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Now, every governor is a 'commander'

Are we supposed to salute Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin? A look at how Arizona Sen. John McCain is militarizing the quest for the presidency.
Gov. Sarah Palin visiting with Alaska National Guard troops in Kuwait.

Gov. Sarah Palin visiting with Alaska National Guard troops in Kuwait. None


John McCain has to play to his strengths, but he seems to have forgotten one important thing: the presidency is a civilian job.

We have two campaigns going on simultaneously. Barrack Obama is running for the presidency of the United States. McCain is running for Commander-in-Chief. You'd never know they both are civilian positions. Republicans tend to play up all things military, but it's been getting downright silly when GOP Vice Presidential pick Gov. Sarah Palin is touted by McCain for her experience as "commander" of the Alaskan National Guard.

I can't remember this being played up in the campaigns of other governors who have run for the presidency. George W. Bush was famous for neglecting his duties in the Texas Air Guard while John McCain was rotting in his Hanoi prison cell. Bill Clinton was known for ducking the draft in Arkansas. Ronald Reagan looked great in a cavalry uniform in Hollywood. And Jimmy Carter didn't need to brag since he'd actually been a submarine commander during the Cold War--who cared what the Georgia militia was doing (eating goober peas, perhaps).

So what's next? Are we to think that Washington Governor Christine Gregoire is doing John Wayne duty by calling on the state guard to sandbag flooding rivers? Is this the new San Juan Hill? Will Gary Locke begin to regale us with old soldier memories of calling in the troops to fight Eugene anarchists at WTO? Should we snap a salute to Gen. Mike Lowry, hero of the the Battle of Roving Hands? The idea that a state's chief executive is a quasi-military strongman is absurd, but it is one of the trickle-down effects of the last 8 years.

Bush--especially the cocky "Mission Accomplished" Bush--took delight in strutting his military stuff as Commander-in-Chief, posing in a flight suit on an aircraft carrier deck, or wearing military-syle jackets when speaking to the troops. Presidents used to bend over backward to reassure people they were non-military guys--determinedly showcasing suits and ties to convey the fact that they get that America--even in war time--is a civilian enterprise. Guys like Castro, they wore the fatigues.

Sure, we've elected plenty of high-ranking military officers to the presidency, but it's usually been a reward for waging a successful war, not plotting the next one. We have trusted former generals with the peace: Washington, Jackson, Taylor, Grant, Ike. Success in war is a great resume item, but there's long been a sense that the job in a democracy is one of people's servant, not sword-waver.

In fact one of the office's most essential responsibilities is to counterbalance military power (the Second Amendment alone will not work, it's out-gunned). Remember it was Eisenhower who warned us that "In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist."

Americans, even jingoistic ones, used to be more skeptical of the military model. Remember after Reagan was shot there was outrage when Secretary of State Gen. Alexander Haig declared himself "in charge" at the White House? Forget the fact that he was conveniently ignoring the statutory order of presidential succession. What really bugged people, I believe, was the fact that Haig was seen by many as a guy too eager to dust off his chest ribbons and take charge.

And certainly in the 19th and even early 20th century, it was often a disqualifying attribute to be seen as wanting the presidency too much. Would-be presidents had to be asked, cajoled, begged, even drafted by one's party--or at least appear to be. Campaigns were conducted from the porch. Let the people and party decide. Visible ambition was a negative; assuming command an undemocratic presumption.

John McCain comes from military royalty--multiple generations of dedicated officers. It's something to be proud of. But the over-emphasis on the military aspects of the job, the hyper-inflating of Palin's resume to make being a state governor akin to being a military commander is preposterous. You thought Michael Dukakis in a tank looked silly, what about 50 governors in junta hats?


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Comments:

Posted Tue, Sep 9, 8:46 a.m. Inappropriate

a fine piece by the not so sleepy mossback: well, the m/i complex has won, hasn't it? oh me god they're shutting down this military base or that. we're not getting this or that military ear mark tanker deal. the genius of the u.s. m/i complex is that it has integrated itself into the economy so completely, which is how it beat the soviet union for which m/i expenditure was largely a waste unless they could sell the junk to the few allies willing to pay. here, we buy a lot of oil from saudi arabia and they turn around and buy 100 billion dollars worth of fighter jets to bomb whom??? or the once shah of iraq who wasted his country's oil patrimony on u.s. hardware of that kind. this country has 750 military bases around the world, it has encircled russia ever more closely, encroached on and organized so-called velvet revolutions [shashkavilli "our" kind of dictator being one] in numerous countries.... this is the fascist united states that had truck with every tin pot and major kettle dictator since the truman doctrine , "our s.o.b.'s" jeanne kirpatrick called them [daring to speak for me with her "our"]. hey, we are the evil empire, the more commanders the better! democracy as a shell game.

mikerol

Posted Tue, Sep 9, 9:30 a.m. Inappropriate

You miss the point entirely: Knute: Perhaps you have forgotten that Ronald Reagan wasn't just a Hollywood soldier, he served in the Army Air Corps in World War II.

But you miss the mark on McCain and Palin by a much wider margin. John McCain is not running just on "military" issues and experience. Nor is he, as you pundits like to assert, a Bush clone. On many of the major issues of the day, despite the "90% with Bush" rhetoric, which largely involves budget votes, he has differed sharply with President Bush and articulates strong opinions on other major non-military issues including immigration and campaign finance reform, earmarks and other budget "hide the ball" tactics, and a host of others.

As for your dismissal of Palin, I see the media and the left making far more of Gov. Palin's National Guard leadership than the R ticket has. McCain simply states this role for her as one of a number examples of Palin's executive experience -- of which, by the way, as you well know, Barack Obama has none.

Sen. Obama has two years and eight months in the U.S. Senate as one of 100, virtually the entire time spent running for President with no legislation of note; he has time in his state Legislature during which he voted "present" close to 100 times on controversial issues to avoid taking a clear stance, but again offered no substantive legislation and served in no executive capacity; and he served in the laudable position of community organizer, which should not be dismissed, but which does not involve balancing budgets, making hiring and firing decisions or many other executive tasks.

Gov. Palin has true executive experience -- more than Obama, more than Geraldine Ferraro -- as both a mayor and a governor. And as for the suposed rap on her lack of foreign policy experience, of which Obama also has virtually none, I don't recall Harry Truman, Franklin Roosevelt, Bill Clinton or many other Democratic candidates being held to the "no foreign policy experience" litmus test the left imposes on Gov. Palin.

Finally, if the people of the US elect the McCain/Palin ticket and and President McCain goes at least three years in office, VP Palin will at that time have three years' experience as VP and presiding over the US Senate -- the same amount of time Obama would have as a US Senator if he was elected President.

But using the left's disingeuous line of thinking, which is more important? That we have a president with a wealth of "the right experience" or a vice president with same? Surely it's the former. That's why it is so laughable that the pundits and D machine are so busy downgrading Gov. Palin -- it's all they can do to try to cover up their own presidential candidate's failure to meet the very standard by which they judge her.

Posted Tue, Sep 9, 9:41 a.m. Inappropriate

Politics Aside: Military authority is not without its problems, but in one measure it trumps the alternative hands down.

And that area is the cost young members pay - to join the military junta one needs to bust one's butt and risk it too - to join the socialist junta one merely need take out a student loan.

National service for everyone, as a pre-condition to college admittance, even for the privilieged?

-Douglas Tooley
My Blog

Posted Tue, Sep 9, 9:55 a.m. Inappropriate

Laugh all you want...: but Gov. Palin Commands the National Guard of a state with a coastline that borders the North Pacific and worrisome neighbors like North Korea and Russia who will get to Alaska before they get to Delaware. Give it up Knute...your guys are political wimps by any measure.

ilya

Posted Tue, Sep 9, 11:11 a.m. Inappropriate

Note to Richard about Obama not having done much...: Nice talking points, but false. The following articles that sum up some of what Barack has "done" in his last 11 years in public office.

His work on the Illinois Death Penalty, and how he made a difference between life and death:
http://www.icadp.org/page236.html
http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/11/12/obama.death.pena... /

His sponsorship of a bill that brought health insurance to 150,000, including 70,000 uninsured Children, again, during his time serving in the Illinois Statehouse:
http://factcheck.barackobama.com/factcheck/2007/12/14/f...
http://mediamatters.org/items/200712170003

His work on both the Immigration bill during his time in the US senate and his sponsorship of Ethics legislation (something he did both while in the State House, and in the Senate) that called for some of the most impactful reform regarding lobbyists since Watergate (as he likes to term it):
http://factcheck.barackobama.com/factcheck/2007/12/14/f...
http://feingold.senate.gov/~feingold/releases/07/01/200...

A detailed chart of many of his accomplishments during his 8 years in the Illinois state house and his sponsored and co sponsored Bills in the U.S. Senate.......which include worthwhile bills dealing with a wide range of issues, from Election reform bills to the Cooperative Proliferation Detection reduction Act (w/t Sen. Lugar) to Internet database transparency Act.
http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/271 /
http://www.america.gov/st/washfile-english/2005/Novembe...
http://obama.senate.gov/press/060908-senate_passes_c /

http://thomas.loc.gov / (Select Obama's name from the Senator drop down)

This does not lists all of his accomplishments, nor does it deals with his accomplishments prior to entering elected office.

Sarah took a no debt small town and ran up a 20 million dollar debt, still in litigation. As Gov she managed to pay out surplus money rather than save it for a rainy day... currently there are no less than a half dozen investigations running on her concerning the Mat Valley Dairy Commission, firing staff illigally, and new revelations daily in papers. Governer of a State with a population smaller than total population of Seattle and Bellevue combined vs. State Senator and voted to national level office in the 3ed largest media market in America.

Asside from Obama's resume of Ivy League vs. 6 years in 5 schools to get a degree... Arianna Huffington said it best... ",,,She HAS achived one accompliment... in the space of ten days she's succeeded in distracting the entire country from the horrific Bush record -- and McCain's complicity in it. "

"Every second of this campaign not spent talking about the Republican Party's record, and John McCain's role in that record, is a victory for John McCain. "

"McCain's team, in an effort to distract, is going to keep doing what they're doing -- diverting voters and the media with a tantalizing combination of personal trivia and small lies. It doesn't matter if they're caught in them -- in fact, all the better. Because they know there is no way in hell they can win if this election is about the big truth of the Bush years.
- Arianna Huffington today"

Posted Tue, Sep 9, 12:02 p.m. Inappropriate

Thank God for Palin: Has there been a terrorist strike from the Yukon while she's been Governor? Have the Japanese invaded the Aleutians (again)? Have the Russians dared to stage any cross-border incursions?
No! And the reason is because all of these aggressive foreign powers know what Sarah would do.
Admit it, Liberals. Commander -In-Chief Sarah Palin and the brave men and women of the Alaska National Guard are all that is standing between Alaska and invasion of the 49th state. And if we let them take Alaska they won't stop there!
Steve E.

Posted Tue, Sep 9, 12:32 p.m. Inappropriate

RE: Note to Richard about Obama not having done much...: Would love to check out some of those URLs, but they appear to cut off. Any chance of reposting with, say, TinyURLs?

Posted Tue, Sep 9, 1 p.m. Inappropriate

Palin's a lightweight: Yikes! The right wingers are so desperate to find some reason to praise Sarah Palin that they're crediting her for defending Alaska's coastline? Well, I guess no one's invaded yet.

Palin's resume claims just haven't panned out, folks. Last Sunday's Seattle Times pretty well debunked her claim that she was a reform mayor--she simply got elected and fired the apparently competent department heads in order to hire her friends. She was a cheerleader for earmarks and the Bridge to Nowhere before she was against them and she was a Stevens buddy until he got indicted. Sounds like a pretty typical politician to me--and one without much experience.
J.R.

Posted Tue, Sep 9, 2:03 p.m. Inappropriate

RE: Thank God for Palin: come on Steve. OMG if the forgien powers you speak of are so scared why is it that the majority of the country had never heard of her until now???

jeanne01

Posted Tue, Sep 9, 2:11 p.m. Inappropriate

hacknflack: Talk about talking points... your slams against Palin are so pedestrian and spiteful without any substance.

The links you provide offer some interesting information but do not refute ANY of what I said about Obama. His actual legislatiive accomplishments, for example, are marginal at best -- anyone can sign on to virtually any bill, but I don't see anything that refutes, for example, his numerous "present" votes on controversial issues. And the death penalty issue is instructive -- Obama in 2004 favored the death penalty for "only the most heinous" murderers, but as with many other issues has changed his stance to be in more in line with the vast public, many of whom he has diminshed as "clinging" to their guns and religion.

Meanwhile, you are so desperate to lift him up by assailing Palin and McCain that your anger gets the best of you. Sarah Palin is far from perfect as is Barack Obama, John McCain, Joe Biden or any of the rest of us. But for you to repeat the same tired smearing of the far left idealogues -- "illegal firing," in which she wanted a trooper dismissed who tasered his own 10-year-old son, her nephew -- without knowing one one-thousandth of anything about what you are ranting about, shows that you are nothing more than another example of the exclusionary wing of the people who claim to be so inclusive.

Ultimately this race should not be about race, or gender, or phony definitions of "experience", but character, smarts, integrity, common sense, ablity to lead and yes, toughness. And yes, it should be about who is best to keep us safe and navigate us through a minefield of issues that virtually defy solving, by having an ability to work with people regardless of their partisan leanings, for the best for this country and everyone in it.

If those criteria are applied by the American people -- if they can get beyond all the venom spewed out by idealogues on all sides -- I believe we will have a very close race and whoever wins, we must all hope, will be able to withstand all the pressures of partisan and ideological hacks like yourself and start to rebuild some trust in government -- trust that is earned rather than given blindly simply because someone has a D or an R after his/her name.

Posted Tue, Sep 9, 2:42 p.m. Inappropriate

Gregoire's opinion on the subject: Here's what Gregoire told the Daily Olympian a week or so ago about this issue.

But Gregoire, like most Democrats Friday, said Palin's two years in the Alaskan statehouse and service as a mayor aren't enough for the vice presidency.

She also took issue with the Washington State Republican Party's assertion that Palin's role as the leader of the Alaskan National Guard qualifies as military experience.

"As commander in chief of the Washington National Guard, I deploy them for in-state, or to sister states, for needs of humanitarian efforts or to respond to a natural disaster," Gregoire said. 'That's the role of the commander in chief of the National Guard. It's not the military role of the president of United States."
alias

Posted Tue, Sep 9, 3:27 p.m. Inappropriate

Usual red herrings from Obamabots.: No one is equating commander of Ntl guard with military experience. It's part of the executive's responsibilities to be informed about security that in her case has international ramifications. She is probably in briefings with her officers and is knowledgable about the strengths and limitations of the units and what their concers are. She's informed at a basic level. It's part of her watch. If Obama had such experience you can be sure he would be in a full dress uniform, emblazoned with capes, braid and medals, and striking heroic poses. Gregoire would be wise to watch how close she stands to Obama since he will go down in flames. She's on the verge of losing my vote.

ilya

Posted Tue, Sep 9, 4:06 p.m. Inappropriate

Usual red herrings post is correct: The only ones trying to "equate" the experience are those who want to set up a straw man so they can knock it down. But take a look at that picture with the Crosscut piece -- that's Palin in Kuwait visiting her National Guard, as opposed to Gregoire in her office. The main point is, as other posters have noted, the ardent leftists and most of the media would be treating all this with kid gloves if it were Kansas Governor Sebellius. Gov. Palin also worked with Canada on the natural gas pipeline that will deliver clean energy to the lower 48. What's a similar accomlishment for Obama? The belittling should stop. But those doing it may be sowing the seeds of their own candidate's loss by thinking the majority of voters buy into such sleazeball tactics.

Posted Tue, Sep 9, 4:15 p.m. Inappropriate

RE: Usual red herrings from Obamabots.: No one is equating commander of Ntl guard with military experience. It's part of the executive's responsibilities to be informed about security that in her case has international ramifications. She is probably in briefings with her officers and is knowledgable about the strengths and limitations of the units and what their concers are. She's informed at a basic level. It's part of her watch.

Actually, the McCain campaign is trying to equate being the commander of the National Guard with military experience. There is no other explanation (reasonable, rational) for their continued mention of it.

As to your statement She is probably in briefings with her officers and is knowledgable about the strengths and limitations of the units and what their concers are., well, I doubt it. Not just about her, but about any sitting governor. I think you are going to have to provide some proof in this regard before your claim can be taken seriously.
RobC

Posted Tue, Sep 9, 4:29 p.m. Inappropriate

RE: You miss the point entirely: Gov. Palin has true executive experience -- more than Obama, more than Geraldine Ferraro -- as both a mayor and a governor.

Your claim of Obama not having any 'true executive experience' is only true if one disregards running an organization that never had less than nine staff members - which I guess would mean that most small business people have no executive experience. And that in the first two years after his graduation from college.

And as for the suposed rap on her lack of foreign policy experience, of which Obama also has virtually none, I don't recall Harry Truman, Franklin Roosevelt, Bill Clinton or many other Democratic candidates being held to the "no foreign policy experience" litmus test the left imposes on Gov. Palin.

For what it is worth, Bill Clinton was knocked for his lack of experience by both Democrats and Republicans before he was elected; go back and look at the debates from that campaign. As for Truman, it's worth noting that he became president (the first time) on Roosevelt's death, and by the time he ran for our highest office, he could no longer be said to have 'no foreign policy experience'. Roosevelt? I have no idea if his foreign policy experience was an issue, but I would be surprised if it were, since he ran against a non-interventionist.

Your claims for Gov. Palin would have much more heft if you didn't resort to distorting the record of her opponent.
RobC

Posted Tue, Sep 9, 5:05 p.m. Inappropriate

Can we get back to Knute's point?: This discussion seems to be de-volving into vitriolic defense of Palin in general rather than focusing on Knute's astute points about Palin as a general. (Really, people, defense of the Alaskan border, are we serious? As a military brat, maybe I have more military cred than she). Whether or not Palin truly can claim military cred aside, what about the office of presidency as a civilian office? Our candidates should not have to trot out (or trump up, as the case may be) a military record to win our votes. Having fought in a war neither qualifies nor disqualifies one to lead the country.

Posted Tue, Sep 9, 5:24 p.m. Inappropriate

Apparently, it's no longer about issues: Watching the development of this presidential campaign, there was reason to hope that we would have some form of real discussion of issues. Apparently, the need to win is stronger that any need for civil debate. So I'm now reconciled to another food fight.

But look what's happened here. Crosscut had managed to maintain the closest thing to a rational on-line debate (along with Postman, who is now leaving us), and the responses to Knute's quite good question are at least 60% character attacks.

Note also that the national media are now excusing all of the ad hominem attacks as just being politics as usual, nothing to get wrung out about.

We'll see how this plays out in November, and we'll live with the consequences.
Deb Eddy

Posted Wed, Sep 10, 7:24 a.m. Inappropriate

God help us: In a nation that spends more on the military than all others combined, we are like a fortress, isolating ourselves from the rest of the world. Shock and awe- it's like a one night stand- now what? This warrior worship is the road to hell.

purple

Posted Wed, Sep 10, 8 a.m. Inappropriate

RE: Note to Richard about Obama not having done much...: Repost of the URLs... sorry, not able to do the tiny URL thing...
Obama's legislative work on the Illinois Death Penalty, and how he made a difference between life and death:

http://www.icadp.org/page236.html

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/
11/12/obama.death.penalty.ap/

His sponsorship of a bill that brought health insurance to 150,000, including 70,000 uninsured Children, again, during his time serving in the Illinois Statehouse:

http://factcheck.barackobama.com/factcheck/2007/12/14/
fact_check_on_milbanks_claim_t.php

http://mediamatters.org/items/200712170003

His work on both the Immigration bill during his time in the US senate and his sponsorship of Ethics legislation (something he did both while in the State House, and in the Senate) that called for some of the most impactful reform regarding lobbyists since Watergate (as he likes to term it):

http://factcheck.barackobama.com/factcheck/2007/12/14/
fact_check_on_milbanks_claim_t.php

http://feingold.senate.gov/~feingold/releases/
07/01/20070108.html

and his sponsored and co sponsored Bills in the U.S. Senate... which include worthwhile bills dealing with a wide range of issues, from Election reform bills to the Cooperative Proliferation Detection reduction Act (w/t Sen. Lugar) to Internet database transparency Act.

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/271/

http://obama.senate.gov/press/060908-senate_passes_c /

http://www.america.gov/st/washfile-
(string these two together)
english/2005/November/20051101170118adynned0.8910791.html


http://thomas.loc.gov / (Select Obama's name from the Senator drop down)

This does not lists all of his accomplishments, nor does it deals with his accomplishments prior to entering elected office.

Posted Wed, Sep 10, 8:21 a.m. Inappropriate

And Ms. Palin has not explained some key things either...: Maureen Dowd asks (and I second these)

What kind of fiscal conservative raises taxes and increases budgets in both her jobs – as mayor and as governor?

When the phone rings at 3 a.m., will she call the Wasilla Assembly of God congregation and ask them to pray on a response, as she asked them to pray for a natural gas pipeline?

Does she really think Adam, Eve, Satan and the dinosaurs mingled on the earth 5,000 years ago?

Why put out a press release about her teenage daughter's pregnancy and then spend the next few days attacking the press for covering that press release?

A few side notes:
Wasilla had no debt when she started, and she left it with 24 Million in debt, and a spiraling legal mound of legal bills as the land she chose to build a hockey rink on had no clear title. For the record, the town did not ask for, or need such a rink as much as they NEED a sewage treatment plant. That budget she axed.

She fired the experts of the Mat Dairy commission, filled it with friends who then took the money, bankrupted it, and then sold the best stuff to each other for pennies on the dollar.

She is under investigation by the state legislatuture for a couple of illigal firings, and harrasement. Yes, the trooper / ex brother in law is one of them, and he is no saint, but it still is abuse of power, and may have over stepped state and federal laws.

Using her child as a prop, she declaired she told parents of special needs children you will have a friend and advocate in the WHite House, but she SLASHED Alaska State School funding for special needs children by 62%. The Budgets for FY 2007 (per Palin, 2008 and 2009 can be found here:
http://www.gov.state.ak.us/omb/07_OMB/
budget/EED/comp2735.pdf
http://www.gov.state.ak.us/omb/08_OMB/
budget/EED/comp2735.pdf
http://www.gov.state.ak.us/omb/09_omb/
budget/EED/comp2735.pdf

She was FOR the bridge to nowhere before she was against it. This is Well documented.

Her two speeches so far are so full of lies, one looses count. E.J. Dionne asked in his column yesterday Does the Truth MATTER anymore?

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/postpartisan/2008/09/
does_the_truth_matter_anymore.html

But Arianna Huffington says it best:

"Did Sarah Palin wrongfully push to have her ex-brother-in law fired? Was she really against the "Bridge to Nowhere?" Did she really sell Alaska's plane on eBay, or just list it on eBay? Did she actually have any substantial duties commanding the Alaska National Guard?

The correct answer to all these questions is: who cares? .

Which isn't to say these aren't valid questions, or that Palin and the McCain camp aren't playing it fast, loose, and coy with each of them. The point is that Palin, and the circus she's brought to town, are simply a bountiful collection of small lies deliberately designed to distract the country from one big truth: the havoc that George Bush and the Republican Party have wrought, and that John McCain is committed to continuing

Every second of this campaign not spent talking about the Republican Party's record, and John McCain's role in that record, is a victory for John McCain.
Her critics like to say that Palin hasn't accomplished anything. I disagree: in the space of ten days she's succeeded in distracting the entire country from the horrific Bush record -- and McCain's complicity in it. My friends, that's accomplishment we can believe in."

The only question we should ask is which McCain should we believe... the one currently promising change, or the one who voted WITH George Bush more than 90 Percent of the time for the Last EIGHT YEARS.

Posted Wed, Sep 10, 12:41 p.m. Inappropriate

ISSUES PLEASE!!!: For months we have had to endure the media bias in favor of Obama and now that he is the Dem nominee they are getting bored. Is it any wonder that all you can hear now is Sarah Palin? They have a new topic to ingest and digest day after day. This is just what McCain wants. Get off the issues and maybe we will all forget about the endless war and more to come with him in charge, rising gas prices, food prices, etc. I don't know about everyone else but I would think that most Americans are too tired after coming home from work to sit in front of the tv and listen to media pundits go on and on about "lipstick" of all things. I just pray that they will take a few minutes each day to read about these two candidates and see where they stand on the issues that most concern them and stop listening to all this garbage generated by the media. This country is in serious trouble and our vote in this election may be the most important one we may ever cast. People, WAKE UP!!!

lilabb

Posted Wed, Sep 10, 7:27 p.m. Inappropriate

Article II section2: "The President shall be Commander in Chief . . . ": Being an Active duty Marine, this article really caught my eye. I've been pondering over it for some time and I slightly regret not commenting earlier.

First, to answer your question, "Are we supposed to salute Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin?" According to US Naval customs and courtesies, not usually. A state governor does not rate a salute unless (s)he is fulfilling the capacity of commander of the national guard, and then only by the present military members in uniform. But wait young man, does that mean that a state governor is a commander? Why yes my good sir, it does.

You said it yourself Mr. Berger,
Are we to think that Washington Governor Christine Gregoire is doing John Wayne duty by calling on the state guard to sandbag flooding rivers?
That sounds like a commander-like call to me. Not very "John Wayne" there pilgrim but one of the first things they teach you about giving commands in the Marines is, a command is a command. It doesn't matter whether you're being told to clean the head or charge a machine gun nest - "Instant and willful obedience to orders."

I don't see the honorable governor of Alaska being paraded about as Field Marshal Palin. She has a strong personality and approaches everything with a "Follow or get out of the way" mentality. Perhaps it is this commanding presence that makes you so uncomfortable?

Let us not forget the actions of our first president, George Washington. After he had defeated the British, he presented himself before the congress and offered his sword (and the country) to its members. This is another military custom, one of deference, still practiced today. Congress turned around and gave it back to him. But it really goes much deeper then gestures of courtesy.

When the executive acts as the commander-in-chief, it is not in an act of arrogance or being cocky, they are just doing their job. It is an exercise in one of the duties of the executive branch of the government both at the federal and gubernatorial level. It is a very important duty at that.

As far as your shamefully weak stab at President Bush, I don't mind that he wears a flight jacket. Hell, I wouldn't mind if he wore a whole flight suit. And you're wrong. It doesn't blur my idea of who is and is not a civilian. I can spot the difference no matter what the individual is wearing. Knute Berger is definitely a civilian. (You have to admin, you don't really have a high n' tight.)

My unit recently had the MCAS Futemna flight-line fair and invited the local Okinawan population. There were buying unit patches, T-shirts, sweat shirts, bomber jackets, and windbreakers as fast as we could calculated the Yen exchange rate. People like wearing military-ish attire when they're around the military! I know that's hard for people who have never served to understand but it's the truth.

I was not duped by some subtle propaganda to serve my country. Neither was I driven by someone spurring me to arms against an overhyped enemy. I serve my God and nation because I have the appetite for it.

Some day I may be called to sell my life to buy my countrymen a bit of freedom, for a list of freedoms that is not worth dying for isn't worth the paper it's written on. And I would gladly lay down my life for the freedom of people like you to write whatever you want. But when and if that day comes, I hope the command comes from someone with a harder set of rocks then you have Mr. Berger.

Sarah Palin fits that description in my book.
tstcusmc

Posted Wed, Sep 10, 10:48 p.m. Inappropriate

RE: Article II section2: "The President shall be Commander in Chief . . . ": Pride- the deadliest of sins.

purple

Posted Thu, Sep 11, 11:51 a.m. Inappropriate

RE: Article II section2: "The President shall be Commander in Chief . . . ": That's my son, there, Pilgrim.

Marines are supposed to be...Proud, that is.

The Few, The Proud - The Marines.

To paraphrase the old saying, he stands watch in some lonely and dangerous place so that we might sleep securely in our beds. For that, he's a better man than I.

And he's his own man.

The Piper

Posted Thu, Sep 11, 2:54 p.m. Inappropriate

The Willing: What Americans want to see is a willingness to fight when necessary. That is what commanding an Army is about, not just marching in uniform. Does a President have the decision making, power and stamina to launch an operation.

Would Joe Biden? Would Barack Obama? I think not.

With McCain the answer is yes, and same for Palin.
jabailo

Posted Thu, Sep 11, 7:02 p.m. Inappropriate

RE: Article II section2: "The President shall be Commander in Chief . . . ": We'll all have to answer for our sins on our day of judgement. I'll go to my Maker with a clean conscience

tstcusmc

Posted Thu, Sep 11, 7:09 p.m. Inappropriate

RE: Article II section2: "The President shall be Commander in Chief . . . ": You said it yourself Mr. Berger,
Are we to think that Washington Governor Christine Gregoire is doing John Wayne duty by calling on the state guard to sandbag flooding rivers?
That sounds like a commander-like call to me.


True, but is no more or less commanding than ordering the State Patrol to evacuate homes near the same river. Yet the McCain campaign is not playing up Gov Palin's experience as 'Commander of the State Patrol'. The difference in their behavior is telling.

I don't see the honorable governor of Alaska being paraded about as Field Marshal Palin. She has a strong personality and approaches everything with a "Follow or get out of the way" mentality. Perhaps it is this commanding presence that makes you so uncomfortable?

For one, a cheap shot unworthy of someone representing themselves as a member of our military. Second, while you exaggerate in order to diminish Mr. Berger's point, it is still true that the McCain campaign has bandied about the National Guard connection to an unseemly degree.

When the executive acts as the commander-in-chief, it is not in an act of arrogance or being cocky, they are just doing their job. It is an exercise in one of the duties of the executive branch of the government both at the federal and gubernatorial level. It is a very important duty at that.

I'll give you this much: When the executive acts as the commander-in-chief, they are not necessarily being cocky or arrogant. That said, flying out to the Abraham Lincoln and standing in front of a banner printed by the White House (but later blaming the Navy for it before ultimately recanting and coming clean) was the act of an arrogant and cocky individual (and ultimatley incorrect as well).

As far as your shamefully weak stab at President Bush, I don't mind that he wears a flight jacket. Hell, I wouldn't mind if he wore a whole flight suit. And you're wrong. It doesn't blur my idea of who is and is not a civilian. I can spot the difference no matter what the individual is wearing. Knute Berger is definitely a civilian. (You have to admin, you don't really have a high n' tight.)
Mr. Berger is only wrong about the flight suit blurring the President's status in so far as he wrote this article to you and for you. Which he didn't. The President attempts to arrogate the prestige and authority of the military when he uses symbols like uniform components in his day to day activities. It's as simple as that, wether you like it or not.

Some day I may be called to sell my life to buy my countrymen a bit of freedom, for a list of freedoms that is not worth dying for isn't worth the paper it's written on. And I would gladly lay down my life for the freedom of people like you to write whatever you want. But when and if that day comes, I hope the command comes from someone with a harder set of rocks then you have Mr. Berger.

Again, another cheap shot which demeans you far more than it does your target.
RobC

Posted Thu, Sep 11, 7:11 p.m. Inappropriate

RE: Article II section2: "The President shall be Commander in Chief . . . ":
That's my son, there, Pilgrim.
Marines are supposed to be...Proud, that is.


He may be your son, but overweening pride is still a sin.
RobC

Posted Thu, Sep 11, 11:54 p.m. Inappropriate

RE: Article II section2: "The President shall be Commander in Chief . . . ": Pride is a sin most appropriate to some of the world's deadliest warriors.

You may not like Marines, sir, but you need them. I'm guessing you don't like to admit that, and that's OK. They protect you every day without you even having to condescend to notice.

You don't have to be proud of the character required for military service. Other Americans, whom you may well be entirely too sensitive and sophisticated to understand, are quite willing to handle that on your behalf.

As for that cocky jarhead sumbitch, he's probably as dead wrong about army doggies as he is about governors. But if I see him at the VFW, first round's on me.

I'd be proud to drink with him.

Posted Fri, Sep 12, 10:47 a.m. Inappropriate

RE: Article II section2: "The President shall be Commander in Chief . . . ": So is ingratitude.

The PIper

Posted Fri, Sep 12, 9:53 p.m. Inappropriate

RE: Article II section2: "The President shall be Commander in Chief . . . ": Cheers

tstcusmc

Posted Sat, Sep 13, 3:33 p.m. Inappropriate

RE: The Willing: Do you have any evidence to back up your assertions?

This American wants to see in a President a willingness to fight when necessary, and a willingness to listen to and respect the people serving in the armed forces, and to stand behind them and their families when they're injured or killed in the line of duty. And also a willingness to avoid putting them in harm's way when war isn't necessary.

I think it takes more than stamina and power--though Obama has surely shown both during the two years' campaign. It takes discernment, humility, determination, and wisdom, which comes about by committing oneself to a larger purpose and then learning from one's mistakes.

A leader can't learn from mistakes unless he or she is grown up enough to acknowledge them. George W. Bush has shown us how much can go wrong when a leader is a "strong decider" who's unwilling or unable to learn from actual results of his decisions. The last thing this country needs is another term of this kind of immature leadership.

Posted Mon, Sep 15, 7:56 p.m. Inappropriate

Dear Knute Berger: My history is poor but here goes. War of 1812. Invade Mexico/Texas/Allamo. Tippy Canoe and Tyler too. Civil War. Indian Wars. Oh ya don't forget what ever war got us California. Spanish Amaerican war. WW1. Invage Nicarouga? for the banna barrons. WW2. Korea. Papa docs home land. One of the other little islands in the Carabian. Cuba. Cold War. Vietnam. The Balkans Iraq 1 and Iraq 2 and Afganastan. Now you know I have left out a few so what does that say about peacefull USA. We elect McCain we are just locking the militry industrial complex for ever. I for got the best one. Our very own NW pigwar. Maybe Oboma can send us a different way. Peace

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