The Campaign Spot

Chairman of Vets for Obama, Yesterday: ‘We must end this glib obeisance to sacrifice.’

Obama, yesterday:

For those who have fought under the flag of this nation – for the young veterans I meet when I visit Walter Reed; for those like John McCain who have endured physical torment in service to our country – no further proof of such sacrifice is necessary. And let me also add that no one should ever devalue that service, especially for the sake of a political campaign, and that goes for supporters on both sides.

Lt. General Robert G. Gard Jr. (USA, Ret.), the steering committee chairman of Vets for Obama, posting to Daily Kos, the same day:

So I too honor John McCain. And, like General Clark, I acknowledge his sacrifice for his country. But being a prisoner of the Vietnamese and serving on the Senate Armed Services Committee does not automatically qualify one for the position of Commander-in-Chief — understanding risks, gauging your opponents and being held accountable does. We must end this glib obeisance to sacrifice and ask deeper questions: is a man who sings “bomb, bomb, bomb … bomb, bomb Iran” a man who understands risks? Is a man who says that we must keep our troops in Iraq until we achieve an ill-defined “victory” really know how to gauge America’s opponents. If we want to hold people accountable, then let’s stand behind my friend Wes Clark — and hold John McCain accountable for what he’s said.

Yesterday Rand Beers became the eighth Democrat to speak ill of John McCain’s military service. While portions of Gard’s comments are kinder, is Gard coming close to becoming number nine? I’m all for deeper questions — and wonder about those who treat an off-the-cuff Beach Boys parody as a policy statement –but is the problem with this country, and this campaign, really that it is marked by a “glib obeisance to sacrifice”?

glib –adjective, glib·ber, glib·best.

1. readily fluent, often thoughtlessly, superficially, or insincerely so: a glib talker; glib answers.
2. easy or unconstrained, as actions or manners.
3. Archaic. agile; spry.
o·bei·sance –noun
1. a movement of the body expressing deep respect or deferential courtesy, as before a superior; a bow, curtsy, or other similar gesture.
2. deference or homage: The nobles gave obeisance to the new king.

Is it fair to read this comment as an accusation that those who object to Clark’s comments are making “thoughtless, superficial, or insincere” “expressions of deference or homage” to sacrifice?


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