Monday, September 03, 2012

Salutegate: More from My Wackjob Cousin

Even though I've taken some time off, my wackjob cousin hasn't. Here's one of her latest:

Disgusting absolutely disgusting. A few minutes ago Mr. Obama left the White House to board Air Force 1 helicopter. Upon approaching the helicopter the Marine in his dress blues snapped to attention and saluted Mr. Obama. Mr. Obama showed total disregard or respect for the marine refusing to return salute. Mr. OBAMA THE MAN JOINED THE MILITARY AND WOULD PUT HIS LIFE ON THE LINE FOR YOU ANY DAY OR ANYTIME . Out of respect you deserve to return that salute. ACTIONS speak louder than words. We know how you feel about our constitution and our country.

What a lie you tell. And where is he headed, to FT Bliss to parse the military, what an idiot.
Really? Well, you know -- and she should have known -- that I just couldn't let this slide by without a response:
Jesus, that's what you are going with now? Now I must conclude that your visceral hatred of Barack Obama knows no bounds.
Oddly enough, the same people who are now slavering over this alleged "disrespect" are the very same ones (WND, Faux "News", Free Republic, etc., i.e., all of the "regular" sources which you seem to cite routinely) who said that Bill Clinton had NO RIGHT to return that same salute because he was a "draft dodger" who had never been in the military.
If you want to consider a REAL affront to the military, take a listen to Romney's speech last night (here's the full transcript, from Fox News so you know it hasn't been edited:, in which you will find exactly ZERO references to the troops in Afghanistan, even though he had a virtually unlimited amount of time to speak.
Mr. Romney, those men joined the military and if you were president, they would put their lives on the line for you any day or any time. Don't they deserve at least a passing mention, if not a loud and enthusiastic "shout out" of appreciation for their service?
How about that?
Okay, so after a couple more emails back and forth, one of which addressed the Romney-ignoring-the-troops thing by her saying dismissively that Romney is a busy man and the troops didn't mind:
Funny thing on that whole salute business, but I can find no record of any president doing it before Ronald Reagan, not even Dwight D. Eisenhower, who had more right than any other president with the possible exceptions of Washington and Grant. I remember the discussion in my VA "rap session" rehab group around the time that Reagan whipped out that first salute in 1981. No one had ever seen it happen before (and our ages ranged from vets from WWI on up through WWII, Korea and Vietnam), and we were somewhat divided over whether it was proper or just more of that famous Reagan showmanship.
But at the end of the day, the consensus was reached, as I recall, that no civilian, not even the commander-in-chief should salute a military person. Here's our reason why: One of the great concepts enshrined in our Constitution is that the military is always under civilian authority, command and control, and for a civilian, even the CIC or the SECDEF (Secretary of Defense), to salute a military man tends to blur that sharp distinction. For more on this topic, you might want to take a look at an interesting and lively forum discussion on this topic among some current and former service members on from several years ago, before this became a big current affairs issue:
BTW, you can't tell me with a straight face that, if the tables were turned and it was Obama who "forgot" to mention the troops in Afghanistan in a similar speech that you would be all right with that. I don't for a second believe that. And, on what the troops themselves thought of Romney's omission, we seem to be in disagreement -- you think they didn't mind, and I think that they did. Since neither of us is a mindreader, we'll have to let this one drop, except for me to add that when I was in the Army and in Vietnam, it was nice to have our commander-in-chief acknowledge our service and our sacrifices. It contributed greatly to morale and esprit de corps, and both Johnson and Nixon, consummate politicians that they were, knew that.
Hell, yeah, I'll play the Vietnam Card!  In a New York minute!

Well, as She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed never tires of reminding me, you can't argue with stupid and you shouldn't argue with crazy... Yeah, true enough, but Jeez, sometimes it's just so goddam much fun!