Well, At Least It Wasn’t That Much Booing?

I’m still trying to process this whole “and now we boo at the military” and “and now we politicians don’t even bother to thank a dude for his service” change in the Republican party. I’m liberal, so I’m used to there being some jackasses in our crowds who don’t know how to comport themselves. And I know how it usually plays along class and regional lines. Liberals with rural and/or poor roots are the least likely in any crowd to be booing military people, because we know so many people in the military. Our boo-ers are almost always young idiots who are just becoming politically active and their anger feels, to them, righteous and therefore unquestionable. If you don’t like it, get out of their way. Occasionally, it’s some older idiot. But only rarely.

I don’t know how to read the few jackasses at a Republican presidential debate who would boo gay service-people. I just don’t know what to make of it.

But I have to tell you, the part I find stunning is that not a single politician on that stage said “Thank you for your service.” Or said to the audience, “Enough of that. We can disagree in this country without disrespecting the people who are willing to give their lives for it.” It’s not like they don’t know the possibility for jackasses in the audience is there. They had people cheering for letting uninsured people die, for executing a bunch of people–they know the crowds are rowdy and prone to outbursts that play strangely outside of the room.

And no one had thought through potential responses? No, they couldn’t have known it would be the gay soldier that set the crowd off. But they knew the chances were good that the crowd would be set off by something.

And that it was a soldier?

This is the other thing I don’t know. The mere rumors of people spitting on Vietnam soldiers was enough to put a sliver of permanent doubt between the military and Democrats. How does silence by presidential candidates when a soldier is booed play? How does not one word of thanks play?

My feeling is–who cares about the crowd? There’re always assholes. But I find it stunning that the people who want to lead us would show such an open lack of respect, a refusal to not even defend, but just to stop the rudeness directed at, a member of the military?

I don’t know how it reads to others, but it read like cowardice to me. How can you stand there and say nothing when you are arguing that you’re fit to run the country? How can you lead a nation if you won’t even lead at a debate?

And what does the military make of that, watching Americans back home booing a guy on active duty?

Could the Republicans be stupid enough to loose the military vote?

12 thoughts on “Well, At Least It Wasn’t That Much Booing?

  1. Great post! I’m reminded of the saying “Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups”.

  2. Booing the military, who are fighting the wars you voted to start, is not a good idea. Losing their vote could be the least of the GOP’s worries if they allow that kind of thing to continue, or are seen to be endorsing it, especially if one of the douchecanoes running for POTUS actually manages to get elected.

  3. Remember, though, that a number of the GOP hopefuls only play at being the kind of people who would have family or friends in the service. So I think that they personally may not know how the booing sounds, politically speaking.

  4. Well, before this it was cheering for executions and for letting people without insurance die. And not one of those candidates made the slightest gesture towards saying those were inappropriate. Cowardice in the face of their primary voters this is and those were..They must have calculated that stepping up to any of that would NOT gain brownie points as courageous–with their voters. And this stuff shouldn’t be forgotten or let go.

  5. I’m really disappointed in Huntsman. Of all the candidates on the stage, he was the one I would have expected to speak up.

  6. 44% of vets voted for Obama in 08. Kerry got 41%. I don’t have the figure but IIRC the enlisted men and women voted for Obama in the majority. Currently serving military at the time gave more money to Obama.

    You’d really have to pay really close attention, but if you watch the volumes of documentaries produced on Iraq 2, you’d hear the strains of discontent sung by those serving.

    Of course those people just wanted to get the eff out of there, and that could have fueled their support of the President.

    All this to say that we can no longer assume the GOP has some kind of electoral stranglehold over soldiers and sailors etc.

    And that they booed? Of course they did. And that there was no comment from the stage? Of course. They can’t afford to piss off any of those booers cuz they need them at this point. If they’re on the stage w/ Obama of course one of those people (save Bachmann perhaps) will take the high road. Right now, the roads are all low.

  7. I agree with Mark Mays. “The roads are all low” with the GOP. Of course, they keep having to duck farther down to get underneath the Democrats, so I have a bit of insincere sympathy for them.

  8. Americans, who claim to be more patriotic than us liberal folk, booing a soldier serving in combat is unthinkable. One day, maybe, it won’t matter what a person’s personal lifestyle is as long as they are willing to serve.

  9. I do want to ask: is it cowardice, or do most of the asses on stage agree with the crowd? I would bet Rick Perry had no problem with it. I wonder if they would have done it if the soldier had been present?

  10. Yeah, I was glad the dude’s question was a YouTube video. It makes me sick to think of him having to hear that live. Holy cow.

    But I don’t know. I read it as cowardice, I guess because I assumed that, even if you disagree with a person, if you are trying to prove good leadership, you treat that person with respect and if you don’t, or you allow a person obviously brave enough to appear before a hostile crowd to be booed, then you must not have the guts to actually lead.

    But, Casey, I guess it’s just as likely that you’re right. They didn’t do anything because they didn’t see anything wrong with it. Which is pretty amazing. I guess we should run off some “I support some of the troops” bumper stickers for them, make them some yellow ribbons with 3-10% of the ribbon missing. Apparently we’d make a small mint.

  11. Pingback: Boos at debates signal surprise independent switcharoo « Jaundice James

  12. Unfortunately, I think we have candidates who recognize that they can benefit by setting up particular people and groups as bugbears, by “othering” them. If that’s the plan, treating that person with any measure of respect would undermine the strategy. I don’t know that this was going through the candidates’ minds on a concious level, but I can completely believe that “don’t be publicly nice to a gay person” might creep around the dark recesses of their minds.

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