Washington Examiner columnist Gregory Kane says, in criticizing Barack Obama, that he would not vote for anyone for president who has not served in the military:
But for those who opt for the career path that leads from Harvard Law to community organizing to state senator to U.S. senator, I expect one thing: Don’t come before me years later running for president, in essence asking to be commander-in-chief of a military force you didn’t think was worthy of your commitment.
Maybe I’m just funny this way, but I would never, under any circumstances, vote for a presidential candidate who had no military experience, either as an officer or an enlisted man or woman. I have a laundry list of reasons why I didn’t vote for Obama; his passing on military service is in the top three.
Obama promised the graduates that he’d only “send them into harm’s way when it is absolutely necessary.” That promise would mean a lot more coming from a president who’d experienced at least some of the rigors of basic training.
Fair ’nuff. So long as Kane applies the same rules to Republicans. You know, like Richard Cheney, who said “I had other priorities” in explaining his five deferments during the Vietnam War. And in a race between John Kerry or Al Gore versus Richard Cheney or Newt Gingrich (or any of the many other leading Republicans who never served), Kane would either vote for Kerry or Gore or remain neutral.
While there’s reason to value military service in political leaders, making the standard absolute might not have the result Kane expects.