A Liberal in Republican clothing….

I have to say I am probably at loss as to how I will vote in November.  If John McCain ends up the Republican nominee (which looks likely after the Florida primary), I will likely not vote for President unless there is a conservative 3rd party candidate.  Yes, I know that probably puts Hillary (slight chance of B. Hussein Obama) in office.  I think I could live with that prospect and let a liberal fail this country instead of a Liberal in Republican clothing tossing our sovereignty out the window (among other things McCain would do).

 I have had the discussion with my husband about McCain’s war record.  My husband is a Navy retiree.  McCain is a war hero and that should be respected.  But that certainly doesn’t fit him to be President, nor Commander in Chief.

I know there are some out there who think McCain is best at what may be most important and that would be Foreign Policy and the Iraq War.    In my mind, however, we can have some dandy foreign policy and keep our troops in Iraq for the win, but he will tear apart almost every conservative principle and issue within our own country.  He is not a conservative!

In addition, I am not convinced he can be trusted on the War front or Foreign Policy either.  I was reading Michelle Malkin this morning and she quotes from e-mails she received from frustrated conservatives who do not want a McCain presidency.  One of the e-mails she included is from veteran who makes a great case about McCain based on McCain’s approach to the Swiftboat Veterans for Truth back in 2004.  McCain denounced the Swiftboat Vets as dishonorable and untruthful in order to side with his Senate buddy for political expediency….well we all know the truth about Kerry now and the Vets were right on.  Anyway, this vet makes a great case to consider for those who think McCain’s strength is his defense of the military…….not so fast!  Read on:

Up front, as a Vietnam veteran, I will readily concede that I respect John McCain for his service to his country, first as a naval aviator and POW in Vietnam, then for his long years in our national Congress. I even will admit to the fact that I somewhat admire McCain’s desire to effect some sort of political reconciliation with the Democrat party. That being said, I must also make it very clear that I do not support certain decisions McCain has chosen on his pathways to political advancement.

Now that the Senator has won primaries in New Hampshire and South Carolina and the network pundits are proclaiming he may well be the Republican “Comeback Kid,” I am reminded of an old Army joke about a platoon sergeant faced with the prospect of breaking the terrible news to one of his young charges, Private Jones, that the soldier’s mother has just passed away. The sergeant calls his platoon into formation and barks out the order, “All of you with living mothers take one step forward.” Then after a momentary pause, he mutters, “Not so fast there, Jones.” That’s my take as a veteran and a conservative Republican on this new political development: “Not so fast there, McCain.”

My first and biggest beef with John McCain is that when a very brave group of Vietnam veterans who had served with John Kerry stood up to say that Kerry’s self-serving portrayal of his war record was patently false, that his blanket charges of war crimes against them were absurd, and that his testimony in Congress was used by the North Vietnamese to further torture McCain’s fellow POW’s, Senator McCain airily dismissed these courageous men and sided with his Senate pal. Playing conciliator in the national media, McCain despicably denounced the Swift boat veterans’ ad as dishonest and dishonorable, hinting that they were pawns of George Bush and the Republican right.

Like all the leftists in the MSM, John McCain never gave these true American heroes even the least opportunity to defend their claims. As a veteran who had suffered more than most to defend our constitutional right of free speech, McCain inexplicably used his powerful office and national presence to ally himself with the repressive forces of mainstream media to suppress that right to men who had risked their lives in combat to preserve it. It was one of the bitterest betrayals the Swift boat vets and the millions of us Vietnam veterans supporting them would have to endure. We expected treachery from the MSM and Kerry’s campaign, but not from John McCain.

What I can never reconcile in my mind, my heart or my soul, is how this naval aviator, POW and true war hero, could so easily turn his back on his fellow sailors, combat veterans all. In the name of political expediency, and a sorely misguided attempt to lay to rest all the troubled ghosts of Vietnam that his treasonous Senate colleague was primarily responsible for creating, John McCain turned his back on the true heroes and sided with a phony vet with phony medals and a suspect discharge.

Never mind that I disagree with McCain on immigration, taxes and his unconstitutional McCain-Feingold bill; that’s all merely politics and has nothing to do with honor and loyalty to those who served bravely alongside you in combat. Nope, that’s not the issue. But I’m putting the Senator on notice right now; if you should somehow get the Republican nomination, you are gambling with the votes of millions of veterans like me unless you repudiate your reprehensible siding with the traitorous, treasonous John Kerry. I have never stayed home on Election Day in protest of a distasteful candidate, but this could be the first time for me and many Vietnam vets, again turning our backs on a fellow vet who turned his first.

The Senator should read the excellent recounting of how a determined few veterans, whom he disgracefully defamed, defeated his old buddy, John Kerry, in the 2004 campaign. In ‘To Set the Record Straight,” authors Scott Swett and Tim Ziegler, lay it out, page by page, what the concerted efforts of a few honorable patriots with an unrelenting resolve can accomplish in the arena of national politics.

Like the old platoon sergeant, I would caution, “Not so fast there, McCain!”

Russ Vaughn
Vietnam 65-66


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