There’s no particular reason to be surprised at the inordinate capacity for cruelty on display from Republican conservatives in regard to the release of POW Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl — there’s a pattern here, and unfortunately a demonstrably consistent one.
The the opposition has a sympathetic moment including a laudable sympathetic spokesperson or iconic figure — then attack until any satisfaction achieved at a personal, family, or national level is subsumed in a torrent of garbage. It’s happened all too often before.
One might have thought that those women who lost husbands during the 9/11 attacks could be spared the indignity of a frontal assault from conservatives. They weren’t. Instead, in 2006 they were characterized as follows: “These broads are millionaires, lionized on TV and in articles about them, reveling in their status as celebrities and stalked by grief-arazzies. I have never seen people enjoying their husbands’ death so much.” [TP] It was bad enough to have one media personality launch this rubbish, but conservative spokespersons on cable news networks were only too happy to pile on. [MMFA] Widows… how about children?
Remember Graeme Frost? The child horrifically injured in an automobile accident,who benefited from the SCHIP program, and whose family was subjected to smears and outright lies concerning their insurance status, their family income, and their sincerity, was a highly visible target in 2007. Who rakes a family which endured the agony of two severely injured young children over the coals? They did. And, Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) had a copy of an internal memo to prove it.
The flying monkeys were on full display again in March 2012 as conservative mouthpiece Rush Limbaugh disparaged the testimony of Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke, a target because she advocated extending insurance coverage to contraceptives, a policy of significance to any woman suffering from medical conditions which can be alleviated by the medication. Limbaugh who could conceive of no purpose for contraceptive prescription drugs other than for preventing pregnancy, motored full bore ahead into Slut Territory.
Thus we are now treated to the pre-trial publicity given by the conservative Republicans to the Bergdahl family in 2014. However Sgt. Bergdahl came to be in the hands of the Afghan Taliban is a matter for the U.S. military to sort out — on American soil, the U.S. ought not to outsource any potential punishment to the Taliban. Nor should the U.S. military violate or even amend one of its most static policies — we do not deliberately leave our soldiers behind when a war winds down. Who would enlist if the policy were modified to “we won’t leave you behind if you meet all our standards for perfect soldiering?” But, attacking the POW sergeant is one thing, to attack his parents puts the Ugly into the Repellant. [Politicususa]
It’s one thing to be combative with other people in political life, the Swiftboating of Senator John Kerry was classless and tasteless, but the Senator was, and remains, a very public figure. It’s another thing altogether to besmirch widows, children, private citizens, and the U.S. military. The conservative Republicans have given us no reason to believe that they aren’t perfectly capable of — perhaps even eager to — resort to some of the most despicable tirades and attention garnering antics in order to “win” at any cost — including at the expense of their own character.