Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Continuing to Beat a Dead Horse

As I celebrate the commissioning of the Jimmy Carter today, I keep thinking about the controversy surrounding the naming of this fine vessel. Earlier, I rhetorically asked if some opponents of the honor given to President Carter were also opposed to the naming of other capital ships for other recent politicians. Today, I wanted to specifically go over some of the submarine names of the past 50 years, and see how President Carter's service to our country compares with theirs. I can't guarantee that all my information is right -- I'm pretty much just pulling it from memory, so feel free to correct me in the comments.
First, here are the names of the original 41 SSBNs -- The "41 For Freedom" . Did any of them suffer embarrassing attacks? Did any of them not always support the goals of the majority of Americans? Did some of them work to make the U.S. military less powerful? Consider this as you read the list; remember, these men all had submarines named for them.

GEORGE WASHINGTON (SSBN 598)
PATRICK HENRY (SSBN 599)
THEODORE ROOSEVELT (SSBN 600)
ROBERT E. LEE (SSBN 601)
ABRAHAM LINCOLN (SSBN 602)
ETHAN ALLEN (SSBN 608)
SAM HOUSTON (SSBN 609)
THOMAS A. EDISON (SSBN 610)
JOHN MARSHALL (SSBN 611)
LAFAYETTE (SSBN 616)
ALEXANDER HAMILTON (SSBN 617)
THOMAS JEFFERSON (SSBN 618)
ANDREW JACKSON (SSBN 619)
JOHN ADAMS (SSBN 620)
JAMES MONROE (SSBN 622)
NATHAN HALE (SSBN 623)
WOODROW WILSON (SSBN 624)
HENRY CLAY (SSBN 625)
DANIEL WEBSTER (SSBN 626)
JAMES MADISON (SSBN 627)
TECUMSEH (SSBN 628)
DANIEL BOONE (SSBN 629)
JOHN C. CALHOUN (SSBN 630)
ULYSSES S. GRANT (SSBN 631)
VON STEUBEN (SSBN 632)
CASIMIR PULASKI (SSBN 633)
STONEWALL JACKSON (SSBN 634)
SAM RAYBURN (SSBN 635)
NATHANAEL GREENE (SSBN 636)
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN (SSBN 640)
SIMON BOLIVAR (SSBN 641)
KAMEHAMEHA (SSBN 642)
GEORGE BANCROFT (SSBN 643)
LEWIS AND CLARK (SSBN 644)
JAMES K. POLK (SSBN 645)
GEORGE C. MARSHALL (SSBN 654)
HENRY L. STIMSON (SSBN 655)
GEORGE WASHINGTON CARVER (SSBN 656)
FRANCIS SCOTT KEY (SSBN 657)
MARIANO G. VALLEJO (SSBN 658)
WILL ROGERS (SSBN 659)

So, are there any men there worthy of criticism? (Disclaimer: My criticism will be slighly hyperbolic; I actually admire most of these men, and think the honor bestowed on them was justified.) Here are my initial thoughts:
Robert E. Lee: Most famous for leading rebellion against United States
Sam Houston: Drunk
Alexander Hamilton: Died in duel with sitting Vice President
John Adams: One term President
Nathan Hale: Failed spy; famous last words not known until after war over
Woodrow Wilson: Unreasonable dreams of world peace
James Madison: Let enemy capture and burn Washington, D.C.
Tecumseh: Actively fought against U.S.
John C. Calhoun: One term V.P.; ardent proponent of slavery
Ulysses S. Grant: Drunk; Presidency marred by scandal
Stonewall Jackson: Actively fought against U.S.; fragged
Sam Rayburn: Legislative bureaucrat
Kamehameha: Royalist, not a big supporter of U.S.
George Washington Carver: Known for working with peanuts
Francis Scott Key: Wrote a poem
Will Rogers: "Humorist"?

Did any of these men work harder to undermine the U.S. than even the most ardent opponent of Jimmy Carter believes Carter did? Did any of them suffer embarrassing episodes? Were any of them associated with peanuts? Of course; but what do they all have in common? I would submit that they all believed that what they were doing was best for the people they led, and they can provide inspiration to us by their steadfastness of purpose, even while we might not believe in their causes.

Going deep...

12 Comments:

Anonymous father of San Francisco crewman. said...

People put down the nameing of the sub after Carter because he is a peacenik but can you think of a better deterrent of war than a us submarine. It could be worse. how about the ssn Hillary Clinton or the ssn Tricky Dicky

2/19/2005 4:13 PM

 
Blogger Skippy-san said...

I think that the US Navy as whole should get back to its traditional naming conventions. Subamrines for Fish, SSBN's for States ( used to be Battelships and if there were any more BB's I would reserve that for them) and Crusiers for Cities , Destoryers for famous people.

The problem with naming a sub for Carter is not that he is a politician, its that he did more to destroy the Navy than een Bill Clinton did with gender integration.

2/19/2005 4:40 PM

 
Blogger ninme said...

Boy, I bet the Ethan Allen is *very* tastefully decorated.

2/19/2005 9:00 PM

 
Anonymous Fomer NavET said...

Bubblehead, I have had some fun with the SSN23 naming after Carter, but I say give Carter his due. Much of what a President has to deal with while in office has more too do with his predecessor’s policies and history’s roll of the dice than the man. Although I feel he was one of the poorest performing Presidents of recent times, he did serve this country during the difficult time of cold war and rising international tensions. Honor that portion of his service as Naval Officer, Governor and President that deservers honoring and let history judge the rest (playboy, peanuts, Billy beer and all).

Just to add - four of the 41 for Freedom were named after foreigners:

SSBN633 - Casimir Pulaski was a Ukrainian revolutionary and became a mercenary to the Continental Army.

SSBN632 - Von Steuben was a Prussian and became a mercenary to the Continental Army.

SSBN616 – Lafayette was a French General on loan to the Continental Army and the last Frenchman to actually help us instead of only claiming to do so.

SSBN641 – Simon Bolivar was a South American General that freed a large portion of South and Central America from Spain and never did anything relating to US.

Former NavET

2/19/2005 9:34 PM

 
Anonymous Former NavET said...

nime, also all the sailors on the Pulaski had realy nice sweaters.

Former NavET

2/19/2005 10:05 PM

 
Blogger ninme said...

And I bet the Lewis and Clark has an on-board mental health professional.

2/19/2005 11:23 PM

 
Blogger WillyShake said...

Touchy, touchy, tou-CHY. Wow, if we were on a boat it would be fun to spin you up about this! LOL. This is fascinating! Maybe I should switch majors and write my Psychology dissertation on this behavior. Naw, instead...*draws gun to put "the horse" out its misery* :)
--Will
ps: As for winning their first PUC, I should hope so--after all, they are expressly built to do so!

2/20/2005 6:16 AM

 
Blogger Rob said...

If the "litmus test" of naming a sub/ship after a President is his buildup/drawdown of the Navy, there should never be a USS George W. Bush...considering that the Navy is looking to scrap one of our 12 carriers and cut around 60,000 billets (as well as shrink the SSN fleet) in the coming years.

Let's be realistic...there are times when a big Navy/military in general are needed, and times when they are not. It costs a lot of money, and in times of relative peace drawing in the horns a bit can save billions that are vitally needed elsewhere. So to base that as the "litmus test" for honoring a former President is just kinda silly.

As to the problem with "gender integration"...what exactly is the problem?

2/20/2005 4:10 PM

 
Blogger Skippy-san said...

SInce you asked I will tell you what the problem with gender integration is.....but first, let me state that I agree with you the current, "drawdown that is not a drawdown" is stupid and will hurt the Navy in the long run.

Now as for mixed gender crews, it continues to amaze me, that the powers that be continue to decry the problems caused by fraternization, sexual assault and Sailors unavailable for duty when through gender integration the seeds of these very problems were sown. Military units are not vehicles for social experimentation but units to train to break things and kill people.

Nuff said.

Skippy
(Happy he was in the "old" Navy.

2/21/2005 12:27 AM

 
Blogger Rob said...

The only problem with gender integration, from what I've observed, is that some of our sailors refuse to act like the adults they are...or should be.

Nearly every other profession in the US, and most in the modern world abroad, are gender integrated. Many other navies integrate their crews, even on subs. Maybe it says something about our maturity, in many cases, that we can't make it work...though I don't see that it's "not working" on a massive scale.

2/21/2005 11:51 AM

 
Blogger Bubblehead said...

I actually did a deployment on a gender-integrated CVN, and I didn't really see that there were insurmountable problems. I thought that the funniest part of the whole process were the ship's policies that no crew members could date (as if that was going to override 18 year old hormones). Yeah, there were persons of gender who got pregnant right before the deployment, and there were kids who had sex with each other in various fan rooms, but if the Navy had more realistic policies (don't make pregnancy a "get out of deployment free" card and recognize young kids might want to rub their private parts together) I think that gender integration on surface ships isn't that bad a thing. On submarines, though, due to the close quarters, I think it would be a really bad thing...

2/21/2005 12:09 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bubblehead,

If you disliked Carter (who served with distinction) you must really despise the pin head “decider”who went AWOL and skipped out on his National Guard duty (not to mention is responsible for running our country into the ground to the tune of $500 Million (Iraq mismanagement) per day ).

I think it is pretty shallow to poke fun at “peanuts” and belittle a failed rescue attempt while you ignore the moron bankrupting our country and causing the deaths of thousands of our troops. But I am not too surprised; I’ve found most partisan folks a little slow and overly susceptible to propaganda. How bad does it have to get before you pull your head out of your ass?

7/27/2006 1:47 AM

 

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