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.)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Is Military Service An Important Preparation For Political Leadership?

It looks like it's starting off as a slow week in submarine news, so here's an article from Politico saying that, for the first time since 1944, it's likely that neither major party nominee for President will have military experience. I'd disagree with that premise a little bit -- by 2012, President Obama, the likely Democratic nominee, will have almost four years of experience as Commander in Chief during wartime -- but it's definitely an indication that, as the post-draft generation continues taking the reins of power, there are fewer and fewer politicians who have worn the uniform.

Personally, I think that having an understanding of military culture is an important preparation for those who will make decisions about national security matters, but lack of same is clearly not disqualifying -- as long as the prospective officeholder is willing to recognize that they need to make an effort to learn.

What do you think? Are you more likely to vote for a veteran over a non-veteran, all else being equal, for elections to national office?


Blogger reddog said...

I think that a period of military service is a good qualifier but a military career is a detriment.

I think that Eisenhower's narrow military mindset led him to allow excessive anti communism to pervade his administration. There was no need, internal communism was never a threat.

Otherwise though, he was a great President.

More than anything it's about the individual. Military experience can cover a lot of things. It can't be labeled good or bad.

11/15/2010 6:14 PM

Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

We've got pretty clear evidence that a draft-evading stint in the Air National Guard can produce the worst president in the modern era. OTOH, having a confessed draft dodger in the White House produced economic prosperity, an annual budget surplus, and 8 years of peace. Military service is a minor factor if at all.

11/15/2010 6:20 PM

Anonymous Casual Observer said...

Likely as most fellow independents would behave, I'd take military experience into account -- both direct and indirect -- but that could cut both ways.

Example "thumbs up" based on "mil" experience, all IMHO:

George Washington, Theodore Roosevelt (extensive U.S.N. studies; books)...Truman, Kennedy, Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush

Example "thumbs down" based on "mil" experience or lack thereof, all IMHO:

Eisenhower, Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, George Bush, Al Gore, Bill Clinton (plus the "loathed" thing), George Bush (worth mentioning twice), Barack Obama (no experience, double-underlined)

The logic that Obama has military experience solely because of having been in the CINC job would apply to my labrador retriever as well, should she ever be elected to the post. With eight puppies in one brood, she's been a community organizer as well.

11/15/2010 6:22 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Casual Observer hits the reality squarely on its head.

One thing military service, except in the JAG corps, does is assure a modicum of patriotism and self-sacrifice for principles higher than one's personal goals.

Reddog ignores the fact that Eisenhower was a democrat who switched parties for the presidential election he won.

Typically, the condom-head Ducky conveniently cites facts only supportive of his indolent reasoning. One wonders the political stripe of the genious responsible for his ascendency to a commiussion and command.


11/15/2010 6:46 PM

Blogger wtfdnucsailor said...

I think that a candidate that did not serve in the military must be willing to learn. Hillary Clinton made a special effort while Senator to educate herself on the military and the Pentagon. I believe it is serving her well in her current position and would have been a major plus if she had won the presidency. It is a fact of life now that most of our political leaders will not have served in the military but that could change in ten or twenty years when the current military who are serving in Iraq and Afganistan age out of the military and develop their second careers, whether it is after two years, four years or twenty years. Those current young men and women will be the leaders of the future.

11/15/2010 6:48 PM

Blogger Scuba Steve said...

The common theme thus far seems to be that military service is not necessarily a prerequisite for competence and success in the political sphere. I think that the evidence supports this. However on a personal level, I feel that it says something about the character of a politician who is willing to put on the uniform and go into harm’s way. It enables them to "walk the walk" before they "talk the talk," of which politicians seem to do little else. At the least, it gives them unique insight into the human element involved when committing soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines to situations of defensive interest.

Not being able to resist the temptation to delve into partisan politics, the comment above regarding our current CinC hit the nail on the head. Any experience, military or otherwise, would be extremely beneficial in his case. What’s the name of your retriever? I'll write her name in in two years...

11/15/2010 7:15 PM

Anonymous Casual Observer said...

"What’s the name of your retriever? I'll write her name in in two years..."

Nah, trust me...Lady Nancy is really not qualified for the job. If everyone's not virtually unconscious, laying down and sucking on the government teat in a highly dependent way, she gets a little frantic.

11/15/2010 7:36 PM

Anonymous Cupojoe said...

This conversation has many facets. First of all, the article attributes FDR's lack of military service to polio. Roosevelt was 39 when he got polio, almost the age or retirement for an active duty soldier.

The biggest disconnect I see is the lack of military veterans who came from upper class families, where a high percentage of high level politicians came from. The most significant factor in rising politically to the presential strata remains connections, and often nepotism (Bush, Gore, Romney). People from these families simply don't do the military and have no reason to. Money? Education? Those were all taken care of.

Here are some other conversation starters:
1) does military service cause a delay in your post military career path that makes you a nonstarter?

2) does the failure of a previous veteran in office disqualify you as a vet? (Eric Massa?)

3) how politically accountable should veterans be for military conduct compared to the non military politicians (you think anybody who attended Tailhook won't face hard
questions from reporters?).

4) will vets be expected to make pro military decisions in office? Will a vet president who cuts defense funding be labeled a traitor by other military?

11/15/2010 8:44 PM

Blogger Steve Harkonnen said...

Military experience has no bearing on qualifications of someone going for the presidency.

But then again, willing to bet that the ape we now have in office hasn't even thought for a second that by stacking crates, he could easily reach for the entire bunch of bananas.

11/15/2010 10:20 PM

Anonymous submarines once... said...

Regardless of whether military service is preparation for political leadership, the military experience level of the Senate and House has dropped significantly since the end of the draft. In 1973 roughly 85% of the Senate and 75% of the House had prior military experience; in 2009 it was 29% for the Senate and 22% for the House.
The burden of military support for this nation's defense falls on a smaller proportion of the population every year. To be effective in Congress should require a solid understanding of the issues you must address. Clearly this military education will come from outside the actual experience.

11/16/2010 6:41 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The "eight years of peace" that Rubber Ducky speaks of only came about because Clinton refused to do anything about muslim terrorism other than lobbing cruise missiles in the general direction.

11/16/2010 9:28 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: "Eight years of peace"

Didn't Clinton launch that intervention in Yugoslavia?

-Medicine Man

11/16/2010 10:56 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

serving in the National Guard and running off to Canada are the same thing.

I'm sure that all the Guardsmen in the sandbox will be pleased to hear that.


11/16/2010 11:05 AM

Blogger DDM said...

I think the bigger point is that elitism continues to be a driving force for both parties. Give me the man or woman who's done something to prove they have the experience to make tough decisions and inspire others to put country before self and you'll have a winner for a president, under the right circumstances.

G.W. Bush won twice because he ran against Al Gore, who couldn't even win the electoral votes from his home state and John Kerry, who let some fringe group corrupt the perception of his service.

11/16/2010 12:50 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Eight years of peace"?




11/16/2010 12:56 PM

Anonymous 5of9 said...

Eight years of peace? I don't remember any mission change during that time. For Obama, with his continuous political campaigning while squeezing in more tax-payer funded vacations, how is he gaining real experience? Madam Chuck has gained more experience then the boy wonder. Not that I would consider her either.

11/16/2010 1:15 PM

Anonymous Casual Observer said...

Agree with you in spirit, DDM, but I'd ditch the MSM "elitist" label for the more accurate "entitlist" one.

The word 'elite', to me, implies some sort of actual substantial capability. It's the "I'm entitled" types -- like Al Gore -- that raise the greatest stench.

Truly impressive that Gore's "home state" of Tennessee was onto him, though one dimension of his 'entitlement' was that The Prince was actually born in Washington D.C.

11/16/2010 1:23 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having a President with prior service doesn't seem nearly as important as having senior officers without political aspirations. Ideally, the President would set forth a strategic goal and determine a course of action based on the professional, considered input of the Joint Chiefs. It is not the President's job to be a military expert, and with a depoliticized upper echelon of military leaders, he would not have to become one. Unfortunately, it is not always the case that military leaders execute their duties in good faith. It seems to me that many of the cases of "bad" Presidential leadership that are often cited are also, or even mostly, examples of ineffective, politicized uniformed leadership.

On a related note, I really wish that more moderating were done on this blog to remove comments that go beyond the pale in their level of disrespect to the military's political leadership. Referring to the CinC as an ape is inappropriate and at the very least borderline racist.

11/16/2010 1:36 PM

Anonymous Casual Observer said...

Consider the source: Harkonnen is a skimmer.

My initial reaction was that the 'ape' comment was more than a tad racist as well, but at the same time who would complain if the CinC were white? Plenty of alleged human beings called Bush an ape/monkey/"worst president"/you-name-it.

11/16/2010 1:51 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doing a single stint is good.. But a career bloodsucking scum has no right to double dip as Politician... One Check a man.. If you want another, start your own company ... Useless jawjabbing Bastagges have screwed this country 3 to the poorhouse..
Just my Humble opinion..594 tough.........

11/16/2010 3:10 PM

Blogger Vigilis said...

Traditionally, Presidential candidates have normally held other elected positions of trust long enough to be judged on their core philosophies and basic integrity. But even when that has been the case, voiters tend to ovelook bad omens for purely partisan purposes.

As a political independent I consider Eisenhower, Truman, JFK and Reagan the best presidents since WW2. Three happened to have served in the military.

All were men of integrity and honor, bowed by their belief in an almighty, so if your son or daughter served under anyone of them, you could feel sure their lives would be fully respected the whole time.

Sen. James Webb is another veteran with an outstanding sense of honor, although somewhat conflicted in his reverance for life.

Other veterans may have had an enormous reverance for life, but allowed it to overpower their duty to country. Unfortunately, some never wrote a book until leaving office, like this one.

In short, voters would do well to actually read any books these people write before electing them president when service in the military and/or national political arena has been either very short or nonexistent.

11/16/2010 4:29 PM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

As a general rule, I try not to delete posts that aren't personally attacking a non-public figure, so while I considered deleting the "ape" comment, I'm deciding not to, in that I really don't see it as racist -- President Bush was called a "chimp" by many of his detractors. While I think it's inappropriate for active duty officers to use contemptuous words about the President (in addition to being against the UCMJ -- also applies to retired officers, btw) I'm not in any way an official representative of the military, and I'm not sure who of my commenters is an officer subject to the UCMJ. People have also confessed to sodomy on this blog, and I haven't deleted those comments.
That being said, comments such as those certainly tend to lower the level of discourse, and I for one will be less likely to seriously consider the opinions of those who use such language.

11/16/2010 5:33 PM

Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

'"Eight years of peace"?




Just some facts, folks...

Urgent Fury - Grenada - was Reagan's. We won.

The Panama invasion was George H. W. Bush's. We captured Noriega.

Mogadishu - Black Hawk Down - happened early in Clinton's presidency, but he was continuing policies started the previous year under the senior Bush. In that incident, lasting two days, we lost 18 US servicemen.

Yugoslavia's conflicts in the '90s started with Bush senior and continued under Clinton. We brought stability to the region at low cost.

In the wars of George W. Bush, we've lost 4427 US servicemembers in Iraq and 1391 in Afghanistan. The Iraq involvement continues with no good end in sight. Our Afghanistan war is the longest in US history and some say our involvement there could continue for decades.

The National Priorities Project estimates the cost to date of the Iraq War is over $740 billion; Afghanistan: over $365 billion. Others have estimated the total cost of these two conflicts from $1 trillion-plus to over $3 trillion.

As shown by the case of George W. Bush, if you're a dumb shit, whether or not you're a veteran won't make you any smarter.

11/16/2010 5:39 PM

Blogger Srvd_SSN_CO said...

I'd hardly call any of the minor tiffs you mention (Somalia, Panama, Grenada) a "war." Meanwhile, invading Iraq on falsehoods and totally bungling it was definitely all Bush II's doing. Before you get too bent out of shape, however, let me remind the court that a certain idiot named Kennedy (who once slept in a war zone and got his ship sunk) got us into a much, much bloodier war in Vietnam. Nixon, another WWII vet, took many years to extract us. Military service has little to do with when we employ troops.

To more recent history, clearly the public does not care about military service in its leaders. John Kerry was vilified by a complete lie for honorable service in Vietnam, and then more people bitched when he spoke out against a war that most of America despised!

To close this rant I will just thank the stars that in this war, with most Americans again solidly against it, the people have never turned on the military as they did in Vietnam.

11/16/2010 6:11 PM

Blogger Srvd_SSN_CO said...

Duck, I really like you, but you are a bit off base with one comment. The careful reader will realize we STILL have troops in Korea, Germany, and Japan. Sometimes our presence is required for a very long time to ensure stability.

That said, Iraq was a full fledged abortion that did not have to happen.

Stupid is as stupid does.

11/16/2010 6:15 PM

Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

"To close this rant I will just thank the stars that in this war, with most Americans again solidly against it, the people have never turned on the military as they did in Vietnam."


There's a reason for that: 'most Americans' have exactly zero skin in the game. The AVF has outsourced war to contractors and to an isolated segment of society that has scant to do with American life, the American Lifer.

The most terrible sin in all of Bush's follies was in his failure to make either of his wars American wars, with a draft. Had he, we'd have executed in Afghanistan far better than he did (or no second term) and we'd never have gone into Iraq - no political support to do that if it's your kid to be killed.

The AVF makes us Americans very disinterested bystanders. The election just held rambled over many things in many places, but our two wars - TWO WARS! - had no interest or debate with either the candidates or the electorate.

We've maintained troops in Japan mostly to keep her from militarizing too much. Germany is a Cold-War leftover and should be drawn down fast. Korea is a realistic trip-wire against a really nutso neighbor to the North, though the level could be much reduced.

11/16/2010 6:30 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"To close this rant I will just thank the stars that in this war, with most Americans again solidly against it, the people have never turned on the military as they did in Vietnam."

Related short shore-story:

About a half-year after the fall of Saigon I had just joined NROTC at my northern liberal university, and made the necessary hike to go pick up my issued uniforms, which were for some reason stored on the other side of town.

On my way back with my new seabag slung over my shoulder, wearing an Army-surplus style green jacket, I took the shortcut of walking right through the capitol building that was between the issuing site and my dorm room.

Lo' and behold, as I was literally walking through the rotunda, I heard a low but unmistakable and growing-in-volume "booooooo."

I looked up towards the sound. The source? A large group of kindergartners/1st-graders on a field trip that were up above me standing up against the rotunda's 2nd floor railing. And yes...the little tykes were booing *me*.

You could have knocked me over with a feather. It didn't hit me until after leaving the building that these were the kiddos of the 60's hippies, who were in much abundance in this hyper liberal and no-shit socialist college town.

At least they didn't spit on me, I suppose...and they were well positioned to do so.

11/16/2010 9:11 PM

Anonymous Scout706 said...

Hey, Vigilis! "Eisenhower, Truman, JFK and Reagan "

That's 4 for 4!

11/17/2010 10:15 AM

Blogger Vigilis said...

Rubber Duck,
"... we'd have executed in Afghanistan far better than he did (or no second term) and we'd never have gone into Iraq - no political support to do that if it's your kid to be killed."

Agree with you totally on both points.

Since a U.S. draft was last used, a political quandary that had previously never existed has been entenched into federal labor and EEOC laws.

This is why Congress really Cowers from the Draft.

Imposing a draft in today's legal environment pits women's equality gains in the civilian labor force squarely against the right of drafted males to resume jobs they had left.

11/17/2010 11:49 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, Vigilis, I agree 100% with your problematic point regarding the drafting of women versus men in a resumed-draft world...but:

What's the solution? That we effectively "surface and surrender?"

11/17/2010 3:05 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Re: your comments concerning JFK and Viet Nam, disagree, he was not the POTUS that got us into that mess. In 1961 he did make the decision to send military advisors to SVN based on advice and faulty intel. By mid-year 1963 there were 16,500 military advisors in SVN. In the later part of 1963 shortly before his assassination he signed a national security directive to withdraw 1000 military advisors from SVN, and to have all out by 1965. The real culprits that got us into that mess are exposed in H. R. McMasters well researched history, "DERELICTION OF DUTY."

OBTW, JFK rejected all recommendations to send combat troops to Laos in 1961. JCS recommended sending a division to Laos in order to get that place "squared away."

The real lesson here is never, ever again elect a president from Texas.

My two cents and keep a zero bubble......


11/17/2010 6:09 PM

Anonymous Tex said...


Go take a good flying fuck at yourself. Shouldn't be a difficult target. Fatass.



P.S. Our congressional seats are growing. How's Californication and Not-so-New England doing on the population and economic fronts? Oh...that's right...

11/17/2010 8:24 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Great. More hicks in Congress. Yet another reason to move to a better country as the GOP flushes America down the shitter.

11/17/2010 9:05 PM

Anonymous Tex said...

Read 'em and weep, my little shit's the Dems that are sinking the states of Californication and other high-tax states:

Article: "California Suggests Suicide; Texas Asks: Can I Lend You A Knife?"


P.S. Austin is one of the most educated cities in the you might want to get educated yourself.

11/18/2010 7:57 AM

Blogger Vigilis said...

Anon @ 11/17/2010 3:05 PM

"What's the solution?"

There is not a good one out of the the current mess. For starters, however, there are some obvious fixes:

Since women and men are equals as defined by legally enforceable political correctness, we must start with these:

1. Either terminate male selective service registration (bad idea) or require female registration.

Over 14 million males have their names and addresses on file. Failure to register can mean five years in jail, loss of federal grants, aid, loans and benefits, or a fine up to $250,000.
Are males and females really equal?

2. Either justify or rescind combat restrictions applicable to women.

A 1981 United States Supreme Court ruling held that, "The existence of the combat restrictions clearly indicates the basis for Congress' decision to exempt women from registration. The purpose of registration was to prepare for a draft of combat troops. Since women are excluded from combat, Congress concluded that they would not be needed in the event of a draft, and therefore decided not to register them."
Are males and females really equal?

3. To assure future armed conflicts are meaningful to voters, Congress should require our military to re-institute a random draft with mandatory minimum service requirents as follows: 2 years for combat roles; 4 years for non-combat roles; and 6 years plus (1 year for each year of specialized training provided for qualification; or 6 years plus (1 year for each year of education required for graduation.

How are those for starters?

11/18/2010 8:17 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"How are those for starters?"

I'm thinking something more along the lines of the Israeli model (see below). Women have biological clocks, men don' IMHO we need to get them in and out of the service ASAP.

Plus, we need to set the political correctness thing aside and just friggin' do the right thing - militaries, historically, are focused on 'man'power...and rightfully so.


Israeli model
Regular service

"IDF Nahal Brigade soldiers on their regular serviceNational military service is mandatory for any non-Arab Israeli citizen (as well as for Druze men) over the age of 18, although other exceptions may be made on religious, physical or psychological grounds.

"Men serve three years in the IDF, while women serve two. The IDF allowed women who volunteer for several combat positions to serve for three years because combat soldiers must undergo a lengthy period of training. Women in other positions, such as programmers, who require lengthy training time, may also serve three years. Women in most combat positions are also required to serve in the reserve for several years after they leave regular service.

"Some distinguished recruits are selected to be trained in order to eventually become members of special forces units. Every brigade in the IDF has its own special force branch."

11/18/2010 8:38 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

wtfdnucsailor said...
"Hillary Clinton made a special effort while Senator to educate herself on the military and the Pentagon".

Don’t forget that your gal, Hill, has personal experience landing in a hot LZ while dodging incoming.

I’m pretty sure that she flew the plane also. :)

11/18/2010 3:47 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Austin also elected a Democratic congressman in 2010. Interesting how the more educated a population is, the more likely they are to vote for democrats. And the more inbred and backwards they are, the more they tend to vote for... well, you now the rest.

Note: Houston metro, and Dallas metro area also are pockets of civilization within Texas. Odds are that the new seats are in metro areas, since cattle and steers aren't counted in the census... even if they are your wife.

11/18/2010 6:37 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Related article excerpt:

From the election of the iconic Gen. George Washington as the nation's first chief executive until this year's campaign battles over the military records of Kerry and President Bush, a candidate's military record can be a make or break factor.

"Americans have always welcomed popular generals as their presidents -- George Washington, Andrew Jackson, Zachary Taylor, U.S. Grant, James Garfield or Dwight Eisenhower -- and political parties were especially eager to nominate combat veterans such as William Henry Harrison, Theodore Roosevelt, John Fitzgerald Kennedy and the elder George Bush," Hoover Institution senior fellow Victor Davis Hanson writes in an essay in the new book "Presidential Leadership."

But perhaps paradoxically, military experience or prowess is no guarantee of presidential success.

"There is absolutely no evidence that military experience has any connection between what kind of president you'll be or even if you'll be a successful wartime president," said presidential scholar Allan Lichtman of American University in Washington.

As he and other scholars point out, the two presidents generally regarded as the country's greatest wartime leaders, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt, had no experience in uniform before becoming president, although Lincoln was a member of the Illinois state militia for three weeks in 1832. Grant is generally regarded as among the worst presidents.


11/18/2010 7:45 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's a listing by rank of all former U.S. Presidents. You can scan it to find your own personal favorites...and the others.

Interestingly, only one president was formerly enlisted...James Buchanan, an Army private.

11/18/2010 7:54 PM

Anonymous Mark/MM1(SS) said...

Ya know, you've convinced me with that powerful argument - we conservatives are that way just because we're not smart enough, or educated enough to share your enlightened world view. Seriously, don't you think that schtick is a little tedious by now? Regarding the Texas metro areas: it may have escaped your attention that we Neanderthal Republicans kicked your ass nation-wide in state legislative and gubernatorial races. That factor, combined with a little old thing called the census means that we will control the redistricting in the majority of states this year. Also as Tex alluded to, (look it up) the states losing congressional seats are almost "blue" states. That would be what they call a "game-changer". Suck on it, bitch.

11/18/2010 8:18 PM

Anonymous Mark/MM1(SS) said...

Crap - I forgot to mention the effect on the Electoral College. Oh well, at least I have the excuse of being stupid...

11/18/2010 8:24 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mark, it's a free country. You are free to be a moron and vote against your own interests. Just don't come complaining in 20 years when the USA is an oligarchy with income distribution so uneven that Latin America starts to look like The land of milk and honey.

I don't think that everybody that votes republican is literally stupid, but the problem is literally almost every American (including a lot of democrats) don't pay a lick of attention to politics and vote upon some preconceived notion of what the parties are "like" and misleading campaign commercials. This includes both sides of the aisle.

Republicans run on a platform of fiscal responsibility while simultaneously advocating for a permanent tax cut. It's the height of irresponsibility and isn't even internally consistent, yet, the American citizen is barely aware. HCR has death panels, Bush lied people died, etc. People vote on slogans, but don't even know the policies which the politicians support.

By the way, as an MM1 in the Navy, I'm pretty sure that you're in an income bracket where voting for the GOP is directly voting against your own interests, unless you think it's "cool" that the USA, which was built on the backs of a strong middle class now has an income inequality gap rivaling third world dictatorships. Honestly, if it wasn't for my family being here, I'd leave the USA, our best days are behind us.

11/19/2010 6:51 AM

Anonymous Grownup said...

"Honestly, if it wasn't for my family being here, I'd leave the USA, our best days are behind us."

Dude, grow a pair of balls and have at it. LEAVE. Euro-socialism beckons you.

On the other hand, you might want to recall those famous words of Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) regarding Iraq: "We've lost the war."

Y'see...he was pretty much full of shit, too.

11/19/2010 7:02 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I much prefer socialism to a system where 1% of the population controls 70+% of the wealth.

As someone who's a reservist primarily for the healthcare and the retirement, I can put honestly say "I likes me the "Government option" and 'socialized retirement'". And so do you, if you have chosen to stay active duty.

The real difference, is that you want to have all of the benefits do yourself, and are intellectually dishonest about the whole affair. You are the moronic Tea Party, shouting to repeal Medicare cuts while lowering the deficit. You are the person complaining about how Obama has raised taxes when your overall tax burden has went down. You are the person who doesn't understand the tax system well enough to know that the "$250K" tax increase would only apply to income made OVER $250k.

Sadly, you don't realize that the Republicans have been very upfront with their plans to screw you, and the people like you and make a wholesale wealth transfer from you to the very very filthy rich.

You are a *REAL AMERICAN*!

11/19/2010 3:56 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sucks having to post after a troll.
I believe the question was whether I would be more likely to vote for a veteran. Absolutely! Despite living in the "information age," most of what we will learn about most politicians will be sound bites. Having a vet for a candidate gives me a lot more to go on right off the bat. It wouldn't counter negatives (SDS links O.o ), but would count for a lot.

Ret - FC1(SW)

11/20/2010 12:14 AM

Anonymous XEM2 said...

Being Commander in Chief is just one of the President's roles. I would think a background in international diplomacy would be far more useful than a military background, just because it's a larger portion of what the President does. That being said, I would be more inclined to vote for a veteran, if they served in a leadership role (being an aviator doesn't really count).
As for the draft, I think it's a terrible idea. People who don't want to be in the military make shitty soldiers/sailors; there are already enough of those. And drafting women to fill non-combat, technical roles takes away the best path for many low-income men to learn a technical trade.

11/22/2010 6:52 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tex, Mark MM1SS,

My personal comments regarding the two lying scoundrels from Texas that were POTUS came from both political parties. LBJ, and GWB. Both got us into major conflicts we had no business being in. Both manipulated and lied to the press, the Congress, uniformed members of DoD and the American public. Both should have been impeached in my view.

Re: California, with the election of Kamilla Harris as CA AG, Dems swept all state government seats. A second redistricting reform was also approved by voter inititive, i.e. now congrssional as well as state legislative district redistricting is removed from the hands of the pols in Sacramento and put into the hands of a non-partisan redistricting commission. The goal was to stop the gerrymandering and "safe seats" for both parties. We'll see how it goes. Some dems and some reps will loose safe seats and really have to compete now. Redistricting by the non-partisan commission will commence shortly.

BTW, it's ok by me if some people here want to move to Texas. Were full-up with 37 million. Yep, we got some budget problems, however California is still the 8th largest economy in the world. It'll all get worked out in the long run.

BTW, are you a supporter of your Governor Perry's idea for Texas to secede from the Union?? sounds like a good idea to me. I'm for it!

Keep a zero bubble........


11/25/2010 3:55 PM

Blogger LargeBill said...

For a collection of former military folks, it is astounding how ignorant most of these comments are about the current conflict. I can see some idiot civilian with nothing but what the media tells them to forma an opinion buying the "Bush lied us into the war" nonsense. However, it is appalling that some of you folks are that easily fooled. I'll try to keep this short so hopefully you can follow along.
1. Iraq invaded Kuwait.
2. Coalition of many nations drove them out of Kuwait
3. After getting beat Iraq agreed to terms of surrender
4. For next 10+ years Iraq routinely violated terms of surrender (including firing at our Navy pilots enforcing no-fly zones.
5. Iraq frequently funded various Islamic terrorists including a standing policy of giving $25K to families of martyrs/suicide bombers.
6. Our civilian leadership didn't take terrorism seriously since it was mostly overseas. An embassy or two or the USS Cole is nothing to get worked up over.
7. 9/11 happened and we woke up.
8. Intelligence agencies from various countries were convinced that Iraq was reconstituting their WMD program and was supporting both financially and with training various terrorist units with ties to AQ.
9. Politicians from both major parties were convinced the Iraq was violating the terms of surrender and were building WMD.
10. U.S. policy prior to Bush entering office was already in support of regime change in Iraq.
11. After 9/11 Bush would have been grossly irresponsible if he did not take action.

Fools on the internet can play Monday morning quarterback and choose to only remember the facts that support their misguided opinions. However, it is pathetic to see it from folks who should know better.

Also, while Bush occasionally misspoke, only an idiot really thinks he was stupid. The lazy media paints Republicans as evil or stupid. No one who is stupid makes it through Yale and then Harvard business school and qualifies to fly fighter jets. I've met a lot of military pilots. Some were @$$holes, but none were stupid. Even the much less accomplished Obama likely isn't stupid even if one would think so if you just concentrated on the occasional verbal mistake. He may be wrong on various policies positions but that doesn't make him stupid.

11/26/2010 10:16 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Large Bill,

Nice try. First gulf war was Bush 41, and completely paid for and justified and indeed had a true military partnership. Invasion of Iraq in 2003 was in-fact a war-of-choice perpetrated by GWB. You present nice selection of supposed evidence that it was justified. However, there is now much documented evidence that GWB administration lied about WMD as excuse to go to war. Also much documented evidence that the decision to go to war with Iraq was made months before cooked-up evidence (that evaporated when checked out) announced. Anyone challenging Bush 43 over evidence or need to go to war was politically destroyed or on receiving end of character assassination. COS of Army Shenseki who called it right about # of troops required for Iraq was esentially fired by Rumsfield. He was right along with many others who challenged the veracity of GWB decision to go to war.

Your suggestion that being a highly trained Texas National Guard fighter pilot qualified GWB to be POTUS is pure nonsense. GWB was not elected the first time, he stole the presidency with the help of the conservative majority of the Supreme Court that should have butted out and let the recount of votes continue in Florida. I say again both LBJ and GWB should have been impeached for what they did to the country.

Keep a zero bubble...........


11/26/2010 12:44 PM

Blogger LargeBill said...


I regret having attempted to discuss this with you as though you were a rational adult. Your grasp on reality is tenuous at best. Your understanding of recent history is almost pure fiction.

Happy holidays,


11/26/2010 6:52 PM

Anonymous Jay said...

Wow. This posting got folks to go negative pretty fast...

I don't think military service is or should be a qualifier for elective office. There are many ways to serve our nation -- military service is but one.

I would think -- like many others posit here -- a short stint may be a good idea. However -- a short stint belies (normally) -- a tactical focus -- at a low rank/rate. You'd have to be doing some serious learning afterwards (and/or have a staff with the experience and education) to understand/work at issues of national level importance.

As other posit -- mil experience may have helped some -- or at least close to it (Pres Roosevelt (FDR) as Ass't SecNav).

It didn't make a difference for others. (Pres Johnson's mil service was a joke.) I think folks are completely confusing service in the National Guard during the Vietnam era (where it seemed some folks had an inside track on which units would never deploy) vice service in the National Guard today (if we were totally honest, we'd change the name to the International Guard, or State-based Army Operational Reserve with emphasis on MP/disaster relief/DSCA training).

I think Pres Truman did a pretty good job -- somehow he was able to grasp large issues better than GEN MacArthur.

Since the AVF -- and the force cutbacks following the Cold War, we should get used to folks not having mil experience, that will be the norm.

I am not a complete fan of the AVF, it has good and bad points, that has been argued on this site well enough already.

11/28/2010 8:12 AM

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