Responding to a campaign ad highlighting Barack Obama's support for comprehensive sex education for kindergartners, Obama press secretary Bill Burton issued the following statement: "Last week, John McCain told Time magazine he couldn't define what honor was. Now we know why."
Now, the campaign is close and heating up, and both sides are taking hard shots at each other. Each side believes that the other side isn't always being fair; it's normal for those in the thick of the battle to feel that way.
But does the Obama camp really think that it's a good idea to question McCain's honor? Most Americans believe that a man who fought for his country and suffered through five and a half years of torture as a POW--which worsened after he refused early release because it would violate his honor code--has demonstrated enough honor to last several lifetimes.
I believe that Barack Obama and Joe Biden are both honorable men, but have they ever proven their honor in the way that McCain has? Attacking John McCain's honor will only make people remember Sarah Palin's pointed line in her speech at the convention: "Though both Senator Obama and Senator Biden have been going on lately about how they're always, quote, 'fighting for you,' let us face the matter squarely: There is only one man in this election who has ever really fought for you."
After the raucous applause died down, Palin elaborated on her point: "There is only one man in this election who has ever really fought for you in places where winning means survival and defeat means death. And that man is John McCain. You know, in our day, politicians have readily shared much lesser tales of adversity than the nightmare world, the nightmare world in which this man and others equally brave served and suffered for their country. And it's a long way from the fear, and pain, and squalor of a six-by-four cell in Hanoi to the Oval Office."
In this election, each side will have plenty of legitimate grounds to criticize the other. It's a free country, and anyone is free to question John McCain's honor. Those who chose to do so, however, will only succeed in demonstrating that they don't know the meaning of the word.