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The National Guard Association honors one of their own
The National Guard Association of the United States yesterday unveiled a bust of a young Lt. George W. Bush. The association expressed its pride in Bush, who is perhaps its most famous alumnus around today.That's from the Washington Post coverage; a four-paragraph note, two of which are devoted to re-hashing the "AWOL" canard that failed so utterly in 2004. (ahem*rathergate*ahem). Like John Kerry's "war hero" status, a miscalculation by a party that demonstrably doesn't "get it" on military issues.
You'll likely be hearing a lot about this:
Military veterans as politicians are an American tradition.However,
Anyone hoping to win office after World War II had to have a military background; Dwight Eisenhower won easily.
But Veterans for a Secure America, a new organization that will meet this week in Washington, D.C., to jump-start its 2006 electoral efforts, is nontraditional. Its candidates, including local congressional hopeful Jay Fawcett, are Democrats unhappy with the Iraq war, and they want to use their status to make changes.
Although the group’s candidates — 54 and growing — are members of the minority party, they are not by-the-book Democrats.
“I don’t think you’ll find within our group a whole bunch of support for the Nancy Pelosis of the party,” Fawcett said of the House minority leader. “We’re more straight-ahead, let’s-get-thingsdone guys.”
Democrats typically use the case study of Paul Hackett (an Iraqi war veteran who narrowly lost a Congressional special election to Jean Schmidt) as evidence that their military candidates can win elections, but only time (specifically, about nine more months) will tell whether that's actually true or not. Helen Seliverstov, a political analyst for the web-based CalRaces blog, examines the seven "Band of Brothers 2006 PAC" California candidates running in the six Congressional races (including two-- Jim Brandt for the 46th and John Graham for the 48th-- in my native Orange County) and notes one strong trend: all are running in heavily Republican districts -- the average voter registration is 46% (R) to 31% (D), a fifteen-point average margin of advantage for their opponents. Seliverstov concludes:That's from an excellent and comprehensive essay on the topic from milblogger Bobby Bran. Read it all.Not a single one of those districts is held by Democrats or has any chance of switching Parties due to the registration gap. This makes every one of these veterans look like sacrificial lamb candidates. I can understand this being a strategy of draining funds from Republicans, but that’s a funny way to respect those who have served their country. In California, if Democrats really wanted to have a veteran elected to office, there are plenty of safe Democrat Congressional seats that candidates could be recruited for. This is hypocrisy at its best.
A win-win for the Dems. They get elected - great. They'll tow the Pelosi line or fade into irrelevance.
They lose, they can paint Republican voters as "not supporting the troops".Posted by Old Soldier at February 11, 2006 06:48 PM
>>This makes every one of these veterans look like sacrificial lamb candidates. I can understand this being a strategy of draining funds from Republicans, but that’s a funny way to respect those who have served their country>>
>>“We’re more straight-ahead, let’s-get-things done guys.”>>
These two lines say it best...these guys are not _politicians_. That's a statement intended as a compliment. I respect them for what they're doing, but as the post points out, the Dems are just using them. Personally, I think the Dems need them in more ways than one. Obviously they need them for the "we're tough on security" angle, but they also need them if they're to pull back to the center. If they _don't_ pull back to the center, I think the party is doomed. We'd all be better off with a strong realistic two party system, imo.Posted by suek at February 11, 2006 07:43 PM
So why hasn't the Republican party caught on and begun recruiting? There are plenty of districts in America that would love an unconventional candidate - a recent veteran of the get-R-done mindset. As a disabled veteran I'd rather vote for another vet than another vetted attorney for Congress.
Or, considering the dynamics of the party and the ignoble efforts of DoD towards veterans, I doubt the party finds veterans worth their time.Posted by DaveO at February 11, 2006 08:41 PM
You guys should check out my Political Satire Blog. I just recently wrote an artical about the real reason Bush is invading Iraq (It may surprise you!) and I, just yesterday, made a forum that I hope to get discussion going on anything from politics to sports to books in. So tell me what you think okay??sean at February 11, 2006 09:39 PM
"So why hasn't the Republican party caught on and begun recruiting?"
The RNC has always been extremely cheap when sponsoring candidates in lopsided districts,I.E they spend where they can win.
Let's start with the Hacket story, he was a city councilman prior to being deployed. So the DNC wasn't looking at a "Newbie" politician. They were looking at someone who had already held elected office at the local level. The seat in question was an "Open" seat, so there wasn't the usual "incumbant war chest" to fight against. It was an off year special election, so spending on winning in a lopsided district would get inflated press coverage.
John Murtha(Democrat) is running pretty much unopposed in Pennsyvania. He has a huge campaign war chest, the 12th Largest(5th Largest Democratic War Chest) at $1.6 Million. The RNC would most surely send some campaign buttons to anyone who would say "I'm a republican", they probably won't send "real money" to help.
Posted by Soldier's Dad at February 11, 2006 10:31 PM
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