Via today's Froomkin White House Briefing column, I'm pondering some questions. Just how far is this White House willing to go in using the public's money and bw willing to break it's own regs to promote its own political agenda? Does it matter to them that they may be pushing things past proper limits -- or is this even something that troubles anyone in this Adminitration?
I ask this, because Fox News has an intriguing article on its website regarding the use of the military as a political prop, and how this is a troubling development for some retired military personnel. (I know, I never thought I'd refer to a Fox article, either, but even a blind hog finds an acorn once in a while.)
Greg Kelly, the Fox writer, followed up his article with some questions for Scotty McClellan at yesterday's press briefing and, true to form, McClellan didn't really answer any of them. But that doesn't negate the question of how appropriate is it to use the nation's military personnel as a political prop -- over and over again -- when they are to serve ALL of the nation, and not just one party.
"This is a very bad sign," said retired Marine Gen. Joseph Hoar, who led Central Command in the early 1990s and is an administration critic. "This is the sort of thing that you find in other countries where the military and political, certain political parties are aligned."....When you add in the Social Security road trip, where the President held scripted "town hall" meetings with only the Kool-Aidiest of his supporters, hand screened by local GOP organizations, and using the Secret Service as his own personal bouncers (or at least people who pretended to be the Secret Service -- we still don't know the answers on the whole Denver mess, now do we?) you start seeing an odd pattern of staged propaganda appearances to shield either the public or the Preznit from any whiff of controversy or problems.
"Where you have our uniformed members being put in a position where it looks like they're rooting for one side or another is very disconcerting," said Greg Noone, a former Navy lawyer.
Political staging in this country is an art form. Since the advent of televised political shows, the sound bite has become the most sought after plum. But using substantial public money and military personnel who are required under orders to attend political events is at odds with military policy. Why does this particular Commander in Chief feel he is above the law, time and again -- on this issue and so many others?
Here's my response: this isn't a kingdom, it's a democracy. The laws apply to everyone, including King George. It's about damn time we started asking questions as to why he isn't following them.