Before I went on vacation, I decried the stunning silence from Republicans over the booing of a member of the Army asking about “don’t ask, don’t tell” in a video question from Iraq during the last debate. Rick Santorum and Gary Johnson broke their silence the next day. Then, yesterday, Herman Cain said on “This Week” on ABC, “In retrospect, because of the controversy it has created and because of the different interpretations that it could have had, yes, that probably — that would have been appropriate.”
The “that” is condemning the disrespect shown soldier Stephen Hill. Coming 10 days after the fact, Cain’s belated contrition compounds the offense.
The Republican Party has used patriotism as a hammer against Democrats forever. It was their ultimate political weapon of mass destruction. Right up their with “tax-and-spend liberal.” Even a hint of not supporting the troops was enough for them to brand Democrats soft on national defense. Well, they lost that hammer on Sept. 22 in Florida. And President Obama picked it up and used it to great effect in a speech at the Human Rights Campaign dinner on Saturday in Washington.
We don’t believe in a small America. We don’t believe in the kind of smallness that says it’s okay for a stage full of political leaders — one of whom could end up being the president of the United States — being silent when an American soldier is booed. We don’t believe in that. We don’t believe in standing silent when that happens. We don’t believe in them being silent since. You want to be commander in chief? You can start by standing up for the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States, even when it’s not politically convenient.
To repeat the president of the United States: “You want to be commander in chief? You can start by standing up for the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States, even when it’s not politically convenient.”
I was happy to read in this ABC News report that former Utah governor Gov. Jon Huntsman had condemned the booing of Hill the same day as Santorum and Johnson. But the two men considered the top tier of the GOP field — Mitt Romney and Rick Perry — remain silent. This is an outrage that ought to make everyone question whether they are fit or deserve to be commander in chief.