• Cyburbia is a friendly big tent, where we share our experiences and thoughts about urban planning practice, planning adjacent topics, and whatever else comes to mind. No ads, no spam, no echo chambers. Create your FREE Cyburbia ID, and join us today! You can also register through your Reddit, Facebook, Google, Twitter, or Microsoft account.

Comments? (Dubya's visit to the Carrier Lincoln)

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Comments?

The Sunday morning political talk shows are still discussing Doubya's visit to the Carrier Lincoln. It was intensly criticised at the time as a politically opportunist photo-op and campaign set-up. Now, for the first time ever, the president's photo is on press badges, and it is one from the carrier trip. A comparison to another uniformed leader came to mind (see picture).

Is it appropriate for the president to "play soldier?" Should the president be permitted to crassly use American military resources to conduct a political campaign? Isn't this really something of an insult to the real soldiers who take the daily risk of conducting war (or peace)? Is he likening himself to a long line of dictators (Saddam Hussein, Kim Sung Il, Fidel Castro, etc.) who rule not through democracy, but by denying the rights of citizens? I'll stop there.

Discuss
 

gkmo62u

Cyburbian
Messages
1,046
Points
24
Obviously your question is agenda driven.

He is the President, the Commander in Cheif.

He was only criticized by democrats.

Move on if this is just another i hate W thread.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
gkmo62u said:
Obviously your question is agenda driven.

He is the President, the Commander in Cheif.

He was only criticized by democrats.

Move on if this is just another i hate W thread.
Sorry, gkmo62u, but I consider myself a Republican. I am offended at the president's use of the military in this manner and am concerned about the image he projects when he portrays himself as a uniformed leader of the country.
 

pete-rock

Cyburbian
Messages
1,551
Points
24
gkmo62u said:
Obviously your question is agenda driven.

He is the President, the Commander in Cheif.

He was only criticized by democrats.

Move on if this is just another i hate W thread.
I don't want this to be an "I hate W" thread, but Cardinal brings up some good points.

George Washington was the first of many presidents with military experience to become US president, and he established the precedent of the office being a civilian position with military responsibilities -- not the other way around. The original George Dubya left his Revolutionary War uniform at Mount Vernon, and he became everyone's president. Washington could have felt justified in leading a military parade in full garb from Boston Harbor to Yorktown, but I think he chose not to because doing so would limit the scope of the office. Every other succeeding president with military experience subsequently dropped the military connection once in office, even if they promoted their military service to get into office (Jackson, Grant, Eisenhower, Kennedy and Carter, to name a few).

I think what the President has done is to initiate a change in precedent that is disconcerting, and smacks of a little bit of propaganda when you consider he did not actually serve in the military.

But trust me, my shorts are not in a bunch over this. However, if we see that landing in campaign commercials over the next year, that to me is a real problem.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
pete-rock said:
...and smacks of a little bit of propaganda when you consider he did not actually serve in the military.
My first thought was to correct you and say that Bush did serve in the military, but then, his service in the Texas Air National Guard was questionable. There were a lot of AWOL's recorded in the roster next to his name, although nothing became of it. (From personal experience with the "old" Guard and Reserves, I can say that I do not believe GW received any special consideration in this. I once tried to boot a sergeant who had been AWOL nine months in a row, but the "good old boys" at the state headquarters weren't going to let that happen.)
 

Richmond Jake

You can't fight in here. This is the War Room!
Messages
18,287
Points
44
Chet said:
OMG I think the Prez is sporting a cameltoe.
Indeed, that is toe and it's been displayed on www.cameltoe.org

Mod note: This is one of the 'borderline' websites probably not good to view from work. But funny as hell, enjoy! Chet
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,984
Points
29
Is it appropriate for the president to "play soldier?"



Democrats and journalists alike decry the president's use of the militiary for his own specious purposes.
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,984
Points
29
Is it appropriate for the president to "play soldier?"

Former President Clinton joined the discussion and had some dark observations about the current President dressing up as a military man, when clearly former President Clinton has served with much more honor and in tougher circumstances (in Europe -not inhailing- during Viet Nam).
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,984
Points
29
Is it appropriate for the president to "play soldier?"

The truly elected president of the United States - if you ignore all the suggestions made by the US Constitution about how elections are supposed to be determined - commented that during his victory in Southeast Asia he was always aware of weapon safety.


 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
I can accept the press wearing elements of the uniform (although with markings that clearly distinguish themselves as journalists) when embedded or reporting from a battlefield. That has gone on for decades.

As far as Clinton goes, I don't like seeing him in uniform either. Pete-Rock summed up my thinking pretty well. Throughout US history our presidents have maintained the clear role as a civilian head of the military. Even those with credible military service, from George Washington through George (H.W.) Bush, have stayed away from military attire. There have been exceptions when they have worn a military jacket or something, but not a full uniform and not in the character in which Bush wore it.

It is also appropriate to question Bush's motives when he uses his appearance in uniform (as the commander of the victorious military) to campaign. This is especially true given his own less than honorable (IMO) service record. I don't think Bill used his armed forces appearances as campaign material, largely because it would draw attention to his draft-dodging past. I also recall Dukakass perched on a tank and rightfully being scorned for it.

My point is that I like to see a clear distinction between the military and the presidency, and Bush's appearance (as well as subsequent imagery) continues to erode a precedent that has served our country well for over 200 years.
 

El Feo

Cyburbian
Messages
674
Points
19
Cardinal said:
Even those with credible military service, from George Washington through George (H.W.) Bush, have stayed away from military attire.
Absolutely, 100% not true.

As with most things presidential, Washington did indeed establish a precedent, but it's clearly not the one most folks here are assuming.

Washington donned his General's uniform to review the troops during the Whiskey Rebellion.

No photos, sorry, but there were several contemporary paintings of the scene, including the one linked to here:

"Washington reviewing the troops -
As commander in chief, George Washington reviewed the western army at Fort Cumberland, Maryland, during the 1794 Whiskey Rebellion in western Pennsylvania. The military might available to a president has increased ever since. This painting is by Frederick Kemmelmayer.

-- Courtesy of Winterthur Museum"
 

Duke Of Dystopia

Cyburbian
Messages
2,713
Points
24
1) You shouldn't get to worried, the way things are going in Iraq, that picture and his military genius will be landing him in hot water during the election soon enough. There will be little room for disassociation.

2) If this is the best thing to attack him with on sunday morning, the oposition party is SCREWED!

3) Democracy is NOT free, it must be maintained. "I swear to defend the UNITED STATES from all enemies, forign, AND DOMESTIC....."

a) When does a public figure become a legitimate DOMESTIC enemy?

b) Same question for his minions, like the Unattorney General Ashcroft

c) Same question in reference to policy, Patriot Act I and the future Patriot Act II
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
19,461
Points
44
I fear that I am going to be burned for saying this, but I support W. I think he has make some hard choices, but if we where in his place, with the information that he has had, what would we have done.

As said before, he IS commander in Chief, and there for he IS part of the military. Just because he is not standing on the front lines with a gun does limit his participation. There is no playing here, he is what he is.

Second, during these military trips, he interacts with many members of our armed forces. If I where there, and the highest ranking military official walked up and asked me how I was doing, and if there was anything on my mind, I would feel good about who I was, and more so, what I was serving and whom I was serving under. It is what makes W. a good man. He is not above anyone in his eyes. He is willing to stand there, side by side the people of our country. When he is not at the white house, he is at home in a pair of jeans, sitting with his dog in the back of his trunk.

I remember the interview right after the decision was finalized and he became president elect. Tom Brokaw hand G.W. where sitting there, doing the interview from the Ranch, and here is G.W. in jeans in a flannel. It was as American as it can get. But wait, this is a republican?? YES. He may be a republican, (which is a good thing) but more so he is an AMERCIAN. He looks for the good of the people, and wants to make differences in the lives of people around him. He is a faithful Christian, he is a family man (and his family looks more like most of ours, than a political family) and he is a humble man.

I was noticed one day as the president was boarding the helicopter, the marine who was stationed there, did not stop the salute until W. was out of his site. That included saluting after he passed, and his back was towards the marine. They are not required to salute past the point of face. He did it not because of a request, but because he honors this man, who leads, not rules, this country of ours.
 
Last edited:

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
Messages
13,853
Points
39
What else do you wear on a Navy jet? Suit and tie?

I'm more concerned about all the wierdos running around in camo in their day to day (non military) lives...
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Zoning Goddess said:
What else do you wear on a Navy jet? Suit and tie?

I'm more concerned about all the wierdos running around in camo in their day to day (non military) lives...
Yes, a suit and tie would have done nicely. There is a point to wearing a flightsuit on a jet, but it was not necessary to continue to wear it once landed. The decision to make his appearance in uniform was a deliberate one, and I am concerned with the reasons behind it as well as the signal it sends.

I would also echo your comments on the "wanna-be" soldiers out there. I am consistent on the issue.
 

El Feo

Cyburbian
Messages
674
Points
19
Cardinal said:
The decision to make his appearance in uniform was a deliberate one, and I am concerned with the reasons behind it as well as the signal it sends.
I still can't even believe I have this straight - you're squeamish about the Prez over his wearing a flight suit and g-suit? While flying in a Navy jet? He's not the first to be decked out in full military attire (again, WASHINGTON did it WHILE PRESIDENT) and I think it was entirely appropriate under those circumstances. I'd also point out that he DID change into "suit & tie" to address the troops (unlike Washington - clearly, he was a vile closet fascist).

Your comparison of Bush to Saddam, Kim, Castro, etc. is an especially galling straw man, nothing more. I give you credit for having sense enough to know that - I trust you're just trying to be "controversial." But just in case, tell me again, when did one of those dictators last stand for a democratic election?

I will concede the broader point, though. Yes, I think his wearing it was calculated to send a signal. However, I think the signal it sent (and continues to send) was more for consumption abroad than it was for a domestic audience. It said to the rest of the world - particularly to the Nasserites, Wahhabists, and other swaggering nutjobs in the Middle East (sorry Middle Eastern Nasserites, Wahhabists, and swaggering nutjobs) that we are a nation of warrior badasses, lead by a warrior badass. It said that Bush is president of a nation that can project mucho military power wherever he decides it is necessary to do so to ensure our security. It said - "DO NOT F*** WITH US, world, or _________, and you can fill in the f***in' blank."

Sorry, but that is the right message for the times.
 
Last edited:

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
19,461
Points
44
Cardinal said:
There is a point to wearing a flightsuit on a jet, but it was not necessary to continue to wear it once landed. The decision to make his appearance in uniform was a deliberate one, and I am concerned with the reasons behind it as well as the signal it sends.

Hmmm. It has been said that he changed before he addressed the troups, and hmmm he looks like he just got off a jet (I think this because he is holding gear, and there is a JET behind him) and finally I think that because he is Commander in Chief, well I think that he can wear any millitary issue uniform he want's.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
michaelskis said:
Hmmm. It has been said that he changed before he addressed the troups, and hmmm he looks like he just got off a jet (I think this because he is holding gear, and there is a JET behind him) and finally I think that because he is Commander in Chief, well I think that he can wear any millitary issue uniform he want's.
I'm partially wrong. I don't watch much TV so I didn't see the event, and the reports I have read or seen (including FOX!) have only shown him in uniform. Still, he and his handlers continue to promote the image of "George Bush, Military Hero." That is troubling to me. I do not think that this is an appropriate image for a president.

As I said, I am consistent on this issue. I don't like it when other political figures or anyone without having earned it by actual military service, dons a uniform. This is especially true when it is done for their own gain. It diminishes the honor that should be reserved for those who are true heros. It is something like the imposters who try to pass themselves off as Medal of Honor recipients.

(As an aside, I don't like that the black beret was given to the regular Army to wear, either. It was a badge of distinction for the Rangers and should have remained so. I would have felt ashamed to wear it, with the symbolism attached to it, without having earned it.)
 
Top