McCain Myths

Well, over the weekend, I took a look at a couple of the myths surrounding Barack Obama, ones that have been endlessly repeated. Now I’m going to do the same for a few tales about John McCain.

John McCain graduated almost last in his class at Annapolis. True. Of almost 900 graduates, McCain was about fifth from the bottom.

John McCain, upon his release as a prisoner of war, cheated repeatedly on his wife who had been permanently injured and scarred in a car crash, eventually divorcing her.

John McCain, prior to his shooting down and capture by the Vietnamese, was a real hellion and rebel and irresponsible punk. True.

We know those are all true because we have it straight from the horse’s mouth — McCain himself. He’s never hidden those aspects of his character, those failings and shortcomings. He makes no bones in admitting that it took him a while to mature.

John McCain doesn’t know how many homes he owns. False.

John McCain knows precisely how many homes he owns — none.

John McCain was asked how many homes he and his wife own. That includes the homes he shares with his wife, the ones his wife owns and are occupied by her children, and the ones owned as investment properties.

When John and Cindy McCain got married, they signed a prenuptial agreement that kept their finances separate. She is a very wealthy woman, and owns a lot of property. It is entirely unsurprising that he didn’t know at one moment just how many homes were part of her financial portfolio. So he gave the only answer he could — that he didn’t know, but would find out.

John McCain crashed five planes in his Navy career. False.

John McCain was, indeed, involved in five aircraft mishaps over his naval career. But to say that “he crashed five planes” is a crock.

1) During training, his engine flamed out and he ditched the plane at sea. I dunno the particulars, but I’ll just play the odds and say that that one was 50% likely to be pilot error, 50% mechanical failure.

2) Later, in Europe, while flying, he clipped some power lines. He managed to land the plane safely. But that kind of accident is almost always a pilot error, so he gets the responsibility for that one.

3) Back in the US, while on another flight, suffered another engine failure and ditched his plane over Norfolk. Applying the same logic as #1, I’ll say that he gets a pass for one crash and the blame for another. That’s two.

4) While serving on the USS Forrestal in 1967, McCain was in his jet — which was strapped to the flight deck preparing for launch — when the infamous Forrestal disaster struck. A stray rocket from another plane triggered a catastrophic series of fires and explosions that killed 134 sailors and injured 161. McCain barely escaped with his life, and had absolutely no responsiblity for the disaster that also claimed his aircraft. To list that Skyhawk as a plane “John McCain crashed” is a despicable lie, and a dishonor to those who fought — and, in some cases, suffered and died — saving the Forrestal that day.

5) John McCain’s final plane mishap was when he was shot down over Vietnam. He was on a bombing run, heard the warning buzzers that a missile was on its way, but chose to ignore them and press on with his mission. He dropped his bombs on target, and then his jet was hit and knocked out of the sky. Such disregard for his own safety can be characterized as many things: determined, heroic, foolhardy, stupid, and reckless are all terms I’ve seen tossed around under such circumstances. “Negligent” or “incompetent” don’t usually come up, though.

Now that we’ve gotten those out of the way, can we PLEASE give some attention to the REAL issues? This petty crap got real stupid real fast.

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