

                So I am trying to flush him out so I can load him with even more insults than I’ve used heretofore, and if he doesn’t respond to my invitation I’ll call him out as a small-penised coward.

            1. Fra wot I seen, you *is* bullied with astonishing freqularity, and in fact seems to have a special faculty in taking wot ed otherwise be a quasi or anti normal interaction and transmute it almost mythicly into getting yourself bullied by somebody, carelessly despiteful against his will even.

    2. Look! Another internet tough guy willing to talk shit over the web with no consequences!!!


      1. AF Slade,

        I am sorry I lowered myself to your level. Even you deserved better than that.

        And I certainly should have respected myself more than to behave the same way you did.

  31. I find it rather amusing that while a significant number of Republicans are no longer reflexively grabbing their balls and saluting at the sight of a uniform, suddenly libertarians are.

    The louder the howling becomes, the more convinced I become that this guy Trump really will end up getting himself elected president.

    Not that it makes much difference to me. As the NRx crowd has astutely divined, the president of the US has about as much to do with running the country as Ronald McDonald has to do running McDonalds. And serves about the same purpose.

    1. I find it rather amusing that while a significant number of Republicans are no longer reflexively grabbing their balls and saluting at the sight of a uniform, suddenly libertarians are.

      These threads always bring out the Yokel idiots and their poor reading comprehension.

  32. Well, this thread has been placed firmly in the shitter.

    If you have nothing better to do, instead of reading this thread, why not watch Shaolin Iron Eagle?

    1. I know Kung Fu.


      Judy Lee cuts off both of some guys ears and does some cartwheels!

      Awful, therefore, perfect.

      Thanks HM!

  33. When did we redefine victim-hood and doing the expected as heroism? Veterans from that era (I am one) were told they were expected to act as McCain did. Heroism used to mean extraordinary not expected performance. Most of us, including recipients, used to call the Purple Heart, the I-Forgot-to-Duck medal. Sympathy for the experience, praise for behaviour as expected, yes. Calling him a hero? Not so much.

    Defining heroism down only benefits the press and unworthy. Oops! Repetitive.

    1. Beat me to it! McCain was following the minimum required by the Code of Military Conduct or wherever the crap we were taught in basic training regarding being a POW comes from. Trump is right, until everything in this society was dumbed down so we could all be touchy-feely, a hero was someone that single handedly fucked over the enemy.

  34. Sorry, but refusing to capitulate to your captors, and comforting your fellow prisoners of war, is the duty of every prisoner of war, and is not grounds for being called a “war hero”. In order to be a war hero, you have to win an important battle, or heroically save others’ lives, or something like that. Doing your duty as a prisoner of war, even under torture, doesn’t make you a war-hero.

    1. Luke 17:7-10

    2. In that case my duty as a combatant would be to never take prisoners anywhere except out back to shoot them.

      1. Seriously, what good is getting someone to surrender if it’s not for real?

    3. It just sad all them other motherfuckers fell so short in their prisoners of war activities. They the ones that ought to be put in stocks.

    4. He did a little more than that but still doesn’t deserve hero status.

  35. Don’t you remember what time of year it is? It’s what the newspapers call “silly season.” We’re all in the mood for frivolity, and the election is well over a year away. So lighten up ? nothing any of the not-nominated candidates say today is going to matter once the nominee is chosen, let alone 16 months from now when the election is held.

  36. Whether you call McCain a hero or not, I consider the man an idiot and quite evil. If he is a hero, let him be a hero in some retirement home in Florida, far away from where he can hurt people.

    1. Evil and an idiot. That makes me at least respect his drive.

  37. Also, McCain’s suffering as a POW has damaged his psyche. He never finished saying “fuck you” to his torturers. That’s why he’s so belligerent and nasty and cares more about screwing his enemies than about helping his friends. Why his solution to every problem is to make war.

    1. This ^

      McCain clearly never got over his POW experience and it has permanently damaged him mentally, emotionally, and morally. A guy like that shouldn’t be in government at all.

  38. Trump and McCain are the end pieces of a shit sandwich. Fuck McCain. So he suffered. Lots of people suffer and carry on with a reserved dignity and don’t wear on their fucking sleeves. Join the fucking club.

  39. Neither here nor there….

    …but – the greatest skatefilm on earth

    to me it was always an obscure DVD that i watched a lot. But now that its available to anyone… i think people should see Spike Jones’ idealized skate vid. Because its as good as it gets.

    1. I thought that was Gleaming the Cube

    2. Man, the internet is great: Ravers

    3. …. Sorry by Flip is the greatest skatefilm on Earth. Neanderthal.

  40. I don’t care how much Reason talks about Trump, I ain’t votin’ for him.

  41. First he throws out the latino voters.
    Next he throws out the veterans.
    Who is next?
    At the rate he is going not even the pompous buffoons will be voting for him.

    1. And the next bunch of clowns whether red or blue will be doing the same shit.

      It’s past the point of no return as much as it pains me to say it.

    2. The Audacious Epigone has been complaining that the [with]Holder Justice Department stopped keeping, or at least stopped publishing, crime and other stats by race. He often refers to stats from 2008 and earlier for lack of anything newer. Evidently, the JD has been very careful about keeping track of these stats, but they seem to be a little behind in publishing them on GSS databases for anyone to examine.

      There really is not enough Section 8 housing in those wealthy DC suburbs after all.

  42. AFSlade –

    After you insulted me, you fled the scene like Edward Kennedy from Poucha Pond.

    That doesn’t look too good from an avowed veteran, whose code, I presume, precludes cowardly flight in the face of an adversary.

    So I’m going to give you another chance.

    Suppress your fear, change your underwear, and come back and face me.

    I’m ready for you.

    1. He’s trolling Eddie, don’t let it ruin a good night’s sleep.

      1. Thank you, but I figured that, so long as I was awake, I’d smack AFSlade around a bit.

        I’m going for maximum humiliation.

        My best case scenario is if he comes back for more, so I shame him as much as possible.

        Call it my latest hobby.

        1. How very christian of you.

          No I’m not AFSlade.

        2. Why don’t you post some more scriptures and tell us all about sucking the pope’s dick while praying to jesus while he rides in on a dinosaur.

          Maybe you could post that scripture about loving your enemies more than your friends and turning the other cheek and all that nonsense that you christians love to talk about.

          Maybe look up that one about hypocrisy, just a suggestion.

          1. You forgot to say, ‘I say, I say…’

    2. Edward – (I assume that’s your name as the familiar is what everyone uses with you; and as I’m not familiar, I’ll use the formal).

      First, I’m trying to understand whether you’re more upset that I said exactly what Welch said about McCain (only earlier) OR that I insulted the pope. Could you please explain which one it is so I know what you’re screaming about?

      Second, I’m not married. I’ve been divorced for years. Insult away. She made my life hell for a lot of years, BUT the kids turned out fine and being a military spouse for a career is no picnic. Hardly worthy of my enmity (or your insults) after all these years.

      You’re just dead wrong on McCain, as are most here, who appear to have not clue one about what it takes to do what he did. That’s fine. I don’t like McCain politically, but there are a LOT worse running the halls of power. And I don’t see you calling Welch’s wife names, so I can only conclude you’re really all in a huff because I called you a papist. Which you are. You’re problem, not mine.

  43. It’s always funny when a libertarian gets upset at some GOP idiot insulting another GOP idiot.
    I mean, really? You get upset about Trump being “indecent” towards a man who gets a boner every time he thinks about bombing the crap out of non-Americans?
    Besides, is a mass murderer “heroic” when he is rebellious toward his prison guards? I wouldn’t use that term for someone who is killing people in a country where he had no place or right being, for an illegal and immoral war.

    1. Careful now. You’re getting close to exposing something buried deep within the psyche of this commentariat.


    2. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think that in the military you are given orders, not suggestions. Every CinC should have the experience of obeying orders before he has the power to give them.

    3. So……your’e some kind of commie traitor like Jane Fonda?

  44. “Trump’s Dismissal of McCain’s Heroism Shows Lack of Judgment and Human Decency, And Is Also Dead Wrong”

    Since when did ‘human decency’ have anything to with politics? In any event the ‘hero’ status of politician who has argued for war by the United States in nearly every corner of the globe would be very low on the list regarding the lack of decency.

    Is Trump ‘anti-intellectual’? If so, we should hope he remains one for a while. The ‘intellectuals’ that lead us in both parties have been shucking and jiving for so long that a real shaking up is just what the country needs.

    1. Just because intellectuals are bad for government doesn’t mean that anti-intellectuals are any better.

      What the country needs is less government and more liberty.

  45. As a veteran, I realize that the reason I served was to allow all of us to have our opinion, Trump is not conforming to political correctness which I would much rather see, at least you know what your in for. True patriots know why they served and it wasn’t to get reginition. I like seeing feathers get ruffled, it gets the dust and dirt off things.

    1. Which is why I am hard at work inventing the degovernmentifier and the liberterizer. Should solve a lot of problems.

    2. Well writ,FTA was all our motto but we did what hadda be done.

  46. Trump is a sideshow. The liberal media is pumping him up to motivate the left-wing base.


    1. The liberal media boogeyman is so 2008. You’re reading and responding to this on a libertarian website.

    2. You’re right,he’s not going anyplace,if he had an ideology he might be formidable.

  47. I’m curious, is there a POW from WW2 held in similar esteem as John McCain?

    1. Pappy Boyington comes to my mind immediately – WW II Marine ace who gets shot down and picked up by the Japanese. I imagine that wasn’t very fun. The TV show “Baa Baa Black Sheep” was based upon his actions/exploits as the CO of VMA-214 (now VMFA), the “Black Sheep”.

      Louis Zamperini (from Unbroken) comes to mind, as well. Survived in a raft in the Pacific ocean for something like 6 or 8 weeks before landing on a Japanese controlled island and enduring years as a POW. Originally reported dead, as are most aviators who get shot down.

      Anyone who survived the Bataan Death March is going to get a pretty well-deserved “thank you for your service” from me, regardless of what stupidity they might subsequently mouth. If it’s stupid enough, I’ll just ignore it and be forewarned.

    2. Yeah,that eye-tie guy who survived the Jap war camp.

  48. Answering Welch’s question literally:

    1. Jan 2016. There is nothing the gop voters can do until then.

    2. Since when did it become the job of voters to punish? They are supposed to select their preference, with possible strategic considerations, not punish. I think you are confusing voters with jurors.

  49. Donald Trump is a loudmouthed jackass who has been on the flimflam so long that he has fallen for his own bullshit. As a President he would probably be a disaster (though not as big a one os Shrillary) but endlessly entertaining. John McCain is actually more dangerous; he appears to have fallen in love with the “Maverick” designation, and consequently shoots from the hip a lot. Which would be great, if he was good at shooting from the hip. From what I can see, he’s only so-so, and he tends to ride his mistakes into the ground. I realize that it runs against then accepted wisdom, but in his last run I seriously thought Palin was the smarter of the pair, and I’m far from a fan of hers.

    So a jackass is awkwardly attacking an idiot. With a little luck, they all eliminate each-other and the Republicans can run somebody who actually THINKS.

    I know. Dream on.

  50. John McCain in the Crucible


    CORONADO, Calif. — I am not surprised by reports that Senator John McCain’s political enemies have been spreading rumors that his famous temper is a sign of a broader “instability” caused by his imprisonment in Vietnam.

    In fact, a few weeks ago I received a call from an old friend who is also close to the George W. Bush campaign soliciting comments on Mr. McCain’s “weaknesses.” As I told that caller, I think John McCain is solid as a rock.

    And I consider it blasphemy to smudge the straight-arrow prisoner-of-war record of a man who was near death when he arrived at Hoa Loa prison 1967: both arms broken, left leg broken, left shoulder broken by a civilian with a rifle butt.

    He was eventually taken to the same rat-infested hospital room I had occupied two years earlier, and, like me, he had surgery on his leg. By then the Vietnamese had discovered that his father was the ranking admiral in the Pacific Fleet, and he received an offer that, as far as I know, was made to no other American prisoner: immediate release, no strings attached. He refused, thereby sentencing himself to four more years in a cell.

    1. There was a special cramped and hot privy-like structure in that Hanoi prison reserved for whichever American was causing the Vietnamese the most trouble. I was the first in the camp to be locked up in it, and I gave it the name Calcutta.

      There was only room for one person at a time in the cage, and after a couple of months I was taken out and marched back to a regular cell. As I limped along, I sneaked a peek at my replacement: John McCain, hobbling along on his own bad leg.

      As one of the few Americans who spent more than four years in solitary confinement during that war, I know that pride and self-respect lead to aggressiveness, and aggressiveness leads to a deep sense of joy when one is under pressure. This is hardly a character flaw.

      The military psychiatrists who periodically examine former prisoners of war have found that the more resistant a man was to harsh treatment, the more emotionally stable he is likely to become later in life.

      The troublemakers who endured long stretches in solitary, the men we called the tigers, are for the most part more in tune with themselves now than are those who chose the easier path of nonconfrontation, which made them “deserving” of cell mates. The psychiatrists tell us that many of those prisoners who chose a more docile existence missed out on the joy of “getting even” after release; some look back on their performances with regret.

      1. The psychiatrists have it partly right, but the truth of imprisonment is best learned from the writings of men who have spent a lot of time in cells, like Dostoyevsky, Cervantes and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. The last described his feeling of high-mindedness in his gulag writings:

        “And it was only when I lay there on rotting prison straw that I sensed within myself the first stirrings of good. Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either — but right through every human heart — and through all human hearts. . . .

        And that is why I turn back to the years of my imprisonment and say, sometimes to the astonishment of those about me: ‘Bless you, prison!’ ”

        I understand that, and so does John McCain.



          Libertarians could do with a bit of remembering who wrote the Constitution. It wasn’t an intellectual circle jerk. Those were warrior-statesmen who had just fought for their lives, their families, and Our national existence.

          1. Of those who actually wrote (or heavily influenced) the Constitution I can only think of Hamilton and Washington who were actual professional military. Jefferson, Adams, Madison, Jay, Paine….Not so much.

            1. I’m not talking about “professional military.” I should have added the Declaration of Independence, as well. That crew had 56 signers and most of them knew firsthand of what war looks like. In fact, five were captured by the British during the war (like that McCain clown. What a bunch of idiots, amirite?)

              “The 55 delegates who attended the Constitutional Convention were a distinguished body of men who represented a cross section of 18th-century American leadership. Almost all of them were well-educated men of means who were dominant in their communities and states, and many were also prominent in national affairs. Virtually every one had taken part in the Revolution; at least 29 had served in the Continental forces, most of them in positions of command.


  51. The guy still can’t comb his own hair

    Neither can Donald Trump, apparently.

  52. This isn’t even politics.

    It’s reality TV.

    A year from now, Trump will have another TV show, and it won’t even be about politics.

    1. I object to the term “Reality TV”. No first line “Reality TV” show I have ever seen clips of (Gods save me from having to watch as much as an entire episode) has resembled reality in even the smallest detail.

      Surreality TV.

      1. I’m on board with that, mostly–although…

        The First 48 is pretty awesome.

        There’s something weird and profound about people preferring Law & Order reruns over The First 48.

        I also dig Inkmaster.

        And the coolness of the cars at Gas Monkey make the antics bearable.

        But other than that, I hardly watch any reality TV.

        Except for Deadliest Catch, the one about the trappers in Tanana, and few other shows.

        1. +1 The Profit

  53. Sliming anyone who had the courage to serve in that God-forsaken war is pathetic, no less sliming those who had been cited for their valor. Shame on Trump.

    However, Reason seems to be selective in their outrage. Nick Gillespie once said this:

    ” But don’t make excuses about dirty GOP tactics to explain why the electorate rejects Democratic candidates, when what voters really eschew then and now is failure of judgment, lack of common sense and intellectual dishonesty.”

    He suggests stop whining. Of course, that was about the sliming of another decorated Vietnam vet, John Kerry. After all, Trump has since said it really is McCains lack of sense he is criticizing.

    But hey, one hero is a Republican, the other is a Democrat. They shall not be held to the same standard here at Reason.

    1. Link…..pping-abou

      Note the title…stop yapping about any sliming of one’s service.

    2. So joe, how was your hangover? You must have been pretty shitfaced last time you were here. I mean, you were all belligerent and sloppy and making uncharacteristic spelling mistakes and stuff. How’s life treating you, anyway? Are you still short? Are you still divorced? Are you still underwater in your shitty little house in Lowell? Are you still a part-time substitute teacher? Man, I hope not. That’s too degrading even for scum like you.

    3. “But don’t make excuses about dirty GOP tactics to explain why the electorate rejects Democratic candidates, when what voters really eschew then and now is failure of judgment, lack of common sense and intellectual dishonesty.”

      I don’t think that quote says what you think it says.

      He described what the Republicans did to Kerry as “dirty GOP tactics”, and said that what voters really reject is “a failure of judgement, a lack of common sense, and intellectual dishonesty”.

      If there’s anything embarrassing in that statement, it’s an embarrassing faith in the voters–especially since Obama was reelected despite his obvious failures of judgement, his lack of common sense, and his intellectual dishonesty.

      1. No, I understand. In fact, if I remember correctly, Reason wasn’t all that thrilled about swift boat anyway.

        My point is simply that Reason labeled the Dems who protested as whining and that dirty politics is just part of the game. Dirty? Yep. Are dirty politics the purview of just one party? Nope.

        Just seems to me that Reason has been whining an awful lot about Trump lately. And they whined about this McCain situation as well. Well, whining at least as far as Nick is concerned.

        1. Hey joe, remember when you whined about the monkey cartoon? Man, you looked like a moron. Remember? Remember how stupid you looked? Oh, and then you got all in a huff and stormed out and said you’d never come back. And then you came back. So, uh, that’s pretty pitiful, right?

        2. Reason has not been a fan of McCain.

          Gillespie has been as critical of McCain as anybody.

          Matt Welch wrote a scathing biography of McCain.

          In fact, the things Gillespie and Welch have written about McCain are more scathing in their own libertarian way than what Trump is saying about McCain.

          Saying he isn’t really a war hero is one thing.

          Libertarians around these parts have charged that McCain is practically a traitor to the Constitution–especially considering his support for violating our Fourth Amendment rights.

          It’s like you’re going after Gillespie for not eviscerating McCain this time–and ignoring all the other times he’s eviscerated McCain. Meanwhile, he criticized the Republicans for what they did to Kerry, too.

          What more do you want?

          Criticizing Gillespie for not going after Trump–in the exact same proportion–that he went after the Republicans for going after Kerry? That seems like a highly partisan view–except that they’re both criticisms of Republican candidates! God forbid if he ever went after the Democrats for doing the same thing, right? Would you complain then that he denounced the Democrats harder than the Republicans?

          1. What are you expecting from joe? Honesty? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

            1. I’ve learned a lot from joe, and he’s a funny guy!

              Anybody else remember when Dennis Hastert went on television and suggested that becasue George Soros was funding marijuana legalization initiatives, he might be in league with a drug cartel?

              “You know, I don’t know where George Soros gets his money. I don’t know where — if it comes overseas or from drug groups or where it comes from,” Hastert mused. An astonished Chris Wallace asked: “Excuse me?” The Speaker went on: “Well, that’s what he’s been for a number years — George Soros has been for legalizing drugs in this country. So, I mean, he’s got a lot of ancillary interests out there.” Wallace: “You think he may be getting money from the drug cartel?” Hastert: “I’m saying I don’t know where groups — could be people who support this type of thing. I’m saying we don’t know.”


              1. Well, joe wrote this comment in response:

                “Well, I guess the bottom line is, we just don’t know whether the House Speaker who used to roll around on the floor with teenaged boys in tight unitards tried to have sex with your dog or not.

                I don’t think we’ll ever really have a good answer to that question.”


                That’s some funny shit, but it was also prescient.

                Who knew the allegations about Hastert would come out ten years later?

                That’s why I remembered it.

                Oh, and did you know that joe keeps a Baptist minister’s family imprisoned in his basement, where they have to take turns on a giant hamster wheel to generate carbon free electricity?

                1. Hey Ken. Hate to tell you this, but I can’t take credit for being prescient. You see, it ain’t me. But don’t let anyone else know…I enjoy reading each day how many here live by that fantasy. Surprised about you. The only one who got it right was Sevo, believe it or not, as he knew.

                  By the way, what do I want? Just some consistency from Reason about their expectations how Dems and Reps should act. They are much more willing to give Reps a pass.

              2. The drug cartels always support laws that will put them out of business. They just want people to take drugs. The profit that comes from that is just coincidental and unimportant.

  54. I remember in the last election that another guy, by the ridiculous name of Newt, got a lot of attention and initial bump in the polls for his idiotic views and being the ‘badass’ who tapped into the fear and anger of the public while thumbing his nose at the media. Then his campaign imploded when everyone realized he was a fool and just another status quo asshat. Give it some time, Trump is just another Newt who will get his 15 minutes of fame, a lot of voters are just slow learners. Or in the case of the left, non-learners.

  55. First, this is a campaign; it’s perfectly fine to insult your opponent. Second, the idea that “noisy resistance to everyday humiliations” defines a “hero” is a new one. I think we pass out the hero designation too easily. Third, Welch cites a study that purports to show that illegal immigrants are no more likely to commit rapes than native born Americans, but does no such thing because it doesn’t address rapes specifically, and it doesn’t distinguish between immigrants who enter legally and those who don’t.

    And last, Trump may be a lot of things, but vulgar? I don’t see that.

    1. Excellent job portraying a low forehead. You almost had me convinced that we had a real-life Trump supporter here.

  56. John McCain is NOT a war hero. Trump said so in a boorish fashion, but the statement is true. That he was also the most vocal opponent of a full accounting by North Vietnam of american POWs and investigation as to any had been left behind is another, separate weirdness to the man. But it is indisputable that he has trnsformed his capture and mistreatment into a war hero status he does not deserve.

    1. I agree-he had me fooled for some time,but not when I looked at his voting record & then deeper into the facts.

  57. I’ve got nothing bad to say about the service of any American soldier who was a POW.

    Trump’s beef with McCain is that McCain got headlines that Trump wanted for himself. All The Donald cares about is being the subject of every conversation.

    If Trump were a serious candidate, he’d criticize McCain’s stance on some particular policy, or, better yet, he might focus on the positions of his opponents for the nomination…

    Regardless, if trashing McCain’s hero status instead of making policy proposals is what we can look forward to under President Trump, then he’s probably the worst guy running in the Republican field. Hell, I might like Hillary Clinton better than Trump–and I hate Hillary Clinton.

  58. McCain survived a terrible situation. If that’s heroic to you, so be it. Trump, the lizard brained jackass that he is, is reaping the rewards of the right-winged flavor of Political Correctness:

    “All Veterens are Heroes Simply by way of Putting on a Uniform”*

    *unless they run for office as a Democrat.

    1. I’ll go against even that,us draftees that didn’t run away are today awarded that distinction,at least I am.But I wasn’t,I suited up,showed up & got out of there alive,but didn’t take an easy out that was offered me.

  59. You know what, Welch?

    For a long time, McCain’s Viet Nam service was problematic for me.

    Problematic in the sense that I hated McCain’s guts and thought he was a son of a bitch (McCain-Feingold ALONE would justify that, forever) but I was forced to grudgingly respect him because he had been a POW.

    But you know what?

    McCain threw that away when he traded on his POW history to pass a “compromise” version of the Bush bill to immunize our own torturers.

    In doing so, he told me that he doesn’t think torture is all that bad or any kind of big deal.

    In one way, I was outraged. But in another way, I was secretly relieved. Because it meant I didn’t have to grudgingly respect McCain any more, and was free to hate him without remorse.

    Because he spent that chip. It’s gone. It can never come back.

    So fuck McCain. He may as well have gone to Oxford and smoked dope and got laid. His service record no longer exists, as far as I am concerned.

    1. Waterboarding isn’t torture. And getting a little rough with Al Queda operatives is just fucking fine in my book. They barely qualify as human and are not Americans. If you want to know what real torture is, look into what Al Queada does before they kill our guys.

  60. OT: I was looking at this post on my phone, so I saw ads. And one of them was for Everytown to End Gun Violence. Lolz.

  61. I’m stunned by the intellectual contortions supposedly principled people will go through in order to erase McCain’s military history. Fuck, why can’t you guys just endure the distinctly separate facts that (a) McCain is a statist; BUT, even if you deplore him, (b) McCain’s war service was exceptional? See? Not that hard.

    You don’t have to compromise your principles by destroying McCain’s past so you can feel better about insulting him. Fluffy, I applaud your honesty. At least you’ve identified what the rest of those defending Trump (that in itself on these pages is fucking hilarious) won’t admit: it’s difficult to call a guy a worthless POS who has shown exceptional character under circumstances that we ourselves aren’t sure we could survive. It doesn’t make him right about anything else he’s ever done, but trying to re-write his history to make ourselves feel better about insulting him is just so fucking middle school that it’s embarrassing.

    What he endured was beyond what any of us could ever claim we could or would suffer. He could have simply given up and died. Many, many, many people do under those conditions. Read Stockdale’s book. Read “Chained Eagles”. Read Unbroken (the movie sucked by comparison).

    1. Maybe it’s because I was brought up half-ass lapsed Catholic, AF, but to me it’s just math:

      Sins and good deeds offset. To a Catholic, sins can in fact be cancelled out, as if they never existed. It’s not that much of a leap to say, “…and vice versa.”

      McCain’s actions during the Bush administration were like saying the Rosary, only in reverse. They didn’t make sins vanish; they destroyed virtues. Made them as if they had never been.

      Short of building a time machine and going back and making his plane not get shot down, McCain could not have done more to erase the past.

      When I said that he spent that chip, I meant it literally. He had it, in his hands, and as long as he had it, an honest man had to give him credit. But W needed a favor – he needed McCain to sanctify his action, as he found a way to make sure that torturers would never be brought to justice. And McCain stepped up to deliver that favor – but the only way he could get it done was by spending that chip.

      And now it’s gone. Now he has no chips, except being a crazy, doddering old fool and an SOB. And those chips are not worth much.

      1. Fluff – I guess I’m in the dark. I don’t know enough about what McCain (evidently, single-handedly) did to earn this enmity. Again, I’m being serious. I’m unaware of his “dark deeds” that undo anything virtuous or brave ever done before that for all time.

        If you’re referring to him voting against prosecuting the CIA for the renditions program, okay. You’re entitled to that belief, though I’d suggest things might be just a bit more nuanced than MCCAIN GAVE BUSH (THE EVIL) SUPPORT AND SO NOW IT UNDOES ANYTHING GOOD EVAH!!!!!

        It might help you to view this through a different lens. Suppose McCain was worried that servicemembers, especially military interrogators, were going to get court-martialed merely for doing what they were ordered to do under penalty of being court-martialed themselves at the time? And that no senior person would ever be called to account, so it would fall right squarely on guys who were in a no-win situation? Maybe it was better to avoid the political witch-hunt that appeared to be in the offing by democrats and vote against anything that was going to kick that up?

        I don’t know – I’m speculating, but I was In-Country at the time and I know that troops were frequently put in no-win situations in which they would be “damned if they did” and “damned if they didn’t”. Reminding me of this Far Side cartoon.…..2.jpg.html

        1. Suppose McCain was worried that servicemembers, especially military interrogators, were going to get court-martialed merely for doing what they were ordered to do under penalty of being court-martialed themselves at the time? And that no senior person would ever be called to account, so it would fall right squarely on guys who were in a no-win situation?

          Well, then, maybe the North Vietnamese who held McCain were just good guys trapped in a no-win situation.

          I’m unaware of his “dark deeds” that undo anything virtuous or brave ever done before that for all time.

          Maybe not anything he did – but the Hanoi Hilton stuff, specifically, yes.

          Because that was what he chose to use to get the job done.

          Bush’s bill had gone down in defeat in the Senate. All McCain had to do to leave it that way was…nothing.

          But McCain chose not to do nothing. He chose to resurrect the bill, personally. He came out with a “compromise”. Who could oppose the bill then, with McCain behind it? No one. Because McCain put on the sackcloth and ashes about how he had been a prisoner and, so, he understood. If the Sainted Senator John McCain said that the bill was good, it must be good – because McCain was the Honored War Hero POW Camp Survivor.

          Having invoked his own service in this way, he corrupted it and any memory of it. If he thinks that his medals are instruments to use to protect torturers, then that’s what they are. And why should I respect them then?

  62. “He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured.”

    Ok, Mr. Trump, question: do successful businessmen declare bankruptcy…multiple times?

  63. Of course Trump is logically wrong. You can’t say McCain IS NOT a war hero and IS a war hero in the same breath.

    If a war hero is someone who courageously confronts fearful odds to achieve an important objective for the preservation of critical principles, then McCain does not qualify … whether he was captured or not.

    1. He was almost accidentally shot down while bombing a light bulb factory near Hanoi. Hardly “fearful odds” and far from being an important objective.
    2. Nearly all of his injuries were a result of his incompetence: he didn’t fold in his arms before ejecting from his plane. Someone who is injured because of his own foolishness is not any kind of hero.
    3. The first obligation of any captured soldier is to escape. McCain refused to escape or even to accept release. He may have had good reasons, but he violated important military rules of engagement, which might justify court martial.

    4. What he did, even if not captured, has nothing to do with preserving critical principles or defending our country. It was a proxy war, fought on false pretenses, with no benefit to any American citizens.

    1. 4 times Trump agreed McCain was a war hero. Most politicians in that circumstance would say the first “no” was Trump mis-speaking and, if they’re a democrat or Jeb Bush, that would be the end of it.


  64. The same people laughed at Reagan’s candidacy and called him stupid once in office. We need more stupid people like Reagan and fewer elites like McCain.

  65. I think Matt Welch has been buying a bill of goods when talking about McCain’s “heroism.”
    The only facts we can be sure of is that Mccain was shotdown and captured. I’m not aware of any
    medals that are given for performing those acts. I assume the military didn’t try to charge McCain for the loss of his plane. Regardles, McCauin’s preformance since becoming a political
    player is certainly not one of heroism – cowardice is a far more appropriate characterization. And stupidity. Now he is slandering Trump’s audiences – apparently he thinks it’s crazy to find
    fault with illegal aliens. There has also been talk of McCain’s POW behavior as anything but

    1. He got the silver star for his actions in the Hanoi Hilton.

      1. He also got a distinguished flying cross (DFC) prior to that for a bombing mission over Hanoi. Care to make up some more shit and talk out your ass?

        1. His father was a Fleet Admiral & he got every break in the book.

  66. Westmiller –

    First off, your definition is wrong. You’ve chosen a definition that you could obviously refute. Perhaps that was unintentional, but it’s a logical failing of the first order.

    A war hero is nothing more than someone who performs exceptionally well under the horrible circumstances of war, be it diving on a hand grenade or being a quiet but courageous example to other POWs. The military has been at this for some time and has even developed gradations of measuring it in the awards system. Thanks for your opinion, though.

    All of your numbered statements are bullshit. The first three because they are verifiable whoppers. To wit:

    2. Have you ever been through DWEST or ejection seat training? Almost all pilots get fucked up in real-life ejections. It’s not uncommon for backs to be broken. That’s why it’s a last resort. Entering the slipstream at 500 knots after an explosion under your ass, with the plane tumbling through the sky and dropping like a brick, after you’ve been shot by a SAM, and you say it’s “his” fault? Ok.
    3. OMG, as I read on, you’re just a liar. He was busted up and couldn’t walk. That’s why he couldn’t escape. How many times have you been through SERE/high risk SERE school?
    4. Ah, more anti-Vietnam rhetoric. You should have made this the beginning of your post, it would have been more intellectually honest.

  67. How can it be on a libertarian website devoted to facts and “Reason” that I’m only person who is aware that McCain was actually, no bullshit, a good aviator (I’d say getting a DFC qualifies, even if his earlier stunts weren’t so bright) and a bonafide hero for his actions in the Hanoi Hilton (awarded the Silver Star) upon his return??

    For those keeping score at home, the DFC is pretty much the highest award you can get for your actions as an aviator in combat (from the sky, anyway) and the Silver Star is the 3rd highest award for personal bravery. The Navy does not hand either of them out like candy.

    I get it, you all hate McCain politically. I even agree in general. But holy balls, the majority of you are just out of your fucking minds and you simply MUST demonize someone with whom you disagree.

    Fuck. Grow up.

    1. You’re not the only one. You should read the other comments. If you’re flying off a carrier, you’re a damn good aviator.

      1. No doubt about it. Anyone who lands on a boat in the middle of the ocean has done something. Fighter guys get bragging rights, but I know it’s not easy for helos to land on the back of a frigate at night in choppy seas, or in between other helicopters on NVGs, even on a big deck.

        Fuck, the guy is sitting in his aircraft minding his own business on the deck of the Forrestall and a Zuni rocket cooks off and hits either his aircraft or the one next to it. It kills the guy who was in the aircraft next to him. He barely escapes with his life and watches people he knows die all around him. That’s right from the safety investigation that followed. A 5″ rocket fucking impacted right next to him and he lived – and you’ve got idiots 50 years later blaming it on him! As if he had any-FUCKING-thing to do with it! By all accounts, he acted heroically in that case, as well. After getting out of the fire, he tried to (and did) help other people on the flight deck at the time.

        I like people who’ve never even been near a boat, flown in a tactical aircraft, been shot at, or even been to a goddamn SERE course, much less held for 5 years in the fucking Hanoi Hilton, taking Trump’s side in this. Right. Trump – of all people – is in a position to talk shit about ANYONE WHO EVER FUCKING SERVED IN COMBAT.

  68. trump has lost my support and vote

    over the last 2 weeks i have left dozens of supportive comments
    of trump at many websites

    i saw his disparaging remarks again mccain (and i HATE mccain as a POLITICIAN)
    and trump’s remarks that he prefers people who ‘aren’t captured.’
    is BLATANTLY insulting to ALL VETERANS.

    our P.O.W.s and M.I.A.s deserve honor and recognition at all times

    there’s no question, that every man or woman who wears a military uniform
    and serves honorably is an … AMERICAN HERO. period.

    i was going to give trump a second chance hoping that he’d that today
    he’d apologize to mccain and to all veterans

    he was interviewed for 10 minutes this morning on fox and friends

    he doubled down on his negative remarks

    he lost my vote

    GO CRUZ!

    1. marsha — Nothing against veterans but we have more important fish to fry than waving the flag and falling on our swords over a verbal disagreement between Trump and the RINO McCain.

      Trump is the ONLY person on the planet who can get our economy running and straighten out this fucking immigrant mess Reagan, Bush senior, McCain and the democrats dumped on our country.

      Get over it. Don’t be one of those stupid cunts!

      1. Yes, just visit Atlantic City and see what the whole country could look like!

        1. craiginmass — I guess you really hate Babe Ruth because he never batted 1000 either.

    2. Anyone who wears a uniform and serves honorably is a hero? All hail the military industrial complex!

  69. Sorry Matt, you’re being an idiot.

    Trump definitively DID NOT dismiss McCain’s heroism. If you’d actually watched the exchange you would have understood that Trump dismissed Luntz’s using the “hero card” to dismiss Trump’s attack on McCain’s shitty comments about anyone who doesn’t kiss his ass. And quickly qualified his statement.

    But, you just want to jump on the reactionary band-wagon and pipe in with some of your horseshit.

    You’ve really become a turd, Matt. Go suck up to some more establishment “libo-conseratives”.

  70. Who in the hell cares about McCain to begin with. He should have switched to the Democrat party decades ago. FUCK him, Trump was right.

  71. As a vet I consider John McCain to be a traitor to his oath and the US.

    McCain is a self-proclaimed “progressive” – I remind everyone the the origin of that appellation is the Fabian Society Socialists. Marxists. Communists. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obeyme both refer to themselves as progressives.

    McCain has used his cover as “war hero” and POW for his underhanded Senatorial dealings over the decades to enrich himself and his state and sell out US sovereignty to globalists.

    Does ANYONE recall “The Keating Five”?

    His role in the “Gang of Fourteen”?

    How about selling out to the communists?


    Call it Stockholm syndrome to be kind, but I think it’s more slight-of-hand.

    McCain has helped to “progressively” engineer the overthrow of the US government, the founding of the “North American Union” and the police agencies and regulations necessary to keep us all in line during the transition.

    He even went so far as to use the newly weaponized IRS to help terrorize the opposition to his tyrannical leanings:…..ervatives/

    He’s a political criminal and deserves the fate of Ceaucescu or Mussolini.

    I’m more ashamed of McCain’s legacy than Trump’s pronouncements. Get ’em Donald. Give ’em hell!

  72. When will Republican voters start punishing the serial lies of an idiocratic TV huckster?

    No one’s voted for him.

  73. Trump is simply a Republican lacking enough sense to employ the dog whistle. Who would vote Republican if they weren’t the party of racism and know-nothingism – a handful of wealthy people? It’s not enough, which is why they were happy to take over from the Dixiecrats, and pull the religious, the ignorant, and the racists under their tent. Trump is simply saying what these people believe.

  74. I don’t know that I would vote for Trump, but I don’t disagree with him for the comments the LSM is trying to destroy him with. The more they scream, the more they fail to see it isn’t working. McCain is a worthless POS. He wore out any war hero value he may have had 30 years ago. Fuck him. He should do the country a favor and kill himself.

  75. I’m no Trump supporter, hell, I would not support any of these lying scumbags, but it appears that Mr Trumps observations vis a vis McCains alleged war heroism are merely the “tip of the iceberg”, as they say.

    While held captive McCain apparently willingly [ie was not forced] helped to broadcast pro communist propaganda [“not that here’s anything wrong with that” 🙂 ]:

    Quote: “….it was hardly a secret in veterans’ circles that McCain had spent much of the war producing Communist propaganda broadcasts since these had regularly been played in the prisoner camps as a means of breaking the spirits of those American POWs who resisted collaboration. Indeed, he and some of his friends had speculated about who currently possessed copies of McCain’s damning audio and video tapes and wondered whether they might come out during the course of the presidential campaign…..”

    All of this has been covered up for years via the efforts of his father , an Admiral, who also is apparently at least partly responsible for the whitewashing of the USS Liberty incident.

    Also, archival footage of McCain returning from Vietnam shows a healthy man with a slight limp, and _no_ crutches.

    But don’t believe me- read the article and make up your own mind[ assuming you still have one 🙂 ]:…..president/

    Regards, onebornfree
    The Freedom Network ,

    1. I just wish Macs wife would have shared all those opiates she stole from the children’s charity.

      Obviously she bogarted them!

  76. Donald Trump must really have Reason running scared if the editorial staff has to launch these attacks against him. The tipoff is the unflattering photos of Trump, as well as the rehabilitation of McCain in these pages. Perhaps the reason is that Trump is getting more public support than 20 years worth of LP presidential candidates?

    1. Only a matter of time before Reason starts sucking up to Scott Walker.

      Remember, power and money talks and BS walks…in libby la la land.

    2. My thoughts exactly.

  77. Hmmmmmm, if that’s your thoughts, it tells a lot, lots of luck!

  78. What I find myself wondering is who got more tail – Clinton or McCain?

    Clinton paid for it, though, while Mac got hundreds of millions in net worth and a Senate seat for his humping.

    Oh, yeah, that girl who waited for him while he was a “hero” – he had to dump her because money and power called.

    What do you call a guy who does that? Smart and horny, I guess….

  79. I mostly agree with Trump,”war hero”to me(& him)means that the man charged machine guns or dragged soldiers away under fire,not valiantly enduring torture & refusing reparation because his father was an Admiral .Noble,yes,heroic,questionable.

  80. The only “outrage” about Trump’s allegations about McCain are in the media outlets like Reason who are running cover for a GOP leadership totally estranged from its electorate. Reread the 2008 Rolling Stone biography of McCain.…..k-20081016

    If you can still insist that McCain is a “hero” or even any sort of human being at all after that, you’ve obviously checked your sanity at the door.

    1. Rolling Stone? Seriously? DId RS vette that story as well as they did the fraternity gang rape lie they published? McCain is a worthless piece of lying traitorous shit, but so is RS. You need better sources.

  81. Maybe we should get a little input from the old guys. You know! The guys that were around when Mr McCain was called a “collaborator” and a “turncoat”. These actions don’t seem too darned heroic. Even McCain says it did not make him a hero. And saying he would not come home unless the rest of the prisoners were released. Thing is, he was doing better, under their care, than the rest of the prisoners. I wonder why?!

  82. With all our problems, both social and economic needing immediate solutions, why are we making issues like this one draw our attention away from them?
    McCain, like many other POWs who survived, served in our military honorably. Speaking of McCain alone, I have respect for his military service, but very little if any at all for many of his deeds as a politician, especially as a Republican.
    Trump has a right to express his views, which a few I agree with, and is very unlikely to win the Republican primary. What are the real issues that should determine who would be the most acceptable candidates from each party to run in the general election?
    Anything relating to Federal taxing and spending of our hard earned money should rise to the top of the issues we need to be discussing.

  83. My Dad taught me that the sun goes around the earth–relative to me. He used to ask, if a hunter is circling a tree, and a squirrel stays on the far side of the trunk from the hunter, is the hunter circling the squirrel? The first thing people have to agree on, is “Relative to what?”

    Which brings us to “hero.” Does being a POW who survives make one a hero? What about those who didn’t survive? What about those who volunteered to serve vs. those who were drafted? What about “draft dodgers” or “conscientious objectors to war,” some of whom sacrificed a great deal from conviction, and some who did not? What makes one a hero and a hero to whom? Is a uniform the answer?

    I don’t like wars of aggression. My heroes oppose them. Harriet Tubman was a hero to me, as are the Friends who helped run the underground railroads of the War Between the States and WWII, but who refused to take up arms.
    I think Trump was making this point, and I agree with it (but he’d make a horrible, but pretty typical, out-of-touch limelight-hogging president).

  84. I find myself wondering how Trump’s attack on McCain is different from the Swiftboat attacks on Kerry…

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