“The president began with a moving tribute to the armed forces and their accomplishments. But as he has done many times now, he celebrated martial virtues not to rally support for the military, but to cover himself in glory — he killed Osama bin Laden! — and to convince the American people that they should fall in line and march in lockstep

“It’s far worse than anything George W. Bush, the supposed warmonger, ever said. Bush, the alleged fascist, didn’t want to militarize our free country; he tried to use our military to make militarized countries free…

“Of course, Obama’s militaristic fantasizing isn’t new. Ever since William James coined the phrase ‘the moral equivalent of war,’ liberalism has been obsessed with finding ways to mobilize civilian life with the efficiency and conformity of military life…

“This is why Obama’s administration believes a crisis is a terrible thing to waste. This is why Obama has been prattling about ‘Sputnik moments’ and sighing over his envy of China and its rulers. This is why his spinners endeavored to translate the death of bin Laden as some sort of vindication of his domestic agenda: because he cannot lead a free people where he thinks they should go.”


“Well, let’s think about an America that looked more like the military. That America would have a culture that’s at times tough and even harsh. It would have a mode of organization that’s strictly hierarchical and at times unforgiving. It would feature a regimen that weeds out those not up to the task and subordinate individual comfort to the achievement of a difficult mission. But that isn’t the America Obama wants to bring within reach. That isn’t the kind of America Obama’s policies seek to produce. Obama’s America is soft, understanding, forgiving, and entitled. But that America doesn’t work so well, or sell so well, anymore. So now Obama pretends his America is the troops’ America.

“Near the end of his speech, the president claimed that ‘Those of us who’ve been sent here to serve can learn from the service of our troops.’ What can we learn? That ”when you put on that uniform, it doesn’t matter if you’re black or white; Asian or Latino; conservative or liberal; rich or poor; gay or straight. When you’re marching into battle, you look out for the person next to you, or the mission fails.” What Obama doesn’t say is this: It’s not just that you look out for the person next to you, or the mission fails. It’s also that you endure tough and demanding training, or the mission fails. You subordinate your own wishes, or the mission fails. You wash out many of those who wish to serve, or the mission fails. You insist on fitness and discipline and good character, or the mission fails. You do away with any sense of entitlement, or the mission fails. But Obama isn’t interested in the truth about why a mission succeeds or fails. He’s interested in using the prestige of the military to justify the nanny state.”


“The military works as well as it does because it’s made up of volunteers who have sacrificed a great deal of their liberty. America works as well as it does because it’s made of citizens who jealously guard their liberty.

“A Navy SEAL team is highly trained to apply controlled violence to further our national security interests as determined by our political leaders, who in turn answer to their constituents. To envision a society that runs like a SEAL team, simply working together, eschewing politics, serving the goals prescribed from the Commander-in-Chief, is to envision a society where the constituents have been taken out of the equation — an undemocratic society that would be unworthy of the SEALs’ protection.

“Obama’s rhetoric is all cant, of course; he doesn’t really believe that Congress is going to simply follow his orders. Taken seriously, though, it’s rather chilling.”


“You know what Navy SEAL teams don’t have? Unions! Specifically, adversarial Wagner Act unions. The whole point of Wagner Act unionism is to formalize a distinction between ‘management’ and ‘labor’ and set them to work obsessing over their differences.

“Or did I miss the part where the pilots who landed the helicopters on the Bin Laden mission had staged a pre-raid job action because they were expected to inspect their choppers afterwards, violating a work rule they’d negotiated 15 years earlier?”