The McCain Doctrines – John McCain – Iraq – Profile – New York Times
Whatever their disagreements on policy, United States senators, even in today’s hyperpolitical climate, are reluctant to impugn one another’s motives or integrity.
That’s doubly true among those who experienced combat in the Vietnam War, a group that now includes four sitting senators — the Republicans John McCain and Chuck Hagel and the Democrats John Kerry and Jim Webb — as well as former colleagues like Bob Kerrey, Max Cleland and Chuck Robb. These men share an obvious bond, and over the years they have more readily crossed partisan lines than other senators, constituting, in some ways, a party unto themselves. To outsiders, they give the impression of having seen things in their youth that confer a different kind of perspective on mere politics; they seem to know that there are worse things in life than losing an election and having to go home. In contrast to the insecurities of the many boomer politicians who avoided service in Vietnam or marched against it, the Senate’s former soldiers exude a confidence that goes beyond military matters.
The war in Iraq has tested some of these friendships, however……