If you’d ask me to sum up Republicans in a few stereotypes, one of the big ones would be “loving the military and everything that the military does is super awesome.”
Republicans love the military. They love military spending, they love cool fighter jets and big tanks and awesome guns that can kill people from three miles away. They love thinking about how America is the world’s greatest military superpower. Republicans believe that the only time it’s acceptable for a man to cry in front of another man is during the honoring of military heroism or remembering the fallen. Republicans believe that the sacredness of the veteran is second only to Jesus, who is the Christ, and even then . . . it’d be tough to choose if you asked a Republican to say which one was more sacred.
That sounds right, doesn’t it? It’s certainly not those Democrats who have the stereotype of being all about the veterans and the military. I’m not saying that Democrats are anti-military. I’m just saying we have the stereotype of being not on board. We have to worry about swift-boating. We get called “traitors” a lot because of criticism of the military. We’re definitely considered to be a bunch of tree-huggers.
One of my favorite Democrats wanted to replace the Department of Defense with the Department of Peace. There isn’t a Republican worth his domestic beer that would suggest such a thing.
With all that in mind, somebody please tell me what the fuck is going on with this Bowe Bergdahl thing?
Seriously. I can’t fucking understand it. The man’s a soldier. A veteran. One of America’s “fighting men,” as John McCain would say. He wears the uniform of the United States military.
“No one gets left behind” isn’t just a cornerstone of the American military, it’s pretty much its most sacred commandment. Marines are trained not to leave a man behind, even if you know that he’s dead. You bring your brother (or sister!) back home. You don’t leave anyone to the enemy. Risk your life if you have to. Carry him out on your shoulders or drag him behind you, but don’t leave him behind.
No. Matter. What.
It’s like, Jesus Christ, even a tree-hugging, vegetarian liberal like me understands and respects that basic truth about the military. I respect the hell out of this particular truth.
Regardless of why we went to war in Iraq and Afghanistan, regardless of the morality of why we’re fighting, it doesn’t change the fact that the men and women who did that fighting volunteered for it. The fact that they volunteered meant that I didn’t have to fight.
So the Obama administration brings Bergdahl home. The last Afghanistan War POW is returned home.
And suddenly, this is a bad thing? Suddenly, there are qualifiers about who gets left behind and who doesn’t?
Fucking explain this to me. Explain this to me as anything other than evidence that the GOP has lost its goddamn collective mind over how much it hates anything Obama does.
Because honestly, at this point, it looks like if Obama declared that being able to breathe oxygen was the right of every American, Republicans would declare that free, breathable oxygen was an evil socialist plot and that the market should decide whether Americans deserve oxygen or one of the other market-based alternatives, such as argon or chlorine. You know, I’ve heard good things about some of those noble gases; maybe we should try some of those instead. Xenon might be fun.
I realized that I’m incrediably biased when it comes to politics. I’m really, really far to the left on, well, nearly everything. My opinion on what Republicans do isn’t going to be reasonable a lot of the time. I’m not always willing to admit that some the things my side does are fucking stupid, even though they sometimes are.
But the military? Republicans are mad that a POW was returned to American soil? How the hell is bringing home a POW a controversy?
It’s supposed to be “no one gets left behind.” Not “no one gets left behind . . . as long as we like you enough to bother trying to save your ass. If we don’t like you, fuck off and die.”
And yes, I recognize that there are some Democrats complaining about Bergdahl’s return as well. But I expect Democrats to bitch about anything related to the military. That’s nothing new. It isn’t even surprising.
Seriously, I feel like I’m taking crazy pills. I think back to the Bush years and how much the military and “support our troops” were the hallmarks of the Republican identity. It really does illustrate just how much the past five-and-a-half years of Obama have made the GOP go absolutely insane.