Sunday, January 30, 2011

Loose Lips Can Reveal True Colors

Just read this one about Rep Michelle Bachman floating significant cuts and limits to Veteran Benefits.

Of course, when the VFW called her hand on it, a spokes puppet said that she's just "opening discussion" to cut the debt.

Whatever her objective, the very fact that she put Vet Benefits on the table says that she either thinks they should be cut, is willing to use these benefits as a "marketing ploy" or simply takes them lightly. The basic fact is that an action such as this, in my long held view, simply exposes the fact that the Right is and has not for a long time been, "a friend of the troops". GWB would pose in front of and suck up to troops for the camera, yet rushed to war with no plan to care for the human toll that war can extract. Even if he thought it would be a "walk in the park", some form of advance plan for casualties should have been close at hand, and it just wasn't. Thus, the long, hard, and generally ineffective scramble to play catch up when the public was shown how poorly vets and casualties were being treated.

But let's be serious. The Right may be willing to deploy and maim troops, and even spend a couple of bucks for a bumper sticker, but in their religion (and I am now convinced that what it is), their worship of their god, self indulgence, leaves no room for caring for "the least among us", those who shoulder the true burden of their ambitions, or anything else outside their super-ego. And heaven forbid their own spawn should don a uniform. Hell no. They become true patriots at the mall.

So when the chips are down, and these mutts pursue the holy grail of low taxes and dismantling government, one sees their true "Support for the Troops". Once the vet has sacrificed for Michelle's objectives, screw him or her.


  1. Al-

    Agree, but the unstated assumption behind their actions is that the military and their families will support them politically no matter what they do.

    Too many in the military (or in military families) appear to be "politicized" without being "political" as in being able to identify their own political interests and make common cause with those of like interest.

    For the Radical Right, "the military" is a potent symbol of power, about the only one the US still effectively has. Individuals within the military are simply a means (or a prop) which can be discarded when no longer "useful". Taking care of veterans and their families with state support (especially the VA which is "socialized medicine") is a conservative/progressive/main stream value which is anathema to them, since they are nihilists imo.

  2. Enh, it's Bachmann, so who the hell knows what the stuff that comes out her mouth means?

    But in the latger sense you're right in that the Right, especially the Hard Right that Bachmann emerged from, has made a fetish only of exalting the "Troops" as they represent aggressive U.S. military power. As far as I can see it has nothing to do with the actual guy in a pair of boots doing their dirty work in the shitty parts of the world. So it makes sense that they don't feel any particular attachment to the VA. Besides, the VA isjust another Big Gummint giveaway.

    The U.S. is lucky in that our services make up a tiny slice of the population; the fairly callous way they have been thrown at useless Great Power fantasies over the past couple of decades would make a great excuse for formation of freikorps if the demograpic was any bigger, or the servicepeople not overwhelmingly Southern and rural, a portion of the U.S. public trained since 1865 to be violent and subservient to State power...

  3. To all,
    The DVA cuts are inevitable.
    The savings will balance out the tax cuts.
    There is also the perception throughout our society that Vets get things for free. I hear this too often-you get free health care. It doesn't matter that 16 yo's get free health care for poppin' out illegitimate bundles of joy, but hey -what the heck.
    The aisle is not divided when it comes to shorting the vets. Both parties are equally willing to scrimp on the topic. Jimmy and Bill never did us any great favors.

  4. Jim: True dat. But only the Right pats you on the back while picking your pocket at the same time. At least the Left is honest enough to admit they don't really give two shits. Its a nasty, low sort of honesty, but where politics is concerned I'll take whatever I can get...

  5. Seydlitz,

    "Too many in the military (or in military families) appear to be "politicized" without being "political" as in being able to identify their own political interests and make common cause with those of like interest."

    I'd be interested in hearing why you think that.

  6. Andy-

    I'm not talking about my own single tour on active duty in the Marines, when I think the military was largely apolitical. In my experience it was the reaction I saw in the Army after Clinton was elected in 1992 that first brought this to my attention. The amount of animosity coming from young commissioned officers and junior enlisted mostly was a bit of a shock for me, being a civi but with an officer's status allowed me to be a neutral "sounding board" I suppose. The SNCOs and NCOs in MI, on the other hand were much more varied in their views. So that was my own experience, then there was this I read last month . . .

    "First off, wake up: we already have a politicized military and it is one-sided. In data collected by Adrian R. Lewis, "Republicans outnumbered Democrats by 8 to 1" in uniform and Tom has done a bit of fact finding in this department in Making the Corps. I can confirm this mainly through my own experience. I can only think of one or two men and women, way above my pay grade, who had any liberal leanings and they joined up before the 1980. I hid my politics out of a fear of retribution and because I thought the military was not supposed to be political. It is not conservativism that bothered me but the contempt for anything that would interrupt how the military should work and be used within that belief system. . . "

  7. Andy: My experience jives with the above. I can't tell you how many times I had other SNCOs tell me that we found nukes, bugs, and gas in Iraq, how Saddam conspired with OBL to plan 9-11, how we were in a global Christian crusade against an enemy that was somehow both Islamic fundamentalist and socialist. The Army, at least, is politicized in the sense that many, many GIs have internalized "conservative" talking points as values without really thinking out what the end-state of pursuing those "conservative" policies would mean.

    There's also the reverse; the assumption that "liberal" means Army-hating, tree-hugging, isolationist kumbaya-singing hippies.

    When you try and dig to the bottom of the "whys" for this view there's not much "there" there; the guys don't really know much of the liberal or non-interventionist policies, just the cartoon versions from Beck or Hannity. It's the view down a U.S. borescope; hostages and mullahs but not Mossadegh or the Shah, 9-11 without the Saudi or Palestinian connection, Muslim Brotherhood but not the fued with AQ and Mubarak, Saddam but no Iran-Contra/Gulf War backstairs deals...

  8. Chief,
    Here's my take.
    In 1970 SOG we had a large contingent of Merle Haggard- we don't smoke dope in Muskogee , and a very few dedicated to rock and roll. The divide was clear- dope or booze.
    The draftees and young guys were dopers, ergo hippies/draftees later eliminated from the VOLAR Army. Dopers do not make good volunteers.
    I remember one distinct event which was the showing of the Beatles Yellow Submarine. The boozers booed it off the screen.
    Later the dopers were booed out of the Army, since the rif's eliminated the liberals.
    My favorite memory of the 3rd Ranger Co was us officers doing police call and emptying garbage cans. Yeah-right. RLTW, at least on police call.
    I also like to point out that ROTC's historic leveling out of the military is no longer relevant.Rotc types are every bit as cranked as the West Pointers now that everyone is a professional warrior.
    Goodbye Dick Winters.
    Can you name one liberal that is revered by the military minded?

  9. I would have to bet that there is a "natural selection", as jim says, going on, along with the endless and pervasive rhetoric. As one of my CGSC classmates (a fellow apolitical oddity) put it, "The key to success is sincerity. Once you can truly fake that, you are on your way to the top."

    Probably one of the most truly sincere champions of Veterans and Troops well being is Sen Patty Murray (D-WA). I have met the woman, and she is either an Oscar level actress or she truly cares. Her actions, bills and votes are consistent, however. 100% for the good of those who serve. I doubt the average troopie even knows her name in any context other than "evil liberal".