What’s the Difference Between Today’s GOP and a Bunch of 5th Grade Playground Bullies?

No real difference. It’s all about piling on the kid they don’t like, just because.

U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl at one point during his captivity converted to Islam, fraternized openly with his captors and declared himself a “mujahid,” or warrior for Islam, according to secret documents prepared on the basis of a purported eyewitness account and obtained by Fox News.

Wow, that sourcing is solid as a rock, right? But just for fun, let’s entertain the possibility that Fox News is reporting facts. Then let’s entertain the possibility that Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was humoring his captors any way he could so that they wouldn’t cut his bleeping head off. Same thing with his father, with the tweets and the beard. Would not most parents do such things to save the life of a child?

From now on, our troops sent into war will need to understand that we leave no one behind — unless you are odd and unpopular, or unless some political and media hacks, most of whom never wore a uniform, decide it’s politically useful to grandstand on your ass. Then, you’re on your own.

And don’t assume that some politician who made noises about bringing you home actually meant what he said.

Four months ago, Senator John McCain said he would support the exchange of five hard-core Taliban leaders for the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. “I would support,” he told CNN. “Obviously I’d have to know the details, but I would support ways of bringing him home and if exchange was one of them I think that would be something I think we should seriously consider.”

But the instant the Obama administration actually made that trade, Mr. McCain, as he has so often in the past, switched positions for maximum political advantage. “I would not have made this deal,” he said a few days ago. Suddenly the prisoner exchange is “troubling” and “poses a great threat” to service members. Hearings must be held, he said, and sharp questions asked.

This hypocrisy now pervades the Republican Party and the conservative movement, and has even infected several fearful Democrats. When they could use Sergeant Bergdahl’s captivity as a cudgel against the administration, they eagerly did so, loudly and in great numbers. And the moment they could use his release to make President Obama look weak on terrorism or simply incompetent, they reversed direction without a moment’s hesitation to jump aboard the new bandwagon.

The last few days have made clearer than ever that there is no action the Obama administration can take — not even the release of a possibly troubled American soldier from captivity — that cannot be used for political purposes by his opponents.

In the case of former POW McCain, let’s just say there’s something very weird lurking in that balding head of his. There have long been rumors he corroborated with the North Vietnamese while in captivity, and I’ve long taken the position that none of us can know what we might do in that circumstance, and rumors tend to be inaccurate, so just lay off. But back in 2010, Sydney Schanberg at The American Conservative pointed out that something odd was going on with McCain

John McCain, who has risen to political prominence on his image as a Vietnam POW war hero, has, inexplicably, worked very hard to hide from the public stunning information about American prisoners in Vietnam who, unlike him, didn’t return home. Throughout his Senate career, McCain has quietly sponsored and pushed into federal law a set of prohibitions that keep the most revealing information about these men buried as classified documents. Thus the war hero who people would logically imagine as a determined crusader for the interests of POWs and their families became instead the strange champion of hiding the evidence and closing the books.

Almost as striking is the manner in which the mainstream press has shied from reporting the POW story and McCain’s role in it, even as the Republican Party has made McCain’s military service the focus of his presidential campaign. Reporters who had covered the Vietnam War turned their heads and walked in other directions. McCain doesn’t talk about the missing men, and the press never asks him about them.

The sum of the secrets McCain has sought to hide is not small. There exists a telling mass of official documents, radio intercepts, witness depositions, satellite photos of rescue symbols that pilots were trained to use, electronic messages from the ground containing the individual code numbers given to airmen, a rescue mission by a special forces unit that was aborted twice by Washington—and even sworn testimony by two Defense secretaries that “men were left behind.” This imposing body of evidence suggests that a large number—the documents indicate probably hundreds—of the U.S. prisoners held by Vietnam were not returned when the peace treaty was signed in January 1973 and Hanoi released 591 men, among them Navy combat pilot John S. McCain.

Maybe Grandpa McCain should just butt out now.

9 thoughts on “What’s the Difference Between Today’s GOP and a Bunch of 5th Grade Playground Bullies?

  1. Either they’ve never heard of it, or our conservatives don’t believe in “The Stockholm Syndrome,” I guess.

    It’s clear, though, that if you’re a soldier, and you aren’t tortured or murdered when you’re captured, they believe in “The Don’t-Come-Home Syndrome.”

  2. Bill O’Reilly doesn’t believe in the Stockholm syndrome “thing.”

    On the January 15 [2007] edition of Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor, host Bill O’Reilly said of Shawn Hornbeck — who was abducted at the age of 11, held for four years, and recently found in Missouri — that “there was an element here that this kid liked about this circumstances” and that he “do[esn’t] buy” “the Stockholm syndrome thing.” O’Reilly also said: “The situation here for this kid looks to me to be a lot more fun than what he had under his old parents. He didn’t have to go to school. He could run around and do whatever he wanted.” When fellow Fox News host Greta Van Susteren pointed out that “[s]ome kids like school,” O’Reilly replied: “Well, I don’t believe this kid did.”

    The following day, during his “Talking Points Memo” segment, O’Reilly responded to viewer mail criticizing his comments about Hornbeck. O’Reilly concluded: “I hope he did not make a conscious decision to accept his captivity because” his kidnapper “made things easy for him. No school, play all day long.”

  3. Just another Republican-manufactured “scandal.” Nothing to see here folks. Would that the “liberal media” asked tough questions of any Republican…

  4. I have always believed in “Innocent Until Proven Guilty” with all emphasis on “Proven.” So far all I have heard about this case seems to be entirely superficial, circumstantial and . . . contrived for political effect. (To embarrass the President.) (John at “American Liberal Times: http://americanliberaltimes.com)

  5. The Taliban dream team…the worst of the worst. I haven’t heard Bergdahlgate used yet, but I’m sure some original thinking wingnut hack is bound to trot out that phrase soon. I wonder how Trey Gowdy is feeling now that the Bergdahl scandal has usurped his Benghazi thunder.

  6. This reminds me of a bunch of 50 some things watching an NFL game and doing some arm chair quarterbacking. My response is, if you think the kid is a traitor, get a plane ticket to Afghanistan and take up where he left off. I’m sure a person could buy an ak and some ammo once on the ground; hell, it would be a dream come true for a group of open carry nutters. I think they’d be ready to come home in a week or (much) less.

  7. erinyes,
    Shirley, you jest!

    Our Chipotle-Open-Carry-Warriors want to prance and preen with their long-guns in public (“Nice big AK ya go there buddy – too bad about your non-f*ckin’ DICK!!!!!) because they know that the families around them probably ain’t carryin’, and are NO threat to them.
    You put a Cub Scout with a water-pistol anywhere near them, and they’ll wet their pants!
    Without any help from the Cub Scout, or his water-pistol. Though, that’d give them an excuse…

Comments are closed.