I have found the military support for Bush most confusing, as well as the assumption by non-military people that Bush is pro-military. I still remember when they floated the idea of cutting danger pay and wondered who the hell does that to people you send to fight?
This story from the WaPo is as chilling as it gets. A long and detailed story on the poor quality of care given our returning wounded. I still don't understand it. Whatever we think of this war, taking care of the men and women who serve must be a priority, and it isn't the opponents of the war doing this to them, it is the supporters and planners. Reminds me of the story of anti-war protesters spitting on VN vets when the evidence suggests that it didn't happen--or at least didn't happen in the way that the myth suggests.
But back to this WaPo story. This is how we are treating those who fight for us.
: "On the worst days, soldiers say they feel like they are living a chapter of 'Catch-22.' The wounded manage other wounded. Soldiers dealing with psychological disorders of their own have been put in charge of others at risk of suicide."This is shameful for all of us. It is especially shameful for someone like Bush, but also for all the people out there who politically reward such behavior. Got to have those tax cuts, I guess, but those yellow ribbons on your car or "god bless america" sticker won't make up for this.
Even conservatives have turned on W, as we have noted over the years. Here Joseph Bottum, a conservative, chastizes the Bush administration mostly for incompetence:
"The reason is President Bush. His administration has mishandled the logistics of the war and the politics of its perception in nearly equal measure, from Abu Ghraib to the execution of Saddam Hussein. Conservatives voted for George W. Bush in 2000 because they expected him to be the opposite of Bill Clinton-and so, unfortunately, he has proved. Where Clinton seemed a man of enormous political competence and no principle, Bush has been a man of principle and very little political competence. The security concerns after the attacks of September 11 and the general tide of American conservatism carried Republicans through the elections of 2002 and 2004. But by 2006 Bush had squandered his party’s advantages, until even the specter of Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House was not enough to keep the Republicans in power."Still would like to see those examples of Bush's vaunted "principle" but agree on the lack of competence.
Just in time for church this morning, this story on the ever-so-intriguing matchup of Mormon Mitt Romney v. Christian evangelicals. Sully notes this exchange:
"A Republican Christianist heckles a Mormon candidate in Florida. Romney responds as follows:Sully nails two key points. A) that Bushco has created the sectarian divide that will ultimately undermine Romney. After all, after a life of reckless boozing and self-destructive behavior, all Bush had to offer religious conservatives was his "born again" story. Without that, he was simply another Clinton with different vices. Christian conservatives try to tell me they didn't vote for Bush solely because of the faith issue, but they did. They voted for him because he reflected their image back--they were convinced he was one of them. Now, how do you convince a Baptist to identify with a Mormon?
"We need to have a person of faith lead the country."
How is that not a religious test for the presidency? The anti-Mormon bigotry displayed is ugly and wrong - but it will come up again. Bush and Rove have built a Republican party on a sectarian base - and Romnney is of the wrong sect. But instead of standing up to this sectarianism, and affirming the right of anyone of any faith or none to be president, Romney panders to religious bias. It seems to me that it is equally bigoted to say that a Mormon should not be president as it is to say that an atheist should not be president. Romney has chosen to fight bigotry with bigotry. We are finding out that he will say anything - anything - to get elected. That is not the mark of a person of faith. It is the mark of a person shot through with cynicism."
Speaking of Republicans, The Washington Monthly catches this story from the LA Times that should surprise no one. Conservatives are already prepping to "Swift Boat" Hillary. As Kevin notes, hard to imagine Hillary not fighting back, but the real hope is that the media will call these tactics what they are--political thuggery--rather than simply transcribing what the right says.
Back to the issue of faith, this from the Bible Belt blogger about U2Charist, or a communion liturgy featuring music from U2. I love U2, don't get me wrong, but this is not appealing to me at all. No more than the praise and worship craze or the use of PowerPoint in sermons.
While we are on the subject, Melissa Rogers points us to this really funny video about "me worship."