It's been said before, but Barak Obama is a freaking gaffe machine.
In my previous post, I noted that I used to write speeches for politicians - and that these included some for Memorial Day. To some readers, I'm sure this makes me uniquely unqualified to criticize Obama for his tawdry electioneering over the bodies of our fallen warriors.
However, it is worth pointing out that my speeches for Memorial Day were apolitical. I usually drew upon Gen. John A. Logan's order creating Memorial Day, (the text of this, by the way, hangs on a bronze plaque in the rotunda of Michigan's Capitol) as well as the Gettysburg Address, and other works (like Flanders Fields) that are appropriate to the occasion. I flatter myself that they captured the solemnity of the moment. I do know that one legislator had to cut my speech down because he said it was too difficult for him to deliver - he got all choked up. A rare compliment.
That is what Memorial Day is all about, in my opinion at least. A day of contemplation and gratitude for the valor and sacrifice of those who have gone on before, not a time to announce the latest giveaway to a focus-grouped constituency.
Thousands of U.S. and allied troops have died fighting against Islamic radicals in Iraq. Memorial Day is a time to remember their sacrifice and - in the words of a better man - "highly resolve
that these dead shall not have died in vain."
You don't honor your war dead by abandoning the object of their sacrifice and then cutting checks to their surviving comrades. Sean Grimes didn't die for a jobs program, he died for freedom. It's that simple.
Some bloggers may be willing to excuse this as a minor slip of the tongue, but I cannot. I wrote these kind of speeches and I simply cannot imagine doing something so crass as to insert a politics into it.