Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Vets Group Gives McCain Failing Grade On Supporting Troops

The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), America's largest group supporting the Troops and Veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, today released its annual report card, reflecting who in the U.S. Congress is truly supporting the troops in deeds as well as words.

"From their flag lapel pins to their yellow ribbon bumper stickers, every politician in America wants you to believe they 'support the troops,'" writes IAVA President Paul Rieckhoff today on the organization's blog. "But actions speak louder than words. When veterans’ issues actually came to a vote in Washington, what did your representatives do?"

As they did in 2007, the IAVA produced this year's Veteran Report Card "...based on the key veterans' legislation that came to a vote during the 110th Congress" and then graded every Senator and Representative based on their demonstrated level of commitment to America's troops.

The IAVA gave Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama a B for his support of the troops and Veterans. And it will come as no surprise to those who watch the Senate and military issues that Republican John McCain got a D and was placed on the IAVA's "D List" of politicians who "…must improve their voting records if they are to legitimately claim that they support our troops and veterans."

And like last year, Democratic Senators have once again shown that in general it is they who step up to the plate on behalf of the troops and Veterans, and not the Republicans -- who do a ton of flag waving and crowing about supporting the troops but who seldom back it up with action.

Indeed, of the Senators making the IAVA "D List," all are from the GOP side of the aisle and of the 18 graded as a C or worse, all are Republicans.

Meanwhile, Senate Democrats were once again at the top.

Of 38 A+ grades given by the IAVA, 34 or almost 90 percent were given to Democratic Senators, with one of the others going to Vermont Independent Bernie Sanders, who caucuses with the Democrats.

So it's a new year of IAVA rankings and the same old story on who truly supports the troops.

Wrote Rieckhoff today: "Our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan are hard at work every day. It’s time that our lawmakers put their money where their mouth is, and show the same devotion to their jobs here in Washington. As we head into tonight’s presidential debate, please help keep the needs of our troops and veterans in the public eye."

Got that, John "D-List" McCain?