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"America has two great dominant strands of political thought - conservatism, which, at its very best, draws lines that should not be crossed; and progressivism, which, at its very best, breaks down barriers that should never have been erected." -- Bill Clinton, Dedication of the Clinton Presidential Library, November 2004

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Do the Marines respect the Commander in Chief?

posted by Aziz P. at Wednesday, March 11, 2009 permalink View blog reactions
One of the strategies of the conservative right has been to try and politicize the military. The confuse their own military fetish and partisan self-interest with genuine patriotism and the public good (because in their view, they hold a monopoly on both). In so doing, they disrespect the very troops they allegedly revere. For example, the Bush Administration paid great lip-service to veterans on the field but left them hanging out to dry when they got home.

Now, the right is taking their insult to the military to new levels, by promoting this video which allegedly shows that the military does not respect Obama the way they did Bush:

At, the bloggers crow that this is the "Semper Fi Zone" which is about as gross an insult to the professional ethics of the Marine Corps as you can imagine. In the fevered imaginings of the conservative right, a military that shows a preference for one political party over another is actually a desirable thing, instead of the incredible threat to democracy it would actually represent. But turning America into a banana republic is apparently one of their political goals.

Grayhawk, one of the most level-headed military bloggers - and a genuine conservative instead of these Republican hacks at RedState - took serious issue with the video above:

I'm concerned it might be one compiled to give the impression that the current President of the United States lacks the support from the military his predecessor had. That is not the case, and to imply otherwise is an insult to the integrity of the US military, and in my mind reflects both wishful thinking and ignorance on the part of anyone making the claim.
it's worse than what I thought. The first video above is the cheapest of cheap shots. Marines in the Obama video have been clearly called to attention, and are standing at attention when he enters. Whooping it up for the Commander in Chief therefore is not an option. Period. As for the fadeout, cheers can be heard (and they aren't 'tepid') until the audio is cut to go "back to the newsroom".

Unfortunately, principled conservatives like Greyhawk are increasingly being drummed out of the GOP and the conservative ranks. He's feeling the pressure right on his own site.

And as far as the Marines go, they stand above these cheap attempts at stealing their honor for political gain. Here's the proof:

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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.