Tag Archives: prisoner of war

One’s own words taste badly


Have you ever noticed that the taste of your own words is, well, quite bitter?

You want to spit them back. But you can’t. You have to ingest them and they sit in the pit of your stomach like the proverbial rock.

I’m having to do some of that these days as I look upon the Republican Party presidential field and wonder: How is it that Donald Trump remains such a commanding figure in that field?

I made a prediction earlier this summer that I am now having to choke down.

  • I said Trump’s campaign had ended effectively after he denigrated John McCain’s Vietnam War service and the heroism he demonstrated while being held as a prisoner of war for more than five years.

“I like people who aren’t captured, OK?” Trump said.

It was tasteless.

What happened then? His poll numbers went up!

  • Then came the GOP joint appearance with nine other candidates. Fox News’s Megyn Kelly asked Trump to react to suggestions that he is anti-woman, that he’s made highly offensive remarks about women, calling them all kinds of unflattering names. “Only Rosie O’Donnell,” Trump said.

After the event, he went after Kelly, demanding she apologize to him. For what?  For asking a perfectly legitimate question?

That would doom his candidacy, or so I thought. Silly me. His poll standing went up even more.

  • He held a rally and started criticizing a close aide of Hillary Clinton and called her husband — former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner — a “perv” and a “world-class sleazebag.” Yes, Weiner — aka “Carlos Danger” — who sent images of his manhood to women other than his wife behaved in a disgusting manner.
  • Then he stumbled over a question from well-regarded conservative talk show host Hugh Hewitt about the leader of a terrorist organization. He then accused Hewitt of tossing a “gotcha” question at him and went on TV the next morning to call Hewitt a “third-rate radio announcer.”

At every turn, Trump’s answers to problems have been shallow, callow and hollow. He has presented nothing — not a single thing — of substance.

But his poll numbers? They keep going up.

Yep, this might be the year when conventional wisdom — which usually requires some actual seriousness from candidates for the presidency of the United States is tossed aside.

That means folks like yours truly are going to choke on their own words. I’m tellin’ ya, they don’t go down well … at all.




Sen. Franken’s ‘joke’ gets a fresh look

Fifteen years ago, before he was a United States senator, Al Franken was a comedian.

And a pretty funny one at that.

He also hosted a radio talk show on the progressive Air America network.

In 2000, he wrote an essay in which he said this about Sen. John McCain: “I have tremendous respect for McCain but I don’t buy the war hero thing. Anybody can be captured. I thought the idea was to capture them. As far as I’m concerned he sat out the war.”

The statement is getting some added attention these days in light of what Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said of his fellow Republican’s service record.


Franken was elected to the Senate in 2008 in a razor-thin margin. He has become a leading progressive Democrat in that body. According to his spokesman, he made the statement about McCain as a joke. He told McCain that very thing when McCain was a guest on Franken’s Air America radio show.

Well, whatever Franken’s motives were in his pre-Senate days, I don’t find a single thing funny about what John McCain endured for five-plus years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam.

Yes, he’s saluted his Senate colleague since then. I’m sure the tributes have been sincere.

But here’s an example of how one’s words never disappear.