Friday, September 28, 2007

Digging Two Graves

Things will get interesting next week. It seems that Mark Udall has put the word out that he is going to introduce a resolution condemning Rush Limbaugh for using the term "phony soldiers." It looks more like an act of revenge for having been "forced" to vote for a resolution condemning's "betray us" ad than well thought out policy.

There is a saying about revenge: "Dig two graves." Just by floating it, Mark Udall might have dug his own political grave:

SECTION 1. Congress makes the following findings:
(3) Those who serve in the Armed Forces do not relinquish their constitutional right to express their opinions regarding public policy in a manner consistent with good order and discipline.
SEC. 2. Congress --
(2) commits to judge the merits of the opinions of members of the Armed Forces regarding the policies of the United States, including those related to military actions in Iraq, without prejudice or personal bias, including refraining from unwarranted personal attacks;

This resolution, if it were passed, would remove an important democratic safety net and politicize the military. The founders feared a politicized military. George Washington put down a near coup by the Continental Army with a single speech at Newburgh, NY. That coup was being promoted by a few members of the Continental Congress who wanted a stronger central government.

The founders understood that a military that is free to criticize the government publicly (or privately) can be a danger to our democracy. Officers who have a disagreement with the political establishment have always before been required to retire or resign before expressing that disagreement.

This resolution would destroy the concept of an apolitical military, and do so with the blessings and encouragement of Congress.

This resolution won't make Rush Limbaugh the subject of any discussion. It's implications are so grave and so dangerous that it calls Mark Udall's competence and judgement to serve in Congress into serious question. That will be the subject of the discussion, and it will be a fair discussion.

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