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writing for godot

When Trump Loses the Military, He Loses the Republican Party

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Written by David Bass   
Saturday, 05 January 2019 21:47

It's early January. The US Government has partially shut down, with no end in sight. Democrats have retaken control of the House of Representatives, electing Nancy Pelosi as Speaker and preparing to rev up various investigations. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s final report may be coming soon, with much anticipation of its findings.

What a great time to be a progressive political junkie!

Almost lost in the recent headlines is President Trump’s repeated disrespecting of the military he so loves to romanticize. I’ll get to the details in a moment; first let’s recognize the big picture. Trump is going to lose the military. Whether active duty, reservists or veterans, most thinking men and women of the military are losing or already have lost respect for their Commander in Chief.

This is a major problem for the Republican Party, which obsesses with its pro-military image, premised on its belief that a strong American military is the world’s best guarantee of peace and that recognizing the sacrifices made by service men and women and supporting the special needs of veterans is a sacred, patriotic duty. Fine so far, and Trump and Congressional Republicans have been joined at the hip when it comes to large increases in military spending.

But GOP leaders and their supporters will abandon Trump as it becomes increasingly clear that Trump is losing the military.

Democrats have a special opportunity to develop a narrative that exploits the reality that Trump doesn’t listen to his own military leaders, doesn’t heed their advice, politicizes his interactions with the military, humiliates former generals serving his administration, attacks veterans and Gold Star families, and undermines the important work of the VA. For example, remember...

  • The announced Syria pullout, refusing to listen to or heed the military’s advice
  • The announced Afghanistan pullout, refusing to listen to or heed the military’s advice
  • The humiliation and departure of General James Mattis as Secretary of Defense
  • The humiliation and departure of General John Kelly as Chief of Staff
  • The humiliation and departure of Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster as National Security Advisor
  • The departure of General Michael Flynn as National Security Advisor and his subsequent guilty plea
  • Failure to visit fighting troops overseas for nearly two years
  • Politicizing every phone call and visit with rank and file service members
  • Inappropriate deployment of troops as supplemental border security agents prior to the midterm elections
  • Disrespecting Gold Star families, such as Khizr and Ghazala Khan and Myeshia Johnson
  • Repeatedly disrespecting Senator John McCain
  • Disrespecting Admiral William McRaven, the architect of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden
  • Attacking General Stanley McChrystal, former commander of US forces in Afghanistan
  • Not going to Arlington National Cemetery on Veteran’s Day
  • Skipping a ceremony at a World War I cemetery while in Europe for events marking the 100th anniversary of the end of that war
  • Claiming to “know more about ISIS than the generals do” and that he “would have been a good general”
  • Bombast and naiveté in cozying up to North Korean dictator Kim Jung Un
  • Disrespecting and threatening to pull out of NATO
  • Enabling three Mar-a-Largo cronies without military backgrounds to become de facto “Shadow Rulers” of the Veterans Administration
  • Weaseling out of exposure to the Vietnam draft based on fabricated bone spurs

Need I go on?

How is it possible for anyone paying attention to think Donald Trump is pro military?

Traditionally, the military values the constitution, rule of law, chain of command, truth, alliances and loyalty. Trump… well, not so much on any of these. His values are not military values. True, he goes through the motions of demanding loyalty, but that’s a one-way street.

Can the Democrats serve up a cohesive and persistent narrative that exposes Trump’s losing of the military in a way that structurally weakens his support among Republican voters and elected officials? It’s waiting for them on a silver platter.

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0 # dbass1215 2019-01-17 07:37
CNN sheds light on frayed nerves inside the Pentagon here: https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/17/politics/trump-frays-nerves-at-pentagon/index.html
 

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