May 18, 2013

"It was a lighthearted moment in the midst of a grim few days for the White House..."

But Obama's comical stylings didn't play as well this week as they have in the past. I'm reading "Obama puts Marines on umbrella duty, irking conservatives" only because I'm interested in figuring out why it's #1 on the "most popular" list in the sidebar at The Washington Post. Something cute about the headline, I thought. But reading it — and looking at that photograph of Obama intentionally clowning with the white-gloved Marine — I'm seeing something tragic. The old ways — that made us love him — don't work anymore. The gentle, slow-talking, stalling with "uhs" for Woody Allen-like timing:
"Uh I am going to go ahead and ask, folks, why don’t we get a couple of Marines — they’re going to look good next to us — just 'cause uh uh — I wanna — I’ve got a change of suits but I don’t know about uh uh uh our prime uh our prime minister. Uh there we go. That’s good. [To the reporters:] You guys, I’m sorry about but but let let let uh uh mmm uh let me uh uh uuuuhhh make sure that I answer a specific question...."
We see the rain failing on his dark suit, and maybe we think about how, yes, that's the White House in back of him and he does have his closets in there, full of suits... empty suits... skeletons in the uh uh uh... But he cares about Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who came all the way from Turkey, probably not to hear Obama grilled with uh uh uh specific questions. He's probably got another suit or 2 in his uh uh suitcase. Heh ha... suitcase... suits in suitcases... it's like gloves in the glove compartment... do you put gloves in the glove compartment... heh heh... Who puts gloves in the glove compartment? I mean... really... Gloves in the glove compartment! What an idea, am I right? Come on! That's funny,  people, come on, but but let let let uh uh mmm uh let me uh uh uuuuhhh make sure that I answer a specific question....

There's something so sad about that picture. The gloved Marine answering the call of duty from the Commander in Chief, performing the duty with crisp precision, even as Obama's outstretched hand adjusted his elbow position, even as he knows it violates Marine Corps uniform regulation for a male Marine to carry an umbrella. I know that regulation from reading the WaPo's #1 most popular article. The same rule applies in all branches of the military, and always only for males, not for females:
An attempt to change the policy in the 1990s failed, with some suggesting that there was something effeminate about umbrellas.

“They seem to be very nervous what constitutes unmanly behavior,” said Cynthia Enloe, a professor at Clark University who researched military uniform codes in the book “Maneuvers: The International Politics of Militarizing Women’s Lives.” 
Isn't it unmanly to be very nervous, especially about being unmanly? But who were these "some" who suggested carrying an umbrella is "effeminate"? And who were these "irked conservatives"? WaPo only cites an email from the conservative Move America Forward PAC, but that's not so much expressing irritation at misuse of the Marines for umbrella duty as it is using that umbrella-holding duty as a symbol of the failure to act during the Benghazi attack. The email read — we're told — "Rain: 'Hold My Umbrella.' Benghazi: 'Stand Down.'"

If umbrella-holding conveys a message of unmanliness, it is a vivid image of impotence. It's a symbol.

230 comments:

1 – 200 of 230   Newer›   Newest»
wyo sis said...

Obama can be the first president brought down by the misuse of umbrellas.
That's a scenario we can live with.

exhelodrvr1 said...

So the "uh"s are intentional, to get Woody Allen-like timing?

Not so much.

garage mahal said...

If umbrella-holding conveys a message of unmanliness, it is a vivid image of impotence. It's a symbol.

LOL. You are fucking losing it A-House.

Palladian said...

You fucking never had it, garage.

Palladian said...

. The gentle, slow-talking, stalling with "uhs" for Woody Allen-like timing

I think it's more due to the lack of an all-weather teleprompter.

rhhardin said...

It never worked except with women.

It was the "He means well" foolishness of the females.

Conserve Liberty said...

Much ado about something, but the internet will reveal photos of both Bushes in similar poses (under an Army-held umbrella).

Jason said...

The umbrella is also associated with Neville Chamberlain, the poster boy for weakness and misguided appeasement.

wyo sis said...

I'd like to know what that Marine was thinking.
I'll bet it was NOT anything like "I'm so honored."

Jason said...

A lot of people in the military are seething about this. It was perceived as a direct slap in the face. It recalls Clinton's WH staff directing military members in uniform to serve platters of food and drinks at a White House function - which, along with some other slaps, poisoned military/White House relations for years.

lemondog said...

...that made us love him...

Huh?

Early morning sarcasm?

Jay said...

garage mahal said...

LOL. You are fucking losing it A-House.


Says the people who went all hysterical about Bush allegedly holding a fake turkey at Thanksgiving.

You have no self-awareness and are frankly, stupid.

Jason said...

Did the servicemember extend the umbrella to the POTUS as a courtesy when there was an outdoor speech with no suitable alternate venue? Or was the servicemember ordered to do it?

The libs are looking to draw a false equivalency between this and the Reagan/Bush incidents.

Diego de la Vega said...

Unmanly only if you're not carrying the tactical umbrella http://tinyurl.com/7usy2ce

St. George said...

Canes symbolize impotence. Dali loved putting them in his work.

Umbrellas symbolize effeteness and royalty. Think parasols. Precious. Officious. Dainty. Fey.

AllenS said...

The old ways — that made us love him

Don't take this personally, but you're a fucking idiot.

Aridog said...

Reference the photo of Obama holding his own umbrella...

Question 1: What is Michelle hunkering down to avoid as she goes through the gateway?

Question 2: Obama doesn't know how to momentarily collapse an umbrella partially to go through a door way?

wyo sis said...

St George
Don't forget confusing.
Exactly how does one pass through a naw wow arched gate with an umbrella?
Umbrellas are hard.

lemondog said...

I didn't think the umbrella request unusual as he was with the Turkish prime minister.

Seems common courtesy dictates such.

David said...

Obama used to be good at symbolism.

Not anymore. Or perhaps not without an army of handlers.

This is a pathetic photo.

Next time have one of he Ivy League staffers hold the umbrella. That's what they were educated to do.

phx said...

Stuff like this weakens the claim that we are in the midst of serious business, IMO.

Marty said...

Ann said, "The old ways — that made us love him — don't work anymore." As lemondog says, this has got to be sarcasm. Obama's faux-y way of speaking has got to be even more tedious than George W.'s Texas accent. And even so, at least W. was no phony.

wyo sis said...

I meant narrow, but now wow is hilariously appropriate.

poplicola said...

I actually defended this to my wife the other day, saying that to leave the visiting head of state to stand in the rain would have been rude, and for our President to not take an umbrella for himself would have made our guest look weak.

Cynthia Enloe's “They seem to be very nervous what constitutes unmanly behavior,” spurs the thought that a man who never carries an umbrella may be more suited mentally and physically for war.

What Marines do is all about being manly.

Until Womyn's Studies experts around the country start storming beaches and taking hills they ought to let the Marines decide what behaviors are best for their culture, as they exist to fight.

Femininity is wonderful in its proper sphere, which is not war.

Heard the other day: "Women in combat roles?! What, is the kitchen under attack?

wyo sis said...

phx
But, it strengthens the claim that we are in the midst of serious business with a clown at the head of government.

phx said...

But, it strengthens the claim that we are in the midst of serious business with a clown at the head of government.

Just IMO you're playing weaker moves. That strong position you thought you had can suddenly turn to crap.

Of course I know I'm a moron and a concerned troll.

Pogo said...

Obama should start wearing a tuxedo, because if he is going to be impotent, he should look impotent.

AReasonableMan said...

wyo sis said...
But, it strengthens the claim that we are in the midst of serious business with a clown at the head of government.


The economy is in recovery from a precipitous collapse. We are gradually extracting ourselves from the ridiculous mess in the ME. The stock market is booming and housing prices recovering.

It may not be morning in America quite yet but it is not the apocalypse that Bush/Cheney brought upon us either.

Live a little. Enjoy the sunshine. Life is good.

DADvocate said...

The old ways — that made us love him

Don't take this personally, but you're a fucking idiot.


You guys didn't love Obama? (More than one person made similar comments.)

Me neither.

On the other hand, some still love Obama and always will, matter what. (garage, et al.)

wyo sis said...

Let the people with political power play the strong hand. If the president acts like a clown who am I to fail to mention it. Death by a thousand cuts also works.
Ask Alinsky.

edutcher said...

What I said earlier:

Their Queen holds her own bumbershoot, ours doesn't.

Ann Althouse said...

The old ways — that made us love him — don't work anymore.

What's this "we", Fauxcahontas?

phx said...

Stuff like this weakens the claim that we are in the midst of serious business, IMO.

Luckily, it's only your opinion.

This is what's been wrong with this moronic fop all along.

Most of us saw it.

(frankly, I think phx does, too; he just can't admit it)

El Pollo Raylan said...

I'm seeing something tragic. The old ways — that made us love him — don't work anymore.

Oh, gag me, Althouse. Do explain this "love" you once had for Obama because I think it's related to Tzarnaev brother photo adoration.

wyo sis said...

ARM
It takes some serious self deception to find an approaching dawn in the events of the Obama regime.

CEO-MMP said...

"
Oh, gag me, Althouse. Do explain this "love" you once had for Obama because I think it's related to Tzarnaev brother photo adoration. "


Post of the day.

Freeman Hunt said...

I am at sea. Why can't a man use an umbrella?

I don't think visiting prime ministers should be left uncovered to get rained on. That wouldn't be very nice.

Freeman Hunt said...

As for Obama himself, I see no change. Same old Obama.

But yeah, some people have dialed back the adoration. Maybe. Maybe temporarily.

Jay said...

but it is not the apocalypse that Bush/Cheney brought upon us either.

Hilarious.

The U/E rate was 4.6% and the deficit was $248 billion (and declining) when Harry & Nancy took over Congress.

You're clueless, and a liar.

wyo sis said...

A man holds his own umbrella or gets himself and his guests out of the rain.

garage mahal said...

Says the people who went all hysterical about Bush allegedly holding a fake turkey at Thanksgiving.

No idea what that was about, but I know for a fact liberals weren't mixed up and confused when Marines held umbrellas for Republican presidents. Liberals aren't like conservatives who need a Big Daddy figure as their leader. That's why they liked Bush with his big belt buckle bravado, even when it was apparent it was as phony as a three dollar bill.

A good example of that is when conservatives were gushing over Putin, a former KGB officer

chuck said...

Duh, I use umbrellas to keep dry in the rain. No, really, it's true. I think it is smart. So if I read some of the criticisms correctly: effeminate = smart, manly = dumb. As a man, I'm insulted.

MayBee said...

They could have moved the event inside when it became obvious rain was coming.

I didn't like the "can we have one marines?" bit. Some marines.
And yeah, why not some young staffers? Or Secret Service guys.
So far this year we've seen the Obama's use marines as Umbrella holders and Oscar props.

CEO-MMP said...

BTW--I see some people (even a comment or two here) equating pictures of other POTUSes (POTI?) with members of the military (or secret service) holding umbrellas.

Difference?

Barry was standing in front of the WH. They could've gone inside.

Every picture I've seen (and I did google it) of the other guys, they were outside someplace without direct option for escape.

Then there's the picture showing W. knowing how to hold his own umbrella--and the one where Urkel can't figure out how to go through an archway with one.

Smartest man in history. The one we used to love?

Meh.

I never loved him and I resent "we", the implication being all of us.

Or wee wee, whatever.

pm317 said...

I’ve got a change of suits but I don’t know about uh uh uh our prime uh our prime minister.

About the uhhhing he forgot the title of the guy standing next to him.. that is all. The usual brain freeze, no Woody Allenesque pausing.

MayBee said...

That picture of Obama and Michelle going through the gate is hilarious. Every time.

Jay said...

The economy is in recovery from a precipitous collapse.

There are fewer people working now than when Obama was sworn in (and fewer than at the height of the 1982 recession).

The federal debt is up over 60%

Food stamp enrollment is at an all time high

SSDI claims reached a record high in April 2013

Student loan defaults are at an all time high

U.S. industrial production fell 0.5% in April

There is no measure by which one could reasonably claim the US economy is improving.

The Drill SGT said...

Jason said...
A lot of people in the military are seething about this. It was perceived as a direct slap in the face. It recalls Clinton's WH staff directing military members in uniform to serve platters of food and drinks at a White House function - which, along with some other slaps, poisoned military/White House relations for years


Don't forget Moochelle's having the WH Military Social Aides posed behind her for the Oscars

Jay said...

Liberals aren't like conservatives who need a Big Daddy figure as their leader.

Hysterical.

Says the party of Julia.

Again, you have no self-awareness and are frankly, dumb.

AReasonableMan said...

wyo sis said...
It takes some serious self deception to find an approaching dawn in the events of the Obama regime.


Tell that to people who own stocks and a house. We experienced a dramatic collapse in net worth under Bush/Cheney. Most of that wealth has been recovered under Obama. People aren't stupid, they can see the country is running better than it did under Bush/Cheney.

If Obama had inherited the presidency under normal conditions maybe the current situation would not look that good, but in comparison to what proceeded his presidency he can't help but look pretty damn good.

Jay said...

Liberals aren't like conservatives who need a Big Daddy figure as their leader

Coming from the "Obama killed Bin Laden" crowd.

No idea what that was about

Of course you don't. Ignorance is a virtue for you.

I love the "Mission Accomplished " crowd sneering at this.

You fucking morons pretending that all the embarrassing shit you said from Jan 2001- Jan 2009 never happened is pathetic.

CEO-MMP said...

“Obama expects our troops to hold damn umbrellas rather than go inside: It’s disrespectful, inconsiderate, classless,” tweeted Lou Dobbs.


That about sums it up.

Petunia said...

Oh, please, any voter who "loved" this guy is an idiot. Anyone who still "loves" him, or thinks he ISN'T the worst president ever, is beyond idiotic.

As for the "uhs", they're not intentional. They're a reflection of what a poor speaker Zero is without his TelePrompter.

poplicola said...

AReasonableMan said...

"The economy is in recovery from a precipitous collapse. "

In the rich suburbs of Washington, D.C. perhaps, but not here in Ohio.

"We are gradually extracting ourselves from the ridiculous mess in the ME."

Benghazi was possible because your brilliant Peace Prize winner is moving the weapons he gave to the Libyan Islamist Al-Quadea affiliated terrorists and sending them through Turkey to arm Syrian Islamist terrorists, in the same way that Bin Laden was supplied in Afghanistan in the eighties.

Turkey's President Erdogan is the other guy under the umbrella in the photo Ann writes about. Our murdered Ambassador was facilitating the deal on September 11, 2012. His last meeting of the day was with a Turkish attache. In Libya. To get more arms to other parts of the ME. To overthrow another middle-eastern sovereign country.

The stock market is booming and housing prices recovering.

The U.S. Treasury issues and then buys 85 billion dollars worth of Treasury bills EACH MONTH. A T-Bill is an IOU. So they write an IOU, then pay themselves for it, then spend the money.

The stock market is indeed booming. It is artificially propped up by the Treasury and will bust spectacularly. But don't take my word for it. I hope you and the rest of the Obama fans here put all of your money into the stock market. I dare you.

Jay said...

Tell that to people who own stocks and a house

I love it when leftists pretend the stock market is the economy.

Occupy!!!

If Obama had inherited the presidency under normal conditions

Ronald Reagan inherited a worse economy.

He didn't whine, nor did his supporters, about what he inherited. He fixed it.

Idiot.

wyo sis said...

It IS all of a piece. Obama is just pretty consistently socially awkward. For me it's not so much that he does the same dumb things other presidents have done, it's that he never gets called on them the way other presidents have.
I'm calling them.
It's only fair.

Jay said...

AReasonableMan said...
People aren't stupid, they can see the country is running better than it did under Bush/Cheney


Hilarious

There is zero chance we will see a sub 5% U/E rate in the next decade thanks to the party you support.

There is zero chance we will see a sub $700 billion dollar deficit in the next decade thanks to the party you support.

Headline:

The Economy Continues To Send A Ton Of Bearish Signals

You're funny, dude.

William said...

The obvious solution was to have the Secret Service hold the umbrella. It's closer to their mission. If you can take a bullet for the President, why not a few rain drops. Having the Marine hold the umbrella simply did not look right. It was a klutzy move on the President's part......And, as usual, when the President does something wrong, the issue is not his mistake but the Republicans hysterical overreaction to a a simple human foible.

wyo sis said...

If you go just by how the economy feels to regular Americans who live in it, the economy is terrible and getting worse by the minute. Tell all the people who have to find two 29 hour jobs in order to survive how great the Stock Market is and see how far you get.

Browndog said...

During the week of IRS, AP and Benghazi, that awkward moment is being criticized as yet another administration blunder. Male Marines are not allowed to use umbrellas while in uniform, and the sentries who stand guard outside the White House often get wet.

So there's that.

garage mahal said...

Umbrellaghazi!

creeley23 said...

Nice writing.

Big Mike said...

The old ways — that made us love him — don't work anymore. The gentle, slow-talking, stalling with "uhs" for Woody Allen-like timing

I never thought his "gentle, slow-talking" when stuck without a teleprompter was anything other than the manifestation of a slow-thinking brain. And if you don't get the difference between Woody Allen's comedic timing and Barack Obama's mental wheel-spinning on the rare occasion anyone asks him a tough question, then perhaps you should leave off commenting on popular culture, Professor.

phx said...

Isn't the picture Althouse posted here with Michelle and Barack perfect for....

wait for it....

Umbrellagate

wyo sis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
edutcher said...

AnUnreasonableTroll said...

But, it strengthens the claim that we are in the midst of serious business with a clown at the head of government.

The economy is in recovery from a precipitous collapse. We are gradually extracting ourselves from the ridiculous mess in the ME. The stock market is booming and housing prices recovering.


No, the economy is a disaster - we have the worst workforce participation since the 70s and real unemployment is 22.8. Real inflation is double the CPI.

We are not leaving the Middle East, we are giving it up to the crazies thanks to Choom's Arab Spring and his abysmal incompetence in A-stan.

The stock market is a terrible barometer of economic conditions (last time it was in this territory was right before the '07 depression began) and housing is headed for another bubble burst.

Yeah, things are just swell.

TosaGuy said...

The people that Obama pretends to care about don't have stock portfolios and don't own houses.

They won't get them either if we continue like we are.

pm317 said...

That picture at the bottom in your post is such a classic as symbolism goes. Lefties made fun of Bush..but what protects Obama from mockery is his skin color (oh, so much could be made of that one picture if it is not seen as racist).

Ctmom4 said...

Dennis Miller: " The difference between Nixon and Obama is that Obama needs a TelePrompTer to say 'I am not a crook.'.

Palladian said...

Umbrellaghazi!

Because murdered Americans are funny!

Ctmom4 said...

Dennis Miller: " The difference between Nixon and Obama is that Obama needs a TelePrompTer to say 'I am not a crook.'.

AllenS said...

I'm not sure what percentage of Americans feel this way, but a sizeable amount of them could care less about the military and see nothing wrong with Marines holding umbrellas for Obama or being sent to Michelle so she could supervise them on weeding the garden.

Over the years that I've been reading this blog, Althouse only last year, mentioned that is was Veterans Day. The thought that it was important before that never crossed her mind.

poplicola said...

William said...
"And, as usual, when the President does something wrong, the issue is not his mistake but the Republicans hysterical overreaction to a a simple human foible."

5/18/13, 10:14 AM

None of the Republicans I've talked to did more than mention it in passing.

Most of them are more interested in finding out how an American President could order his staff to pack his suitcase and prepare the notes for his trip to Las Vegas, then turn in early and get a good night's sleep so he'd be rested and refreshed for his campaign stop instead of moving heaven and earth to save the four men who died in Benghazi.

Haven't seen any conservative hand-wringing over umbrella protocol, but plenty over the United States Executive Branch using the IRS as a bludgeon against citizens philosophically opposed to its policy.

“Please detail the content of the members of your organization's prayers," indeed.

creeley23 said...

People aren't stupid, they can see the country is running better than it did under Bush/Cheney

The liberal playbook has only three plays when liberals and their policies are criticized.

(1) That's not a big deal.
(2) What about Bush and the Iraq War?
(3) Conservatives are stupid, evil, and crazy.

That's it. That's all we hear from trolls like ARM and Garage.

It's lazy and dishonest, but it is often effective. And it requires almost no effort.

edutcher said...

PS Stocks are highly speculative and will bounce on the slightest good (or bad) news.

A lot of people are worried because the bond market, which takes the long view, is in a funk.

phx said...

Haven't seen any conservative hand-wringing over umbrella protocol

You aren't reading this thread, are you?

n.n said...

It is a step Forward with Obama's rules of engagement. A soldier in the military, or civilian population, cannot be both Armed and hold an umbrella simultaneously. We lose more good Americans because of this submissive stance. It represents a symbolic victory for Obama over his enemies.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a controlled State, the right of the people to keep and bear Umbrellas, shall not be infringed.

edutcher said...

AReasonableMan said...

It may not be morning in America quite yet but it is not the apocalypse that Bush/Cheney brought upon us either.

No, Willie Whitewater and Andy Cuomo.

Not forgetting Little Zero

poplicola said...

phx said...
"Haven't seen any conservative hand-wringing over umbrella protocol

You aren't reading this thread, are you? "

I really want to know why you support the violent overthrow of a sovereign country, and the repeated transfer of arms to sworn enemies of the United States, possibly creating more Osama bin Ladens in the process.

Reminder:

Benghazi was possible because your brilliant Peace Prize winner is moving the weapons he gave to the Libyan Islamist Al-Quaeda affiliated terrorists and sending them through Turkey to arm Syrian Islamist terrorists, in the same way that Bin Laden was supplied in Afghanistan in the eighties.

Turkey's President Erdogan is the other guy under the umbrella in the photo Ann writes about. Our murdered Ambassador was facilitating the deal on September 11, 2012. His last meeting of the day was with a Turkish attache. In Libya. To get more arms to other parts of the ME. To overthrow another middle-eastern sovereign country.

The Turkish President was standing in the rain at the White House to close the deal. So you phx, and garage, and Reasonable are all supporting the escalation of war in the middle east, with all the attendant civilian casualties.

Why?

phx said...

I really want to know why you support the violent overthrow of a sovereign country, and the repeated transfer of arms to sworn enemies of the United States, possibly creating more Osama bin Ladens in the process.

Whoa. Are you addressing me? I don't believe I was talking about any of that stuff.

I don't think I support either of those things without a real good reason.

Big Mike said...

I don't think I support either of those things without a real good reason.

And your affection for Barack Obama is that reason, I presume.

AllenS said...

"I'll give you my gun when you pry it from my cold, dead hands" -- Charton Heston

"I'll give you my Marine's umbrella when you pry it from his cold, wet, dead hands" -- Barack Obama

Big Mike said...

You know, once upon a time American presidents had staff that was sufficiently on the ball to move events like this one indoors when there was a threat of rain.

William said...

I don't criticize Republicans for criticizing him on this. I criticize the press for criticizing the way the Republicans criticize him on this. Perhaps I'm being too meta but you simply cannot criticize the President on any matter without being acccused of hysterical overreaction and latent racism.....Cannot people of good will join hands and say that there were better options for shielding the President from a light rain?....I don't think the President commited any impeachable offense during BenGhazi, but it was a series of mistakes followed by a misleading cover story. And however you assign the blame, the fact remains that it is a much bigger scandal than the Valerie Plame matter.

chrisnavin.com said...

Hold the umbrella for him, but if you're in harm's way, he might not be there for you.

Got it.

Peace and all that.

phx said...

And your affection for Barack Obama is that reason, I presume.

The dealings with our Turkish NATO allies regarding Syria and Israel, etc. are far above my paygrade.

I know not having an opinion on this will mark me as a "commenter in bad faith" form some, and a probable traitor by others *cough*Pogo*cough.*

But that's the way it is. I wasn't talking about any of that stuff.

phx said...

You know, once upon a time American presidents had staff that was sufficiently on the ball to move events like this one indoors when there was a threat of rain.

Another article for impeachment.

phx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
edutcher said...

Well, it's always nice to know how seriously phx takes these things.

Our next Republican President, which we may well see before '16, I firmly believe, will always get the benefit of the doubt from phx when the other animals start screaming Impeachment.

rhhardin said...

Maybe it's a penumbrella.

El Pollo Raylan said...

Nixon channels Obama using the text Althouse linked: chirbit

phx said...

Cue Rihanna.

Pogo said...

"Not having an opinion on this", other than a critique of any anti-Obama reactions, is your entire schtick.

phx said...

"Not having an opinion on this", other than a critique of any anti-Obama reactions, is your entire schtick.

You seem to believe I personally owe you an opinion on whatever you think I should have an opinion on.

phx said...

I think I've demonstrated my willingness to be accountable for any of my opinions here. If you don't like them that's too bad.

Pogo said...

No, I'm just concerned.

Chef Mojo said...

"'Join the Marines,' they said."
"'Protect your country,' they said."

Marines: Guarding the helpless and witless with dignity and compassion, since 1775.

phx said...

I suppose in your book it would be okay for me to demand your opinions on whatever the fuck I wanted.

Good thing for you I'm not interested.

El Pollo Raylan said...

poplicola said...

In the rich suburbs of Washington, D.C. perhaps, but not here in Ohio.

Nor in SoCal, though we did have our own bubble in 2002-2008.

phx said...

But whatever anyone wants my opinion on I'll be happy to give an honest non-snarky answer.

Chef Mojo said...

What bugs me about the umbrella thing is that Obama has an absolute horde of civilian White House and West Wing staff, and none of them had the presence of mind to grab a fucking umbrella and offer to hold it over their boss and the Turkish PM when it became apparent that there was going to be a cloudburst over the Rose Garden.

I guess they think that sort of thing is beneath them.

So, the Marines get ordered to do it, and in a very undignified manner.

Pathetic.

Big Mike said...

@phx, please spare us. Thank you.

phx said...

LOL!

phx said...

Oh sure, now you don't WANT my opinion!

You guys are so crazy!

creeley23 said...

I think I've demonstrated my willingness to be accountable for any of my opinions here. If you don't like them that's too bad.

Phx is doing something different here. I too disagree with many of his opinions and some of his methods but he tries to discuss.

I'm not fond of "You must respond to this..." demands either.

phx said...

Thanks creeley23.

LilyBart said...


They are MARINES, not VALETS!


Big Mike said...

@Chief Mojo, I beg to differ with you. The marines were ordered by their Commander in Chief to hold umbrellas, so they did, and IMAO they looked remarkably dignified doing so.

The problem isn't the marines, the problem is that their C-in-C can't figure out how to hire people capable of getting on weather.com and moving the event indoors.

Since PHX is at pains to tell us she isn't snarky, I can only conclude that she really thinks inability to recruit and retain competent staff rises to an impeachable offense. In this she is dead wrong. The CEO of a major corporation would probably be removed by his or her board of directors for a demonstrated inability to recruit and retain good staff, but heaven forbid that a President would be removed for a comparable shortcoming. I mean, it's not like the US has shareholders that it must answer to.

phx said...

Since PHX is at pains to tell us she isn't snarky,

I didn't say that at all. Why don't some of you read more carefully? Aren't you the same ones who tout your "rationality".

LilyBart said...

Cannot people of good will join hands and say that there were better options for shielding the President from a light rain?....

There seems to be this 'cross town rivalry' thing going on between Dems and Repubs. Yay for our guys, right or wrong. Boo for their guys.

This is very bad for our country, I think. And so childish.

AReasonableMan said...

All the impotent gnashing of teeth by the right doesn't change the fundamentals. The economy is getting better, we aren't starting any more stupid wars and if an election was held today Obama would still win.

Big Mike said...

@phx, I'm making you look like the fool you are. You're cooperating nicely.

Thanks for your support.

creeley23 said...

phx: I have taken minority positions in mostly blue environments. It's an interesting dance.

Something I often wonder about is how do we manage political debate when the country is so polarized.

I just had two old college friends, now a married couple, over last weekend. Once upon a time we were all members of a commune and it was an intense, fun experience. We've grown apart since then of course, but the real rift is now political.

They live in a blue enclave and are very wired into the blue world. The woman even worked on both Obama campaigns.

As close we were and even now we still have great affection for each other, we can't talk politics. It's just too dangerous, too fraught with the possibility of saying something that can't be unsaid and forty years of friendship go down the drain.

exhelodrvr1 said...

ARM,
So do you think the IRS, Benghazi, AP phone records, et al are insignificant?

Big Mike said...

The economy is getting better,

Actually, it isn't. If we were counting unemployment the way we did in Carter years, it would exceed 20% and if we were counting inflation the way we did in Carter years it would be double-digit. We are, fundamentally, back in Carter's "stagflation" Just this time the Democrats are more clever about how they count unemployment and how they compute inflation.

we aren't starting any more stupid wars

You mean besides Libya?

and if an election was held today Obama would still win.

I wouldn't bet my retirement funds on that if I were you.

Chef Mojo said...

@Big Mike:

I think you misunderstood what I wrote.

The "beneath them" refers to the civilian staff.

They did not have the presence of mind to take action, so the Marines were ordered to do so. I'm also taking issue with the way they were ordered; the president making a joke out of it.

Of course they carried out their orders with dignity and precision; they're Marines.

Big Mike said...

As close we were and even now we still have great affection for each other, we can't talk politics. It's just too dangerous, too fraught with the possibility of saying something that can't be unsaid and forty years of friendship go down the drain.

I was never a member of a commune (wa-a-a-ay too independent-minded!) but I know what you mean. If Barack Obama has accomplished nothing else, he's put a lot of old friendships at risk. You can't talk about anything political, and these days nearly everything is politicized.

kcom said...

"You know, once upon a time American presidents had staff that was sufficiently on the ball to move events like this one indoors when there was a threat of rain."

It really is amazing the lack of preparation and a plan for something as simple (and predictable, based on modern weather forecasting) as a rain storm while a Prime Minister is visiting and giving an outside speech. As others have said, there should have been an army of "aides" available to do that dauty.

So, is it any wonder they were completely unprepared for 9/11, Benghazi, etc? If they can't even deal with a rainstorm in Washington without a little more professionalism it might be expecting too much of them to protect our diplomatic outposts.

pm317 said...

This video of Rep Mike Kelly brought tears to my eyes. For fuckers on this board like AReasonableMan or some other troll who come here and preach that Obama is fine and he will get elected again, it makes me livid. They are stupid idiots who are unfit to live and vote in this country and prosper. They absolutely don't deserve it. For the record, I don't care about tea party but I will shout from the rooftops when they are targeted by the govt. That simple concept is beyond these stupid, fucking thugs.

Big Mike said...

@Chief, please accept my apologies.

Of course they carried out their orders with dignity and precision; they're Marines.

Damn right!

phx said...

If Barack Obama has accomplished nothing else, he's put a lot of old friendships at risk. You can't talk about anything political, and these days nearly everything is politicized.

It's not Obama's fault. Everybody's responsible for themselves and how they manage their friendships.

Chef Mojo said...

Actually, it isn't. If we were counting unemployment the way we did in Carter years, it would exceed 20% and if we were counting inflation the way we did in Carter years it would be double-digit. We are, fundamentally, back in Carter's "stagflation" Just this time the Democrats are more clever about how they count unemployment and how they compute inflation.

This.

phx said...

I personally don't talk with people I know and love about politics. I might be wrong but I think I can handle whatever they believe politically, but I don't think they are going to be able to handle my beliefs.

AReasonableMan said...

Big Mike said...
I wouldn't bet my retirement funds on that if I were you.


Nothing is ever certain but if the Repubs continue to make these childish political games their primary focus rather than deal with the country's actual problems then they are going nowhere.

phx said...

Nothing is ever certain but if the Repubs continue to make these childish political games their primary focus rather than deal with the country's actual problems then they are going nowhere.

It's what keeps the Republican strategists awake at night.

exhelodrvr1 said...

You consider insisting on real investigations into the IRS, AP phone records, and Benghazi childish?

gerry said...

Obama just ain't that bright. Wit is not his strong suit. Being able to boss around Marines, that's just a compensation for his shortages.

Chip S. said...

Failure to answer the 3 AM call? Re-election worthy.

Lying to the American people about solely for political gain? Old news.

Demanding accountability for it all? Childish political games.

Got anything else to add to the conversation?

phx said...

Demanding accountability for it all? Childish political games.

Demanding accountability for Umbrellagate? A blunder.

Chef Mojo said...

This is but one of the many, many reasons why the president shouldn't be ordering Marines to hold umbrellas during little cloudbursts over the Rose Garden:

But the cost had been tremendous. Over nearly two weeks, regiments had been reduced to company strength, and companies to platoons. Many platoons were wiped out to a man. More than 1,600 Marines died in the fight for this 50-foot-high strongpoint, with another 7,400 wounded.

This day in 1945. Sugar Loaf Hill. Okinawa, Japan.

Chip S. said...

Finally revealed: Why Obama can't cut spending.

Chip S. said...

Demanding accountability for Umbrellagate? A blunder.

It's amazing how much importance you ascribe to a few people venting on the internet.

phx said...

It's amazing how much importance you ascribe to a few people venting on the internet.

That's where the votes are.

virgil xenophon said...

People wouldn't get so upset about the Marine umbrella thing except for the fact it is just one in a long list of markers indicating the lefts total contempt for the armed services. Besides the slights/insults already mentioned here one must include the 20-something Clinton WH staffer who told a Marine Colonel that she didn't talk to "people like him" and then there was Madeleine Albright, when at a WH cocktail party, while seated, asking an Army General in full-dress uniform to get her another cocktail as if he were a waiter. Also not yet mentioned is the practice of using unarmed Marine guards as doormen/footmen to open doors at the WH entrance, then returning to a stance unknown elsewhere in all the armed services: standing at attention with their hands folded together in front hanging at crotch level. Check it out the next time the news shows the WH entrance--they look like nothing so much as a pair of eunuchs--sickening..

Freeman Hunt said...

Heh. I didn't realize that he really had ordered a Marine to hold the umbrella.

Heh heh heh.

That's so Obama.

virgil xenophon said...

PS: Were *I* El Cid/Maximum Leader the WH Marine guards would be at parade rest with a fully-loaded ceremonial M-1 with bayonet attached. But then the Marines aren't to be trusted by this current crowd with loaded weapons: witness them being required to march in the Inaugural Parade with their firing pins removed from their weapons.

Chef Mojo said...

Demanding accountability for Umbrellagate? A blunder.

Pointing out rank stupidity is far different than demanding accountability, which I've not seen in this case.

There are plenty of other cases this week that demand accountability.

This is just a wonderful opportunity to mock the president for his moronic behavior and stuttering foolishness. The internet memes have been priceless. I especially like this one.

AReasonableMan said...

virgil xenophon said...
People wouldn't get so upset about the Marine umbrella thing except for the fact it is just one in a long list of markers indicating the lefts total contempt for the armed services.


It seems to me that it almost always the 'left' that are trying to improve conditions and pay for the average soldier and the right that block these improvements. If that is displaying contempt you have a very poor understanding of what respect and empathy might mean.

Chip S. said...

It seems to me that it almost always the 'left' that are trying to improve conditions and pay for the average soldier...

You need to work on your reality-perception skills.

Julie C said...

Apparently no one in Washington has ever heard of a pop-up shade structure.

You could even order one embellished with a presidential seal on top.

Very classy.

poplicola said...

AReasonableMan said...
"It seems to me that it almost always the 'left' that are trying to improve conditions and pay for the average soldier and the right that block these improvements. If that is displaying contempt you have a very poor understanding of what respect and empathy might mean."

Considering that it is largely conservatives who ARE the average soldiers, I am now convinced that you are full of shit.

El Pollo Raylan said...

The visuals of the moment don't denigrate the USMC. If you've never seen the changing of the guard at Arlington during a rainstorm, you should. Absolute unflinching standards of conduct impervious to the elements.

Big Mike said...

It seems to me that it almost always the 'left' that are trying to improve conditions and pay for the average soldier and the right that block these improvements.

If by "improved" you mean authorizing the sending of women into combat where, if captured, they are quite likely to be raped, then yes.

Otherwise, not so much.

AReasonableMan said...

Chip S. said...

You need to work on your reality-perception skills.


In order to notice that this is a result of the sequester, which house repubs foisted on the country?

Baron Zemo said...

I wasn't that upset about the Marine holding the umbrella over the Jug Eared Jesus's head but I got pissed when he sent one out with an umbrella to the park because his cake was left out in the rain.

El Pollo Raylan said...

AReasonableMan said...
It seems to me that it almost always the 'left' that are trying to improve conditions and pay for the average soldier and the right that block these improvements. If that is displaying contempt you have a very poor understanding of what respect and empathy might mean.

This is untrue. By neighbor did two tours of Iraq. According to him, no one did more for the Corps recently than George W. Bush, or under his Administration. And yes, there was sacrifice involved. There always is for real advance.

AReasonableMan said...

poplicola said...
Considering that it is largely conservatives who ARE the average soldiers, I am now convinced that you are full of shit.


Unlike the repubs, the dems don't find it necessary to punish those who don't vote for them, so this point is irrelevant.

The reality is that many on the left feel that the military has been abused by chickenhawks like Bush and Cheney and see it as their responsibility to ensure that veterans get the best care and conditions that the country can afford.

Baron Zemo said...

Also why didn't he ask the one question to the Turkish Prime Minister that every American wants to know.

Why are the Turks always fucking around with Liam Neeson's family?

They can't even visit Instanbul with out getting kidnapped and shit. What's up with that?

Chip S. said...

If you actually read the article, you'd discover that it's not mandated by the sequester.

Military pay increases by law are now linked with private sector growth as reflected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Employment Cost Index, an assessment that would call for a 1.8% increase in 2014, which advocates are seeking.

But the Pentagon is asking Congress to limit it to 1% and save $540 million. The Defense Department is also seeking to raise or establish certain fees in health coverage for retirees and military dependents, a savings of $1 billion.


Regarding your point more broadly, the administration that did the most to raise the pay of ordinary soldiers was Nixon's, when it ended the draft.

AReasonableMan said...

El Pollo Raylan said...
And yes, there was sacrifice involved. There always is for real advance.


Bush/Cheney made no sacrifice, the enlisted men and women did. And there was no real advance, due to the incompetence of the civilians in charge of the military at the time (Rumsfeld/Cheney).

Big Mike said...

@El Pollo, yes to the marines. And here is a YouTube video about the 3rd Infantry standing guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier during Hurricane Sandy.

And Hurricane Sandy, though it hit mostly north of here, was a serious storm in the Washington region. I lost a tree that had withstood Hurricane Irene and the derecho earlier in 2012.

AReasonableMan said...

Chip S. said...
If you actually read the article,


And you are avoiding the underlying causality for why they have to save that money.

Chip S. said...

The reality is that many on the left feel...

Well, yes, that's one aspect of reality. Just not a very interesting one.

...ensure that veterans get the best care and conditions that the country can afford.

Thanks, Capt. Vacuous.

El Pollo Raylan said...

Chip S. You need to work on your reality-perception skills.

Yes, the perception is that the Dems would like to unwind the entire military but in such a way as to not get blamed for it. Dems have always been for less guns and more butter lube.

Chip S. said...

And you are avoiding the underlying causality for why they have to save that money.

No I'm not.

The "underlying causality" is the administration's complete refusal to address the crisis in entitlement spending couples w/ the imposition of a hugely costly new entitlement.

Big Mike said...

Unlike the repubs, the dems don't find it necessary to punish those who don't vote for them ...

Two lies in one sentence. Not bad, even for the likes of you.

Now that critics of this administration are coming forward and saying that following their criticisms they were subjected to IRS audits, it is important to remember the Ian Fleming's adage: "once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, three times is enemy action."

El Pollo Raylan said...

AReasonableMan said...
Bush/Cheney made no sacrifice, the enlisted men and women did. And there was no real advance, due to the incompetence of the civilians in charge of the military at the time (Rumsfeld/Cheney).

You write as if you are unacquainted with any active or recently active military. You write abstractly w/o familiarity with reality.

El Pollo Raylan said...

The "underlying causality" is the administration's complete refusal to address the crisis in entitlement spending couples w/ the imposition of a hugely costly new entitlement.

The present Administration cares about the military, but they care more about entitlements for established democratic voters and the establishment of future democratic voters. If they lose the military vote, they don't really care. But the silver lining is that the present and future military "looks a lot like America" and the Dems are losing a leadership quality cohort which will come back to bite them one day.

AReasonableMan said...

Chip S. said...
the administration that did the most to raise the pay of ordinary soldiers was Nixon's, when it ended the draft.


All this is saying is that the conscripts were shamefully abused and an all volunteer army required competitive wages. They had no choice once support for conscription collapsed. Not quite the same thing as caring for those who fought.

Chip S. said...

All this is saying is that the conscripts were shamefully abused and an all volunteer army required competitive wages.

Well, yes. Isn't that the point? Or are you arguing that Nixon didn't understand that competitive wages would be required?

They had no choice once support for conscription collapsed.

Nixon made ending the draft a part of his 1968 campaign. He did not lead from behind on the issue.

el polacko said...

i admit to being somewhat of a grumpy, old curmudgeon but i'm not getting what was..uhhh..
so..uhhh.."lighthearted" about the..uhhh..moment.
jeezus, barack, either hold yer own damned umbrella or go inside out of the rain, ya moron !

creeley23 said...

I personally don't talk with people I know and love about politics. I might be wrong but I think I can handle whatever they believe politically, but I don't think they are going to be able to handle my beliefs.

phx & all: But isn't this less than ideal in a civic-minded democracy?

I'm not talking about non-stop political blathering. But we all have a stake in the country. Why can't we find good ways to talk about politics with friends, family and others?

As things stand, we discuss politics in our like-minded enclaves and maybe go out to joust in public spaces like blogs or letters to the editor. Then every two years or so we vote.

It seems to me the country is dangerously divided. More communication might help.

Though perhaps not, given that for many such communication isn't really communication but the pressing of agenda points and the shouting down of competing points.

Aridog said...

AReasonableMan said...

The reality is that many on the left feel that the military has been abused by chickenhawks like Bush and Cheney and see it as their responsibility to ensure that veterans get the best care and conditions that the country can afford.

Okay. Can you explain that remark, with some objective criteria. I will listen.

I am curious how doubling the loss rate in Afghanistan, for example, under this administration, falls under "the best care" meme.
There are other issues...as I said, I'll listen. I really want to know what I've missed.

Roger J. said...

Bush and Cheney "chicken hawks" Interesting indeed. Precisely when did Mr Obama serve--whose Afghanistan war is still generating casualties. You, sir, are a scum sucker.

Chip S. said...

Good point, Roger.

Cedarford said...

AReasonableMan said...
"It seems to me that it almost always the 'left' that are trying to improve conditions and pay for the average soldier and the right that block these improvements. If that is displaying contempt you have a very poor understanding of what respect and empathy might mean."

----------
Some have jumped on "areasonableman" for this, but if you drop the military-hating Left, and discuss the other part of of the Democrat Party, not so.

You hear most from liberals and progressive jews and "victimhood" minorities that generally dislike the military - given their access to media these days. But behind that, you have regular people who are Democrats.

And they gave us the GI Bill, Funded the Cold War, built a formidable Navy and Air Force and have ships and bases named for them. You had democrat "Appropriators" like Robert Byrd and Murtha that worked hard to get what the military said it needed.

phx said...

phx & all: But isn't this less than ideal in a civic-minded democracy?

Yes, it is much less than ideal.

IMO there's a way to communicate effectively across the divide with one another but it probably won't seem very satisfactory.

The first step is to learn to always depersonalize your antagonists' attacks or arguments. If you can do that they might be able to follow your example and depersonalize yours. Then everyone needs to be acquainted and held to some basic critical thinking principles. Small groups of people can be found who are committed to these two points I think. Those are the ones you should cultivate for you allies and your opponents.

furious_a said...

At least the First Lady didn't have the Marines don aprons and carry canape trays at the reception immediately following.

Chip S. said...

And they gave us the GI Bill, Funded the Cold War, built a formidable Navy and Air Force and have ships and bases named for them.

Aside from the GI Bill I don't see what any of this has to do w/ caring about "ordinary soldiers".

furious_a said...

You had democrat "Appropriators" like Robert Byrd and Murtha that worked hard to get what the military said it needed.

...and, like Scoop Jackson and JFK they are long in their graves.

poppa india said...

Whenever I see the term chickenhawk used, I'm curious about the military history of the user. ARM, will you let us know your record so I can decide if I want you as the person defending my interests?

poppa india said...

Whenever I see the term chickenhawk used, I'm curious about the military history of the user. ARM, will you let us know your record so I can decide if I want you as the person defending my interests?

Meade said...

Reminds me of THIS.

And yet he bows inappropriately to other foreign dignitaries. Odd behavior for a natural-born American adult male.

Meade said...

I too would like AReasonableMan to explain: If Bush and Cheney are "chickenhawks", what are Clinton and Obama?

El Pollo Raylan said...

@Meade: Naturally it was important for his flower to land on top of the heap rather than to broaden the base as McCain showed. Obama's never been a true widener of the the base--even his own--as fewer people voted for him in 2012 than in 2008.

He's also the nation's first bisectual President.

gk1 said...

Just bad optics for someone who is slowly sinking into a choppy sea. We knew he was a post turtle from day one. That his staff is unable to anticipate a simple shower explains what's about to happen in the next 6 months.

TennLion said...

Correction on the various services' uniform rules: Army and Marines prohibit males from carrying/using umbrellas in uniform; Navy and Air Force permit. (Although none of the services permit it while in combat/fatigue uniform.)Soldiers and Marines frequently jeer at swabbies and zoomies for their weakness (no doubt while secretly envying them).

Roger J. said...

As a 25 year veteran of the army, with two tours in Viet Nam, I never questioned the legitimate orders of my commander in chief and my military commanders. My job was to serve. That was my commissioning oath. It was not an oath predicated on which political party was in power. It was an oath to the constitution.

If you want to see the consequences of military favoritism and its corrosoive effects examine the history of the roman empire and the praetorian guard and the use of roman legions by three generations of "emperors."

madAsHell said...

In Seattle, you can always spot the tourists. They have the umbrellas.

Cedarford said...

Downarrow on "areasonableman" for the following remarks:

"The reality is that many on the left feel that the military has been abused by chickenhawks like Bush and Cheney and see it as their responsibility to ensure that veterans get the best care and conditions that the country can afford."

1. While many neocons are indeed big-talking chickenhawks who never served, and do not intend to let their kids sacrifice law school for any sort of inferior career path involving national service - even they compare favorably to vast swaths of the Left - where the military and its people are openly despised.

2. Bush served. The reservists that flew F-102s were on two years active duty in qualifying, and had a higher death rate than the typical grunt in Vietnam. It is common though, for leftists who never served and have no fucking clue what the military is about - to consider National Guard, people in Cold War duty elsewhere to "not have really served if they avoided being in real combat". (Dwight Eisenhower never was in 'real combat in battle' himself as a soldier...did 5-Star Ike , serve??)

3. Dick Cheney did serve the military, as did FDR - in civilian leadership before attaining high elected office. Cheney was Sec of Defense fr 4 years, Roosevelt Secretary of Navy. Both volunteered for that national service. Which beats a typical Leftist's involvement with supporting the American military all to hell.

4. The Left has also confused love of Victimhood and love of spending money on help, or memorializing 'military' victims - with support of national defense.
Building monuments to dead soldiers the Left hates while they are alive and serving doesn't rectify the Left's cognitive dissonance.

AReasonableMan said...

Meade said...
I too would like AReasonableMan to explain: If Bush and Cheney are "chickenhawks", what are Clinton and Obama?


I don't think you understand the meaning of the term chickenhawk. It is someone who took every opportunity to avoid serving in order to save their own skin only to turn around and pursue an aggressive military policy that advances their career at the cost of others.

Colin Powell and John McCain are not chickenhawks even though both have advanced military options at different times, almost always in McCain's case. Dick Cheney is a chickenhawk. The term doesn't apply to Clinton and Obama since neither has shown much enthusiasm for war and certainly didn't try to build their career around war.

President-Mom-Jeans said...

Unreasonable bitch, did you really just write this?

"Unlike the repubs, the dems don't find it necessary to punish those who don't vote for them, so this point is irrelevant.:

Seriously?

Kill yourself. In all earnestness, do the country, planet, Gaia, whatever a favor and immediately cease your carbon footprint by ending your wretched existence.

I think hanging is a pretty carbon friendly way to go, you could get a sustainably grown hemp rope. And your corpse could be composted, I mean, "recycled."

Roger J. said...

C4--you are on a roll and a good one. And for those not familiar with C4s service he did serve in Desert Storm as an engineer officer. He has his opinions, with which I don't always disagree, but I would never ever question his patriotism. When the chips are down I would want C4 on my flank.

Roger J. said...

ARM--keep digging asshole. The hole is already over your head.

Paco Wové said...

"many on the left feel that the military has been abused by chickenhawks like Bush and Cheney"

Interesting that your concept of 'support' is strictly within a framework of helping the poor little victimized soldiers. I sometimes wonder if the left can relate to humans as anything other than oppressed groups and oppressor groups.

AReasonableMan said...

Cedarford said...
they compare favorably to vast swaths of the Left - where the military and its people are openly despised.


I think this is myth from the post Vietnam era, which is now a very long time ago. There has been a sea-change in attitudes towards veterans amongst the left. That reliable indicator of leftist attitudes, Hollywood, has consistently produced sympathetic portraits of veterans since the 80's. You can be anti-war and sympathetic to veterans. These are not only not inconsistent views but actually very complementary. Only a very few benefit from most wars, almost none of them the actual combatants.

Cedarford said...

poppa india said...
Whenever I see the term chickenhawk used, I'm curious about the military history of the user. ARM, will you let us know your record so I can decide if I want you as the person defending my interests?

====================
My experience is that Vets tend to loathe the Left for calling those who served in the military in spots other than "frontline, in the rice paddies or you are a chickenhawk!"
Clueless and ignorant taunt, especially since the left has more of the actual "boy love" chickenhawks in their ranks than other groups in America.

Conservatives who never served, especially the Neocons with access to media - tend to go the other way in worshipping "elite soldiers" like SEALs as the only part of the military that does great stuff. And thinking veneration of the MOH is needed but medals under that save the Purple Heart are just soldiers that came up short of getting the Big Kahuna Medal.

1. Elite soldiers are a capacity. Just like AF logistics or a fine crew of sonar operators on subs are. Obama has overspotlighted and overused SEALs for missions that were well in the capacity of Rangers and Marines. Helo mechanics and nuke power plant operators on carriers and cooks and medics and army ammunition specs are just as esential to the mission.

2. No one who served ever wanted to get a Purple Heart. In some ways, it is since George Washington 1st used it - a token of sacrifice, not achievement - and a symbol that others should give any suffering from enemy action their assistance..even long after the war or battle is over...if assistance is called for.

3. Conservatives need to get over their MOH worship and recognize that other awards put awardees in the same category of honor - for extraordinary feats of achievement, bravery.

Roger J. said...

No ARM--again you are wrong--Hollywood produced a spate of movies about the depravity of soldiers during hostilities in Iraq--see for example the valley elah where soldiers were accused of killing a comrade, and barbecuing him--and then there was stop order--All of those movies were box office flops.

you really are in your own parallel universe.

Synova said...

"Unlike the repubs, the dems don't find it necessary to punish those who don't vote for them, so this point is irrelevant."

That statement truly is hysterical. Obama is all about punishing those who don't go along with him.

Synova said...

"Interesting that your concept of 'support' is strictly within a framework of helping the poor little victimized soldiers."

This is what gets me. We're supposed to be *grateful* to be condescended to. Poor little victims that we are.

AllenS said...

So, where does John Kerry fit in your caterizations, ARM? Did he become a chickenhawk after his three band-aid wounds allowed him to escape further war?

I'm hardly a hero, but my first purple heart put me in a military hospital for 3 months before I was physically able to rejoin my outfit in Viet Nam. I was out about as long as John Kerry served.

You never did tell us where you served.

El Pollo Raylan said...

Roger J: There's a possible connection between the creator of that movie and the gaystapo: link

AReasonableMan said...

Cedarford, I am certainly not questioning the patriotism of anyone who served in any capacity. Nonetheless, it has been my experience that those whose ass was on the line in active combat are generally pretty reluctant to inflict the experience on others, if it can be avoided. There are unquestionably exceptions, though they generally cluster in the officer ranks.

A legitimate criticism of the current Democrat leadership is that it lacks people like Max Cleland with actual combat experience. I don't think this delegitimizes the civilian leadership but it might make it a bit less cognizant of the human cost of pursuing military adventures

Your views of the left and its attitude to the military are outdated. There are dickheads in any group but like a lot of people on this board you are still fighting battles from the 60's. The military gets respect from a lot on the left. In addition, a lot of the rank and file of the military are Democrats, not the so much the officers.

Roger J. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AReasonableMan said...

AllenS said...
You never did tell us where you served.


I haven't served in the military. I was too young to be conscripted. I have multiple relatives who saw active duty and I have worked for the VA. I get really sick of this blanket condemnation of non-Republicans as anti-veteran. This attitude dates from the Vietnam war and has become irrelevant. There are legitimate reasons to question the motives of those who constantly advocate war and to question who benefits and who loses from our current culture of permawar. Every thinking citizen should ask those questions.

Roger J. said...

ARM--I do appreciate your service working with the VA--thank you

I don't think, from at least my experience, that the electorate writ large can be divided by party into pro-military and anti-military. But you seem to see the situation in terms of political party--that's fine--that's your prerogative--It does not say much for your critical thinking skills.

And yes, I was an officer so probably suspect in your calculus, even though I have a mass said every year for the past 42 years for the soldiers in my troop who died.

You clearly do not understand what the military is all about.

Synova said...

We don't have to go back to the 60s to find concerted "liberal" efforts to keep ROTC off of elite campuses or to find any number of our betters happy to explain how the mission of such universities is incompatible with the study of war.

The lack in the "current" Democratic leadership of anyone with a clue and the lower numbers (if I take your word for it) of Democrat officers (though I sort of doubt this is true) is a result of genuine anti-military anti-troop attitudes in the party and on the left.

The fact that we have an elite force, top to bottom, means that as large as our military is it can only ever be a very small portion of the population as a whole, but in generations past there was at least a feeling that serving was something a young man with powerful parents and future ambition did... or at least owed.

But try studying war today, walk across a campus in uniform... Yeah, the 60s were probably worse. But try to explain to someone who simply can not comprehend why anyone would volunteer to study war why you want to and what it means... and they are ALL volunteers.

Cedarford said...

AReasonableMan said...
Cedarford, I am certainly not questioning the patriotism of anyone who served in any capacity. Nonetheless, it has been my experience that those whose ass was on the line in active combat are generally pretty reluctant to inflict the experience on others, if it can be avoided
======================
Well, you did call Bush and Cheney chickenhawks.
Both served the military mission.
Some leftists idiots called Rumsfeld a chickenhawk too, and even bigger joke.

In my thinking, use of the word chickenhawk instantly brands any Leftist using it as someone who never served. The only exceptions are "professional victim vets" that are essentally losers blaming all their bad luck lives on military service long ago.

And no, the Left's scorn of the military and servicemembers did not end in the 60s. It was on full display in ROTC bans, in Leftist continuing to warn the greatest security threat to women and the country in general was 'returning, psychologically shattered Vets', in Hollywood "Americans are the bad guys" movies well into the 2010s.

The only times it abated is when the Leftist intelligensia determined it wasn't 'expedient' to bash. A few years after the Gulf War, and just 2 years after 9/11, or when a Left icon like Obama does a military engagement.

Synova said...

BTW... I don't trust Democrats because they are so willing to use the military. Every Democrat president in my lifetime has done so over and over again. Most of the time they think they can just sort of *play* with it... half measures... posturing that no one really believes and just gets men killed... go to war without going to war.

But people still die.

Nothing about being Democrat has ever translated to reluctance to get us involved in conflicts or send men to their deaths.

Roger J. said...

Synova--re your point. Recall Secretary Albrights's quip "what good does it do to have the best military in the world if we don't use it."

phx said...

I don't trust Democrats because they are so willing to use the military.

I trust Obama with North Korea. I can't think of any Republicans I would trust as well right now.

poplicola said...

AReasonableMan said:

"There are legitimate reasons to question the motives of those who constantly advocate war and to question who benefits and who loses from our current culture of permawar. Every thinking citizen should ask those questions."

ARM You still haven't answered my questions to you earlier in this thread on this subject.

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