Politicians in Uniform


There has been a great deal of sturm und drang from the Right about MoveOn’s ad calling General David Petraeus, General Betray Us. Of course, those same Solons haven’t condemned Rush’s claim that soldiers who oppose this stupid war are ‘phony soldiers’. And, unfortunately, those voices of hypocrisy have even been joined by the far-too-common invertebrates among the Left who think it acceptable for Congress to condemn the political speech of American citizens, including our own Congresswoman Gabby Giffords.

Gabby should apologize to every member of MoveOn for her vote. She set a poor example by failing to uphold the American tradition of free speech and freedom of conscience amid political pressures.

The greatest American right is the right to speak your mind, especially when someone is offended – because the powerful are always offended when it is pointed out that what they are doing is offensive.

Gabby failed that test. She did have a moment of conscience when she voted to keep the dastardly resolution off the floor, but she failed the final exam. Such a fundamental betrayal (ah, that shocking word again!) of our deepest traditions is only forgivable if she recognizes her failure and intends to do better by her constituents. The same goes for every Democrat who voted shamefully to disparage the rights of their own constituents.

MoveOn’s ad may have been sophomoric in tone, but it obviously went straight to the heart of the issue. The hornets don’t get that angry unless you kick their hive.

I stand firmly in the camp that defends that ad because the General, despite what I am sure are his many positive qualities, failed in his duty to the troops and his country by acting as the White House’s general, instead of America’s.  He put on rose-colored glasses and ate the shit sandwich the Administration served him, then he gave Congress a song and dance completely divorced from the strategic mission in Iraq and designed solely to serve the political agenda of Resident Bush. I won’t apologize for holding the view that by becoming a politician in a uniform, instead of the clear-sighted, plain-speaking professional soldier we needed, Petraeus did, in fact, betray all of us.

Now, there is even evidence that Petraeus had his eye on his own interests all along: apparently he harbors a desire to run for the Presidency (presumably on the GOP ticket) as soon as 2012. Many are even calling for an X/Petraeus ticket in 2008. So far, I’ve only heard Thompson/Petraeus as a possibility (they may even pursue a third-party bid on the Testosterone Party ticket), but I’m sure that any of the current struggling nominee-wanna-bes would welcome some brass on the bottom of their tickets.

Nor is Petraeus the only willing tool of the Neo-Cons in uniform to be courting a political golden parachute when his military career track tops out. General Peter Pace, recently retired Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is being actively recruited to run for the open Senate seat for Virginia, and is even mentioned as a late addition to the GOP line-up for 2008.

Nor is that end of the GOP’s current crop of politicians in uniform. There was a great deal of speculation about the political future of Gen. Tommy Franks, the wet noodle who originally rolled over for the Neo-Con vision of how to lose a war in the 5 years or less.

This White House has been very adept at selecting command staff who will do exactly what they are told, despite the damage those orders will do to the service, the troops, or the nation. The Neo-Cons hide their military policy behind claims to simply be doing what their command staff recommends. It is a mendacious and cowardly trick that is undermining America’s faith in the non-political nature of our armed forces.

The Neo-Cons have mastered this shell game and used it to pull a short con on all of us. Where are the WMD? Just pick one! Oh, too bad, but your booby prize is a never-ending occupation of Iraq draining the life out of our treasury and our military!

All the Neo-Con’s game needed was a few officers who really aspired to be politicians, and were willing to do what they were told and prostitute their professional reputations in exchange for political IOUs. This Administration is really effective at identifying these betrayers and using them for all they are worth – which in my estimation, isn’t much.



  1. Is it any wonder why Congress’ approval numbers are in the toilet.

    This is simply systemic of our Congress in general.

    Keep on calling her office Francine. Has it helped yet?

  2. The CD8 “representation” problem is systemic and the Democrats need to think long and hard about who they want to promote. Here’s the bottom line. When you send property managers to Congress you are represented by a property manager. Property managers do not morph into brilliant constitutional lawyers because they were elected to a position WHERE WHAT YOU NEED IS A BRILLIANT CONSTITIONAL LAWYER IN THIS F***ED SITUATION WE FIND OURSELVES IN.

    That’s all I have to say on the subject.

  3. I’m not apologizing for Gabby – I called her office and objected strenuosly to her vote on the MoveOn ad. But you know, we had two alternatives in that election – and don’t tell me about the lesser of the evils. As I have said more than once – if you’re unhappy with Gabby, just think how truly miserable you could be with Randy Graf! And when you look at the whole Gabby voting picture, it has more positives than negatives. And I would urge all of her constituents to do what I do: when she voted against that FISA abomination, I promptly contacted her office and said “Thank you!” When her votes don’t suit me, I let them know that, too. So, George, step up to the bat – don’t tell your friends or write to blogs – contact her office and let her know. And, oh yes! Remember: behavior which is reinforced (let her know what she does right) will recur.

    And by the way, George, I think that’s a crappy comment: “she has no conviction of conscience to stand on.” She has a large district to represent and your views are just that – your views. Those others want to be represented same as you do.

  4. Michael-It’s Gabby’s way of trying to walk the political tightrope.

    In other words, she has no conviction of conscience to stand on. I was hoping she’d be okay as a legislator, but instead she is turing out to be just another politician. It sucks to be in the 8th district.

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