An election without veterans

posted at 11:01 am on August 12, 2012 by Jazz Shaw

With the now official selection of Paul Ryan as the running mate to Mitt Romney, (and the President’s team taking their first shots at him) we have the final pairings of the four men running for the highest offices in the land. And for the first time since 1944, not one of them has ever served in the uniform of our country. Barack Obama graduated from high school in 1979, well after the draft had ended. While he claimed in at least one interview that he did “entertain the idea of joining the service” after high school, he added that, “it’s not an option that I ever decided to pursue.”

Mitt Romney received a draft deferment after high school as a Mormon minister of religion for the duration of his missionary work and then received an additional three years of deferments for academic studies. He was eligible and available for the draft for one year – in 1970 – but drew a very high number in the lottery when the highest number called that year was 195.

Joe Biden received a total of five student deferments before taking a physical and receiving a draft classification of 1-Y due to having asthma, essentially removing him from consideration.

Paul Ryan, the youngest of the four by nearly a decade, was obviously never subject to the draft. He graduated college in 1992 with degrees in economics and political science and immediately went to work as an aide to Senator Bob Kasten of Wisconsin, beginning a career in politics which continues to this day. I have not located any quotes about whether or not he ever considered enlisting.

Obviously military service isn’t a prerequisite to serving as President, but should it matter to voters? Does one have to have served in the military to truly “get” the military when they step into the role of Commander in Chief? The fact that we’ve had veterans in contention for the last 68 years seems as if it would be telling to some degree, but the times they are a changing. Shortly before Ryan’s selection was announced, Bridget Johnson examined this very question, concluding that the importance we place on military service – or lack thereof – may well depend on where our priorities lie in any given election cycle.

One might draw a correlation between the lack of military representation among nominees and voters’ feeling on military and foreign policy. Gallup polling has steadily shown just one percent of voters this election cycle ranking foreign policy as a key issue at the ballot box, with similarly low or even just trace concern for war, weaker military defense, or national security.

The campaign trail seems to reflect this as well, as the looming defense sequestration that will ax nearly $500 billion from the military has been a topic reserved for impassioned lawmakers in affected districts instead of a priority for the national candidates.

The trend also may indicate that voters don’t think military service is a prerequisite to fully comprehending and executing the role of commander in chief.

The presidential race isn’t alone in its faltering military representation: The number of veterans in the 112th Congress is just over 20 percent, the lowest number since World War II and a full 50 percent less than the number of veterans in Congress in 1975. There hasn’t been a draft since the Vietnam War and the conflicts since then have included the Gulf War, the Iraq War, and the conflict in Afghanistan.

It’s not that we’re not still at war (Afghanistan) or living under the looming shadow of other potential military engagements (Syria, Iran and other troubled spots). But that’s just not where the focus seems to be. As Johnson notes in the same article, public polling in 2012 has consistently shown foreign policy and war to be near the very bottom of the list of concerns cited by likely voters. Americans seem to be looking for a warrior who is ready to win the battle of the budget rather than the Battle of the Bulge.

Are we losing something by weeding out the veterans from the pack of contenders? Would Rick Perry’s history of service have brought something to the table that we need more than the combined business and economic acumen of Team R&R? Or does it just not matter that much anymore?

Update: Doug Mataconis doesn’t seem to think we’re losing much in the deal.

I’m not entirely convinced that military service by itself gives a candidate, for President or any other office, any special insight that would make them to superior to another candidate. The example I used then was Bob Dole and Bill Clinton in 1996. We all know that Bill Clinton didn’t serve in the military, and his story in that regard up is tied up in the still emotionally charged issue of Vietnam era draft deferments (which both Mitt Romney and Joe Biden took advantage of, by the way). Bob Dole, on the other hand, served in World War II where he was badly injured in battle in Italy, earning two Purple Hearts and the Bronze Star. That valor notwithstanding, I don’t think there’s any question that Bob Dole would have made a worse President in Bill Clinton in the mid-90s, and I say that as someone who was not very much of a Bill Clinton fan during his time in office. Similarly, John McCain’s service to his country is beyond question, but I would submit that he’s demonstrated more than once over the years that he does not have the judgment and temperament necessary to make a good President. Finally, I think Rick Perry demonstrated during the primary campaign that he didn’t have what it takes to be President not withstanding his military experience.

In any case, purely because of historical accident and demographics, we are likely entering an era where veterans on a Presidential ticket are going to become more of a rarity. Personally, I view that as more of a curiosity than a loss of anything.


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No corpsman!

KOOLAID2 on August 12, 2012 at 11:06 AM

Jimmy Carter was a veteran – ’nuff said.

honsy on August 12, 2012 at 11:06 AM

May not be any Veterans but one of these men DOES have an active duty military ID.

And it says “Rank: Commander In Chief”

I personally saw George H.W. Bush’s military ID in a filming on the Larry King show in San Antonio just after he signed NAFTA.

Also – one of these men has coordinated the war on terror for the last four years.

And one guy – Willard McDole – has never had a single blood relative of his (past or present) wear the uniform of this nation.

HondaV65 on August 12, 2012 at 11:06 AM

So was McGovern!

honsy on August 12, 2012 at 11:06 AM

It’s a deferment election!

KOOLAID2 on August 12, 2012 at 11:07 AM

Are we losing something by weeding out the veterans from the pack of contenders?

Is that what we did? We weeded them out?

At the moment, it feels more like we need someone who understands and supports the private sector and capitalism to rev up our domestic engine of support for the military and get that back on track.

As long as the people in the White House support our military, no problem. Since we don’t have that today, the military and those who support it have only one place to turn: R & R.

beatcanvas on August 12, 2012 at 11:08 AM

And I hear that Mass. Senator who ran in 2004 was also a vet. It was said that he fought in ‘Nam.

honsy on August 12, 2012 at 11:08 AM

I’d rather the Pres have experience in sitting up all Thur night trying to figure out how he was going to be able to pay his employees on Fri and trying to deal with the mountain of 941′s, W2′s, and other Local/State/Federal bureaucratic BS. Sometimes this was worse than getting shot at. BTW: I am retired Army.

Dingbat63 on August 12, 2012 at 11:08 AM

HondaV65 on August 12, 2012 at 11:06 AM

That same C&C has potentially armed drug cartels with guns to take down other cartels.

nobar on August 12, 2012 at 11:11 AM

How did the civilian-led Korean and Vietnamese wars turn out?

OldEnglish on August 12, 2012 at 11:11 AM

Perry was my first choice, and he was the only veteran in strong contention for the GOP nomination. I would prefer a vet, but you make do with what you have. I voted for McCain, GHW Bush, and Dole, all of whom were defeated by non-veterans.

It cracks me up though when I see Dems criticize our guys for their lack of military service, like their guys have better records

juliesa on August 12, 2012 at 11:13 AM

May not be any Veterans but one of these men DOES have an active duty military ID.

And it says “Rank: Commander In Chief”

I personally saw George H.W. Bush’s military ID in a filming on the Larry King show in San Antonio just after he signed NAFTA.

Also – one of these men has coordinated the war on terror for the last four years.

And one guy – Willard McDole – has never had a single blood relative of his (past or present) wear the uniform of this nation.

HondaV65 on August 12, 2012 at 11:06 AM

The guy who got the job is a red diaper baby twit who “thought about joining the army”….

if you WANT to talk about Chairman Jugears’ as war hero in charge…

let’s have an honest appraisal of our loss rate in ‘ghani on his watch and discuss the notable absence of “grim milestones” despite the fact that Seal Team O has lost men in ‘ghani at a greater rate in four years than Bush lost in 7 because of his retarded Rules of Engagement….

you want to run on that by God game on champ….

He carries THAT price tag and asks America to believe that ONLY he would have made the “gutsy call” to let Seal Team Six go get geronimo in an OP he knew so much about they had to grab him off the golf course to let him decide….

yeah let’s go there MOBY

harlekwin15 on August 12, 2012 at 11:14 AM

The GOP as a whole lacks every kind of diversity except, perhaps, when it comes to mixes of mutual funds.

You’ve put forward two white rich boys who have never once in their lives felt the fear the economic deprivation — totally out of touch. They have absolutely zero working class cred. Even Dubya could pull off a bit of good ole boy swagger.

This is the absolutely the worst GOP ticket in history. At least Dubya was likable and sort of funny and genuinely God-fearing.

bifidis on August 12, 2012 at 11:15 AM

Doing being the 13th Imam count as “military service”?

Archivarix on August 12, 2012 at 11:15 AM

You would be throwing away a lot of potential candidates if you restricted it to veterans. The modern army just doesn’t have a very high fraction of it’s country’s population.

Count to 10 on August 12, 2012 at 11:15 AM

That same C&C has potentially armed drug cartels with guns to take down other cartels.

nobar on August 12, 2012 at 11:11 AM

Oh that was just another GUTSY CALL…oh wait the War Hero there is not in charge of the bad parts of being in charge…..

Donks you want a referundum on his performance as boss….let’s go either ay domestic or foreign policy.

We are going to FIGHT you this time and talk past the press….

You can not win

harlekwin15 on August 12, 2012 at 11:16 AM

Are we losing something by weeding out the veterans from the pack of contenders? Would Rick Perry’s history of service have brought something to the table that we need more than the combined business and economic acumen of Team R&R? Or does it just not matter that much anymore?

You could have supported Ron Paul. He was the other vet in the race.

But frankly, I don’t think it matters at all. FDR wasn’t a veteran. I don’t think Jefferson was a veteran. Reagan served, but for all intents and purposes, he served as a movie actor. I hardly think we’d question any of these men on their qualifications as C-in-C.

JohnGalt23 on August 12, 2012 at 11:17 AM

I’ve got no issues with this go ’round… lets just change out the CinC…

/Retired US Navy guy

Khun Joe on August 12, 2012 at 11:17 AM

The GOP as a whole lacks every kind of diversity except, perhaps, when it comes to mixes of mutual funds.

You’ve put forward two white rich boys who have never once in their lives felt the fear the economic deprivation — totally out of touch. They have absolutely zero working class cred. Even Dubya could pull off a bit of good ole boy swagger.

This is the absolutely the worst GOP ticket in history. At least Dubya was likable and sort of funny and genuinely God-fearing.

bifidis on August 12, 2012 at 11:15 AM

You have a communist’s son and a lying sack of crap leech.

I like my odds.

harlekwin15 on August 12, 2012 at 11:17 AM

How did the civilian-led Korean and Vietnamese wars turn out?

OldEnglish on August 12, 2012 at 11:11 AM

Politics and micromanaging — veterans are not immune.
Just ask Carter.

Count to 10 on August 12, 2012 at 11:17 AM

Obviously military service isn’t a prerequisite to serving as President, but should it matter to voters?

It sure as hell matters to this old grunt.
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on August 12, 2012 at 11:17 AM

a sec of defense with experience is whats needed.

dmacleo on August 12, 2012 at 11:17 AM

The truth is, a very large percentage of Americans are weary enough of foreign conflict that while they are proud and appreciative of the sacrifice, more is not something they want, or of the perception that its all endless and costly.

Speakup on August 12, 2012 at 11:17 AM

How did the civilian-led Korean and Vietnamese wars turn out?

OldEnglish on August 12, 2012 at 11:11 AM

The list of failed conflicts by political consensus is gigantic compared to the successes.

Speakup on August 12, 2012 at 11:20 AM

Not an issue the left can exploit this time and not an issue we should even give attention to. Bigger fish to fry.

hawkdriver on August 12, 2012 at 11:20 AM

bifidis on August 12, 2012 at 11:15 AM

…and I’m sure Barrack Baloney and his bullsh!t background prompted you to vote for him because he “feels your pain”!
Dufus ditz!

KOOLAID2 on August 12, 2012 at 11:21 AM

I personally saw George H.W. Bush’s military ID in a filming on the Larry King show in San Antonio just after he signed NAFTA.

HondaV65 on August 12, 2012 at 11:06 AM

After Bush signed NAFTA, it needed to be approved by each nation’s legislative or parliamentary branch.

But it was “officially signed into law” on December 8, 1993 by Bill Clinton.

pastselldate on August 12, 2012 at 11:21 AM

The GOP as a whole lacks every kind of diversity except, perhaps, when it comes to mixes of mutual funds.

You’ve put forward two white rich boys who have never once in their lives felt the fear the economic deprivation — totally out of touch. They have absolutely zero working class cred. Even Dubya could pull off a bit of good ole boy swagger.

This is the absolutely the worst GOP ticket in history. At least Dubya was likable and sort of funny and genuinely God-fearing.

bifidis on August 12, 2012 at 11:15 AM

Like you would vote for Romney if he picked someone with experience..

Electrongod on August 12, 2012 at 11:22 AM

Count to 10 on August 12, 2012 at 11:17 AM

No, you’re right, veterans are not immune – if they have partaken of the PC koolaid.

Churchill, on the other hand …

OldEnglish on August 12, 2012 at 11:26 AM

May not be any Veterans but one of these men DOES have an active duty military ID.

And it says “Rank: Commander In Chief”

I personally saw George H.W. Bush’s military ID in a filming on the Larry King show in San Antonio just after he signed NAFTA.

Also – one of these men has coordinated the war on terror for the last four years.

And one guy – Willard McDole – has never had a single blood relative of his (past or present) wear the uniform of this nation.

HondaV65 on August 12, 2012 at 11:06 AM

And Obama also has the highest level of security clearance. A security clearance his background never would have cleared him for. How did he get it? By winning an election. The same election that gave him the military ID.

And as we’ve seen, winning an election doesn’t mean you know squat about the military or national secrets-keeping.

Mitoch55 on August 12, 2012 at 11:28 AM

It matters to me, it’s not a litmus test though.

ted c on August 12, 2012 at 11:28 AM

Does one have to have served in the military to truly “get” the military when they step into the role of Commander in Chief?

It was no accident that our founders stipulated that the military of this nation is subject to the authority of civilian leadership. I have no problem with a POTUS who never served and in fact I find it in the best traditions of our country since its inception.

MJBrutus on August 12, 2012 at 11:29 AM

I personally don’t care if the President served in the military. And what kind of military service are we talking about here. Is someone who does their 4-6 years in the Air Force considered a veteran? Or are we talking about someone who has served overseas? One of the greatest Presidents of the 20th century, while he was enlisted, never served overseas.

eaglescout_1998 on August 12, 2012 at 11:30 AM

Veterans have a mixed record of success in the White House.

How about we just allow them to vote in November?

PappyD61 on August 12, 2012 at 11:30 AM

bifidis on August 12, 2012 at 11:15 AM

I agree that it isn’t a very strong or diverse ticket, but they are neck and neck with Obama/Biden, so what does that say about your side?

McDuck on August 12, 2012 at 11:31 AM

How about we just allow them to vote in November?

PappyD61 on August 12, 2012 at 11:30 AM

on target….nice use of out alinskying the alinskyites…

use that by word of mouth nail them to the wall

harlekwin15 on August 12, 2012 at 11:31 AM

Mitoch55 on August 12, 2012 at 11:28 AM

As much as Obama’s politicization of secrets disgusts me, you should bear in mind that the POTUS is the final say on what may be declassified. As such, it is not possible for a POTUS to illegally release classified information. That we have a POTUS who is willing to compromise national security for political advantage is a judgment that we the people must bring on him at the ballot box.

MJBrutus on August 12, 2012 at 11:32 AM

I agree that it isn’t a very strong or diverse ticket, but they are neck and neck with Obama/Biden, so what does that say about your side?

McDuck on August 12, 2012 at 11:31 AM

That maybe you shouldn’t hire a plumber to do brain surgery….

or a brain surgeon to fix your car?

I vote for ideas not the wrapper they are in….

harlekwin15 on August 12, 2012 at 11:32 AM

This is why I thought McDonnell was going to be the choice. But Romney will pick a solid Sec of Defense.

Got a tweet yesterday that’s it’s also first election without a Protestant. What is Obama’s religion again?

monalisa on August 12, 2012 at 11:37 AM

Mr. Shaw,

You can’t fight an enemy unless you have bullets. Can’t have bullets if you don’t have the money to buy them. This is one election where economics are front and center care of the entitlement state.

Dr. Dog on August 12, 2012 at 11:38 AM

Two of my sons are combat veterans. One in Iraq and the other twice in Afghanistan. They dont have the security clearance to enter the WH Situation Room like the felon Jay-Z and Beyonce.
God, this President needs to go

Thicklugdonkey on August 12, 2012 at 11:39 AM

You’ve put forward two white rich boys who have never once in their lives felt the fear the economic deprivation — totally out of touch. They have absolutely zero working class cred. Even Dubya could pull off a bit of good ole boy swagger.

This is the absolutely the worst GOP ticket in history. At least Dubya was likable and sort of funny and genuinely God-fearing.

bifidis on August 12, 2012 at 11:15 AM

That’s because this election is about the economy, stupid. The two rich boys of which you speak have never felt the fear of economic deprivation, because they or their parents knew and/or taught their children the value of hard work. They know how to fix the economy, using their talents for making money and sticking to the budget, but mostly valuing outcomes that work.

skeeterbite on August 12, 2012 at 11:39 AM

Got a tweet yesterday that’s it’s also first election without a Protestant. What is Obama’s religion again?

monalisa on August 12, 2012 at 11:37 AM

bomb-throwing racist I believe….

let’s ask Jerry Wright what it is?

harlekwin15 on August 12, 2012 at 11:39 AM

You’ve put forward two white rich boys who have never once in their lives felt the fear the economic deprivation — totally out of touch. They have absolutely zero working class cred. Even Dubya could pull off a bit of good ole boy swagger.

bifidis on August 12, 2012 at 11:15 AM

Paul Ryan is a rich guy? Have you even read anything about his background before spouting of your mouth?

Barred on August 12, 2012 at 11:40 AM

It matters to me, it’s not a litmus test though.

ted c on August 12, 2012 at 11:28 AM

True dat!

skeeterbite on August 12, 2012 at 11:40 AM

Two of my sons are combat veterans. One in Iraq and the other twice in Afghanistan. They dont have the security clearance to enter the WH Situation Room like the felon Jay-Z and Beyonce.
God, this President needs to go

Thicklugdonkey on August 12, 2012 at 11:39 AM

but but….momjeans is dreamy

and losing ST6 because Sir Golfsalot there couldn’t be bothered to use a minimum amount of Opsec….

“priceless”

harlekwin15 on August 12, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Paul Ryan is a rich guy? Have you even read anything about his background before spouting of your mouth?

Barred on August 12, 2012 at 11:40 AM

He’s a rich no private sector experience waiter personal trainer who sleeps on a cot in his office in DC rich cracka’ racist!

harlekwin15 on August 12, 2012 at 11:42 AM

HondaV65 on August 12, 2012 at 11:06 AM

You’ve pulled an “AngryEd” and turned the corner.

Welcome, Mobysan.

Bishop on August 12, 2012 at 11:43 AM

what does that say about your side?

McDuck on August 12, 2012 at 11:31 AM

…they have no side…only, a rectum!
(:->)

KOOLAID2 on August 12, 2012 at 11:43 AM

Thanks, Jazz. I mentioned this the other day. It will be interesting to see how President Romney deals with the military.

He’ll be respectful, I’m sure. But the military is probably going to have to tell him that something can’t be done from time to time. I’m not sure how Romney will take that. He’s accustomed to a financial bottom line, not a “we can’t throw bodies at that, it won’t work” bottom line. Civilians think a lot of things can be done that can’t, and Romney is a lifelong civilian who’s gotten a lot of “impossible” done in the business world.

Romney has a lot of native intelligence, so we can hope he will get comfortable with strategy and the use of force pretty quickly. That said, his foreign policy utterances seem to assume a world of unchallenged US leadership that doesn’t exist any more. Romney will be better than Obama, no doubt about that, but I’m concerned about a Kennedy-Johnson type of foreign policy, with writing bad checks on one crisis after another. I hope for better things, however.

J.E. Dyer on August 12, 2012 at 11:43 AM

Two of my sons are combat veterans. One in Iraq and the other twice in Afghanistan. They dont have the security clearance to enter the WH Situation Room like the felon Jay-Z and Beyonce.
God, this President needs to go

Thicklugdonkey on August 12, 2012 at 11:39 AM

That is probably that saddest comment I have ever read here and speaks volumes on what this current administration consists of, a group of social climbers who don’t understand anything else.

Bishop on August 12, 2012 at 11:45 AM

HondaV65 on August 12, 2012 at 11:06

He doesn’t have a military ID. He’s a civilian.

Rusty Allen on August 12, 2012 at 11:46 AM

J.E. Dyer on August 12, 2012 at 11:43 AM

That was a perceptive analysis. I also harbor come concerns about his being too ambitious in his foreign policy. OTOH, he does know who are friends are and he does understand that Iran is no minor irritant, but a grave threat to our interests and I trust him to provide an adequate response to them.

MJBrutus on August 12, 2012 at 11:48 AM

I hope for better things, however.

J.E. Dyer on August 12, 2012 at 11:43 AM

A good honest appraisal. He may be more realistic because of it. A lot of people think one good ole’ boy Hillbilly with a scoped rifle can get the OBLs of the world eleventy!

The Israelis know better, it costs money to kill terrorists whether with your whole force or through the use of human intelligence operatives, safehouses, pistols, and well placed bombs in telephones….

Mitt may have the judgement to pick which path is the better way to go, all momjeans has done is use Bush’s methods under far tighter ROE and increased our casualty rate to no gain.

I want a person who says “we must fund our intelligence community and take the gloves off them outside our borders”….

harlekwin15 on August 12, 2012 at 11:49 AM

bifidis, while Romney certainly is wealthy, he earned every dime on his own – he gave away his entire inheritance. He also grew up in a middle class family – his father didn’t take over AMC (as a HS grad, no less) until Mitt was 10 or so.

An you apparently know nothing about Paul Ryan. You merely assume that he’s rich because he’s a Republican. He grew up upper-middle class, son of a Lawyer, but certainly not “rich”. And he’s thrifty – he doesn’t rent or own a place in the DC area; he sleeps on a cot in his office when in town.

You green-eyed envy is a thing to behold, and to pity. It really seems to animate you. Why do you hate? Is it because they were successful and you weren’t to the same degree? Or do you merely want their money without having to expend the same efforts?

I’ve also not linked any of this. You look it up, since you need the practice.

JeffWeimer on August 12, 2012 at 11:49 AM

You’ve put forward two white rich boys who have never once in their lives felt the fear the economic deprivation — totally out of touch. They have absolutely zero working class cred. Even Dubya could pull off a bit of good ole boy swagger.

This is the absolutely the worst GOP ticket in history. At least Dubya was likable and sort of funny and genuinely God-fearing.

bifidis on August 12, 2012 at 11:15 AM

I hear ya, sister. Losing his father when Paul was a teenager probably didn’t put his remaining family of five in any sort of economic straits, it’s why Paul drove a hotdog car for money. Rich kids always have such jobs, just ask the Kennedys.

Do you try to look stupid?

Bishop on August 12, 2012 at 11:49 AM

I already saw liblets trying to make hay of this, calling Romney a ‘dodger’ while their precious Obama never wore a uniform, either. And him sitting in the Oval Office giving orders doesn’t qualify him, either.

The closest Obama could ever get to being ‘in the military’ is if he needs an overnight stay for treatment at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Liam on August 12, 2012 at 11:49 AM

Two of my sons are combat veterans. One in Iraq and the other twice in Afghanistan. They dont have the security clearance to enter the WH Situation Room like the felon Jay-Z and Beyonce.
God, this President needs to go

Thicklugdonkey on August 12, 2012 at 11:39 AM

Words cannot express my disgust in learning that obama/hollywood/musicians denigrated the greatest office in the world. That picture was a hot mess.

skeeterbite on August 12, 2012 at 11:50 AM

MJBrutus on August 12, 2012 at 11:48 AM

Thanks, and those are also very good points, MJBrutus. I agree that Romney will deal better with our allies, and that he takes Iran seriously. I hope he assembles a crackerjack FP team, although I can’t say I’m enthused about the rumor of Joe Lieberman being picked for Foggy Bottom. Lieberman’s been a good voice in the Senate for national defense and Israel, but he’d be likely to be a Cyrus Vance type. I hope Romney will look elsewhere.

J.E. Dyer on August 12, 2012 at 11:51 AM

I agree that it isn’t a very strong or diverse ticket, but they are neck and neck with Obama/Biden, so what does that say about your side?

McDuck on August 12, 2012 at 11:31 AM

Well,the dumb ba$tard Democrats could learn arithmetic and maybe they’d actually pass a budget. I won’t hold my breath though.

Ryan developed a fiscal plan for this country, particularly entitlement reform, and it is more than Obiden has managed. It puts him miles ahead. You want to run with Joe Biteme, go right ahead. The man is a drunken a$$.

DevilsPrinciple on August 12, 2012 at 11:52 AM

How did the civilian-led Korean and Vietnamese wars turn out?Civilian led? Truman was a WW1 Army vet,and Ike had something to do withWW2 as I recall.JFK,LBJ,and Nixon were all WW2 Navy vets

oldsalt on August 12, 2012 at 11:54 AM

Active duty Army. Multiple deployments to Iraq & Afghanistan. Couldn’t care less. We make up something like half a percent of the populace these days anyway. That fewer of us get into politics during or after our military service is probably an indication that the “professional” military is a sort of separate caste within American society. The notion of “we’re all in this together” is simply no longer true of the soldiery relative to the rest of the American people.

I suppose my question in the future is this: What have the American people done to earn the continued service of the military beyond our service in uniform?

Sgt Steve on August 12, 2012 at 11:56 AM

oldsalt on August 12, 2012 at 11:54 AM

The Civil War ended as well as was possible. I don’t recall Abe ever wearing a uniform.

MJBrutus on August 12, 2012 at 11:56 AM

I would prefer a veteran but it’s not to be this election.

I do know that a President Romney and a Vice President Ryan will lead/treat our military with the respect, honor and dignity they deserve.

gophergirl on August 12, 2012 at 11:57 AM

An honorable discharge from voluntary military service in the résumé of a humble POTUS candidate certainly doesn’t hurt their overall chances of winning — but it’s not and never has been obligatory.

I don’t expect any modicum of special treatment or privilege just because I’m a battle hardened volunteer military veteran [with a purple heart]. Neither should they. As much as I truly appreciate their service, the people who wear their voluntary military service on their sleeve like it’s some sort of entitlement(s) justification outside of their contracted promises at and/or during their enlistment and re-ups are ‘hero deluded’ and/or selfish and vainglorious.

*On a side note: However, for draftee’s, I do feel that they are most definitely entitled to anything and everything they personally feel they’re entitled to after being ripped from their lives and thrown into a war zone without any freedom whatsoever to decline their government conscription. To them, I offer my deepest sympathies as well as eternal gratitude.

FlatFoot on August 12, 2012 at 11:58 AM

And it says “Rank: Commander In Chief”

Also – one of these men has coordinated the war on terror for the last four years.

And one guy – Willard McDole – has never had a single blood relative of his (past or present) wear the uniform of this nation.

HondaV65 on August 12, 2012 at 11:06 AM

Your mask just completely fell off, you shoul hook up with libtardordie and get a room.

VegasRick on August 12, 2012 at 11:58 AM

I work with a young man who was discharged from the Army due to PTSD from 4 combat tours. He will not apply for benefits because his physically injured buddies need the funds more than he does.
I marvel at this young man’s character and the lack of said character in the WH.

Thicklugdonkey on August 12, 2012 at 11:59 AM

Two of my sons are combat veterans. One in Iraq and the other twice in Afghanistan. They dont have the security clearance to enter the WH Situation Room like the felon Jay-Z and Beyonce.
God, this President needs to go

Thicklugdonkey on August 12, 2012 at 11:39 AM

Thats cuz’ Big Sis says your sons are a threat to the government, having learned certain skills in the military.

BobMbx on August 12, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Two of my sons are combat veterans. One in Iraq and the other twice in Afghanistan. They dont have the security clearance to enter the WH Situation Room like the felon Jay-Z and Beyonce.
God, this President needs to go

Thicklugdonkey on August 12, 2012 at 11:39 AM

If that doesn’t make your blood boil then I don’t know what would.

Thank your sons for their service.

gophergirl on August 12, 2012 at 12:00 PM

VegasRick on August 12, 2012 at 11:58 AM

Who was Honda’s candidate again? Was it that decorated hero Palin, or perhaps the battle-hardened Newt?

MJBrutus on August 12, 2012 at 12:01 PM

If that doesn’t make your blood boil then I don’t know what would.

Thank your sons for their service.

gophergirl on August 12, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Ditto that for me please.

VegasRick on August 12, 2012 at 12:01 PM

Paul Ryan is a noodler. Who knew?

MJBrutus on August 12, 2012 at 12:02 PM

Who was Honda’s candidate again? Was it that decorated hero Palin, or perhaps the battle-hardened Newt?

MJBrutus on August 12, 2012 at 12:01 PM

His candidate has always been obambi. He is in full moby land now.

VegasRick on August 12, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Who was Honda’s candidate again? Was it that decorated hero Palin, or perhaps the battle-hardened Newt?

MJBrutus on August 12, 2012 at 12:01 PM

Third party/Paul/Obama, IIRC.

totherightofthem on August 12, 2012 at 12:03 PM

The Situation Room is supposed to be secure.How was a cell phone camera ever allowed in there?

Thicklugdonkey on August 12, 2012 at 12:04 PM

In other words, ABR.

totherightofthem on August 12, 2012 at 12:04 PM

Losing his father when Paul was a teenager probably didn’t put his remaining family of five in any sort of economic straits, it’s why Paul drove a hotdog car for money.

Bishop on August 12, 2012 at 11:49 AM

I would drive the hot dog car for free.

Chicks dig the Weinermobile… 8)

JohnGalt23 on August 12, 2012 at 12:05 PM

When I woke up to ‘Fox & Friends’ hammering the fact that for the first time ever, none of the 4 Pres/VP candidates had served in the military, it distressed me in a way that’s indescribable. Service is now officially “for the little people”. Should have seen this coming. When I served, folks from the upper classes were a sliver of the enlisted ranks, as were of course, the Warrant Officers we saluted who vaulted from mostly blue collar Sergeant status. Even I, from a privileged background, steered my children toward college instead of military service. This I sadly share with Mitt Romney.

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on August 12, 2012 at 12:06 PM

I get a kick out of these liberals. They overall hate the military and will spit on veterans, but then they’ll condemn a Republican who didn’t wear the uniform even though their guy didn’t, either.

The same with gays among the Left. It’s okay to be gay, they say, but then use homosexual accusations against Conservatives as a slur.

There is something very seriously wrong with liberals.

Liam on August 12, 2012 at 12:07 PM

I would drive the hot dog car for free.

Chicks dig the Weinermobile… 8)

JohnGalt23 on August 12, 2012 at 12:05 PM

Whatever vehicle I happen to be in is automatically the “Hot Dog” car, if you catch my drift.

Sorry ladies, I’m taken.

Bishop on August 12, 2012 at 12:07 PM

In other words, ABR.

totherightofthem on August 12, 2012 at 12:04 PM

If you are refering to honda it just was revealed that it was ANO. Anybody Named Obama

VegasRick on August 12, 2012 at 12:08 PM

ay not be any Veterans but one of these men DOES have an active duty military ID.

And it says “Rank: Commander In Chief”

I personally saw George H.W. Bush’s military ID in a filming on the Larry King show in San Antonio just after he signed NAFTA.

Also – one of these men has coordinated the war on terror for the last four years.

And one guy – Willard McDole – has never had a single blood relative of his (past or present) wear the uniform of this nation.

HondaV65 on August 12, 2012 at 11:06 AM

I do hope you stick to your standards and say that Mitt gets credit for being the Commander-In-Chief if he wins.

But I doubt it.

thebrokenrattle on August 12, 2012 at 12:09 PM

If you are refering to honda it just was revealed that it was ANO. Anybody Named Obama

VegasRick on August 12, 2012 at 12:08 PM

LOL. I saw that. I was referencing my post above that one, where I said his candidate was “Third party/Paul/Obama”. As I see it, now, not necessarily in that order. ;)

totherightofthem on August 12, 2012 at 12:11 PM

Whatever vehicle I happen to be in is automatically the “Hot Dog” car, if you catch my drift.

Sorry ladies, I’m taken.

Bishop on August 12, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Keep it in the buns, eh?

VegasRick on August 12, 2012 at 12:13 PM

Also – one of these men has coordinated the war on terror for the last four years.

Being dragged off the golf course during a mission already underway to kill America’s number-one enemy–after scrubbing it three times previously and would have done it again if he was allowed in the loop–is not ‘coordination’ in my book.

Liam on August 12, 2012 at 12:13 PM

Jazz:

While he claimed in at least one interview that he did “entertain the idea of joining the service” after high school, he added that, “it’s not an option that I ever decided to pursue.”

It was a much more mendacious lie than that. It was an absolutely incredulous lie Obama told:

“The Vietnam War had come to an end. We weren’t engaged in an active military conflict at that point. And so, it’s not an option that I ever decided to pursue.”

He’s trying to tell us that he would have given more serious consideration for joining the military *if* we had been in an active war? The Vietnam War? If the Vietnam War was still going on, he would have been more inclined to serve, but since it was over, oh well…

Other people were seeking deferments to avoid Vietnam, but not Obama. Why, he was just itching to go. It’s just too bad that the war ended before he could have gone.

That’s what Obama wants us to belive.

What a lying [REDACTED].

hit and run on August 12, 2012 at 12:14 PM

LOL. I saw that. I was referencing my post above that one, where I said his candidate was “Third party/Paul/Obama”. As I see it, now, not necessarily in that order. ;)

totherightofthem on August 12, 2012 at 12:11 PM

As Bishop stated, he just went “angryed” on us.

VegasRick on August 12, 2012 at 12:14 PM

Do you try to look stupid?

Bishop on August 12, 2012 at 11:49 AM

I think the bif is just a natural and doesn’t have to try.

Rio Linda Refugee on August 12, 2012 at 12:14 PM

As Bishop stated, he just went “angryed” on us.

VegasRick on August 12, 2012 at 12:14 PM

:D And, Bishop owes me a new monitor for that post. I loved the moniker “Mobysan”.

totherightofthem on August 12, 2012 at 12:16 PM

I think the bif is just a natural and doesn’t have to try.

Rio Linda Refugee on August 12, 2012 at 12:14 PM

I think he uses PED’s.

VegasRick on August 12, 2012 at 12:17 PM

Two of my sons are combat veterans. One in Iraq and the other twice in Afghanistan. They dont have the security clearance to enter the WH Situation Room like the felon Jay-Z and Beyonce.
God, this President needs to go

Thicklugdonkey on August 12, 2012 at 11:39 AM

That is probably that saddest comment I have ever read here and speaks volumes on what this current administration consists of, a group of social climbers who don’t understand anything else.

Bishop on August 12, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Precisely!

tim c on August 12, 2012 at 12:17 PM

The Civil War ended as well as was possible. I don’t recall Abe ever wearing a uniform.

MJBrutus on August 12, 2012 at 11:56 AM

Abe Lincoln served as a captain in a militia unit during the Blackhawk war.

Special Forces Grunt on August 12, 2012 at 12:19 PM

MJBrutus on August 12, 2012 at 11:56 AM

Lincoln was an officer of the Illinois Militia and fought in the Black Hawk War in 1832. He went into politics very early in life, and that was his only active service, but he did see combat.

J.E. Dyer on August 12, 2012 at 12:20 PM

Two of my sons are combat veterans. One in Iraq and the other twice in Afghanistan. They dont have the security clearance to enter the WH Situation Room like the felon Jay-Z and Beyonce.
God, this President needs to go

Thicklugdonkey on August 12, 2012 at 11:39 AM

That is probably that saddest comment I have ever read here and speaks volumes on what this current administration consists of, a group of social climbers who don’t understand anything else.

Bishop on August 12, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Precisely!

tim c on August 12, 2012 at 12:17 PM

There is a television ad in there somewhere screaming to get out. I wish someone would find it. These disgusting people in a nutshell.

VegasRick on August 12, 2012 at 12:21 PM

I would think veterans would be a whole lot more concerned with being able to cast a ballot.

Based on the last 3 or 4 elections they’ve had a lot of votes go “missing”. My guess is that this year will be a record year for missing and disallowed votes.

of course, we’ll make sure all the welfare recipients, felons, illegal aliens and dead will have their vote counted.

acyl72 on August 12, 2012 at 12:23 PM

oldsalt on August 12, 2012 at 11:54 AM

That wasn’t my point. The admins were civilian (non-military), and kept the military on too short a leash, for the most part.

Cometh the war, cometh the warrior. There has been much said on this forum about this person having no experience in “X”, or that person doesn’t understand “Y”, therefore are not fit for position “Z”. If that is a valid criticism, then so is lack of military experience for the top job.

PS, I am aware of the founding fathers’ attitude, and why. Today is a different world.

OldEnglish on August 12, 2012 at 12:24 PM

The up-side of neither Romney nor Ryan having military service is that MSM types like Dan Rather can’t hawk forged documents as ‘news’.

Maybe that’s what bugs libs the most about this matter.

Liam on August 12, 2012 at 12:24 PM

Also – one of these men has coordinated the war on terror for the last four years.

HondaV65 on August 12, 2012 at 11:06 AM

BWAHAHAHAhahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!11!!!!!!!!1!!!!!!!!!!

And which one classifies veterans as being at “high risk to become domestic terrorists”?

Solaratov on August 12, 2012 at 12:24 PM

There is a television ad in there somewhere screaming to get out. I wish someone would find it. These disgusting people in a nutshell.

VegasRick on August 12, 2012 at 12:21 PM

Hooo, that’s a good idea.

Show face after face of soldiers in uniform wearing their combat ribbons with the caption “I’ve been in combat but I’ve never been invited to visit the war room”.

Then segue to pics of Barky laughing it up with Jay-Z, Beyonce and other pop stars getting their guided tour.

Bishop on August 12, 2012 at 12:25 PM

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