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October 30, 2009

Attention, Firedoglake

Reading, as they say, is fundamental:

It appears my post yesterday got the teabaggers all riled up.

Apparently, their position is that George W. Bush’s refusal to honor fallen Americans as they return to this country for the last time — something his predecessors all did — is proof that a) he loves the troops more than anyone else and; b) because Obama did so, he shamefully, cynically exploited our dead.

As much as I hate to have to interpret plain English for someone who apparently does not know how to read, there are times when such measures are necessary.

Nowhere in Confederate Yankee's, Donald Douglas' or Gateway Pundit's posts (the three Blue Texan linked to "support" his dishonest claim) do any of these bloggers claim that Bush loved the troops any more than any other President.

When the only way you can "win" an argument is to manufacture false claims and then "disprove" them, you're in trouble.

Furthermore, the Dover ban was not in effect when Reagan was President.

It was put in place by President Bush, Sr. in 1991 in response to CNN doing exactly what Firedoglake just did - politicizing the deaths of American soldiers. It's hardly surprising that those who wanted to lift the ban (and the protections it afforded military families) are the first to use these photos as weapons in their obscene partisan wars against a President who isn't even in office anymore.

And the claim wasn't that visiting Dover itself constitutes politicizing these mens' deaths. The point Blue Texan doesn't even try to refute - because he can't - is that it took Obama 8 months after the ban was lifted and 9 months after he took office to get around to honoring the troops. And unlike President Bush's many, many visits with the families of the fallen, Obama made damned sure he got a photo op out of it. Small wonder so many question the timing.

Stay classy, Firedoglake.



Posted by Cassandra at October 30, 2009 01:43 PM

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You hit it right on the head Cass. It was years before the press found out that GW Bush was quietly meeting with families of deceased soldiers. GW had many faults, but on this he was spot on ... he wanted to honor the honor the soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice and console families, not make political points for himself. Obama seems to have chosen the later.

Posted by: Frodo at October 30, 2009 02:48 PM

If you haven't already seen Chuck's post on the matter, it is, IMO, a must-read.

Posted by: Miss Ladybug at October 30, 2009 03:19 PM

I think that is what rankles so much about scurrilous attacks like the one from Blue Texan.

Bush was relentlessly attacked for supposedly "not caring" or being too cowardly to face up to the consequences of his decisions.

It would have been the easiest thing in the world for him to just disclose everything he'd been doing all along - that would have deflected a lot of that criticism. And yet he didn't, because it was his position all along that the families deserved privacy.

Now one can disagree with that position, but you have to give the man credit for sticking to his guns -- even when it hurt him politically.

Well, actually you don't. Blue Texan obviously isn't interested in anything that contradicts his already-made-up mind on the matter :p And if you point out that he's wrong, he'll just put words in your mouth and then "refute" an argument you never made.

It's really pathetic to see what some of these people are driven to, to justify their hatred.

Posted by: Cassandra at October 30, 2009 04:59 PM

Obama's supporters sure do a pretty poor job of supporting him, with friends like that who needs critics. I do believe the original discussion was about whether he was treating it as a photo-op. Since his supporters are doing such a poor job of it let me give it a whirl.

"The idea that the President would stage a photo-op at Dover AFB is ludicrous and non-sensical. What could he possibly have hoped to gain if it was staged? The President wanted to see with his own eyes what the true cost of the War in Afghanistan is. He did it to crystallize his decision on the way forward."

See, that was easy, no Bush, no negativity, and gives the guy a leg to stand on.

Posted by: Allen at October 30, 2009 05:51 PM

And had they said that, I would not have had a single leg to stand on :)

I wouldn't even have bothered to write about it. FWIW, I don't really think it was staged. I will admit that my private reaction to the news that he had finally found the time to visit Dover was not a positive one.

And yet it didn't even occur to me to write about it. As I said, my reaction was pretty much, "Hmmmm.... about time." And while I suppose I could have made a whole post out of even that, I didn't see the point in being snotty or partisan about him doing the right thing.

I have been openly critical of those in my party who seem to criticize Obama no matter what he does. In my view, if you would have supported Bush for doing something, you have no business criticizing Obama for doing the same thing. I have tried not to do that.

Chuck's post sort of points up the differences in style, and FWIW I agree with him. But absent a dishonest attack on President Bush, I wouldn't have bothered to comment :)

At some point this administration and its supporters are going to have to learn to stand on their own two feet. Being the anti-Bush is wearing thin. At some point you have to be for something.

I don't see them there just yet.

Posted by: Cassandra at October 30, 2009 06:00 PM

Goog God, you right wingers are scumbags. You politicize the honoring of the fallen, and then accuse those who refuse to take your BS of doing exactly what you just did.

There are reasons why you people are out of power.

1. Because you're relentlessly stupid.
2. You're downright evil.

Posted by: Dave at October 30, 2009 06:31 PM

Insults do not rebut (much less address) a single thing I argued in this post.

If that was your best shot, it was pretty pathetic :p

Posted by: Cassandra at October 30, 2009 06:39 PM

How is that an insult? Your blog is called Villainous Company. It's about the only thing you've been honest about.

Posted by: Dave at October 30, 2009 07:14 PM

Ah. Still don't have a coherent point, do you? Well, at least you're consistent.

Dave, a person who can't see how, "you're stupid and evil" is insulting isn't worth my time.

Go pull the legs off a beetle or something.

Posted by: Cassandra at October 30, 2009 07:21 PM

I suppose it's too much to hope that Dave is just in costume for Halloween....*sniffs air*

Nope, guess not.

*starts digging out pooper scooper and industrial strength bleach*

Ah, man! It's Friday! I better get overtime for this. Or at the very least a few more beer chits and another crate of *n's*.

Posted by: DL Sly at October 30, 2009 07:46 PM

"I wouldn't even have bothered to write about it. FWIW, I don't really think it was staged. I will admit that my private reaction to the news that he had finally found the time to visit Dover was not a positive one."

I have to admit, my first reaction was positive. (Is that something I should 'have to admit'? Well, whatever.) I thought it was good that he'd gone out to see, and reflect on the subject.

Watching him render a military salute in a civilian suit reminded me of Reagan's old story about that. You may remember it; he used to talk about how it was uncomfortable for him, as a former cavalryman, to fail to return a salute. However, he also knew that it was wrong to salute while out of uniform. He said that he asked one of his military advisors -- it may have been the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, or another -- if it was permitted for the Commander in Chief to salute though out of uniform.

"Well, sir, if you did," the general carefully replied, "I don't think anyone would say anything."

I don't understand why people are making a big deal out of this story one way or the other. The President asked the families how they felt about it. The previous President did a lot to honor the families. On this point, at least, I don't think either man is doing wrong -- or less than his duty.

Posted by: Grim at October 30, 2009 07:53 PM

I don't think he is doing wrong either. And I've said so. Several times.

I think you are missing my point. If citing Bush's not visiting Dover is supposed to be "proof" of his indifference/cowardice, then what does it say when Obama doesn't visit Dover until 9 months after he's elected (especially when he had the Dover ban reversed)?

Mind you, I don't think it's "proof" of anything. The point is intended to point out the stupidity of that argument, just as the examples of the many ways Bush *did*, in fact, make time for the families of the fallen were intended to point out how stupid and dishonest it is to write a post saying that he didn't.

Posted by: Cassandra at October 30, 2009 08:04 PM

I doubt it says anything either way.

If you're going to start trying to deal with the foolish arguments raised at that site, though, you won't have time for much else. I'd suggest you leave Firedoglake alone. They're not good enough. You're only supposed to duel with your equals.

Posted by: Grim at October 30, 2009 08:12 PM

Grim, I don't expect to convince them. They stopped caring about the truth long ago.

But I won't let that stand. I just won't. I've said my piece and that's the end of it. I'm just tired of seeing a good man falsely maligned.

Posted by: Cassandra at October 30, 2009 08:15 PM

If he had gone to Dover without the press there to take pictures, I wouldn't have such a bad taste in my mouth about it.

Posted by: Miss Ladybug at October 31, 2009 12:20 AM

"The idea that the President would stage a photo-op at Dover AFB is ludicrous and non-sensical."

If it was intended to be a personal moment, why would he have the press along?

"What could he possibly have hoped to gain if it was staged?"

Credibility with the military.

"The President wanted to see with his own eyes what the true cost of the War in Afghanistan is."

He can't go to Arlington?

"He did it to crystallize his decision on the way forward."

He's spent months dithering about accepting the recommendations of the guy he put in charge, he spent a month examining additional options, and now he's ordered yet another study of the situation -- going over the same ground that McChrystal covered in his recommendations. He isn't trying to "crystallize" his decision, he's stalling to try to *find* one that won't draw flak from either the Left or the Right.

Of course, once he's *made* his decision is no guarantee that he'll actually carry it out...

Posted by: BillT at October 31, 2009 01:45 AM

"They stopped caring about the truth long ago."

You wouldn't know the truth if it came up and bit you on the ass.

Posted by: Dave at October 31, 2009 10:59 AM

Ah... still no rebuttal :p

Keep swinging and missing, Dave. You've got nothin'. :)

Posted by: Cassandra at October 31, 2009 11:01 AM

Ah man, I just cleaned there!

*Drags out firehose*

Posted by: DL Sly at October 31, 2009 11:45 AM

As for Dave--and for Jane Hamsher at FireDogLake--they've both got nothing.

Great cartoon at Day by Day today--El Presidente is getting instructed on how many fingers to use when saluting the military. This President needs to be told that it takes more than just one finger. Because there is more than a grain of truth in that cartoon, people are understandably cynical about the photo op at Dover.

Posted by: Mike Myers at October 31, 2009 12:29 PM

Got nothing?

I guess.

If the House, the Senate, the White House and the majority of the American people are nothing.

Posted by: Dave at October 31, 2009 02:03 PM

Agree totally with BillT's assessment of this 'event'....

And YOUR assessment of 'commenter' using the name 'Dave'..


Posted by: brat at October 31, 2009 03:39 PM

Third graders everywhere are pumping their fists in the air and chanting "Dave" while vowing to use his retorts Monday on the playground.

Posted by: Carrie at October 31, 2009 04:40 PM

Carrie, I'm willing to buy into the pool for the appearance of "I know you are, but what am I?"

Posted by: airforcewife at October 31, 2009 08:34 PM

I'm betting on the "I'm rubber, you're glue everything you say bounces off of me and sticks to you" pool......and all my winnings go to Valour IT.

Posted by: DL Sly at November 1, 2009 03:24 AM

Got nothing?
I guess.
If the House, the Senate, the White House and the majority of the American people are nothing.

You *personally* have nothing to offer in logical or factual rebuttal.

Checked the approval ratings for Congress and the White House, lately? You -- "the Libs" -- don't *have* the majority of the American people.

What you *had* was the vote of 52% of the less than 62% of eligible voters who bothered to vote...

Posted by: BillT at November 1, 2009 04:43 AM

You know what I think? I think it's very telling that certain people are willing to spend their time coming and arguing about how awesome the President's gesture at Dover was and the stupidity of the "haters" who are bothered by the ulterior motive of polls (W! *SCREAM!!*)...

And then they don't so much as glance at other posts on this same page talking about courageous Marines.

Which is yet another thing I find tremendously telling.

Also Sly, I'll buy into BOTH pools. Agreed on donating to Valour IT.

Posted by: airforcewife at November 1, 2009 07:30 AM

I thought that very thing myself.

Posted by: Carrie at November 1, 2009 09:24 AM

Sorry, Dave, insults don't fly. How did we politicize Obama's decision to go to Dover for a photo op? After all the media bore witness.

Their words, not ours.

Go on. Tell me how Obama didn't politicize it. This has nothing to do with 'loss of power' as much as it does with a calculated effort to attempt to show that he understands the sacrifices the POTUS asks the military to make, but he isn't going to be rushed in to a decision on Afghanistan.

Go on. This ought to be good.

Posted by: Cricket at November 1, 2009 01:18 PM