Archives for: July 2012, 10
First, it was not my original intention to question the patriotism of our brothers and sisters on the far left in my post. It was merely to better codify in a “declaration of dependence” what a seeming majority of the militant left espouse. In re-reading my own post, and reviewing their own stated beliefs, I guess that does indeed denigrate their patriotism, albeit by their own admitted words and actions.
As for “discredited stereotypes”, I will admit to making some large generalizations about the far left progressives; however, there seems to be more than ample evidence to support rather than discredit that particular stereotype. Indeed while not universally accurate, stereotypes develop because of seeming common characteristics or attitudes amongst any given group of people. While not always fair, in the case of the far left progressives in our country, the stereotype seems to be rather apropos to me.
- T. Paine, July 9, 2012
Good to clear that up. My friend T. Paine had no intention of questioning the patriotism of those whose patriotism he believes is so evidently lacking.
In the last few years, I have made reference a number of times to a memorable conversation I had with a conservative friend. It was after the 9/11 attacks, after a speech by Al Gore declaring to a cheering crowd of Democrats, "George W. Bush is my commander in chief." My friend expressed his gratitude that the lack of a final count in Florida had resulted in George W. Bush taking office. Al Gore, he told me, would never have been able to rally conservatives. I told him I did not share his feeling that conservatives had so little patriotism as he seemed to suggest.
A less symbolic incident was more telling.
It was mid December, 2009. Health care was up for debate yet again, and tempers were high. Republicans had already declared any health reform at all to be dead. It would be Obama's Waterloo, boasted one Senate leader to his gloating colleagues.
But other issues were urgent. The U.S. Senate shelved debate long enough to work on helping US military personnel in combat areas. Afghanistan and Iraq were very hostile for our troops. Equipment and ammunition were in constant demand. Armor for vehicles, body armor, and IED detection devices were desperately needed. Combat troops were under fire. It was a simple patriotic call.
Republicans launched a filibuster against the troops.
Democrats scrambled. A majority would not be enough to save lives. 60 votes would be required to get military supplies and ammunition to combat troops under fire. And Republicans were confident they had the votes to block the vote. As long as they could hold out, not a single bullet would go to US troops.
Republicans were quite open, off the record, about why they were voting to hold up essential supplies to troops in combat. Most Republicans would not comment publicly on why they were voting against troops at war. But three spoke up.
"I don't want health care," said Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas. Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama and Senator Kit Bond of Missouri also spoke up. They too wanted to hold up supplies to troops in combat in order to delay a vote on health reform.
In the end, Democrats convinced 3 Republicans that the troops were more important than politics. They joined 59 Democrats and 2 Independents to break the filibuster and get a vote on aid to troops in the field. That was 3 out of 40.
Republicans were not actually in favor of having troops actively engaged in combat go without ammunition, equipment, and supplies. They just wanted Democrats to scramble like crazy to save American lives. They wanted the scramble to continue as long as possible.
They knew what my friend T. Paine does not understand. They could count on Democrats and liberals to be patriotic, to put patriotism ahead of politics, to put patriotism ahead of policy.
Senate Republicans were completely confident that, when the chips were down and US troops were in danger, those Democratic opponents could be counted on to scramble like crazy, putting patriotism at a higher level than ... well ... that of 37 Senators who joined in saying no to the troops.