Wednesday, March 22, 2006

If You Can't Beat 'em, Use 'em

Hey, everyone, guess what! The Democrats have a new political strategy! Know what it is? C'mon, guess! Awww, you give up? Really? Okay, brace yourselves - maybe you should sit down for this. Ready? Alright, here goes: The Dems are going to bash the war using seditious soldiers as political props! Oh, yes, and call President Bush "incompetent."

You people really couldn't guess that? Where have you been for the past four and a half years?

The game plan, devised by the office of Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, is contained in a six-page memo distributed to Democratic senators on Thursday at a closed-door meeting at the Capitol and provided to the Washington Times by a congressional staffer.

Titled "Real Security," the political document calls for staged town hall events at military bases, weapons factories, National Guard units, fire stations and veterans posts.

"Ensure that you have the proper U.S. and state flags at the event, and consider finding someone to sing the national anthem and lead the group in the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of the event," the battle plan states.

Ahhh, this brings back so many memories. The cynicism; the contemptuous dishonesty; the phony-baloney, plastic-banana, good-time rock & roll-ness; Bill Clinton has been gone (from office, anyway) for over five years and still his influence lingers on with the, well, incompetents he left behind to run that wreck of a party.

That isn't a gratuitous swipe, either. There's just one teensy-tiny problem with Dirty Harry's bofo idea: it is a blatant evisceration of the Uniform Code of Military Justice:

"Hopefully others have sent some of what I'm sending to you on this already so I may be adding to the dog pile. Senator Reid's staff apparently has not consulted the military's Uniform Code of Military Justice before formulating this media campaign plan. While listening to you yesterday on a drive up north I began laughing, because we're not allowed to make the kinds of appearances that Senator Reid's office has espoused. A good base commander will prepare for this kind of event and most are probably preparing now. A smart base commander will have his public affairs office folks draft a good message which is on point stating that we're doing all the right things in Iraq and we support the democratically elected leadership of the US in the global war on terrorism.

"This message may come from the DOD public affairs folks. Also it will be controlled by the very people they're trying to ambush. A smart base commander will get some folks from his base that are pleasing to the eyes and public appearance savvy probably from his staff and one of the units in his group. They'll deliver their briefed message and that will be it. Any possible questions will be briefed to them, also with the public affairs office message and spin on the possible questions. It will be set up for this. Anyone who goes off the reservation and makes a political comment one way or the other may be punished under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

"If we get ambushed on the street corner, we will still have the public affairs media points to talk from and the message that the base commander's office public affairs officer wants to portray. This is why you never see military members at political rallies or at the Democrat or Republican Party conventions. We are to be apolitical in our views, as this keeps the military from getting into the US government politics or politicians' chili. We have seen on numerous occasions what happened when the military gets involved in politics, and this is why the Uniform Code of Military Justice has restrictions against these kinds of media appearances.

"The Founding Fathers knew the dangers. They formulated our Constitution to keep the military at arm's-length respecting politics. Watch the Joint Chiefs sometimes in a State of the Union address. You won't see them participating in standing ovations. We all have our own beliefs and views with respect to politics. We vote according to our conscience, but we are not allowed to appear in these kinds of rallies. Veterans can. Active duty can't." [emphases added]

So that's that. The lingering question is, of course, did Dirty Harry or his staff even know that Operation Real Security was a non-starter - ignorance of the military on the part of these people would hardly be a shock - or did they know but just not give a frog's fat leg, also a very likely option. And will they plow ahead with the plan anyway, and then, presto-chango, gain one more excuse for attacking the Bush Administration. Like they lack for imagination in that interminable endeavor.

I suppose they could always fall back on demands for Don Rumsfeld's resignation, or demands that we invade Sudan after cutting & running from Iraq, or agitate for Bush's impeachment. Heck, it's been hours since they've beaten that drum.

But let's float back to ORS because it's just so darned entertaining. Like "Reid's spokesman claims these events are not political because they involve incumbents who are running for reelection, not challengers." And "Reid's spokesman claims that the events are meant to highlight the need for 'increased funding for the troops.'" And "The Senate plan urges holding town hall events to 'draw attention to the security vulnerabilities caused by the Bush budget and explain how Democrats fought to restore programs that keep America safe.'" Was that before or after they tried to "kill" the Patriot Act and gut the NSA terrorist surveillance program? And then the piece de resistance:

In almost every issue in the Reid memo, Democratic lawmakers are called upon to criticize the President for not spending enough federal dollars.

Well, at least they're honest about that much. Even if the charge is gag-inducing to the point of projectile dry-heaving.

Lisa Fabrizio had the best take on this that I've seen this week:

It will be interesting to see how many [soldiers] will risk such punishment to aid a party that has repeatedly sought to have their votes discounted, referred to them as terrorists, and compared them to the Nazis and Pol Pot....It's hard to imagine liberals ginning up much support from an industry they've disdained and voted to under-fund for years.

Personally, I want to see the ovation Russ Feingold gets at one of these dog & pony shows. That might be almost worth the price of admission.

[HT: B4B]