Saturday, September 29, 2007

Enough already!

What a week! puts out an ad that criticizes General David Petraeus for not telling the truth about what's going on in Iraq when he testifies before Congress. The President gets all huffy and disgusted and says "I felt like the ad was an attack, not only on Gen. Petraeus, but on the U.S. military," Bush said. "And I was disappointed that not more leaders in the Democratic Party spoke out strongly against that kind of ad."

Not to worry; this do nothing Senate comes out swinging and passes S. Resolution 315 condemning Move-On To express the sense of the Senate that General David H. Petraeus, Commanding General, Multi-National Force-Iraq, deserves the full support of the Senate and strongly condemn personal attacks on the honor and integrity of General Petraeus and all members of the United States Armed Forces. I know technically how Sen Harry Reid let this vote come to the floor, but what were the Democrats thinking - or not thinking? They knew this resolution would be a huge distraction for what they say is really important- ending the war in Iraq. I have trouble believing what is really important to this Senate.

As if the Senate's resolution hadn't wasted enough time, I thought the House would at least keep their nose to the grindstone and not allow a similar vote to pass. But no, the House followed suit and yes, they, too voted overwhelmingly to condemn the ad by MoveOn.

I'm actually not sure if they meant to condemn the organization, MoveOn, or the ad, but in the name of whatever they were trying to achieve, the result of these resolutions was to restrict free speech.

I do not see the MoveOn ad as an attack on the military as Bush accuses. General Petraus is a big boy. He's been in the military for many years and should be able to handle criticism.

And finally on September 26, 2007, Rush Limbaugh, the blowhard conservative radio talk show host accuses soldiers who speak out against the war as being "phony soldiers" In an attempt to clarify his statement, he also accuses Rep Jack Murtha (PA-D) of being a phony soldier. Limbaugh's sweeping attacks on the military is likely to do more damage to the morale of military members serving in Iraq & Afghanistan than an ad focusing on one General.

Rush Limbaugh's hate is served up on a silver platter to our military on Armed Forces Network 5 days a week- Monday through Friday. We can safely assume that many of members of the military within earshot of his radio program would be offended at being accused of being a "phony soldier". Armed Forces Radio is part of the Armed Forces Information Service and is part of the Department of Defense. This is our tax dollars at work.

Fortunately, a great organization of veterans, VoteVets asks the real question Rush, who is the real phony, here?

Rush Limbaugh, the hypocrite, avoided military service by having his physician certify his medical unfitness due to an "inoperable pilonidal cyst" and "a football knee from high school. And he dares to call soldiers who have actually had boots on the ground and who question this illegal occupation in Iraq, "phony soldiers"?

In hopes that this "will it ever end" distraction finally wear out it's welcome, news from Greg Sargent says no, we'll go at least one more round.

I've just learned that Rep. Mark Udall (D-CO) will be introducing a resolution in the House of Representatives on Monday condemning Rush Limbaugh for his "phony soldiers" remark.
This is significant because it has the potential to dramatically up the stakes in this fight. If the Democratic leadership allows it to go for a vote, it will force all the Republicans in the House to either vote for it, against it, or skip the vote -- and to pass judgment on the powerful conservative talk show host's contention that troops who don't support President Bush's war policies are "phony soldiers."
It will also potentially present the Dem leadership with a not-so-easy choice. Many people will naturally call on the leadership to allow the resolution to come to a vote, which is not necessarily something the leadership might want, since it could look like a tit-for-tat reso in retaliation for the measure condemning MoveOn. It also is potentially problematic for some in the leadership because there is an internal sentiment that it's not Congress' job to go around denouncing the remarks, however reprehensible, of private citizens.
Sources tell us that there's a lot of interest in this resolution among rank and file Dem House members, and that it may come up for a vote soon. There's no guarantee by any means that this will end up happening, though it's likely that there will be some pressure on the leadership make it happen.

Haven't we had enough? Aren't there more important things for Congress to achieve than taking the time to censure someone or some organization because of a lack of civility? Can you really legislate civility? Should you?

If these resolutions can improve that situation and get rid of personal attacks, I'm all for it. Too many people in Washington enjoy this part of the game, so I am not optimistic.

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