Chuck Schumer 2014: You know what we should have? A military parade
A nifty catch by the Daily Wire’s Ryan Saavedra. Do we know for a fact that Schumer is against Trump’s new proposal for a military parade? He has to be, right? If it ends up happening, opinions on the right will be mixed but opinions on the left will not. Your membership card in the #Resistance will require you to hate the idea. A lot.
Which means Schumer’s going to have to figure out some way to explain this:
How many times has this guy tripped over his own feet — or his own party’s feet — in trying to build an anti-Trump message over the past 12 months? Last January, when he was whining about Trump’s cabinet appointees, he was stuck grappling with the painful fact that it was Harry Reid, not Mitch McConnell, who chose to nuke the filibuster for presidential nominees in 2013. Last month he got blown up by an old clip of him congratulating his party for having never done something as foolish as shutting down the government over an unrelated pet issue like immigration. Which, errrrrr, is exactly what Democrats did in their brief shutdown standoff with Trump. Now this.
Worth noting, though: The parade Schumer wanted in 2014 was a ticker-tape procession up Broadway in NYC, not a presidential review of armored troops in D.C., and he wanted it to mark a specific occasion rather than as a show of “strength.” Schumer’s parade wouldn’t have involved jets or tanks, I don’t think; it would have been a march by veterans of the war on terror, to thank them for their service. (The clip says, quaintly, that the parade would have been timed to coincide with the end of combat operations in Afghanistan. In reality operations in Afghanistan will never end.) But Trump’s parade *could* be similar depending upon what he and the military ultimately settle on. A Veterans Day or Memorial Day march of servicemen minus the armor and explosives for the public to say thanks would be enjoyable. Would Trump agree to that or does he want the full Independence Day nukes-on-parade saber-rattle? A military parade and a Trump parade featuring the military are different things.
Here’s a veteran who’s not crazy about the idea:
If his name sounds familiar, there’s a reason. That’s the same Rob O’Neill who’s on Fox News regularly. The one who put a bullet in Osama Bin Laden’s brain as a member of SEAL Team Six.
Another veteran, former Army Ranger Andrew Exum, isn’t crazy about the parade either:
As a young lieutenant in the U.S. Army, I marvelled at the amount of time our units could spend rehearsing for changes of commands and other events. This was time we could have better spent training our bodies in the gym, rehearsing battle drills, or almost anything else that could have contributed to our combat effectiveness…
Americans don’t have a problem of appreciating the military too little. Americans have a problem venerating the military too much. I spoke to a retired allied naval officer recently who confessed to me that he could not understand why, after 17 years of inconclusive war in Afghanistan, the U.S. military remains on such a high pedestal in the United States. It’s a good question.
There’s an easy answer to that question, I think. Americans are rightly ashamed of themselves for how they treated Vietnam veterans and are trying to atone by overcorrecting with younger generations of troops. They’re also rightly awed by the sacrifices the military has made in Iraq and Afghanistan, particularly when so little has been asked of civilians during the war on terror. That’s part of the impetus for Schumer’s parade idea to honor post-9/11 veterans. They’re widely praised in American culture but also largely taken for granted. And there’s clearly never going to be a “victory” in Iraq or Afghanistan that’s so clear-cut it would trigger popular demand for a celebration honoring the victors. If that’s where Trump’s impulse for a parade is coming from, genuine gratitude for bravery in a thankless task, it’s worth considering. If instead it’s just a campaign commercial with the military expressing Trump’s “strength,” forget it.