Fuck Military Experience: Five Other Experiences That Don't Make You Qualified to Be President:
The mock outrage over Wesley Clark's statement of the obvious, that taking a nosedive in a plane doesn't qualify you for the presidency, is hilarious because some of the lamest presidents in our history have been effulgent with military service (Ulysses S. Grant, for obvious example). So, actually, Clark's own time leading NATO troops doesn't say shit about his ability to run an economy and make Supreme Court appointments. In fact, there's actually no predictor for what makes one turn into a good president. Every stupid goddamn argument on the left and right about what in one's background will make a candidate a solid president, trotted out in endless biographical ads to make the candidate seem authentic or connected or some such shit, can be shown to be worthless. Here's a birth o' America week history lesson:
1. Being from a working class background doesn't make you qualified to be president. Herbert Hoover's father was a blacksmith, and he was a mining engineer. How'd that go?
2. Being vice president doesn't make you qualified to be president. Richard Nixon liked him some Ike. That was a resume' builder, eh?
3. Being a party loyalist doesn't make you qualified to be president. Warren Harding was freakin' beloved by early 20th century Republicans. Want his zombie running things?
4. Having vast elected experience doesn't make you qualified to be president. Andrew Johnson was a mayor, a state legislator, a representative, a governor, a senator, and vice president. Yes, he was never elected president, but one of the qualifications of being vice president ought to be the ability to be president, which, as we are seeing, is based on rather intangible things, no?
5. Being president doesn't make you qualified to be president. George W. Bush, you know. Hell, he's practically a fuckin' catalog of supposed "qualities" that'd make you a good president, like business leader, governor, Ivy Leaguer, and more, except for the fact that he failed at all of them. Which ought to have disqualified him in the first place, but we know how that all worked out, our memories not that damaged by the chemicals in our food and water and air yet.
So what's it take? If McCain getting beaten by the Vietnamese and Obama being a self-made person from a less privileged background aren't solid indicators of anything, are we not bereft of factors to consider? The frightening thing is how much of it is gut and luck. To condemn Wesley Clark for stating the obvious is to believe that you have insights the rest of us, throughout our history, do not.