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Purple Heartbreakers, Indeed

It was time that a Republican veteran called the party out on its "swift-boating" tactics. Not only because it’s just plain wrong ethically, but also because the long-term ramifications of denegrating someone’s military service aren’t something that a so-called "pro-military" party can sustain without looking like rampant hypocrites. (Personally, for my money, they passed that point a long time ago, but I know a few kool-aid drinking veterans who are just now catching on…)

In today’s NYTimes, James Webb, former Secretary of the Navy in the Reagan Administration and former Marine platoon and company commander in Vietnam, calls the attacks on Jack Murtha for what they are: a baseless political smear, coordinated by a group with deep ties to the far right of the GOP.

And he calls those behind the attacks for what they are as well:

The political tactic of playing up the soldiers on the battlefield while tearing down the reputations of veterans who oppose them could eventually cost the Republicans dearly. It may be one reason that a preponderance of the Iraq war veterans who thus far have decided to run for office are doing so as Democrats.

A young American now serving in Iraq might rightly wonder whether his or her service will be deliberately misconstrued 20 years from now, in the next rendition of politically motivated spinmeisters who never had the courage to step forward and put their own lives on the line.

Republicans don’t get to say they are for veterans, while simultaneously attacking any vet who criticizes them, firing those military personnel who dare to put their men’s safety ahead of the political expediency of the moment, by cutting veteran’s benefits, and decimating the reserves and national guard through piss poor planning decisions.

The jerks who wore those purple heart band-aids at the Republican convention in 2004 are a prime example of what is wrong in the GOP these days: all PR, no action, no thought, no follow-through. Kudos to James Webb for calling it like it is.

(Hat tip to DKos for the link.)

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com