Wesley Clark said the other day “‘riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down’ is not ‘a qualification to be president,’” per US News and World Report, and countless other sources.

As you can see in this video from TPM Media, the media immediately engaged in a collective hyperventilation session, accusing General Clark of “swift-boating” McCain.

Umm, what? Who could possibly disagree with Clark’s statement? Sure, Clark’s choice of words was not ideal, but that says nothing about the core content of it, which is absolutely accurate: being injured in the line of duty does not automatically qualify you to be the President.

We have had several Presidents who previously served in the military, with two of them being among the most highly regarded Presidents in our nation’s almost-222 year history. I have the utmost respect for the people who fight and die to protect our country, but this is simply ludicrous. 

John McCain’s enrollment in the Navy and his behavior during the Vietnam War is a testament to his dedication to our country, but that doesn’t automatically qualify him to be President. Presidential elections should not ever descend into some kind of idiotic game of patriotic penis envy. 

This exercise in quasi-jingoism on the part of pundits everywhere is stupid at best and dangerous at worst.

Late update: Laura Ingraham is a bitch (skip ahead to about 2:30).