Via the Blaze, I was going to write a post about her blaming PTSD — and Obama — for her son’s domestic violence arrest but I can’t get past the first line of the clip below. The candidate who’ll respect what our veterans go through is the guy who … mocked her former running mate’s heroism in enduring the Hanoi Hilton because he had the misfortune of being captured in the first place? Palin circa 2009 would have destroyed Trump for that. Palin 2016 doesn’t blink. Increasingly I feel like the Trump campaign is a test to see how far he and his surrogates can go in backtracking on prior beliefs before some of his fans say, “Yeah, wait, that doesn’t square with you used to say.” His reversals on things like abortion are already priced into his stock; attacking Cruz for a Goldman Sachs loan after years of gleefully greasing the palms of political cronies is something new, but there’s no sign of damage from that either. Maybe Palin pretending that Trump, who sought and received student and medical deferments during Vietnam before he goofed on McCain last summer for being some sort of POW chump, will crack the ice a bit. Or maybe nothing will.
As for her son’s arrest:
“Our wounded warriors come who home from the battlefield bringing new battles with them,” said Palin, who was tapped as Sen. John McCain’s running mate in 2008…
“But my son, like so many others, they come back a bit different, they come back hardened,” Palin said. “They come back wondering if there is that respect for what it is that their fellow soldiers and airmen and every other member of the military so sacrificially have given to this country, and that starts from the top. It’s a shame that our military personnel even have to wonder, if they have to question if they’re respected anymore.”…
“It starts from the top, the question though that comes from our own president, where they have to look at him and wonder: ‘Do you know what we go through? Do you know what we’re trying to do to secure America and to secure the freedoms that have been bequeathed us?’” she said. “So when my own son is going through what he goes through coming back, I can certainly relate with other families who kind of feel these ramifications of some PTSD and some of the woundedness that our soldiers do return with, and it makes me realize more than ever — it is now or never for the sake of America’s finest that we have that commander in chief who will respect them and honor them.”
Vets can speak to the truth or falsity of that in the comments. No one disputes that PTSD is a terrible ordeal, but I can tell you how it would play politically on the right if a brand-name liberal suggested, even obliquely, that their relative’s domestic-violence arrest was best explained by veterans coming back from war “different.” That would be attacked as an unfair insinuation that all vets suffering from combat trauma are potentially dangerous when, in reality, most people who have PTSD aren’t violent. Whether the population of those experiencing combat PTSD are more prone to violence is debated: Some studies say yes, others say the link between PTSD and violence is weak. My memory of the Chris Kyle murder trial, though, is that there wasn’t much public sympathy for the idea that Eddie Lee Routh’s alleged PTSD reduced his culpability for the crime. Which stands to reason: The unanswerable question in any individual case is whether, but for his exposure to combat stress, the defendant would have behaved the same way. Says Kurt Schlichter, himself a vet:
PTSD is a problem, not an excuse. It doesn't make you into a monster. I'm not going to let people use it to excuse misbehavior.
— Kurt Schlichter (@KurtSchlichter) January 20, 2016
Another Twitter pal who served in the military also took offense at the suggestion that domestic violence is in any way typical behavior of those “hardened” by combat. And that’s not even touching Palin’s suggestion that somehow Obama’s attitude towards the troops may have influenced what Track Palin allegedly did two nights ago.
Oh well. Double standards for one’s own pols are nothing new. Imagine how conservative media, which spent days telling New Yorkers to stop being so thin-skinned about Cruz and “New York values,” would have reacted to Hillary Clinton goofing on “southern values.” Incidentally, Palin also claimed at today’s rally that Trump is a “self-made” man, which, given the mega-millions he inherited, is about as credible as saying that Jeb Bush is a self-made man. Won’t stop Trump from attacking an actual self-made man like Ted Cruz as some sort of fatcat crony, though.