Tuesday, November 30, 2010


As you may already know, Congressman Joe Barton of Texas has declared war -- literally -- on the Obama administration:

... The [House Energy and Commerce Committee]'s ranking Republican, Rep. Joe L. Barton (Tex.), has a slide presentation that he's e-mailing to colleagues, pledging to do for the administration what Gen. George Patton and company did for Germany.

... the money slide, titled: "What's in Store for the Obama Administration," [contains] photos of President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Generals Omar Bradley and George Patton in uniform.

"Speaker Boehner is our Dwight Eisenhower in the battle against the Obama Administration. Majority Leader Cantor is our Omar Bradley. I want to be George Patton -- put anything in my scope and I will shoot it." ...

If you're wondering, Joe Barton was born in 1949 and never served a day in the military, even at the height of the Vietnam War. After graduating from Waco High School, he attended Texas A&M, receiving a B.S. in industrial engineering in 1972. He then got a master's at Purdue in 1973, and by that time, well, U.S. involvement in the war was winding down, wasn't it?

Incidentally, Barton's birthdate is September 15. For 1970, the year he turned 21, the top date in the military draft lottery was September 14. That means some poor sons of bitches who were born a day before Barton, and who weren't fortunate enough to obtain a four-year Gifford-Hill Opportunity Award scholarship like Barton, were sent to die in his place.

"General Omar" Cantor (b. 1963) has also never served. "Ike" Boehner (also b. 1949) enlisted in the Navy after high school, but was honorably discharged after eight weeks, reportedly for a bad back (which apparently doesn't impede his golf game these days).


YES, I KNOW: I'm overlooking the Hitler subtext. Well, obviously that's there, but I also see this as the standard-issue right-wing self-mythologizing, which often takes a military bent. Teabaggers imagine themselves as the folks who fought in the Revolutionary War; right-wing message boards use the phrase "Eagles up!" as a euphemism for "Hold on to your Cheetos, this will make you angry"; and now this.

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