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Tuesday, March 18, 2008
The Reverse Chickenhawk

For years, the left has suggested that you can't support the war if you haven't served in the military. A new version of this argument is now being peddled by Obama's supporters, who now argue that service in the military immunizes leftists (and only leftists) from criticism.

A recent post at Democratic Underground illustrates a version of this spin:

I'm just so disgusted at how Wright is being painted as some sort of anti-American bigot. For the record he is a Marine veteran. What arm of the service did Rush or Hannity serve in?

While we can all appreciate the good Reverend's service, service in the military - however noble - does not give someone a free pass to unleash toxic, racist, anti-American rhetoric. It would be just as accurate to say:

"I'm just so disgusted at how Lee Harvey Oswald is being painted as some sort of anti-American... For the record he is a Marine veteran."

The point here is that we judge people by their actions. Service in the military is a strong indicator of patriotism. Though military veterans may be more patriotic in most cases, that doesn't preclude some veterans from being unpatriotic (in the most extreme examples: Oswald, Tim McVeigh)... and it certainly doesn't preclude non-veterans from being patriotic.

The American people will have to judge: is it fair to think that someone who says "God Damn America" and positively rejoices in September 11th as "the chickens coming home to roost" is anti-American? Does military service 40 years ago give him a pass?

Is it fair to judge Obama for choosing this man as his mentor, supporting him financially, and doing nothing publicly to repudiate his widely known positions?

so let me get this straight. the republican approach to barak obama is that he doesn't love america enough? I think this tactic worked with people who generally were unlikable like gore and kerry but barak is not some hippie and is very likable. I just don't see this tactic working. His campaign is smart enough to know those videos were going to get out and now barak has all the national media pointed at him doing what he does best. Giving prepared speeches that address big ideas. hilary no doubt is trying to paint him as al sharpton and jesse jackson but there is one big difference. barak is half white whose grandfather fought in pattons army and the biggest difference is that barak isn't angry about his african-american history. He never had to drink out of a different waterfountain than white people, like his pastor. I would wager any bet that if the six conservative guys grew up in a country that wouldn't let them drink out of a waterfountain because of the color of their skin that they may be inclined to say god damn to that country as well.
Except that most Americans aren't going to watch Barack's speech. Most Americans are going to see, and remember, the hateful words of his preacher. You may think that's fair or unfair, but Barack should have distanced himself from this guy when he was elected to the Senate. The fact that he didn't is a reflection of the fact that Obama was not well vetted. I think he's a great speaker. That's great. So were president Cuomo and president Hart. The key demographic for Obama in the election is Reagan Democrats - the white, blue collar workers who live in places like Pennsylvania. Let's see how he does.

The waterfountains were desegregated nearly 50 years ago. He's still "God-damning" America today and that he was positively buoyant following the 9/11 attacks.

You can say that black people earned the right to Goddamn America, but if you want to wallow in an environment in which you identify whites and Zionists and others as your "real enemy," you will have a hard time getting elected President, particularly on a unity style platform.

Obama had a good thing going. He tried to have it both ways and thought he would get a pass. He guessed wrong and if he loses Pennsylvania big, he is going to have some really jittery superdelegates to deal with.

It is a shame that his grandmother is a racist -- perhaps he is just continuing the family tradition?
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