A Letter to Columist David Broder

Flying Mail
Flying Mail

While this may be a few days late, I’ve finally had time to respond to Columnist David Broder’s offensive and idiotic comments in his February 6 column. For those few who missed it, Broder wrote a column about the recent DNC conference where all ten 2008 presidential contenders spoke.

In writing about Gen Wesley Clark’s speech, Broder wrote:

“One of the losers in the weekend oratorical marathon was retired Gen. Wesley Clark, who repeatedly invoked the West Point motto of “Duty, Honor, Country,” forgetting that few in this particular audience have much experience with, or sympathy for, the military.”

Broder wrote several other idiotic things in this column, but this was personally the most offensive. I’ve written a letter to him copied to Washington Post Ombudsman Deborah Howell concerning this statement. I do want to thank several Daily Kos members Newsie8200 and BornAgainDem for providing info that helped support my statements here.

Dear Mr. Broder,

In your February 6 column, you wrote that retired Gen. Wesley Clark was “One of the losers in the weekend oratorical marathon was retired Gen. Wesley Clark, who repeatedly invoked the West Point motto of “Duty, Honor, Country,” forgetting that few in this particular audience have much experience with, or sympathy for, the military.”

 As a Veteran, and a Loud and Proud member of the Democratic Party, and in fact a card-carrying Liberal, I take great exception to your statements. Never mind that every other person who attended Gen. Clark’s lecture reported that the audience was wildly receptive to the General’s statements supporting the troops.

Never mind that during my 22 year navy career, from 1974 to 2006, all the significant pay raises and quality-of-life improvements occurred during the administrations of Democratic presidents.

Never mind that during the past six years of unchecked Republican Party rule, funding for the Veterans Administration was cut every year. Funding was cut even as the demand for services, caused by a vanity war started by a Republican President, dramatically increased.

Never mind that this same unchecked Republican party rule allowed our troops to go into combat without proper equipment, and blocked efforts by Democratic party representative to obtain this equipment. The Republicans even blocked efforts by Democratic members to investigate why our troops were dying due to lack of proper equipment.

Beyond all that, Mr. Broder, the reality is that we have more elected officials in the Democratic Party than we do in the Republican Party with active combat duty. Look it up – if you’re not sure how perhaps you can find a real journalist who can.

We have a Republican president whose daddy got him into the Texas Air National Guard to avoid service in Vietnam. We have a Republican Vice-President who openly acknowledges he had “Other Things to do” than go to Vietnam. We had a Secretary of Defense who used the Air National Guard to avoid active duty in Vietnam.

And I note that you yourself seem to be lacking in military service. Did you have more important things to do when you were of draft age?

So kindly take your “that few in this particular audience have much experience with, or sympathy for, the military.” and stick it where the sun don’t shine. Then go find a line of work you might actually be effective in. You’re not effective as a columnist, unless you think your role in life is to be a shill for the Republicans.

Signed,

As always, I’ll let everyone know if David Broder writes back. I doubt he has the courage to do so.

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