Veterans Didn’t Like Being Used As Republican Political Props Yesterday

The presence of politicians like Sarah Palin at yesterday's "Million Veteran March" was not appreciated by the people who organized the protest.

Military Supporters Rally In Washington To Re-Open WWII Memorial

I made note yesterday of a rally down on the National Mall consistent of Veterans groups, Tea Party groups, and, of course, the usual Republican political suspects who used the opportunity to make speeches denouncing President Obama and pushing GOP talking points in connection with the government shutdown. Well, as it turns out, the veterans didn’t really appreciate being used as political props:

Over the weekend, thousands of veterans descended upon the National Mall to protest the federal government shutdown and take down the barricades surrounding the World War II Memorial. The protest was billed as the Million Vet March on the Memorials, organized by a group of frustrated military veterans who have been organizing protests similar to this across the nation because, they felt that in this federal government shutdown, veterans “were unwillingly pitted as pawns in this crisis.”

Consider, for example, what one group involved in organizing the protest posted on its Facebook page:

Official Stance of the Million Vet March on the Memorials:

The political agenda put forth by a local organizer in Washington DC yesterday was not in alignment with our message. We feel disheartened that some would seek to hijack the narrative for political gain. The core principle was and remains about all Americans honoring Veterans in a peaceful and apolitical manner. Our love for and our dedication to remains with Veterans, regardless of party affiliation or political leanings.

Additionally, The DCist notes this from the group’s Mission Statement:

We do not care what political leanings you may be; be it liberal, conservative, Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Independent or whatever.  The actions of the U.S. government this week with regard to barricading and shutting down the World War II Memorial to veterans, that may or may not be on their last trip to Washington DC, is a despicable act of cowardice.

Agree or disagree with this position as you wish, but it’s clear that they aren’t being partisan here. Too bad the likes of Palin, Cruz, and the Tea Party decided to hijack the event.

FILED UNDER: Sarah Palin, Tea Party, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. anjin-san says:

    The modern GOP has a history of pimping vets to support their political agenda. Sad, but hardly surprising.

  2. Blue Shark says:

    …Serioulsly?

    As the old saw goes: “Lie down with dogs … you will get fleas”

  3. EdMigPer says:

    Sorry butt he Million Vet March organization/group/Facebook page, whatever, called closing of memorials cowardice.*

    What kind of people do you expect to find at your rallies with that kind of language? They were asking for it.

    * Nope, not cowardice. Parks and memorials were closed in the last government shutdown as well.

  4. Todd says:

    Yes, that rally yesterday had nothing to do with me, and a whole lot of people like me.

    The stereotype of veterans as conservatives does amuse me sometimes though. I’ve occasionally had the thought that as a middle aged, white male who’s served in the military, at least it’s highly unlikely that the Republicans will ever try to keep ME from voting … unless they happen to read some of my Internet postings. 😉

  5. Mark Ivey says:

    “Lie down with dogs … you will get fleas”

    Indeed……..

  6. David M says:

    The vets objecting to the monuments being shut down is completely reasonable by itself. Adopting the GOP’s line of “you’re doing the shutdown wrong” may not be their finest moment, but really nothing to get worked up over.

    The GOP politicians joining the protest of their own shutdown is just revolting.

  7. anjin-san says:

    It’s even sleazier when you consider that Palin’s suddenly higher profile probably has a lot to do with getting free publicity to support sales of her upcoming book.

  8. Al says:

    This has more to do with the group trying to distance itself from bad PR than outrage over being used as a political pawn. That they didn’t realize that the protest would be taken as “People who orchestrated the shutdown protest the shutdown” shows just how naive they were.

    As I pointed out in the other thread, I find this much more outrage inducing than the closing of a memorial ever could be.

  9. michael reynolds says:

    You know how schizophrenics sometimes just bang their head against a wall? That’s Republicans with reality.

  10. michael reynolds says:

    @Al:

    Oh, that’s a feature not a bug for Republicans. Take the food from the mouths of little kids? Cpome on, that’s practically their mission statement as a party.

  11. Woody says:

    If this interest group was truly nonpartisan, then on their webpage, in their interviews, on their signage, they would have the following message:

    We believe memorial sites should be open and available to all veterans, indeed, all Americans. Shutting the government down shuts access to these sites down. The GOP is entirely responsible for the government shutdown. Please contact your representative and politely express your disapproval of the shutdown.

    Though I can’t say I blame them for their desire to disassociate with Palin and the Cruzer.

  12. KM says:

    We feel disheartened that some would seek to hijack the narrative for political gain.

    No, dear. You’re just late to the party. This was actually their narrative from the start (Barrycades and all) and you just became a pretty pretty prop in the pony show.

    Not such a nice feeling, is it? And they did it to your face! Imagine what they do and say when you’re not there….

  13. Ernieyeball says:

    @michael reynolds: Take the food from the mouths of little kids? …that’s practically their mission statement as a party.

    Yes and they have their own Death Panels and other Enforcers of the Revealed Truth.
    https://www.outsidethebeltway.com/cheering-the-death-of-the-indigent-at-the-tea-party-debate/

    Huckabee: All Americans Should Be Forced at Gunpoint to Listen to David Barton
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1O1dvN8lag

  14. Tony W says:

    Did Palin bring her special needs child too? He makes a good prop.

  15. beth says:

    Yeah, all those “vets” in the picture sure look unhappy at being used as props by Palin and Cruz, don’t they? The video of them berating police at the White House fence is just disgusting. There’s a lot for veterans in this country to be unhappy about – homelessness, unemployment, poor medical care – but hitching themselves to the Tea Party isn’t going to get them anything but a yellow magnet on their cars.

    And can we please stop with the “MILLION” of everything for these marches?

  16. C. Clavin says:

    So…apparently you are saying these Vets aren’t REAL AMERICANS?
    I’m shocked. Shocked.

    We do not care what political leanings you may be; be it liberal, conservative, Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Independent or whatever. The actions of the U.S. government this week with regard to barricading and shutting down the World War II Memorial to veterans, that may or may not be on their last trip to Washington DC, is a despicable act of cowardice.

    Of course the actions of the US Government in closing down the memorial is in fact the actions of Republicans…so if the dispicable act of cowardice fits….own it.

  17. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @EdMigPer: Nope, not cowardice. Parks and memorials were closed in the last government shutdown as well.

    The World War II Memorial only opened in 2004. And I don’t find any accounts of, say the Viet Nam Memorial being fenced off in 1995-1996.

    I seriously doubt that scenic overlooks by Mt. Rushmore were coned off then, either.

    And I have even more doubts that armed guards were dispatched to keep folks from doing unauthorized peeping.

  18. C. Clavin says:

    Keep in mind too that whilst Jenos and his friends cry like little babies because FOX News told them that a couple parks they’ve never visited were closed….
    This Republican Shutdown is costing us all about $160M a day…over $2B to date…and will cut next quarters GDP by .5%. Considering that Republican efforts at austerity have held GDP growth to around 2.5%…that’s a 20% drop in GDP directly attributable to the Fiscal Phonies who call themselves Republicans.
    So go ahead Jenos and JKB…keep crying about a couple parks. It shows us exactly how brilliant you are.

  19. C. Clavin says:

    Also…and this is the craziest f’ing thing…if Jenos and JKB and Doug had their way the US Government wouldn’t even provide us with Parks and Nat’l Forests and Nat’l Monuments and such.
    That’s way outside what’s required for a miniscule little Government.
    So I’m not sure what the fuss is about…unless it’s really just about the fuss….

  20. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “I seriously doubt that scenic overlooks by Mt. Rushmore were coned off then, either.”

    Since everyone here knows that everything you post as fact is a lie, I can’t imagine why you’d think there’s a soul who gives a damn about whatever you “doubt.”

  21. anjin-san says:

    You have to love conservatives. They put on on the road to economic meltdown, then obsess about scenic turnouts in South Dakota.

  22. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Veterans Didn’t Like Being Used As Republican Political Props Yesterday

    They didn’t? They’ve never complained in the past.

  23. C. Clavin says:

    To Jenos with love….
    http://iowntheworld.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/mount-rushmore.jpg
    Overlook that, you squirrely little idiot.

  24. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    The World War II Memorial only opened in 2004. And I don’t find any accounts of, say the Viet Nam Memorial being fenced off in 1995-1996.
    I seriously doubt that scenic overlooks by Mt. Rushmore were coned off then, either.
    And I have even more doubts that armed guards were dispatched to keep folks from doing unauthorized peeping.

    I seriously doubt that back in those days intelligent people considered a government shutdown to be whatever Republicans defined it to be.

  25. anjin-san says:

    @ C. Clavin

    I want to see in the constitution where it says we have to have parks. Clearly the parks are outside of what the founders intended. Indeed, they may actually be unconstitutional.

  26. C. Clavin says:

    @ anjin-san…
    You know what else?
    The Constitution provides for a Post Office…but not trucks or computers.
    Clearly Unconstitutional.

  27. Latino_in_Boston says:

    @Todd:

    Todd,
    I’ve met a few liberal vets in my day, but there does seem to be a disproportionate number of conservatives that wear the uniform. I have no idea how accurate this is, though.

    What would you say the percentage is?

  28. Phillip says:

    @Latino_in_Boston: I’m guessing around 27%, +/- 5.

  29. becca says:

    Ted and Sarie getting political advice from Fred Phelps?

    Westboro Baptist and the Tea Party, forever!

  30. angelfoot says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: According to the New York Times, December 16, 1995 “Federal Government Starts Another Shutdown”:

    “Although Arizona officials agreed tonight to donate the money to keep the most popular areas of the Grand Canyon open to tourists, most national parks will close…The National Zoo and the Lincoln and other memorials will also be shut.”

  31. @Blue Shark: Go screw yourself. I lie down with no one or nothing. I am a veteran. That comes first.

    I lay down with neither Democrats or Republicans. Neither one is allowed to use me, or my brothers and sisters, as their pawns.

  32. C. Clavin says:

    @ Latino and Phillip…
    I remember this came up during Obamas first run for Pres…and with typical caveats…it pretty closely follows the general populace.

  33. anjin-san says:

    @ Christopher Bowen

    Neither one is allowed to use me, or my brothers and sisters, as their pawns.

    Somebody permitted Palin, Cruz, and Lee to speak. Someone gave Larry Klayman a mike, which he used to demand the commander in chief “come out with his hands up” and “get out of town”

    Sorry, the vets did get used, and it was Republicans that did the using. Perhaps you should ask yourself how this was allowed to happen.

  34. bill says:

    Agree or disagree with this position as you wish, but it’s clear that they aren’t being partisan here. Too bad the likes of Palin, Cruz, and the Tea Party decided to hijack the event.

    didn’t see any democrats helping them get into the “closed open air memorials”…..just sayin.

  35. C. Clavin says:

    Shorter bill…
    Republicans shut them out of the memorial…then broke the law in order to used them for petty political purposes.
    Democrats did neither.
    Just sayin’

  36. Todd says:

    @Latino_in_Boston:

    If you control for hometown demographics it’s probably not much different than the population as a whole. For instance, a white male from the south is more likely to be Conservative than a fellow Soldier, Sailor, Airman or Marine who lived in a big Northeast city before they joined.

    This is just anecdotal on my part, but it’s also been my experience that a Marine is more likely to be Conservative than a Sailor or Airman. (although even, then I do know a few Marines who’s opinions on many issues are to the left of my own).

    Older vets also tend to be more Conservative than younger vets. But again, that seems to track with the general population.

    One last thing to consider, just as with the civilian population, Conservatives tend to be more outspoken than their Liberal, and especially their Moderate counterparts. This can be magnified with the military population, as in theory we are supposed to be “apolitical”, so especially with those who are still on active duty, I’d say you’re much more likely to hear about the political views of those who lean right, than those with any other beliefs.

  37. Bob @ Youngstown says:

    @Todd: Conservatives tend to be more outspoken than their Liberal…

    A diplomatic way of saying Conservatives are loud-mouthed blowhards ?

  38. john personna says:

    @bill:

    You are saying there are no Democrats in the Crazy Party?

    Film at 11, eh?

  39. Mikey says:

    @anjin-san:

    Someone gave Larry Klayman a mike

    That a fool like Klayman isn’t laughed out of the GOP is a prime illustration of why I am no longer among its members.

  40. C. Clavin says:

    Not only is Klayman not laughed out of the party…but as an employee of Freedom Works…he’s an employee of the Koch Brothers. Which makes him part of the Republican Elite.

  41. Jane says:

    How come Sara the short timer’s Veteran son, the one she always talked about in that stellar VP Campaign, didn’t lead the parade? Veterans don’t like being used…..and the republicans have been shameless.

  42. beth says:

    @bill: Of course not, because you only see what you want to see. Claire McCaskill and Tom Harkin are two that I know of off the top of my head who were at the memorials helping the vets (but you won’t see that reported on Fox News…just sayin).

  43. al-Ameda says:

    @bill:

    didn’t see any democrats helping them get into the “closed open air memorials”…..just sayin.

    Didn’t see any Democrats shutting down the government … just sayin’

  44. Barry says:

    @EdMigPer: Doug, the materials you posted contradict your statements.

  45. Rafer Janders says:

    @Barry:

    Doug, the materials you posted contradict your statements.

    First time on this site?

  46. James Pearce says:

    @bill:

    didn’t see any democrats helping them get into the “closed open air memorials”…..just sayin.

    That’s because they’re in Congressional meetings, trying to get the whole government re-opened.

    Funny how doing the actual work gets one no credit, but when Sarah Palin makes a speech, it’s considered “helping.” Um, Bill, that kind of thing doesn’t actually “help.”

  47. DC Loser says:
  48. Todd says:
  49. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Tony W: As long as they’re automatic-squirrel guns, and Sarah Palin is wearing stripper heels and a bikini while she supervises the photo-op, I’ve go no problem with that.

    Mocking a disabled child because one doesn’t like the child’s mother… you know, Tony, I think you could be a little more contemptible if you tried. But I don’t think I want to see it.

  50. pylon says:

    Nothing from Mr. Lucas on the Confederate flag being waved?