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Monday, April 17, 2006

Count Every Military Ballot!

I'm shocked, shocked I say!, to see retired generals calling for the scalp of Defense Secretary Rumsfeld. The United States has a long tradition of "civilian control of the military." When the generals deign to criticize their civilian masters they erase that distinction and start us down the very dangerous slope of politicizing the military, raising the specter of Latin American juntaism.

By now I'm sure you've heard this meme, the latest credulous narrative to emerge from the Bush administration-MSM PR complex. I heard Cokie Roberts repeating it this morning on NPR, which means it's now such conventional wisdom that even the doyenne of Washington journalistic laziness can recite it as if she'd discovered it herself. Now, you and I may think we remember that this is the administration that has politicized military service more than any other. They swept into office on the slogan of "Count Every Military Ballot! (Even the Illegal Ones Without a Name, a Valid Pre-Election Postmark, or that were Filled Out by Katherine Harris Personally)." You may think you recall that they then set about using the military as a political prop at every available opportunity, most notably when Bush landed on the aircraft carrier in a flight suit to declare "Mission Accomplished" in Iraq. As a few people pointed out at the time, this was an unprecedented act, since presidents, even those with heroic records of military service, have long avoided donning military regalia on the theory that it might make them look dangerously like Napoleon or Fidel Castro. Not our Bush.

Need we forget that he's also the guy who ran for reelection by deploying a platoon of right-wing vets to slander his opponent (a genuine war hero) as a war criminal who had also faked his wounds to get fraudulaent purple hearts? "What self-respecting military man could serve under that Frenchie flip-flopper? I bet he's got 'I Heart Cheese Eatin' Surrender Monkeys' on the butt of his speedos." And, finally, isn't this the same president whose party sends out military men in uniform to serve as props at congressional campaign events in violation of long-standing DoD regulations? Isn't this the president who is loath to speak in public unless he's at a military base surrounded by cheering crowds of pre-screened Republicans? And isn't this the same president who has spent the last two and a half years hiding behind the excuse that he can't be blamed for failures in Iraq because the generals never asked for more troops, even after he had conspicuously retired the one general (Shinseki) who had done so in front of Congress?

You may think you remember all that, but I'm sure it's just combat fatigue. You surrender monkey!

2 Comments:

At 8:55 AM, Blogger cskendrick said...

Basically, the Puds are saying the military should shut up and die as they're told.

Unless they cheerlead for dying as they're told, in which case the Puds are all about the freedoms of our heroic men and women in uniform.

In effect, it's unacceptable to ever flout custom, law, tradition, to betray, steal, lie, kill, torture or destroy, except when Republicans do it in service of whatever the Republican agenda du jour just happens to be.

I do believe that is the very definition of evil...except when it's Republicans do evil, in which case it's all good. :)

 
At 10:09 AM, Blogger tenaciousmcd said...

Part of what annoys me about these guys is the phony bravura. They never just stand up and take responsibility for themselves. Instead, they hide behind their bigger, tougher friends (e.g., the military) and taunt. It makes you wonder what will happen when that friend realizes it's being used by a bunch of bullying wusses.

 

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