NY20: Dems field anti-military candidate?

posted at 1:40 pm on February 24, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

The race to replace Kirsten Gillibrand in NY-20′s special election has already employed oppo researchers for both sides, and Jazz Shaw has followed each revelation.  Yesterday, the Albany Times-Union reported on a find by NRCC (which they keep calling the RNCC) from Democrat Scott Murphy’s time at Harvard.  He opined in a Left-leaning campus magazine that the ROTC had no business on college campuses, especially Harvard:

“The values enforced by the military — submission to authority, unquestioning obedience, and a hierarchy of power — are contrary to the University’s values of independence, thoughtful inquiry, and equality for all.”

“Bringing ROTC on campus is not the best way of helping the economically disadvantaged.”

“We, as editors of Perspective, firmly believe all people should have the right to choose whether or not to be in the military, but we believe a university must not sanction a philosophy that is founded on an unquestioning submission to authority.”

The T-U acts as though this is both unrepresentative of the essay as a whole and an out-of-bounds attack on Murphy, and the New York Observer laments the tone of the campaign.  Neither are true, and in reading the entire essay, Murphy’s animus towards the military in 1989 becomes very plain.  He accuses the military of endemic racism as well as claiming that they do not represent true American values.  His editorial strongly implies that the ROTC is just a tool to exploit the poor.

Those of us who pay attention know that most of what Murphy wrote is standard Leftist boilerplate — but he still wrote it and signed his name to it.  It’s much different than plumbing Michelle Obama’s college thesis, especially since Michelle Obama didn’t run for anything and Murphy wants to serve in Congress.  While a college editorial may not reflect Murphy’s thoughts now, the Republicans have a legitimate interest in determining whether Murphy changed his mind over the last twenty years, when he did so, and why.

Jazz wonders why the Observer has its panties in a bunch:

Meanwhile, the New York Observer despairs of the “deeply negative” tone the campaign is taking. They refer to Murphy as “a rich carpetbagger, out-of-touch with the needs of the average voters in the 20th Congressional District,” and to his Republican opponent, Jim Tedisco, as “a hypocritical machine hack.” In reality, their own editorial is the most negative thing I’ve seen in the entire campaign thus far. Have they been watching any of the other elections around the nation for the last twenty years or more?

Researching previously published materials by candidates, asking why Scott Murphy failed to pay his taxes or noting that Tedisco actually lives seven miles outside the borders of the district hardly qualify as rolling in the mud and are fairly typical in terms of opposition research. If the campaign stays with its current level of discourse, it will frankly be one of the most civil I’ve seen in quite some time.

Indeed.  Murphy’s attack on the ROTC was explicitly political, aimed at influencing a policy decision at Harvard and indirectly aimed at opposing the military and its recruitment and training of officers.  Tedisco’s residence touches on his eligibility.  Both issues are perfectly fair game for an election.  Maybe competitive campaigns for Congress have become so rare that the New York media doesn’t remember how they work.


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“submission to authority, unquestioning obedience, and a hierarchy of power”

Sounds like the M O of the far left.

silenced majority on February 24, 2009 at 1:43 PM

I wonder what this pissant thinks of anybody who disagrees with his desire for Socialist apparatchiks?

“We, as editors of Perspective, firmly believe all people should have the right to choose whether or not to be in the military, but we believe a university must not sanction a philosophy that is founded on an unquestioning submission to authority.”

My ass. That is the epitome of Socialist “thought.”

OhEssYouCowboys on February 24, 2009 at 1:45 PM

The media/Democrats (but I repeat myself) usually “despair of the “deeply negative” tone the campaign is taking” when the opposition starts coming up with inconvenient facts. Or they call it a “distraction.” Heh.

theotherKate on February 24, 2009 at 1:47 PM

“His editorial strongly implies that the ROTC is just a tool to exploit the poor.”

I can certainly understand his point – I mean, c’mon, look at all those poor people that get sucked in to attending Harvard just to join the ROTC, right? /sarc

On a more serious note – what part of academia did this guy exist where ‘unquestioning submission to authority’ doesn’t exist as a student? Oh that’s right, as a liberal, he was on the right side of those arguments in that setting.

jrlingreenbay on February 24, 2009 at 1:49 PM

Negative campaigning is saying something bad about my candidate.
Hard hitting is something bad about your candidate.

MarkTheGreat on February 24, 2009 at 1:50 PM

must not sanction a philosophy that is founded on an unquestioning submission to authority.”

Sounds like he wouldn’t fit in very well in the dem caucus.

Vashta.Nerada on February 24, 2009 at 1:50 PM

Murphy is a Harvard grad, so the sheeple will think he’s smart and elect him.

Sounds vaguely familiar, doesn’t it? Haven’t we seen that happen somewhere else recently?

UltimateBob on February 24, 2009 at 1:51 PM

submission to authority, unquestioning obedience, and a hierarchy of power

… towards the goal of protecting those who cannot protect themselves (among so many other things).

He kinda’ left that part out.

yo on February 24, 2009 at 1:51 PM

Another idiot donkey hoof face

blatantblue on February 24, 2009 at 1:54 PM

unquestioning submission to authority

That’s priceless.

Anyone who has ever served a moment in the U.S. military, knows that “unquestioning submission to authority” doesn’t happen.

If you’re an officer or a non-com, and you’re a jackass, you will get a lot of questions.

By your peers, by your junior officers/fellow non-coms, etc.

M*A*S*H* wasn’t a very accurate portrayal of the Army, but reality is a whole lot closer to that than the “Triumph of the Will” kind of crap lefties think the US military fosters.

NoDonkey on February 24, 2009 at 1:55 PM

“We, as editors of Perspective, firmly believe all people should have the right to choose whether or not to be in the military, but we believe a university must not sanction a philosophy that is founded on an unquestioning submission to authority – unless that authority is Barack Obama. Then all must submit.”

Fixed.

Vic on February 24, 2009 at 1:56 PM

Sounds like the M O of the far left.

silenced majority on February 24, 2009 at 1:43 PM

It is amazing how the Democrats have been able to convince so many Americans, mainly through things like being pro-choice and pro-gay marriage, that THEY are the real party of individual liberty. You and I could make a list of hundreds of laws pushed through by Democrats that show that this isn’t true, but they’ve won the debate with much of the public.

kc8ukw on February 24, 2009 at 1:56 PM

An anti-military Democrat? An elitist, Harvard educated Democrat? No. Can’t be. That would just be too shocking to even comprehend.

myrenovations on February 24, 2009 at 1:57 PM

Murphy is a Harvard grad, so the sheeple will think he’s smart and elect him.

Sounds vaguely familiar, doesn’t it? Haven’t we seen that happen somewhere else recently?

Yes and we’re getting outstanding returns from that adventure.

Pretty soon our all of our combined IRA’s won’t buy a bowl full of chop suey in Shangai.

Thanks Ivy League!

Might as well send the QB at Harvard to start for the Pittsburgh Steelers next year, Ben Roethlisberger only went to Miami of Ohio, how could he be any good?

NoDonkey on February 24, 2009 at 1:57 PM

submission to authority, unquestioning obedience, and a hierarchy of power

“I won”, “Republicans need to get behind the President and support the stimulus”, “break into your subgroups and then report back to me”.

Bishop on February 24, 2009 at 1:58 PM

MarkTheGreat on February 24, 2009 at 1:50 PM

I couldn’t have said it better myself. Anytime you find something wrong with the candidate the press likes then you are doing an ad hominem attack. This is why everyone with any sort of objectivity knows that the press cannot be trusted.

txaggie on February 24, 2009 at 1:59 PM

Having both served in the Military (Ranger ’82-86) and gotten several degrees, I can tell you there is FAR more unquestioning bowing to authority in Academia than their is in the Army.

But how would any of those pin-heads know that? Oh! That’s right… they watched Platoon…

hburns on February 24, 2009 at 2:00 PM

Another consensus-seeking facilitator.

Ted Torgerson on February 24, 2009 at 2:02 PM

but we believe a university must not sanction a philosophy that is founded on an unquestioning submission to authority.”

If that were true than they should have no problem refusing to allow any Islamic speaker or educator on campuses as well. Of course that would never happen because our Universities are full of cultural cowards.

Wileygrl3 on February 24, 2009 at 2:02 PM

I can tell you there is FAR more unquestioning bowing to authority in Academia than their is in the Army.

What Sergeant Major would hold his tongue when the butter bar 2LT gives a stupid order?

If we DIDN’T have senior non-coms speaking up, we wouldn’t have the kick ass military that we do.

NoDonkey on February 24, 2009 at 2:04 PM

not about finding ways to revive tired election-year arguments about big spending versus small government.

Where are the economically disadvantaged at Harvard?

“The values enforced by the military — submission to authority, unquestioning obedience, and a hierarchy of power — are contrary to the University’s values of independence, thoughtful inquiry, and equality for all.”

And yet the military is more organized, efficient, and honorable than any University this guy would be a part of.

What a complete tool.

Grafted on February 24, 2009 at 2:09 PM

“The state that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools.”

–Thucydides

barton on February 24, 2009 at 2:09 PM

ROTC graduates become commissioned officers. What’s racist about helping people become commissioned officers.

funky chicken on February 24, 2009 at 2:10 PM

“The values enforced by the military Obama — submission to authority, unquestioning obedience, and a hierarchy of power — are contrary to the University’s America’s values of independence, thoughtful inquiry, and equality for all.”

Glenn Jericho on February 24, 2009 at 2:12 PM

Does this mean sell-out Kirsten Gillibrand is just seat warming?

OmahaConservative on February 24, 2009 at 2:12 PM

“submission to authority, unquestioning obedience, and a hierarchy of power”

“I won”

B. Obama

MarkTheGreat on February 24, 2009 at 2:15 PM

“submission to authority, unquestioning obedience, and a hierarchy of power”

Wait.

Was he barricaded in at NYU?

artist on February 24, 2009 at 2:16 PM

“We, as editors of Perspective, firmly believe all people should have the right to choose whether or not to be in the military, but we believe a university must not sanction a philosophy that is founded on an unquestioning submission to authority.”

One of the things I depise in life is reading those who have such critical opinions of military life or service who have no idea of what they’re taking about other than what they’ve read in a book.

The American soldier, NCO and officer is by design unhampered by rigid thinking. The US Military is the finest in the world because of his or her flexibility to adapt to a changing battlefield and enemy.

“One of the serious problems in planning against American doctrine that the Americans do not read their manuals nor do they feel any obligations to follow their doctrine.”

– From a Russian military document

hawkdriver on February 24, 2009 at 2:18 PM

Take away the ROTC program and all colleges will lose millions of dollars of funding.

This guy is an idiot if he thinks Colleges of any type are going to let go of ROTC.

upinak on February 24, 2009 at 2:19 PM

New York City liberals really are befuddled most of the time at why Upstate New York has any representatives at all, especially since they have such a nasty habit of electing Republicans — it would be so much smarter just to let the educated folks south of the Tappan Zee Bridge make the decisions for the flannel-wearing hicks up north. So it’s no surprise the Observer would be getting the vapors over a report that might not help the Democratic candidate in an upstate district.

jon1979 on February 24, 2009 at 2:23 PM

OK, these idiots know nothing of military strategy, which is quite obvious, so let’s put this more in terms that their pee-shooter minds might understand. Imagine, if you will, the team mates of the Pittsburg Steelers adopting these same tactics in September of 2008; where do you think they would have ended the season? At best, I would see 6W-10L, and even at best they would have not made the Playoffs.

DL13 on February 24, 2009 at 2:24 PM

things I depise

I also despise folks who can’t type.

hawkdriver on February 24, 2009 at 2:25 PM

He opined in a Left-leaning campus magazine that the ROTC had no business on college campuses

A college program has no business on college campuses?

Huh.

James on February 24, 2009 at 2:25 PM

Gee, I thought my daughter was in ROTC because she wanted to serve her country in the same manner as her father! What was I thinking? She wanted to break free from our poverty?…wait a minute. We’re not poor…hmmmm….Well, maybe she just wanted to blindly follow orders?….but wait. She’s never blindly followed orders from anyone, including her parents. It’s been said before and I concur–this guy is an idiot.

Driefromseattle on February 24, 2009 at 2:26 PM

I got a hundred dollars that says 98% of all the ROTC graduates score higher on IQ and every other test available than this douche.

jukin on February 24, 2009 at 2:26 PM

Spaking of unquesioned adherence to authority this tool, if elected, better march to the beat of the party drummer or Nancy will have his gonads on her office fireplace mantle.

sdd on February 24, 2009 at 2:27 PM

Someone needs to apologize for the stupidity of his youth.

tuffy on February 24, 2009 at 2:33 PM

Who was it that said that if you separate education from the military you get politicians who are cowards and soldiers who are idiots.

BohicaTwentyTwo on February 24, 2009 at 2:34 PM

His writings are a scathing indictment of how Harvard exploits its economically-disadvantaged student body.

Perhaps a former editor of the Harvard Law Review could step forward and confirm this?

DarthBrooks on February 24, 2009 at 2:38 PM

My husband’s father is a doctor and he went to college on an ROTC scholarship. They weren’t poor, but my husband was a high achiever who had a deep desire to serve his country. He knew he was going to go into the Army after graduation and so he tried for the scholarship and got it. We knew the students in the ROTC program well and to say they were in the program because they were poor is just untrue. These were young men and women who had a desire and a drive to do something for their nation. He is still serving 19 years later and so are many of those students he knew back then.

conservativemama on February 24, 2009 at 2:44 PM

Unquestioning submission to authority in the military is true – during boot or training.

After that – since “just following orders” will not work in court – no soldier, Marine, or member of any U.S. military simply submits if he or she wonders if the order is valid. That is why training and boot are so tough – to get the man or woman to think like a member of a team, but mainly to think period.

Uh, people get killed – the smarter you are the better the chances of staying alive and making sure the other person ends up dumb and dead.

kybowexar on February 24, 2009 at 2:45 PM

I got a hundred dollars that says 98% of all the ROTC graduates score higher on IQ and every other test available than this douche.

jukin on February 24, 2009 at 2:26 PM

I’d say your percentage is low, but I figure you were just being nice.

kybowexar on February 24, 2009 at 2:46 PM

The Right needs more anti-Military Industrial Complex candidates like Ron Paul and Pat Buchanan if we are to come back strong at a nation-wide level.

The Dean on February 24, 2009 at 2:50 PM

Gee whiz,,,,with the mighty O in charge now as the CINC,,,it should be ok,,,,because submission to HIM WHO IS is one of the new commandments.

retiredeagle on February 24, 2009 at 2:51 PM

The Right needs more anti-Military Industrial Complex candidates like Ron Paul and Pat Buchanan if we are to come back strong at a nation-wide level.

The Dean on February 24, 2009 at 2:50 PM

is that you being sarcastic.. I can’t tell.

upinak on February 24, 2009 at 2:55 PM

This idiot will fit right in with the current congress.

“The values enforced by the military — submission to authority, unquestioning obedience, and a hierarchy of power …”

Yep, typical boilerplate, the guy knows nothing of or about the military. And he’s too fucking stupid to realize it.

GarandFan on February 24, 2009 at 2:58 PM

is that you being sarcastic.. I can’t tell.

upinak on February 24, 2009 at 2:55 PM

He’s serious and he’s a tool. Anti-Semite too.

hawkdriver on February 24, 2009 at 2:58 PM

He sounds like that dopey guy in the NYU protest video!

PattyJ on February 24, 2009 at 3:14 PM

“One of the serious problems in planning against American doctrine that the Americans do not read their manuals nor do they feel any obligations to follow their doctrine.”

Also a complaint of the German Navy in WWII – we didn’t follow the manuals.

At least someone read the manuals – Germans and Russians, apparently.

NoDonkey on February 24, 2009 at 3:15 PM

He’s serious and he’s a tool. Anti-Semite too.

hawkdriver on February 24, 2009 at 2:58 PM

yeah the Ron Paul anti-military thing cracks me up.. since wasn’t Ron Paul a medical officer in the navy. LOL!

but figures… I just wanted clarification.

upinak on February 24, 2009 at 3:20 PM

Yep, typical boilerplate, the guy knows nothing of or about the military. And he’s too fucking stupid to realize it.

Most stupid people are born that way. Harvard Graduates have to work at it and their idiocy is of the highest grade possible.

NoDonkey on February 24, 2009 at 3:21 PM

It’s hilarious to hear leftists -who have no idea what the military is like- condemning it as being unthinking or rigid. As an officer I (and my senior enlisted friends) sometimes WISH the enlisted kids would act with unquestioning submission!
You don’t suddenly become a different kind of species just because you join the military. These far-left idiots are no different than any other group that attempts to de-humanize political opponents.

Jason on February 24, 2009 at 3:21 PM

I do not want this putz getting anywhere near Congress, but…

*sigh*

…it’s difficult not to be demoralized after that despicable scumbag Murtha was re-elected.

JohnAGJ on February 24, 2009 at 3:21 PM

since wasn’t Ron Paul a medical officer in the navy.

When Navy ships still had wooden masts and silk sails.

Ron Paul long ago passed his “Buy On” date, whether you agree with him or not.

NoDonkey on February 24, 2009 at 3:22 PM

The Right needs more anti-Military Industrial Complex candidates like Ron Paul and Pat Buchanan if we are to come back strong at a nation-wide level.

The Dean on February 24, 2009 at 2:50 PM

Oh yes, just what we need. To become so submissive to China, Russia, Mexico’s druglords and the nutjob wings of the Muslim religion. Yeah there’s no reason for us to back our military because it costs us votes. That would answer every single one of our problems. /sarc

I’m young and even I know that’s nonsense. The GOP has problems with the media (or rather the media has problems with the GOP), talking to the people, growing a set, and has way too many members acting as though they are republicans but are nothing of the sort. If we have moderates fine. But there is nothing coming from the Dems to be called moderate. Therefore the GOP members voting for their crap are not moderates, but either stupid, liberal, socialists or worse.

roopster217 on February 24, 2009 at 3:23 PM

I’m young and even I know that’s nonsense.

Never stop posting here. You young Conservatives reassure me.

Keep it up.

hawkdriver on February 24, 2009 at 3:26 PM

Jason on February 24, 2009 at 3:21 PM

You said it, Jason – I’m an officer as well, and not a day goes by where I think about stuff like “unquestioning obedience.”

Please.

Otis B on February 24, 2009 at 3:33 PM

how does an Irishman,a Murphy no less, come up with this crap.

JohnBissell on February 24, 2009 at 3:34 PM

are contrary to the University’s values of independence, thoughtful inquiry, and equality for all.”

This must be from some years ago… the currently accepted language of independent thinkers is “diversity, inclusion and sustainability”.

mankai on February 24, 2009 at 3:40 PM

Never stop posting here. You young Conservatives reassure me.

Keep it up.

hawkdriver on February 24, 2009 at 3:26 PM

Thank you, and there are more out there than people think. I just turned 25 last week, my fiance is almost 26 and we’re both up in arms over what’s happening. I’m actively talking to her liberal friends in order to get some form of true info out there. It would be funny if it weren’t so scary.

roopster217 on February 24, 2009 at 3:45 PM

Why do all these lefty a-holes come to NY. . I’m gonna have to move; the intellectual neighborhood stinks.

redfoxbluestate on February 24, 2009 at 4:10 PM

How can someone be a Democrat and be militant about anything?

Oh wait…I just answered my own question.

Black Adam on February 24, 2009 at 4:14 PM

I’m sure every single member above me in my chain-of-command prayed daily that I would be obedient, and stop asking so many damn questions. They knew I could get things done, but the hell if I was submissive. The military actually appreciates people who can think outside the box (even if we’re PITAs).

Doubt that this dude has changed much since he wrote this editorial, and doubt that enough people will care up in NY to make a difference.

Anna on February 24, 2009 at 4:17 PM

Theres a very good reason Bill Buckley said: “I’d rather be governed by the first 500 names in the NYC phone book than the faculty at Harvard.”

Bevan on February 24, 2009 at 4:24 PM

“I’d rather be governed by the first 500 names in the NYC phone book than the faculty at Harvard.”

Phone book?

Hell, I’d rather be governed by the first 500 names in the American Kennel Club listings, than the faculty at Harvard OR any politician to be corrupt and incompetent enough to run as a Democrat.

NoDonkey on February 24, 2009 at 4:32 PM

“The values enforced by the military — submission to authority, unquestioning obedience, and a hierarchy of power — are contrary to the University’s values of independence, thoughtful inquiry, and equality for all.”

Doesn’t he know that there is no independence without the military? And universities are really into “thoughtful inquiry and equality for all.”

Lizzy on February 24, 2009 at 4:37 PM

Otis B:
Heh, seriously. The far-left has this silly picture of the military as some sort of robotic group which automatically obeys every command. It’s as if they actually believe the Hollywood portrayal of the military is accurate. Pretty funny.

Jason on February 24, 2009 at 5:03 PM

since wasn’t Ron Paul a medical officer in the navy.

When Navy ships still had wooden masts and silk sails.
Ron Paul long ago passed his “Buy On” date, whether you agree with him or not.
NoDonkey on February 24, 2009 at 3:22 PM

As opposed to McSame, who passed his “buy on” date long before RP? Or to Mr.Bawreck Insane Osbama, who passed his “buy on” date a decades ago?

Say what you will about the man…but neither that senile RINO or our glorified used-car-salesman POTUS is worthy to shine Paul’s shoes.

Dark-Star on February 24, 2009 at 5:07 PM

Murphy is not the person we used to know. He’s evolved, matured – just in time for an election.

diogenes on February 24, 2009 at 5:10 PM

Otis B:
Also, as a fellow officer, you’ve been to college. I seem to recall the pressure on students to obey without question was much greater than any pressure on junior military members. I heard a lot more thoughtful opposition to my plans from junior military enlisted than I ever did from undergrads. Undergrads seem to blindly accept anything their professors spout.

Jason on February 24, 2009 at 5:13 PM

The man has a point. As an ex non-com I would have followed orders to throw his sorry ass in the ocean.

Limerick on February 24, 2009 at 5:44 PM

“We, as editors of Perspective, firmly believe all people should have the right to choose whether or not to be in the military, but we believe a university must not sanction a philosophy that is founded on an unquestioning submission to authority.”

A Democrat who went to Harvard? He’s a natural!! What’s the problem? LOL And there’s even a connection with campus publications!!

ddrintn on February 24, 2009 at 5:53 PM

Another idiot runs his piehole spouting hypocritical horseshit once again.

Viper1 on February 24, 2009 at 6:38 PM

Dark-Star on February 24, 2009 at 5:07 PM

Didn’t he write a book way back in the 60s about how unsafe the Corvair was?

hawkdriver on February 24, 2009 at 7:03 PM