I noticed in The New York Times this morning that John McCain's new ad echoes some comments he made at a recent debate. From the ad:
A few days ago, Senator Clinton tried to spend $1 million on the Woodstock concert museum. Now, my friends, I wasn't there. I'm sure it was a cultural and pharmaceutical event. I was tied up at the time. No one can be president of the United States that supports projects such as these.
up in his plea for fiscal "restraint" is a more powerful message.
McCain, you might be surprised to learn, fought in Vietnam and was even
tortured. During this time, a bunch of drug-crazed hippies were
partying at Woodstock and burning the flag. Guess which side of the
cultural "divide" Senator Clinton falls on? Now, people who were in the antiwar movement might make the
simple observation that hippies were often not in fact political, and
that the counterculture movement and the struggle against military
action in Indochina were separate, if overlapping, phenomena. Something
tells me this point is lost on McCain, but so be it. What I get from the Times story, and from McCain's comments
at the debate, is that he has not just become shameless about promoting
his heroism in Vietnam (see Jon's post below), but now feels the need to smear those who initially opposed the war he now admits was misguided. This
is a neat trick, and consistent with McCain's (and conservatism's)
modus operandi. So, for instance, McCain exhibits no anger toward Henry
Kissinger (who advises the senator on foreign policy), and instead
decides to take some cheap shots at all those rich college kids who
always thought the war was wrong and spent years fornicating at
debauched concerts. But wait, isn't Kissinger the man who helped
sabotage the Paris Peace Talks (and thus the Humphrey campaign) in
1968, only to accept a similar deal (and the Nobel Prize) five years
later? I think he is! And wasn't McCain "tied up" during that time? I
think he was! Oh well--when wars go bad the only people to blame are
the ones who never had the "stomach" to fight it in the first place.