Democratic Congressman Pete Stark from California surprised and excited Democrats everywhere last week when he provided indications of being a vertebrate during the S-CHIP debate in Congress when he said,
"You don't have money to fund the war or children, but you're going to spend it to blow up innocent people if we can get enough kids to grow old enough for you to send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the president's amusement."Smelling salts were subsequently disbursed to revive fallen Republican Congressmen from their fainting couches after bearing witness to Stark's harsh, untoward, and ungentlemanly language. When pressed by dismayed Republicans for an apology, Stark went on to say,
"I have nothing but respect for our brave men and women in uniform and wish them the very best, but I respect neither the commander in chief who keeps them in harm's way nor the chickenhawks in Congress who vote to deny children healthcare."Coming as it did on the heels of last month's irresponsible and ghastly criticism by MoveOn.org of General David Petraeus, otherwise known as The Man Whose Opinion Cannot Be Questioned, Republicans saw this as an opportunity to divert public attention away from both their opposition to the popular S-CHIP program and the president's failed occupation of Iraq by introducing a resolution to censure Rep. Stark. Though the censure resolution ultimately failed, Rep. Stark's newfound spine melted into a puddle of gelatinous goo at the threat, and he groveled before Congress and President Bush, begging to be allowed to return to the dark pit of irrelevance from whence he came. Another "Mission Accomplished" for our brave Republican Congressmen.
So to summarize, a Democrat spoke the truth, but was later "forced" to apologize for offending the delicate sensibilities of Congressional Republicans.
How rich. We're talking about the Republican Party here. These are the same people whose champions are Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, and Ann Coulter. This is the party of "Mean" Jean Schmidt, who had the nerve to call true life war hero John Murtha a coward. This is the party of George W. Bush, who won reelection by employing phony "values" and fear mongering, and by trashing the military service of another actual war hero, John Kerry. And they have the unmitigated gall to complain when someone points out their hypocrisy? Boo frickin' hoo, cry me a river. For some reason, though, Democrats tremble in fear at this phony sanctimony and keep allowing themselves to get punked.
The LA Times article linked above goes on to state:
The move to censure Stark marked the second time Republicans have taken to the House floor to chastise Democrats for statements the GOP deemed offensive to the U.S. military.Someone please explain to me how Stark's words were offensive to the military? What should be offensive to the military is that their commander in chief used his daddy's political connections so he could avoid combat during the Vietnam war by getting a cushy assignment to the Texas Air National Guard from which he went AWOL to advance his political career so he can now pretend to be Winston Churchill.
Here's another question: Why do Democrats always feel the need to preface anything having to do with the occupation of Iraq with some statement espousing their everlasting love for the military? Disparaging the president in no way insults the military especially since the president had every opportunity to serve his country in a time of war, yet chose to weasel out of it. Republicans are the ones who have been screwing our soldiers every chance they get, from extending their tours of duty, to not providing them adequate equipment and training, to providing substandard care when they are wounded in action. Republicans and their minions are the ones who attack soldiers whenever they criticize the president's Glorious War on Islam. Yet Democrats are the ones who sound apologetic every single time they talk about any subject that involves the military! What gives?
What will it take for the Democrats to understand that their low approval ratings are entirely due to not living up to their promises to stand up to the president? We're sick and tired of being represented by wimps, Republican lites, and proxies for corporate interests. The hole they have helped President Bush dig this country into can only get so deep before we will be unable to get ourselves out.
Update: Digby wrote about this same issue in a post titled, The Art of the Hissy Fit. Give it a read.