Carol Platt Liebau: Sneering at War & One of Its Heroes

Monday, May 22, 2006

Sneering at War & One of Its Heroes

The Wall Street Journal notes the immolating rage that was directed at Senators Joe Lieberman and John McCain over the weekend.

It will be interesting to see what kind of media coverage Lieberman's anti-war opponent receives (he's already wrapped in a python-like embrace from the left blogosphere). Primary challenges to a Republican from the right don't win much respect from the MSM -- imagine the coverage if a doctrinaire conservative challenged John McCain or just think of the press RINO Lincoln Chafee's Republican competitor, Steve Laffey, hasn't received.

As for the students who heckled John McCain at the New School, they should be ashamed -- but we shouldn't be surprised. For more than 30 years, our culture has engendered the idea that rudeness is a sign of authenticity -- to the point where supposedly now-"educated" young people are free to verbally abuse speakers with whom they disagree. Part of keeping a democratic process is honoring the right to disagree; the other part, however, is maintaining standards under which disagreements can be aired civilly. We've done a fine part with the first, not so well with second.

But who can blame the female speaker who threw out her notes and instead chose to criticize McCain? Hillary Clinton's decision to do the same to Senator Eward Brooke has become the stuff of lionizing press and liberal legend.

Just one question: Conservative grads are routinely expected to sit tight and hear opinions with which they disagree (the speaker my year was none other than Patricia Schroeder, of all people). Why aren't liberals held to the same standards?

14 Comments:

Blogger wrabkin said...

I'm a little confused, Carol, because I didn't see your post when Republicans were waving purple band-aids at the Republican convention to make fun of a war hero and trash the entire institution of the Purple Heart. I didn't see you complaining when the Ann Coulters of the world insisted that the limbs lost by one Democratic senator were a self-inflicted wound, and that he, like Kerry, was a coward. I don't see you objecting the the calls all over the Right-wing blogs for Jack Murtha to be put on trial as a traitor, or the insistence from Righties who have never put on a uniform that this veteran is a coward.

Nor do I see you complaining about the Bush administration's cuts to veteran's care -- directly hurting the war heroes you claim to praise. I don't see you objecting to the lack of body armor.

But let a college student be mean to a Republican, well, the world is coming to an end.

As for the idea that Joe Lieberman is in any way a war hero, that is simply hilarious. Ol' Joe is a hero to credit card companies, on whose behalf he fought for the bankruptcy bill. And he's a hero to Karl Rove, for his brave support of anything Bush does.

9:34 AM  
Blogger Carol Platt Liebau said...

No one can condone the relatively restricted behavior that you reference at the Republican convention.

However, like most lefties, you'd like to believe that having worn the uniform somehow immunizes liberals from having their political positions scrutinized and criticized. It doesn't -- and this idea that Dems have shows how little they really understand the military and what service means. I honor Murtha and McCain's service -- but disagree with both on a regular basis when it comes to politics, especially the despicable, military-trashing Murtha.

I believe Ann Coulter didn't call Max Cleland's wounds self-inflicted; that controversy centered on John Kerry -- who, by trying to claim a scratch covered by a bandaid as a "war wound" for purposes of obtaining a Purple Heart, "trash[ed] the entire institution" more effectively than a group of idiots at a convention ever could.

9:47 AM  
Blogger Pete said...

Didn't Cleland get his wounds because he left the chopper that would have flown him (in one piece) to safety? His reason? To have a last beer with his buddies. Unfortunately, he stepped on a mine instead. Sorry it happened, but...

And to call sKerry a war hero, after what he did to HIS buddies when he got home... Seems to me that his "credibility" was sold out for political gain, with "winter soldiers" caught in lies and/or found to not even been in Viet Nam!

Methinks you doth protest too much.

10:24 AM  
Blogger wrabkin said...

You say no one can condone the "relatively restricted" behavior at the Republican Convention -- and then you start trashing Kerry for being insufficiently wounded, despite the lack of any evidence to the contrary.

And no, I don't think military service should protect Dems -- or Republicans -- from having their political positions criticized. But it's a common tactic on the right -- mostly of fighting-age bloggers who choose not to enlist in a war they support or olders writers and politicians who cheer-led for the Vietnam war and yet could never quite make the time to put on a uniform -- to call anyone who opposes Bush a coward.

That's not criticizing anyone's politics. It's puffed-up braggadacio from a crew who believes -- as one highly respected right-wing commenatator recently opined -- that typing at a desk in the Empire State Building makes them soldiers in the war on terror as much as fighting in Iraq would.

And I'm sorry, I fully believe that Murtha and McCain -- and Kerry and Cleland -- know a lot more about military and what service means -- than either you or I do. Just as I know more about the TV biz than they do.

And I've never heard Murtha trash the military. He has "trashed" the civillian command responsible for the disaster we are currently in. But despite what you would have us believe, criticizing this government is not the same as trashing the soldiers whose lives they are throwing away.

10:56 AM  
Blogger dodger said...

until Kerry produces his original discharge, (not the bogus one he got from Jimmy Carter), until he produces his form 180, until then he has no claim to war hero status. I think Cleland pulled the pin on a grenade and was not aware he had done so. A pure accident unrelated to combat. You only get purple hearts when an injury occurs from enemy fire, not a ricochet from your own bullet, as was Kerry's. But as usual we digress. You can never defend rude behavior on the grounds others do it. Why, on that note, would anyone want to defend against calls for Jack Murtha to be put on trial as a traitor? Why does one have to have worn a uniform to be able to identify a coward? We owe veterans care for injuries they sustained during military service, not for every cold they catch the rest of their lives. That latter is the only care Congress might be addressing.

4:03 PM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

Carol writes, "No one can condone the relatively restricted behavior that you reference at the Republican convention."

Carol then goes on to condone the behavior she claims no one can condone by writing, "I believe Ann Coulter didn't call Max Cleland's wounds self-inflicted; that controversy centered on John Kerry -- who, by trying to claim a scratch covered by a bandaid as a "war wound" for purposes of obtaining a Purple Heart, 'trash[ed] the entire institution' more effectively than a group of idiots at a convention ever could."

So which is it Carol? Do you condone trashing a decorated war veteran or not?

10:15 PM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

Carol writes, "I believe Ann Coulter didn't call Max Cleland's wounds self-inflicted..."

I'll let all y'all be the judge...

Ann Coulter on Max Cleland, "There was no bravery involved in dropping a grenade on himself with no enemy troops in sight."

10:18 PM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

Just to demonstrate that Carol can't even be trusted to get even her opening points right, we have the following tripe. "Primary challenges to a Republican from the right don't win much respect from the MSM..."

Carol, it was a scant two years ago that Arlen Specter was in a fight for his political life against Pat Toomey (ultra-right wing candidate). Toomey received a great deal of respect from the corporate media as this article from the Washington Post report on the contest will attest.

The funny thing is Carol can't even realistically pretend that she didn't know this. After Specter was re-elected, Carol spent the better part of a week whining and moaning in this blog about Specter's lack of gratefulness towards President Bush after all Dubya had done to help Arlen defeat Pat.

10:40 PM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:40 PM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

Dodger, John Kerry was awarded a Silver Star, a Bronze Star and 3 Purple Hearts. He left the Navy as a recognized war hero.

To date, whenever a claim made in the official Naval records has been able to be compared to the contradictory claims by the Swift Boat Veterans and other right wing smear groups (the ones you are parrotting)--the official Naval records have been shown to be correct.

For example, Larry Thurlow claimed that John Kerry's boat was never under enemy fire when he rescued Jim Rasmussen from the water. Citations issued to other patrol officers during that time, including ones that Thrulow attested to, claimed that all five boats in the floatilla were under fire. In addition, "A damage survey filed with the Navy report said that three of the five boats involved sustained 'battle damage,' and Thurlow's boat had 30 caliber bullet holes about super structure."

Dodger, whether you want to believe it our not, you are lying about a decorated war veteran. John Kerry was a man who shed his blood for his country. At long last have you no shame, sir?

10:54 PM  
Blogger dodger said...

Dodger, whether you want to believe it our not, you are lying about a decorated war veteran. John Kerry was a man who shed his blood for his country. At long last have you no shame, sir?

I want to see his original discharge. I want to see form 180.
I don't want to hear endless repetition of Kerry's four month tour.
I want to see endless repetition of his traitorous activities as an anti-American/pro-VietCong spokesperson.
Why would I feel shame for wanting these things?

3:24 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

Ummm...

I believe the post was about disrespecting someone while they were speaking. The point is that, in our society, anyone should be allowed to speak. Those who disagree with what is said should be civil enough to listen politely. When it's their turn, they can vent their disagreements as passionately as they desire.

The Republicans at the convention and Ann Coulter in her writings are expressing their opinions - not interrupting others while they are speaking.

As for the "how dare you say anything negative about a decorated war hero" schtick, put a sock in it! I will not be shouted down when I call Murtha's current political position (or Kerry's entire political career) a disgrace and a shame. That is my right as an American.

You can say whatever you want about Bush, Ann Coulter, Carol, or anyone else. And I can say anything I want about anyone I want.

But if you have the floor I will be polite enough to listen or quietly excuse myself from your presence. I would expect the same treatment from anyone else. It's the polite thing to do. It's the civilized way to act. It's a core concept in our LIBERAL society.

8:51 AM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

Greg writes, "As for the 'how dare you say anything negative about a decorated war hero' schtick, put a sock in it!"

As Greg is lying about what I wrote, let me make my position crystal clear. I am opposed to lying about the service records of anyone who chose to serve their country in the military.

It is sad that this is too high a standard for the Republicans on this board to live up to.

7:43 PM  
Blogger wrabkin said...

Hey, here's a fun fact: While the New School students were refusing to listen quietly to Senator McCain, students at University of Missouri in St. Louis -- isn't this Carol's home town? -- nearly rioted when Democratic congressman William Clay spoke against the war at a graduation. Not only did they boo and heckle him during the speech, but he needed to be escorted out by security for fear that he would be physically attacked.

But this is okay, because these are Republicans shutting down a Democratic speaker, right?

8:46 AM  

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