You would never know it from the media coverage but John McCain is not one of America's greatest war heroes. He is a former POW who survived, heroically. He deserves to be honored for that heroism.
But one thing distinguishes McCain from other war heroes, the kind whose heroism changes history rather than their life stories.
America's two greatest war heroes were Ulysses Grant and Dwight Eisenhower. Grant saved the union. And Ike saved civilization.
And neither one ever bragged about their experience. (Can you imagine Ike smacking down Adlai Stevenson by saying that while Adlai ran a nice medium-sized state, he was the Supreme Allied Commander who ran D-Day, defeated Hitler, and liberated Europe?).
Neither Grant nor Ike were POWs like McCain, but there is at least one of McCain's fellow POWs believes that McCain's imprisonment and his temperament makes the prospect of him becoming President a bad idea:
Catch that? There were hundreds of POW, and yet, John McCain is arguing--in fact it's really his main argument--that his POW experience uniquely qualifies him to be president. So, why should we automatically assume that imprisonment and torture are the best prerequisites for a President of the United States? It's not dishonoring his service to question his qualifications for the highest office in the land, especially under a constitution that mandates civilian control of the military.