Politicizing Memorial Day.

John Edwards is encouraging people to use the occasion of Memorial Day as a event to pressure lawmakers to end the current conflict in Iraq and bring the troops home quickly.

Without going into whether this is a good proposal or not, is using Memorial Day to promote it a good idea? It certainly is a far cry from the intended purpose of the day, and even if well-intentioned, might serve to make what should be a unifying event a politicized and divisive one.

I certainly realize that people use this holiday for many purposes, but most of them do not seek to politicize the day itself.


I’ll let someone else speak for me:

I wonder if you condemn Bush’s actions (using Memorial Day to call for the continuation of the war) in the same terms that you condemn Edwards’s actions (using Memorial Day to call for the end of the war).


Well, I don’t know. I think to a certain extent a president can mention a current war in his remarks on Memorial Day and still have it fall within the bonds of propriety:

Truman’s remarks were just about equivalent to Bush’s, in a war that also was controversial to some degree.

However, the point here isn’t just making a speech, but also encouraging protest on a day typically reserved for remembrance. Does that cross a line of propriety? Politically, wouldn’t it have been better to call for a protest on another day?

So, in summary your non-partisan belief is:

Warmongering by an incompetent, dishonest, weasel of a president is fine on the day but peace-mongering by a politician who hasn’t lied the nation into a war and then proceeded to wage it with a level of incompetence that would make Mr Bean’s eyes water is bad.

Every day is a suitable day for fighting Bush’s clusterfuck.

No. I just think a different day should have been chosen. That’s all.

How is it not politicizing the day to call for continuing the war, but it is politicizing the day to call for ending the war? I think you’re applying a double standard here. If Truman did it, that just demonstrates that the day has been politicized for over half a century.

And frankly, I think it’s a little weird to hold the president to a lower standard of behavior than other politicians in this manner. The president is an integral part of the day, the most important living person on Memorial Day, the one who sets its tone. If anyone has a duty not to politicize the day, surely it’s the guy in charge of its ceremonial aspects. John Edwards, at least, will not be politicizing the day at Arlington National Cemetery in front of a crowd of soldiers who are required to be there to listen to him.


What is wrong with talking about war on a day dedicated to remembering warriors?

Incidentally, Mr. Moto, since you cited a previous pro-war Memorial Day speech by the president, here’s a previous anti-war Memorial Day protest by peace activists:

So both approaches have historical precedent.


Edwards was out of line.

Bush was out of line.

Truman was out of line.

And I guess I’ll go in the completely opposite direction, which is to say this: certainly remembering the dead is an important thing for humans to do. The importance of doing it well, however, absolutely pales in comparison to the importance of not killing people unjustly. It doesn’t even hold a candle.

So if a nation is engaged in an unjust war, the importance of propriety in matters of memorializing the dead is a non-issue: the important issue is to end that unjust killing. Once that’s ended, we can worry about matters of propriety again.

By this standard, both Edwards and Bush are behaving in an improper manner. Edwards’s improper behavior is insignificant next to his very proper effort to end an unjust war. Bush’s improper behavior is exacerbated by the fact that it is done in order to continue an unjust war.

The essential argument for me isn’t over whether either person has the fork on the right side of the plate, in other words.


Indeed, on a day set aside to pray for “enduring peace” we can’t have all this jibber jabber about having our troops stop fighting and come home. How can we get enduring peace if our soldiers aren’t out there shooting and getting shot at?

Well, I can understand that. But there is a political dimension here too, and I wonder if Edwards doesn’t turn off some people he might otherwise get on board by choosing that particular day.

It goes to who gets turned on by these acts of political theater and who gets turned off by them, in addition to the policies advocated.

That this bucket of pus that currently infects the Oval Office should stand before us and intone pious platitudes about sacrifice and honor isn’t inappropriate, its obscene.

Once again, I note the unfortunate lack of a “puke yer guts out” smiley.

Am I a bad, insensitive person for not caring who says what on what day? All I care about is the content of their speech and whether it holds up to logic and evidence.


Memorial day is a day to remember those veterans that never came home or that came home injured. It is a day to remember those allies and even those once upon a time enemies that died or were maimed. It is a good time to remember that even in a “just” and “right” too many both in and out of uniform end up dead or maimed.

Of course it is also a very good time for summer barbeques with friends and families.

What it is not is a good time for is to make a politically statement.


Anyone that supports the war isn’t going to vote for him anyway. I mean, really.

Of the folks that oppose the war, I’m guessing there’s a very small number who oppose opposing the war on Memorial Day.

Of that group, I’m guessing there’s a very small number who oppose opposing the war on Memorial Day, but support supporting the war on Memorial Day, as Bush does.

I don’t think this act is politically significant except inasmuch as it gives him some desperately-needed cred among those who oppose the war.


We on the left are grateful, with all of our hearts, for your consideration of our political fortunes, and for your thoughtful recommendations by which our candidates can improve their electoral standing. We know you have nothing but our best interests in mind, and we thank you unreservedly.

And to return the favor, I’d like to express my own concern that perhaps your GOP front-runners aren’t paying enough attention to the Squealing Homo demographic. I know, I know, it’s kind of a reach, but really, your guys could be doing so much more, and by their failure to reach out they hurt only themselves. Perhaps it would be advisable for Sen. McCain, at the next debate, to dress as a Roman Centurion, and to invite fmr-Gov. Romney, dolled up in a spangly two-piece, to kneel before him and tongue-wash his gray-bearded gumption.

Honestly, it’s only with the best intent that I offer this suggestion, because I wonder if by not playing dress-up and engaging in oral frottage the Republican contenders might be alienating some people who might otherwise get on board.

Wow. This thread could almost have been written by Clothahump.

Thank Gawd you came back (yet again)!

Wow. Your concern for Democrats and their candidates is touching. After a couple dozen of these “helpful hints” you think you’d quit. But no, you’re much too good a guy for that.


I have never seen an post so expertly translated as did Cervaise. Thanks.

Do I detect a note of sarcasm, Cervaise?