Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The press has exhaustively 'covered' the minor flap about Gen. Wesley Clark's assessment of Senator McCain's military service as it pertains to his qualifications to be president.  In my mind this has always been a non-issue.  I have never supported any candidate because the served and never thought less of them because they did not.  I happen to agree with General Clark.  Getting shot down and enduring five years of captivity with its associated torture, does not amount to a qualification in Senator McCain's favor.  I simply have no sympathy with his proposed policies.  A critic can honor the Senator for his service and sacrifice and NOT believe it should be rewarded with the presidency.  MSNBC asks today if, suddenly, military service is no longer an asset in political campaigns.  We have a history of rewarding political aspirants who served in popular wars.  For fifty years after the Revolutionary war we elected military officers and founding fathers.  For fifty years after the Civil War candidates from both parties were drawn from the ranks of officers who served the Union side.  How many of the presidents of the 20th century had military experience?  You count them up.  Now let's ask another question:  How many were truly excellent civilian leaders?  Perhaps we should remember that the Constitution (anybody remember that little document??) only lists two requirements: the President must be the requisite age and must be a natural born citizen of the U.S.  I also wonder if the current ambivalence toward military service arises because the most military adventures for the last fifty years have been decidedly unpopular.  That might make it easier to disparage service however honorable.

Did anyone else think it was so totally ridiculous that Senator McCain, in sound bites yesterday, opined that the Supreme Court decision holding the death penalty for those who rape children who survived the experience was unconstitutional was an argument for electing him because we could only expect the appointment of more liberal justices if that oh-so-liberal Senator Obama were elected?  Perhaps someone should remind the good Senator that most of the members of this court were appointed by good Republican Presidents.  It is also interesting that the press spent less time on this sound bite than on General Clark's sound bite (see above) of a couple of days before.

On an entirely unrelated note--we are still waiting for our tomatoes.  The first ones had blossom end rot and I discarded them.  Luckily I found out that the problem was probably due to the very chilly night we had shortly after the plant bloomed coupled with letting it get too dry.  I haven't seen any problems with the later fruits.  We think we might get a couple of larger pots next year and only plant two.  We will use the smaller pots for something else--peppers perhaps.

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