Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Grassley: Don't talk about the war, it demoralizes our voters troops.


From the Register:

Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa said today that when Democrats criticize the war in Iraq, it has a "demoralizing impact on our troops."

Further down in the story:

He added: "It's my recall that in World War II, we didn't have Republicans criticizing Franklin Roosevelt."

At the end of World War II, Grassley was 12, so he's hardly in a place to say he read the papers every day to scan for dissent. But that's neither here nor there. This is terrible on several levels.

1) There are legitimate arguments to be made on whether or not we should have ever gone to Iraq, whether or not we should be there anymore, and whether or not we should make a plan to leave someday. This isn't World War II. There's no clear-cut need to be in Iraq right now. And anyone who compares the two needs to be beaten with the history books they obviously haven't read.

2) This is a thinly veiled attempt to take away debate on an issue where Republicans are losing ground. The midterm elections are 55 days away. Of course Grassley wants Democrats to stop talking about the war. I'm sure he'd love to have them stop talking about the minimum wage, health care and education, too.

3) This will work on people with blind patriotism. The "Why do you hate our troops?" people will be all over this in all their stupid glory. If Grassley had said, "Don't talk about high gas prices, it demoralizes our oil companies," he'd be laughed out of the room. If he had said, "Don't talk about Medicare, it demoralizes our health care workers," someone would have thrown something at him. But by combining the phrases "Support our troops" and "stop debating," he's created a wedge.

I support our troops. I don't support using them to gather votes.


UPDATE: The Register story has been updated to show a response from Tom Harkin.


John Neff said...

FDR ran for reelection in 1944 against Tom Dewey a Republican. Dewey had plenty of critical things to say about FDR. My parents we Republicans and in our house FDR was called the idiot in the White House.

Grassley is full of it.

Nicolai Brown said...

I'd imagine that firsthand experience in Iraq would carry more significance than anything else, for most soldiers, including commentary from afar.

If criticism of politicians is enough to demoralize someone who otherwise would be okay, then I think that person is likely wilting from unseen/untreated problems, which would return fault to the immediate experience. (Recall that the US Army experienced its highest suicide rate in 2005, since 1999.)

It's as if merely acknowledging a problem is itself the problem.

In cartoon land this is known as, Wile-y Coyote runs off the cliff, hangs in mid air, and only falls upon realizing he is no longer on the road.

Bring our troops home so they may live.

The Real Sporer said...

I won't have time until Sunday to pursue this debate-but brother we are going to talk history books on this one, and you aren't going to like it.

But in the short run, I'm doing a little humor tonight at and some of your more rational contributors should participate.

And Rob Tully and Gordon, if you read the Madman I fully expect your participation in this contest.

cr said...

Meanwhile, I'll read up on the Reichstag fire, the Enabling Act, the Gleiwitz incident, and the London Charter.

Kevin Hayden said...

Actually, Democratic Congressman Harry Truman criticized FDR and the military bloat, and his efforts led to serious reforms in the military.

Republicans have long been history's greatest revisionists. Like magicians, they even try to convince you that you can't see their hands when both are currently in your pants pickpocketing you.