I’ve been remiss in posting a note about Memorial Day – mostly due to a newborn and having to plan and pack for a week-long trip to Germany. But hey, no excuses. I was reminded of it in an odd way. I get an IM from fellow PB blogger and good friend Joseph who pointed me to this post at WMD. Joe said WMD pisses him off, which is understandable.

I’d normally go the across the aisle kumbaya routine on this one as I think Memorial Day is something that should be spared our normal partisan antics. Mark, however, seems unable to do this:

To the Left, the idea of Memorial Day is when we all come together as Americans to honor those who fought in wars led by Democrats and decry those led into war by Republicans…..or at least that is what we can discern from observation. Or, to the American Left, this is just another excuse not to go to work and grill out and wear flip flops and enjoy the freedom that others paid for in blood, sweat, and tears

If Mark wants to go there, then so be it. Partisan ahoy!

The first question is easy. Who paid for the freedoms that HE enjoys? What unit did he serve in? And what was his MOS. See? This is the frame. The left doesn’t serve. They just protest wars. Which, as we know and have shown numerous times, is utter bullshit. This attack on the “American Left” – which I can assure Mr. Mark is nowhere near the homogenous mass he thinks it is – is precisely the kind of thing that needs to be answered quickly and forcefully. It’s the same as the pansy liberal frame, which I completely obliterated thanks to young Naugle.

The truth is plenty on the left serve and their thanks for it is getting smeared by swiftboaters. (Yes, these are vile creatures these “support our troops” chickenhawk types. Hell, they’ll even eat their own!) Many on the left also are serving in the Iraq War as we speak. Their thanks for it is being sent to war with improper armor, poor planning, and no exit strategy to speak of. All the while fighting the wrong enemy and getting bogged down in a civil war they thought they’d never be in. It was, afterall, supposed to only last 6 weeks 6 months 6 years? When they get home they are treated to a President and presumptive GOP nominee for President who opposes a new GI Bill that would support them after “all they’ve given”.

Some way to thank a vet. Some way to support the troops. Some way to honor the fallen by not helping their brothers in arms who happened to make it out alive. What hypocrisy, then, for a wingnut blogger to take aim at the American Left when his own President and presumptive nominee is currently taking a pass on actual measures to support our troops. Not stupid yellow magnet ribbons, mind you. Actual concrete measures!

You can say god bless them all you want, but until you are ready to pony up when it counts don’t come at me with this pseudo-patriotic claptrap and then insinuate I and others on the left are not as American as you.

You won’t get away with it. Not anymore. The jig is up on that type of frame and that kind of rhetoric my friend. This notion that somehow Republicans and the right have a special place in the hearts of the military American. There is absolutely no truth to it. Bush has altered that calculus in ways unimaginable to the rank and file Republican. This is an administration that has used military capital in the most irresponsible of ways and the average soldier understands this. They won’t complain for the most part as they are duty bound and most all hard chargers. But they know.

There really is a reason that members of the military are increasing their political contributions to Democrats and away from Republicans. There is a reason that the best and brightest are doing the 5 and fly routine instead of serving long careers as military leaders. You guys sold them out and failed to speak up and support them when they most needed it, yellow ribbon magnets on your bumpers aside.

So here is some advice for Mark Garbett: Before you go half cocked in some partisan rant, please understand fully what you are talking about. You risk losing any credibility you might have left by exposing the incredible hypocrisy of it all. You might also let the cat out of the bag on who really supports the troops.

You don’t want to insinuate that those who don’t serve are not as worthy of the freedoms provided by those who do as you are. You really don’t. I read your bio and I don’t see one mention of military service. At least Matt has his Starfleet Commander thing. Seriously. Don’t do it.

I found all but your classless first paragraph to be quite appropriate and despite what you might think those of us on the left honor those who die for this country. Many of us have been willing to do so ourselves. Many of us are doing so right now. Casting us off in one fell swoop from a conversation about duty, honor, or love of country does a dishonor to this United States of America, sir. Don’t do it ever again.

So that answers your little partisan shot in full I believe. Now let me leave you with a Memorial Day wish of my own:

May we all work to support those who defend our country and may our mission be to promote peace and stability in the world through strong reasoned leadership instead of sheer force of arrogant will. May we be guided by wisdom and compassion instead of fear and judgement. May we work to regain the trust of the American Soldier together as we move forward. Let’s never forget those who died that did not ask of us any reason or justification. They just did their jobs. Let’s not fail them by ever fighting the wrong fight again. We owe them that. If you support the troops stand up for them when it counts and don’t use that phrase as a slogan for your partisan political purposes any longer. It demeans and devalues what it is to be a true American patriot.

Finally, may we find a way to lay our political partisanship aside long enough to honor ALL of those who serve and not just those who agree with our political worldview. Let’s not ever use a solemn event such as Memorial Day to attack our political enemies. Let’s use this one occasion as a way to recognize what we know in our hearts is true: We are all Americans.

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