Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Here's John McCain Not Supporting the Troops

One of the more specious attacks on Barack Obama is the false McCain claim that Barack Obama doesn't support the troops. Indeed a part of a line was lift3ed from an Obama statement on Afghanistan to make it say the absolutely opposite thing than Obama actually said. Even the lame fact-checkers at CBS agreed that this attack was false (Oct. 7, 2008).

And yet, for all the bravado of the McCain campaign about supporting the troops, for all its circumscribing what is "allowed" to be said to the point that any criticism of the war is an "affront" to the troops, McCain does not have much of a track record. Rather, he supports mindless and endless shows of force abroad as a façade for supporting the troops. McCain has (some of this material is paraphrasing Schecter, The Real McCain):

* Opposed Dems 2004 bill to provide more body armor and armored vehicles.
* Opposed the Webb GI Bill for Iraq veterans, and then, when it passed, used the "we" to give the impression that he helped pass it and that he accomplished great things for vets.
* Opposed Akaka (D-HI) S. Amdt 149 to increase medical care by 2.8 billion in 2006.
* In 2006, opposed S. Amdt 1852, which set aside $10 million for readjustment counseling services for troops, despite the evidence that returning soldiers often seriously require such treatments.
* In 2006, again opposed monies for Veterans Medical care. In all these cases, he offered no alternative measures of his own (see Schecter, The Real McCain, p. 35).
* He opposed Dodd's S.Amdt 2735 to shore up failing infrastructure at veterans' hospitals. The bill would have required a minor rollback of the capital gains tax to pay for it.
* He opposed S. Amdt 2737 (Reed-D-RI) which would have provided much needed equipment for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
* He opposed exempting military personnel from some facets of bankruptcy (Durbin-D-Il).
* Using 155 Senate votes affecting troops, veterans, and military families, since Spt. 11, 2001, the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America found John McCain scored a D. No one got an A. Thirteen Dems got A-. 22/23 Senators getting B+ were Democrats.

Meanwhile,Vet Voice has this summary of McCain's failure to support the troops.