Sweet Baby James

There are quite a few people who comment that I am quite taken with. (Okay! Who am I kiddin? I’m taken by everyone who comments!) I truly hate to confess to being an internet slut, er, stalker, but that seems to be the case….. (Yes, I get around….)

The other day I came across James McPherson’s site and asked if I could post one of his articles here. (I only do this because I am lazy, and he made me margaritas last night.) Lo and behold! He agreed! (silly fool)  I dig this post. It brings up some very interesting questions (in my sick and twisted mind, anyways…..)

Of course I had to change his title (guess he didn’t learn a damn thing in journalism) to make it my own. May I present my cutie patootie, James McPherson?  Here we go:

As is typical of election season, Mitt Romney’s military record (or, more accurately, his lack of one) became a news item for a few days. The issue may pop up again, though of course as a Republican Romney will never be punished for his record to the degree that actual servicemen John Kerry and Max Cleland were denigrated for their honorable service.

We pretend to honor those who serve in the military, but mostly we ignore them – or even go so far as punishing those with the guts to actually serve. The latest example comes with the news that Congressional Republicans will likely continue to prevent a female soldier who is raped by a serviceman from getting the same medical care that she would get if she were a secretary for one of those members of Congress. That inaction will come despite the fact that a woman is more likely to be raped by one of her countrymen while serving in the military than she is to be harmed in any way by an “enemy,” and more likely to be raped as a soldier than she would be if she didn’t serve.

Romney probably won’t be asked for his perspective on the issue, though he should have little credibility on anything related to the military, anyway. He is a chickenhawk, someone who supports war despite doing whatever is necessary to actually avoid service. So is Obama, the drone warrior – though he and his wife likely have done more for those who serve than Romney ever would, perhaps making the fact that military veterans tend to favor Romney a good example of how little attention people actually pay to issues (and military support for Republicans may be waning, anyway). Besides, don’t conservatives like unchecked presidential power when it comes to war?

Other notable chickenhawks include Roger Ailes, George Allen, Dick Armey, Michele Bachmann, Glenn Beck, William Bennett, Roy Blunt, John Boehner, John Bolton, Jeb Bush, Saxby Chambliss, Dick Cheney, Tom Coburn, Ann Coulter, Tom DeLay, Bill Frist, Newt Gingrich, Rudy Giuliani, Sean Hannity, Denny Hastert, Laura Ingraham, Alan Keyes, Charles Koch, David Koch, Bill Kristol, Jon Kyl, Rush Limbaugh, Trent Lott, Mitch McConnell, Thaddeus McCotter, Grover Norquist, Ted Nugent, Sarah Palin, Michael Reagan, Karl Rove, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum, Michael Savage, Ben Stein, Tom Tancredo, George Will, all five of Romney’s sons and, for that matter, most members of Congress. See the “Chickenhawk Hall of Fame” for others.

In fact, America is full of chickenhawks, as Rachel Maddow points out in her new book. Americans love to get behind a war, dispite the fact that few of us consider the long-term ramifications or actually choose to serve in the military. I’m one of those, by the way, who chose not to serve — and am one of a relatively small number of American men who has never actually registered for the draft. I have no idea how I’d have reacted had I been old enough to be drafted for the Vietnam War.

Unlike the chickenhawks named above, however, I’m opposed to most wars (and opposed the Iraq War from the beginning, wearing a black armband as a sign of protest and mourning from the day the war began through Memorial Day of that year). That’s why I can appreciate the sadly ironic story in the Onion today, headlined, “Few Years In Military Would Have Really Straightened Out Troubled Teen Killed On First Tour Of Afghanistan.”

Oh, I forgot to thank you, James. I shall dedicate a song to you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSkaEP2ZqbY

30 thoughts on “Sweet Baby James

  1. Pardon my French but this is total bullshit. Total and complete bullshit. We should vote for Obama because other people supported our troops and the defense of our country but didn’t serve? This is the very counterintuitive/cognitive dissonance crap that I’ve been talking about. It is not thoughtful or incisive, it is a logical fallacy.

    If we need to ask Romney about his record, let’s do – but let us also examine Obama – telling someone else to push a button to activate a missile on a drone is not military service.

    Kerry was “denigrated” because he fabricated “facts” about his service and even lied about tossing his medals – and his participation in the leftist “Winter Soldier” crap. Kerry also raised his service as a qualification for office, making it a legitimate item of scrutiny. Cleland was not “attacked” for his service but his votes against homeland security issues – both of these “attacks on patriotism” are liberal fantasies.

    As far as the raped female soldiers – sounds sexist but if the problem is rape in combat areas, then maybe there should be restrictions on service in those areas and abortion is not “medical care”.

    I happen to like what Obama has done with defense – what I have pointed out is that Obama has actually done exactly the opposite of what he said that he would…he adopted Bush’s policies.

    • It’s an interesting piece to me. On the one hand you’ve got these chicken hawks preachin, and on the other hand, America voted for a chicken hawk over a war hero (McCain)……just thinkin out loud here…. One wonders where we (Americans) hold true merit…truly….

      • Of course, the elected chickenhawk was a liar, so Americans didn’t know (though perhaps they should have been able to predict) that he would be a warmonger. And since McCain offered almost nothing other than his story about being a POW…

        • I certainly admire and appreciate McCain’s military service, however, he had been at odds with the mainstream republican party many times during his tenure as senator. Add to that his chosen running mate and the dems strategy with “the first black presidential candidate” and he had little to no chance to win. I wonder if Obama is really a “warmonger” or is he the consummate political opportunist. As Iraq was already nearly over, he increased our presence in Afghanistan to maintain presence in the middle-east. Then he began the drone war which seems to popular with the American public (no soldiers killed, no great expenses, visible results). Of course most people realize you can’t “win” a war with drones.

          • “I wonder if Obama is really a ‘warmonger’ or is he the consummate political opportunist.”

            Excellent question.

            “Of course most people realize you can’t ‘win’ a war with drones.”

            True enough. But then, most people outside of Russia apparently don’t realize that you can’t “win” a war in Afghanistan.

            • ” . . . most people outside of Russia apparently don’t realize that you can’t “win” a war in Afghanistan.”

              Agreed – 100%

    • Utah is correct: this irrational argument would label the majority of our founders as “chicken hawks,” yet many of those men paid a personal price for their “chicken hawkness” – including with their life.

      Sorry, though this has the ‘appearance’ of reason, it is irrational argumentation.

      James, you MUST conform to the established rules of logic if you wish to be taken seriously – especially on a cite named after one of the Queens of the subject of reason.

      • So you’re saying “the majority of our founders” supported war “despite doing whatever is necessary to actually avoid service”?

        • I’m sorry, but this is not exactly what you said – but it is what you want your reader to believe you are saying.

          You lay out a definition of “chicken hawk” that – by the examples you give – includes the majority of our founders. You claim Romney is a ‘chicken hawk,’ but you do not make a case that he fits you ‘did everything possible to avoid service’ qualification. Furthermore, you then cite Obama, someone who could easily be said to have sought to avoid service at least as much as Romney and you then claim he is MORE of a supporter of the military than Romney. The problem is, the example you cite to support Obama actually undermines his being ‘pro-military.’ Drone us is anything but ‘pro-military,’ it is actually political cowardice.

          Then there are all the other names you assert as ‘chicken hawks’ while – again, as liberals always do – you a=offer no argument or fact to support your assertions. THIS IS FALLACIOUS ARGUMENT!

          So, yes, I am saying that, if we use your definition as explained by your examples, the founders fit. Lucky for us we can dismiss your post as it is based on unsupported assertion and ad hominem.

          • “I’m sorry, but this is not exactly what you said.”

            Huh? Please read it again. My exact words: “[Romney]is a chickenhawk, someone who supports war despite doing whatever is necessary to actually avoid service.” What’s so tough to understand about that?

            And if you bothered to look at the links I provided in the article, you’ll see that each of the people named avoided the opportunity to serve during wartime–some, such as Romney and Cheney (and Bill Clinton, another chickenhawk), through multiple deferments that let them dodge the draft during Vietnam.

            • I’m sorry, but you are still stating an opinion. As such, it is ad hominem and, if they took advantage of the law, they did not do “everything they could” to avoid service. That would be leaving the country and/or renouncing citizenship or, like in the case of Casius Clay, suing to get out of service.

              I’m sorry, but you have not made a case for your assertions, so they are what I said they are. Now, you either need to make these cases or accept that you are just engaging in personal attack and expecting it to be taken as rational.

              And the founders would still fall under “did what was legal” – so they are a “chicken hawk.” It is a simple logical extension of the reality of your argument. Nothing more.

              • “They did not do ‘everything they could’ to avoid service. That would be leaving the country and/or renouncing citizenship or, like in the case of Casius Clay, suing to get out of service.”

                How do you know they wouldn’t have done so? The fact is, they didn’t need to go that far. And if you think their actions in dodging the draft are comparable to the actions of the founding fathers, there’s little chance that we’ll come closer to agreement. Thanks.

  2. Thanks, Kells, for the increased circulation. And for the song, though my wife is a much bigger James Taylor fan than I am.

    Uh, Utah, I have no problem with you disgreeing with what I said, but there’s no need to make up things that I clearly didn’t say. For example, where did I write that “We should vote for Obama because other people supported our troops and the defense of our country but didn’t serve?” I referred to Obama as a chickenhawk (“Obama, the drone warrior”) in the piece above and even more strongly in a the piece it links to. I also happen to agree with you that he’s a liar.

    And like it or not, abortion is considered to be “medical care” under the insurance for secretaries of Congressmen or virtually anyone else who works for the federal government. I’m saying that the coverage for women in war zones–where they have every right to be–should be equal to that of other women in government. Besides, the vast majority of female (and probably male) rape victims who serve are victimized by fellow soldiers, and the coverage issues exist wherever they’re stationed (not just in war zones).

  3. “As far as the raped female soldiers – sounds sexist but if the problem is rape in combat areas, then maybe there should be restrictions on service in those areas and abortion is not “medical care”.

    hmmmm – No nurses, etc. allowed in combat areas. You’re right, utah. It sounds sexist.

  4. He is a chickenhawk, someone who supports war despite doing whatever is necessary to actually avoid service.

    A Milton Friedman quip comes to mind:

    “If you had cancer, would you only accept treatment from a doctor who had cancer?”

    • Nice quote. In answer, no, my doctor need not have had cancer. But s/he shouldn’t be someone who was clearly afraid of it, who went out of his/her way to avoid learning anything about it, and–most importantly–who was willing to give other people cancer to improve his own reputation.

  5. I find the entire argument fascinating because you had a war hero (McCain acting like a chickenhawk, and a chickenhawk (Palin) acting as a hero.) With all of her experience over the current POTUS, she was still shunned. Then again, so was Clinton. Boys aren’t afraid of chickenhawks; they are afraid of girls!!

    • Sara Palin’s “experience” as governor of Alaska was politically better than Odumbo’s “experience” as a junior senator from Illinois? Both were woefully wanting in the “experience” department, but BHO had the advantage. Sara Palin was good for the TEA party, but did nothing for McCain’s candidacy.

        • Nice try, kells, but as black would say, that’s an ad hominem or straw man argument. Being governor of Alaska (pop. 710,000) with half the population living in three large cities of doesn’t compare to being governor of Mass. (pop. 6.6 million), even if you include all the moose and salmon. Then Romney has a ton of international business experience dealing with foreign rules and regulations that Palin could only dream about. Last but not least, as I previously stated, Palin never had the support of the mainstream republican party leaders. She was a gimmick to try to garner votes.

            • You’re being hard-headed. He was a senator from one of the most politically powerful states in the union and he was black. I’ve never said he was qualified for the job, in fact, I’ve repeatedly stated he wasn’t. Neither was Palin.

  6. Pingback: Spitting on military service, especially by women « James McPherson's Media & Politics Blog

  7. Kells,

    Do you realize your friend here called you a sexist? Or haven’t you seen his swipe at both you and the RNL yet? If not, here:

    June 21 follow-up: This post has been reprinted by a conservative blogger (who unfortunately sometimes relies on Fox News-style sexism to draw readers, so if you want to read more discussion of the issue besides the comments below, you can go here.

    You posted this, so YOU must be the conservative sexist.

    BTW: See my latest post for a dissection of the fallacious reasoning in Jame’s post.

    • That’s cute, Joe, but of course I was referring to the blog as sexist. I could and should have worded it better, though, so thanks for pointing it out–I’ll make a clarification. I don’t deny “a swipe” at the RNL, but certainly wasn’t referring directly to kells, as the imbedded links should make clear. But not surprisingly, you didn’t include my links to either the Fox News example or the “Rule 5 info,” though I trust that readers who care will follow along. And I’m sure there was no “intent to deceive” on your part. 😉

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