Quote of the Day

This is a large quote, but the entire thing needs to be said.

Senator Jim Webb takes on Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” comments and his failure to mention service members during his convention acceptance speech.

Governor Romney and I are about the same age. Like millions of others in our generation we came to adulthood facing the harsh realities of the Vietnam War. 2.7 million in our age group went to Vietnam, a war which eventually took the lives of 58,000 young Americans and cost another 300,000 wounded. The Marine Corps lost 100,000 killed or wounded in that war. During the year I was in Vietnam, 1969, our country lost twice as many dead as we have lost in Iraq and Afghanistan combined over the past ten years of war. 1968 was worse. 1967 was about the same. Not a day goes by when I do not think about the young Marines I was privileged to lead.

This was a time of conscription, where every American male was eligible to be drafted. People made choices about how to deal with the draft, and about military service. I have never envied or resented any of the choices that were made as long as they were done within the law. But those among us who stepped forward to face the harsh unknowns and the lifelong changes that can come from combat did so with the belief that their service would be honored, and that our leaders would, in the words of President Abraham Lincoln, care for those who had borne the battle, and for their widows and their children.

Those young Marines that I led have grown older now. They’ve lived lives of courage, both in combat and after their return, where many of them were derided by their own peers for having served. That was a long time ago. They are not bitter. They know what they did. But in receiving veterans’ benefits, they are not takers. They were givers, in the ultimate sense of that word. There is a saying among war veterans: “All gave some, some gave all.” This is not a culture of dependency. It is a part of a long tradition that gave this country its freedom and independence. They paid, some with their lives, some through wounds and disabilities, some through their emotional scars, some through the lost opportunities and delayed entry into civilian careers which had already begun for many of their peers who did not serve.

And not only did they pay. They will not say this, so I will say it for them. They are owed, if nothing else, at least a mention, some word of thanks and respect, when a Presidential candidate who is their generational peer makes a speech accepting his party’s nomination to be Commander in Chief. And they are owed much more than that – a guarantee that we will never betray the commitment that we made to them and to their loved ones.

I’m not sure if Romney can recover without the aide of a major world crisis.

Even if such a crisis did occur there’s no guarantee Romney would be able to exploit it without inserting a foot in his mouth. The situation in Libya was handed to him on a silver platter and he responded by claiming the president is a terrorist sympathizer.

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  • TerranceGilmore

    Nothing bothers me more than these chicken shit draft dodgers (Willard and W.) pretending to be pro-military. I have never been in the armed forces, but I have the utmost respect for those who are/have been.

    • Chachizel

      My father is a Vietnam vet who still receives benefits. He is no moocher. My whole life, he has been the hardest working man I have ever seen. Fuck Mitt Romney is about the nicest thing I could say to that douchebag!!!

  • agrazingmoose

    As someone that has spent some time helping the family of a very damaged Iraqi vet, Webb’s words actually hurt my soul with their clarity.

    I cannot do enough and our government cannot either. But, at least our government can try. More and more and more and more…

    Mitt and the Republicans are cowards. Worse than that, they are cowards that are willing to tromp on the backs of our veterans in order to make a buck.

    They are hateful assholes that have never met a family with a vet father waiting for months to get into in-patient medical treatment while his three children live on an ever dwindling amount of food stamps.

    Mitt never sees this and doesn’t want to.

  • Victor_the_Crab

    Bravo Senator Webb. Bravo sir!

    Any of you gaping assholes on the right DARE try to refute that? Limbaugh? Coulter? Beck? The three stooges of Fox and Friends? Huh?

  • http://www.politicalruminations.com/ nicole

    Someone needed to say it. Thank you, Sen. Webb.

  • missliberties

    I wonder if Webb is regretting dropping out of the race. He probably could have won again if he had stayed in.

    I have always like this man, and his comments are spot on. Insulting vets as dependent. But the tea party has been doing this for a couple of years now.

  • bphoon

    This was a time of conscription, where every American male was eligible to be drafted.

    Eligible to be drafted, yes. Exposed to the draft? Not so much in many cases, such as:

    George W. Bush: Got a slot in the National Guard at a time when only people with the right connections got a slot. The Guard was overrun with volunteers. Failed to complete his commitment.

    Richard “If Ever Anyone Deserves The Name Dick, It’s You” Cheney: Had “other priorities”. Got multiple student deferments–certainly not the only guy I know with multiple student deferments but certainly one of the most bellicose.

    John Ashcroft: Seven deferments to teach business ed at SW Missouri State.

    Newt Gingrich: Multiple deferments.

    Mitt Romney: Went on Mormon mission in France instead.

    Paul Wolfowitz: Multiple deferments to study math at Cornell.

    This is only a partial list. It’s interesting how, among some of the most hawkish government officials, so very few have actually served in the military.

    Question: How come none of your sons are serving in the military?
    Romney: “My sons are all adults and they’ve made decisions about their careers and they’ve chosen not to serve in the military and active duty and I respect their decision in that regard.”

    He added: “One of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping me get elected because they think I’d be a great president.”
    -August 8, 2007, Bettendorf, IA