May 30 2007
07:39 am

Joe Powell's take on the subject of Fred's gushy, buttkissing ode to soldiers.


What IS it that makes these Chickenhawk Republicans so pro-military once they're past service age? The way they romanticize the armed services, you'd at least expect their sons to have enlisted, right, Tony Thompson?*

*This would be Fred's boy, who is nobly serving his country as a high-dollar lobbyist down on Capitol Hill in Nashville -- He's an ecumenical kind of guy who's in bidness with old McWherter crony Harlan Mathews, which demonstrates that it's a small world after all because Mathews briefly held the US Senate seat vacated by Al Gore and subsequently won by Ole Fred.

But back to my pro-military theme -- what does it say about Ole Fred that he seems intent upon capsizing the candidacy of his erstwhile best friend John McCain, a genuine war hero whose service record was smeared by the Bush campaign during the 2000 GOP primary fight?

Nuttin' good, I'd say.

p.s.: This probably doesn't need to be said, but Fred, of course, had better things to do than sign up to save democracy in SE Asia back when he was cannon fodder age. Like running errands for Howard Baker, which was a job with a future.

Sven's picture

I point to Andrew Bacevich's

I point to Andrew Bacevich's book ad nauseum, but he really does nail down the driving forces behind the fetishization of all things military. In addition to all the gung-ho, johnson-swinging posturing, Bacevich says talking about the troops is a way of fantasizing about Leave it to Beaver 'merican values. It's the last refuge of the value-pimping scoundrels, because no one actually believes civilians are virtuous. From the book's introduction:

Confidence in the military has found further expression in a tendency to elevate the soldier to the status of national icon, the apotheosis of all that is great and good about contemporary America. The men and women of the armed services, gushed Newsweek in the aftermath of Operation Desert Storm, "looked like a Norman Rockwell painting come to life. They were young, confident, and hardworking, and they went about their business with poiseand élan..."

According to the old post-Vietnam-era political correctness, the armed services had been a refuge for louts and mediocrities who probably couldn't make it in the real world. By the turn of the twenty-first century a different view had taken hold. Now the United States military was "a place where everyone tried their hardest. A place where everybody… looked out for each other. A place where people -- intelligent, talented people -- said honestly that money wasn't what drove them. A place where people spoke openly about their feelings." Soldiers, it turned out, were not only more virtuous than the rest of us, but also more sensitive and even happier.

Contemplating the GIs advancing on Baghdad in March 2003, the classicist and military historian Victor Davis Hanson saw something more than soldiers in battle. He ascertained "transcendence at work." According to Hanson, the armed services had "somehow distilled from the rest of us an elite cohort" in which virtues cherished by earlier generations of Americans continued to flourish.

Wayne's picture



How do you sleep at night? You post is sad really. You could care less about what a soldier does or is prepared to do for you. Do you know what's even ironic, they don't care either, they just do it anyway.

Eleanor A's picture

I think Wayne proves Sven's

I think Wayne proves Sven's point in a way that words from me probably can't...

and as much as I hate to admit it, mentalities like Wayne's are probably why the Dems passed the craptastic war funding bill last that it's probably going to have repercussions in '08, since the Congressional Dems were elected to do something about this morass.

redmondkr's picture

You could care less about

You could care less about what a soldier does or is prepared to do for you.

Actually, Wayne, I think you mean to say "could not care less" in that statement. You are implying that Sven has the capacity to care less than you think he does when you probably are trying to tell us that he cannot.

It's a common misuse of the phrase.

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redmondkr's picture

I saw the first Thompson

I saw the first Thompson bumper sticker yesterday. It was in Clinton, on a rainy road (hooray!), on the car of some nutter following about ten feet behind the guy in front of him at about fifty mph. When we stopped for a light there it was.

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S Carpenter's picture

He'll tell you himself...

Yes but "things have changed", Fred says. This is to be the constant message both excusing his past and justifying the endless war policy.

from today's KNS article

"And I think the country's different. I think we have challenges now that we didn't have in 2000."

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