Republicans 2002, Or: How They Would Drop The Bomb And Learn To Start Worrying

Rep. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) is challenging Sen. Max Cleland (D-GA) for his seat in the Senate.

Taking the “Dubya-A-R” page in the Republican playbook, the Chambliss campaign ran this attack ad starting on Thursday.

How low will the Republicans go? Question the devotion to country and patriotism of Max Cleland? That’s just nuts.

Max Cleland served in Vietnam, chronicaling the Tet Offensive with a home video camera. At Khe Sanh, the day the seige broke, Max was getting off a helicopter. Another soldier behind him dropped a live grenage that fell to the ground at the same time Max hit the ground. When he saw the grenade, he assumed it had fallen off his vest - and assumed the pin was still in it. It wasn’t. He reached down to pick it up, and:

Max Cleland gave an arm and two legs to defend this country. He has served in public life ever since returning home and rehabilitating.

Max Cleland supported the creation of the Department of Homeland Defense back in November, when Bush was happy with his powerless and ineffective Homeland Security Office.

The 11 votes referencing the Homeland Security effort were various proposed amendments to the pending bill.

Placing images of Saddam Hussein and OBL go beyond any reasonable campaign issue. Such actions are disgusting and smack of desperation.

Did the Republican strategists forget to tell Chambliss that the “war card” doesn’t apply against an incumbent war hero? Or could it be some political payback since the Repulicans have identified Max Cleland as the most critical vote in the Homeland Security bill?

This story makes me sick, Cowboy, especially given GWB’s hypocritical cowadice during Viet Nam. The GOP theme for this year’s election is obviously to play the “patriotism” card, essentially villifying anyone who opposes Bush and his cronies (especially Ashcroft) wiping their asses with both the US constitution and the the UN treaty. (not to mention the Geneva Convention) Hopefully the people of Georgia are smart enough to recognize this for the cheap, slimy tactic that it is.

I am a veteran, although I have never served in combat.

This ad didn’t attack the patriotism of Max Cleland. It attacked the judgement and the political position of Max Cleland.

Max Cleland’s status as a disabled veteran does not exempt him from such criticism. He must defend his votes as all Senators do.

Likewise, it is wrong to endow veterans with some special status that makes their opinions more valid than others. Should farmers only vote on farm bills, or teachers on education bills? In a war that involves the whole country, everyone should vote their conscience.

Sen. Cleland should defend his vote, if he thinks he can, but he shouldn’t be offended about getting called on the carpet about it. If a vote in the Senate is off-limits in a debate, then what is allowed?

Well, Mr. Moto, I can only partially agree with you.

I agree that veterans should not be exempt from criticism, even on national defense issues.

I agree that a Senator’s voting record is clearly fair game for political advertising and campaigning.

But I believe the ad certainly attacked Max Cleland’s devotion to the national security of this country, and did so unfairly. The images of SH and OBL running in the background unnecessarily tied in the War on Terrorism. On that issue, Vice President Dick Cheney is quoted as:

The ad directly questions Max Clelands leadership, but offers no specific grounds to lead to the question. The only implications are summed up in the cliches, “you’re either with us or against us” and “the US Senate is more concerned with special interests than the security of the US” (btw, since when is protecting federal workers rights a “special interest”?).

I would have to imagine that when I look up the word “leadership” in the Republican dictionary, the entry would look like this:

lead·er·ship (noun) 1) blinding devotion and unquestioning loyalty to the positions of the Republican party. 2) the quality of following Republican leadership without attempting to affect the direction

Because what other definition could there be that would apply to Max Cleland on the issue of Homeland Security? As I mentioned, he supported the creation of the department before Bush did. He proposed two amendments, both of which have been accepted by Republicans, that defined the proposed department’s relationship to the Centers for Disease Control and contributed the planned Federal Law Enforcement Training center.

Suggesting that Max Cleland is somehow unsupportive of the initiative to create the Homeland Security agency is simply ludicrous. And that fact is that he has shown more leadership in this area than the President. The ad implies that because he isn’t blindly adopting the amendments supported by Bush, that he is somehow “soft” on national security issues. On the contrary, it is the evidence of his leadership.

The fact is that the majority of Senators support the labor rights issue that is now at contention in the Senate. It is the President’s veto threat that prevents the bill from moving forward. If the better leader is determined by the number of followers, who’s showing more leadership?

Georgia’s other Senator, almost-Republican-but-officially-Democrat Zell Miller, who has already crossed the aisle to support the Republican version, says of Max Cleland:

Somehow, for the Republican’s, leadership means ignoring ones convictions on what is best for the country, and following the Republican party dogma. It is simply absurd.

I’m sure that Chambliss and Cleland have some very significant differences on policy issues. So why can’t Chambliss focus on those issues?

As often, I agree with what Dick Cheney said, though not what he meant by it. I don’t think the Republican Party should be playing politics with national security by accusing Democrats of being insufficiently concerned about it simply because they do not choose to give GWB a blank check to do whatever he wants.

Criticising his record is one thing. Implying that a DAV is in league with Bin Laden is beyond the pale. It is cheap, dirty demagoguery to assert that simply wanting to preserve some semblence of the constitution amkes him a traitor to the country. It is crap like the so-called “Patriot’s Act” that is anti-American and dangerous. And it is the worst kind of Orwellian doublespeak to define an unprovoked attack on innocent civilians as being necessary to “Homeland Security”. Frankly why the hell should GWB have any credibility at all as it pertains to Defense issues? Didn’t he run to his daddy like a scared little baby during Nam? Personally, I will trust the opinion of of a guy like Cleland any day over a guy who spent that war going AWOL, getting drunk, and snorting coke up his nose.

I have to say I am troubled by the whole idea of military service as granting special status for a political candidate. A cancer victim has a unique and special insight, that does not make her an oncologist. We must, if possible, as citizens divorce ourselves from our experiences and look to the larger picture. If a sniveling coward is right about our need for war, then he is right.

(Oddly enough, as I type, Green Berets, with John Wayne, is playing on tv. I once insisted my son watch this movie as a history lesson. He found it almost as hard to believe as Dr. Strangelove)

Military service is honorable, military action is invariably tragic. Whether it is worse to send a man to die for a less than honorable cause, or to send him to kill for it, I can’t say. That is a matter for philosophers and theologians.

I know less than a handful of combat veterans, I know none that would brag of it. They would prefer those memories deleted.

As much as I enjoy snickering at Our Leader’s record of protecting the skies above Amarillo from Viet Cong aircraft, it is not relevant. Sen. McCain and Sen. Kerry (both) may agree on little else, but I bet you they agree on this.

Unfortunately, I’m not sure if the people of Texas are. Maybe it’s just me, but when mudslinging is concerned, Texas definitely lowers itself under the others. Apparently only Republicans care about Texas, the Democratic candidates care only for “liberal special interests”. That’s the summed up version, anyways. I just saw Harvey (and BTW, my new favorite movie), and I don’t feel like getting angry. But anyone else who lives in Texas knows where I’m getting at.

John Wayne, now there’s a True American Patriot


for you. :rolleyes: After all, he wasn’t a real soldier, but he played one in movies.