The big news over the weekend, or at least the most volatile and inflammable news, was the spat between Arizona [mc_name name=’Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’M000303′ ] and presidential hopeful Donald Trump. Trump bearded McCain (and I don’t mean this is a homosexual sense) in his own state over McCain’s atrocious immigration stand. McCain called Trump’s supporters “crazies” and by extension, I suppose, implied that it took a crazy to rile them up. Trump went nuclear:
“He was a war hero because he was captured,” Trump said at the 2015 Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa.
“I like people who weren’t captured,” the current Republican front-runner told political consultant Frank Luntz, who hosted the event.
The attack, in Trump’s hands, went from attacking in John McCain to attacking US prisoners of war in general.
John McCain’s service has been questioned by a hundreds of thousands of people. There are some who claim he was a stool pigeon for the North Vietnamese. Some claim he was an incompetent pilot. A few claim he personally set off the disastrous fire on the USS Forrestal. Back in 2000, [mc_name name=’Sen. Al Franken (D-MN)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’F000457′ ], then a washed-up comic, had this to say:
I doubt I could cross the line and vote Republican. I have tremendous respect for McCain but I don’t buy the war hero thing. Anybody can be captured. I thought the idea was to capture them. As far as I’m concerned he sat out the war.
What the hit on Trump here is, is not that he went after McCain’s military record — though why anyone would bother with that given his abyssmal record as a US Senator — but that he criticized McCain and other prisoners of war for being prisoners of war, a state we can safely assume none of them aspired to.
Into the fray comes Jake Tapper. Via Mediaite:
On Sunday’s State of the Union, host Jake Tapper asked [mc_name name=’Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’H001073′ ] whether Republicans were deploying a double standard by acting outraged at celebrity plutocrat Donald Trump’s dismissal of Senator John McCain’s war heroism, just a decade after “swiftboating” then-Democratic nominee John Kerry.
Tapper replayed a 2004 clip of Bob Dole mocking Kerry’s purple hearts for “superficial wounds,” part of a coordinated campaign to undermine Kerry’s service in the 2004 election.
“Is there a double standard here?” Tapper asked. “Are Republicans saying, ‘There’s no place in our party to disparage those who have served honorably,’ unless you’re a Democrat?”
This is just a tendentious question by a man who is smart enough to know better and one can only assume he is trying to mollify his liberal colleagues over some past indiscretion when he reported news.
1. Democrats attacked the war record of George H. W. Bush claiming he was a coward for bailing out of his sticken TBF Avenger and living when his crew did not.
2. Do we really have to go through Rather-gate again?
3. McCain’s record was attacked by Democrats in 2000 and 2008.
4. The correct allegation, had Tapper bothered to check his reflexive jerk to the left, would have been to say that the GOP criticized ALL sailors who served of Swift boats or ALL Purple Heart winners.
5. Alternatively, Tapper could have asked if it was now okay for Republicans to behave like Democrats.
For the record, Kerry won three Purple Hearts, enough to get him an early ticket home, and he never spent a single day in a medical facility. I think Bob Dole was being generous in calling the wounds “superficial.” “Non-existent” would be a better definition.
This was a beclowning moment for Tapper. He weighed into the controversy du jour, shot off his mouth, and came out looking rather silly. But it is a wake-up call to those who think that Tapper is anything other than a paid-in-full member of the Democrats-in-Media club.