Thursday, February 22, 2007

Coulter groupies want to muzzle vets

Bound for the bridge back to the 1950s, rightwing bloggers line up behind the sled’s lead dog, Ann Coulter, to call Democratic Rep. John Murtha all manner of coward and traitor. To oppose their doggedly skewed view of the greater war on terror is tantamount to throwing in with “the terrorists.”

Yes, I know all that is old hat. Actually, I’m enjoying watching that hardcore, my-way-or-the-highway crowd tear the Republican Party apart, as post-election fingers of blame waggle. At this time I won’t waste the space it would take to properly mock the flat-earth wing of the GOP.

Still, I do wonder about a couple of things that I doubt many of the Coulter groupies think much about.

The first is this: When people who are now serving in the military see politicians who are veterans called “traitors” and “cowards” -- because they oppose a dangerous foreign policy being pursued by their opposites, on the other side of the aisle -- what do those on active duty think of that?

Are they supposed to accept that once a person has served in the military they no longer have the same option other citizens have to voice an opinion which opposes the foreign policy of a sitting president?

Do those serving now wonder if they, too, will someday be called a “traitor,” for saying what they believe is wrong with a failed war policy? Although some of those who return from Iraq’s battlefield will vote Republican when they get home, others will vote Democratic. Does the Coulter crowd expect veterans to all return from combat as hawks? That, or just keep their mouths shut?

Moreover, what effect might such attempts to muzzle veterans’ right/inclination to speak their minds have on recruiting? After all, if Murtha -- a decorated vet of the Vietnam War -- can be called a traitor and a coward, what veteran can’t be called the same by some lathered up propagandist just trying to get their way?

Talk about demoralizing the troops...

The other question is this: Why do fringe cultural conservatives and neoconservatives think recycling old Cold War, anti-commie schtick will still work today, when applied to America’s involvement with the civil war in Iraq? Like, what do Middle Eastern terrorists -- who are religious fanatics -- have in common with the atheist communists that old Sen. Joe McCarthy thought were hiding under every bed in the 1950s?

Maybe it’s just a money thing: The reddest of communists were said to want to do away with our money. Now, according to arch-conservative Rep. Virgil Goode, the terrorists want to chisel the phrase “In God We Trust” off of all our nickels and dimes, so they can replace those sacred words with the scariest words ever -- “In Moo-hammed We Trust!”

Or, perhaps there’s an easier answer: There is at work today a numb, knuckle-dragging brand of conservatism, which simply holds that the entire world should cheerfully do whatever any commanding-in-chief Republican president says to do -- come hell, or high water.

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