Friday | June 27, 2003
How will servicemembers vote as GOP continues to screw them?
I've never felt comfortable with talk about military personnel being a solid Republican block. I didn't see that when I served.
First of all, most military people I served with (and I was in a combat arms unit -- artillery) were apolitical. I served overseas, so perhaps the hassle of voting absentee made people less likely to participate, but in any case most people didn't bother voting.
Of those who did vote, there were three blocs -- the officer corps, which was very Republican, the southern gun-culture whites, who were also Republican, and the northern whites, all African-Americans, and all Latinos, who were Democrats.
Note that a great percent (if not the majority) of enlisted people come from low-income backgrounds. They are prototypical Democratic voters, and the act of serving didn't change that in any way.
Obviously, the officer corps was more likely to vote than enlisted men and women. So in the end, the political leanings of the military corps came down to the usual culprit -- voter turnout.
But there's a shift -- an important one -- amongst the top military brass. These are men and women who appreciate the social benefits bestowed upon our servicemembers -- benefits like housing and food and an aggressive affirmative action program that ensures we maintain the best trained, highest morale fighting force in the world. They do not appreciate GOP efforts to curtail such programs in the "real" world.
They are also sick and tired of constant deployment, and see the damage that perpetual (and unecessary) war causes with troop morale, reenlistment rates, and the general well-being of their troops. Generals Shinseki and Clark are the highest profile examples of this new outspoken breed of left-leaning top brass, but they are not alone.
And while Republicans and conservatives "support our troops" by putting them in harm's way, with an ill-conceived mission justified by a lies-generating "cabal" of pointy-headed "intellectuals", they also eagerly tear apart the meager social programs that help our veterans after the sacrifice to their nation.
This is not going unnoticed. In the Marine Corps Times, the headline blazes "House Republicans dig in against child tax credit for combat troops." In the Army Times, we get the following editorial (subscribers only):
Nothing but lip serviceThis is a key editorial, in a publication read by a large number of Army personnel (I read it religiously while serving). It exposes the "support our troops" hypocrites as creatures worth less than dirt. They LIE to place our troops in harms way. Then they:
In fact, Rep. David Obey of Wisconsin, the ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee tried to restore $1 billion of the construction money, and proposed paying for it by trimming some of the recent tax cuts for those making more than $1 million. Get this: under Obey's proposal, instead of an $88,300 break, they would've gotten an $83,500 cut.
The Republicans killed the proposal. To Republicans in Congress, $4,800 for their richest benefactors was more important than improving the quality of life of our men and women in uniform.
And those bastards dare to wrap themselves in the flag?
(Every presidential candidate and every elected Democratic official needs to be on the case right now. You have the facts. Use them!)Posted June 27, 2003 08:19 AM | Comments (115)