July 29, 2006


The McCains and War: Like Father, Like Son (Massimo Calabresi, Time.com, 7/29/06)

Exclusive: Vietnam hero and Senator John McCain has unyieldingly backed the Iraq war. Now son Jimmy is heading to boot camp and, maybe, to battle

This September, Senator John McCain's youngest son, Jimmy, 18, will report to a U.S. Marine Corps depot near Camp Pendleton in San Diego. After three months of boot camp and a month of specialized training, he will be ready to deploy. Depending on the unit he joins, he could be in Iraq as early as this time next year, and his chances of seeing combat at some point are high.

Posted by David Cohen at July 29, 2006 6:01 PM

I don't wish to denigrate Jimmy's choice, but surely McCain had no hand in Jimmy's decision to enlist, rather than to wait, go to college, and be commissioned ?

Posted by: Noam Chomsky at July 29, 2006 6:46 PM

Very foolish. He'll be an easy target for nutcases of every stripe.

Posted by: erp at July 29, 2006 7:10 PM

Please never say that going into the Marine Corps is foolish.

Posted by: Lou Gots at July 29, 2006 7:40 PM

Senator's sons do not see combat, not in this kind of war.

Posted by: mf at July 29, 2006 7:41 PM

I'll take that bet.

Posted by: David Cohen at July 29, 2006 7:51 PM

The Marine Corps would be an odd choice indeed for a senator's son who wanted to enlist but avoid combat.

Posted by: John Thacker at July 29, 2006 8:52 PM

One thing to watch as 2008 approaches: Limbaugh has a good deal of influence with the Republican base, especially in the South and Flyover Country. Limbaugh is a Rudy fan, and has been ridiculing McCain for years. He seems to genuinely despise the man. I think that will matter.

Posted by: ghostcat at July 29, 2006 9:43 PM

McCain's strategy seems to be that he will run as the "true" conservative and go negative on Guiliani (similar to what happened to him in 2000). My guess is that it will backfire on him, because he will be seen as too grasping. Unless he mounts a frontal assault on the Democratic party, he is going to be seen as too compromised, even if some of his core views are more acceptable to "the base" than Rudy's.

McCain doesn't just have to kiss and make up - he needs to show what he will do when he isn't compromising. The jury is still out on that.

Posted by: jim hamlen at July 29, 2006 10:38 PM

"The Marine Corps would be an odd choice indeed for a senator's son who wanted to enlist but avoid combat."

It won't be the sons choice, it's the Marine Corps decision. It he is injured or killed, it would undermine the war effort.

Posted by: mf at July 29, 2006 11:17 PM

It he is injured or killed, it would undermine the war effort.

Ah, like Pat Tillman, whom ESPN never ceases to talk about?

Posted by: John Thacker at July 29, 2006 11:19 PM

Even worse, having Jimmy in combat ops could involve Sen. McCain in policy decisions at a local level-- in no way a good scenario.

Posted by: mf at July 29, 2006 11:20 PM

Sorry, it came out wrong. What I meant to say is this smells a lot like a McCain publicity stunt. I have no doubt the Marine Corps will handle young McCain the same as any other enlistee. I hope he's up to it.

Posted by: erp at July 30, 2006 10:28 AM

They could solve it by sending him to Bosnia - we'll still be there, and not much happens anyway.

Posted by: ratbert at July 30, 2006 4:53 PM

Most of the commenters here obviously have no concept of the power of military heritages in certain families. OF COURSE McCain's sons are going to join up. The amazing thing is that this one decided not to go to Annapolis where his older brother apparently is. What else would you do if you were the male son of the longest-held POW in Vietnam (IIRC), who was the son of an admiral, who was the son of an admiral?

The article on this story in the LA Times ended with some asinine snarkiness along the lines of "Only 1% of current members of Congress have children serving in the military." Showing they have no concept of current demographics, or of the history of the US military in society. Historical ignorance, which was a blessing for the first two centuries of American history, is a huge obstacle for our future...

Posted by: b at July 31, 2006 11:46 AM

Why is it that current demographics, or the history of the U.S. military in society, should necessarily lead to very few members of Congress having children serving in the military ?

Even adjusting for the age and family size of members of Congress, their children are underrepresented in the U.S. military, although perhaps not by as much as the LA Times might be attempting to imply.

Posted by: Noam Chomsky at July 31, 2006 4:12 PM

b: longest-held POW was Col. Floyd James "Jim" Thompson. Bio here: http://www.powmiaff.org/Thompson.html

Posted by: joe shropshire at August 1, 2006 2:09 AM