Once again, a typically thoughtful, balanced, and constructive op-ed from Wes Clark appears in major paper, here the Washington Post. This one is on the Democrats and the military. Here’s a good excerpt:
Our military is a values-based institution. Don’t think of it as Republican or Democratic. Sure, occasionally someone will pop up, like the radio talk-show host I met while traveling in Arizona, who assured me that he had become a dues-paying Republican while serving as a Marine officer and thought that everyone else should, too. But most of us are uncomfortable with partisanship. True, many in the military, especially those who have served longer, lean toward the conservative end of the political spectrum. (What would you expect? The military must obey the orders of the commander in chief and follow the chain of command, which means giving up one’s own liberties and spending time in difficult and often very dangerous circumstances.) But the real military values aren’t partisan values; they’re service, loyalty, honesty, patriotism, respect, achievement and personal responsibility.
Which brings us to one more core military value, one that Democrats can easily embrace: fairness. Military leaders take care of their troops — and their unit’s families. They don’t take advantage of their authority. Captains eat after their troops do, not before. Good officers get to work earlier than their subordinates and leave later. I used to joke on the campaign trail that the Army was a socialist organization: The government owned the housing and all the equipment I worked with, everyone’s children went to the same schools and used the same hospitals, and the highest-ranking person (after more than 30 years in uniform) earned only about 10 or 12 times the salary of a raw recruit. In the military, we don’t like favoritism, show-boating or elitism.
As the saying goes, read the whole thing.
Question: with all this talk about Obama’s national security appointments, where in the world is Clark? Sure, he supported Clinton in the primaries, but then, so did, well, the Sec State-designate. So did Tom Vilsack. So did Larry Summers. So did Carol Browner. So did Nancy Sutley. I don’t recall Robert Gates and James Jones coming out for Obama, either.
Clark wasn’t even invited by the Obama people to the convention. I don’t know what’s going on here. But someone should find out: Clark has been working very hard for Democrats all over the country, and worked hard for Obama during the fall. He’s a real asset. This looks like a diss.
Maybe NATO Secretary-General? Just a thought.