Archive for July 13th, 2006

You may remember this image:


What about this image?


Then there’s this classic, where our Commander-in-chief shows his excitement at finally wearing a uniform:


My point? Who’s using the military for political gain?

According to Denny Rehberg, it’s the Democratic party. Why? Because of a video over on the DCCC’s website, “New Directions.” Rehberg:

“This video is horrifying,” Rehberg said in a statement. “Using fallen soldiers as a political fundraising tool is an insult to the families of those soldiers and to our military personnel who are currently serving in harm’s way.”

This, of course, is coming from a man who made staff member Jake Eaton — also prominently mentioned in the article — stand up during the last Montana House debate against Lindeen so everybody could see he had an Iraqi war veteran on his staff.

Maybe it’s the sight of coffins. The Republicans have always been anxious not to let the public see images of our nation’s war dead during the current war. Don’t we have a right to know the cost of waging war? Isn’t this still a democracy?

Whether Rehberg likes it or not, he’s in part responsible for those coffins. The administration’s repeated bungling has turned the war into an unwinnable quagmire, and now Bush and his allies want to let the next President fix his mistake. I.e., “stay the course.” And Rehberg and the House Republicans yoked us to President Bush’s rudderless policy.

Oh, and this is a man who won’t put his money where his mouth is.

Rehberg is “horrified” by the sight of American war dead? He should be.

Is the Democratic party “playing politics” with these images? A Republican might think so, because that’s what they do. They play. They don’t take governance seriously. They don’t believe in it. Alan Wolfe:

Contemporary conservatism is first and foremost about shrinking the size and reach of the federal government….But like all politicians, conservatives, once in office, find themselves under constant pressure from constituents to use government to improve their lives. This puts conservatives in the awkward position of managing government agencies whose missions — indeed, whose very existence — they believe to be illegitimate.

Contemporary conservatism is a walking contradiction. Unable to shrink government but unwilling to improve it, conservatives attempt to split the difference, expanding government for political gain, but always in ways that validate their disregard for the very thing they are expanding. The end result is not just bigger government, but more incompetent government.

Republicans see the election as a game. They’ll say whatever it takes to win because winning is what’s important. Not governing. That’s also why corruption runs much deeper in conservative circles. If you’re ideologically opposed to something, why not make a buck off it while you watch it go down in flames?

Democrats, on the other hand, see government as a service to its people. Schweitzer and Tester and Lindeen here in Montana have shown us that state Democrats believe in competent and honest government.

While some may see images of war dead being “used” by amoral politicians in a crass move to win elections, I see the images as proof of the Democratic party’s sincere mourning of the dead and the desire to salvage some good out of a seemingly hopeless situation. This is their message.


It is for us the living rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us–that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion–that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.

By Rehberg’s logic, Lincoln’s use of the Civil War dead was a “horrifying” political stunt to convince people to preserve the Union. 

Right now the President and the Republican Congress — hello, Denny Rehberg — have no Iraq plan. They are drifting at sea. The soldiers’ pensions and health care benefits are cut, the grunts are under-equipped and piling up extended service. Who has placed the military in an unwinnable situation? Who dishonors the military? Who dishonors the dead?

Perhaps Rehberg should work harder to solve the Iraqi mess and save American lives by bringing home the troops instead of blowing smoke over a two-second image in an Internet video.


A slew of great posts over at Intelligent Discontent: the myth perpetuated by the media that Tester leads because of the Abramoff scandal; the Helena IR balances its editorial page the way dropping a 500-pound weight on one end balances a canoe; does Joe Lieberman really think we’re that stupid?

Speaking at Lieberman, his staff takes aim at David Sirota. Zing! (More AP views on Lieberman-Lamont: Tom Schaller and Ezra Klein. And Robert Brigham weighs in, too. Then there’s this handsome guy’s take.)

Speedkill takes a peek under the rock of the right-wing blogosphere; creepy crawlies abound.

Firedoglake looks at the domestic security measures sacrificed for the war in Iraq.

It’s not unique to Montana: the federal Republicans have no ideas, either.

John Dean on the Daily Show warns about the authoritarian streak in the contemporary conservative movement. Stewart’s got his bags packed.

Coulter torn apart on television. This is the way people should handle her, if they have her on at all.

Now we know where Zidane got his temper! The midfielder’s mom calls for the Italian’s “balls on a platter.” I’m thinking Materazzi was lucky to be headbutted… (Via Blogenlust.)

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