Monday, May 26, 2008
By Bruce Barry
on Mon, May 26, 2008 at 10:19 AM
This Week with Bob Mueller
. Gill implored Tennessee Democratic Party chair (and fellow This Week
panelist) Gray Sasser to share Gill's indignation at recent remarks by Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin about John McCain’s military family upbringing—remarks that Republicans have been laboring without success to spin as downright treasonable.
Here’s what Harkin said
during a May 16 conference call with reporters:
"I think one of the problems John McCain has, is that his grandfather was an admiral, his father was an admiral. He comes from a long line of just military people so I think his whole world view, his life view has been shaped from a military viewpoint, and he has a hard time thinking beyond that, and I think he's trapped in that. And I think that can be pretty dangerous. It's one thing to have been drafted and served or volunteer and serve for a few years or something and get out and get on with your life. [It's] quite another thing when you come from generations of military people, that's just how you're steeped, that's how you learned, that's how you grew up, it's hard to shake those things."
Here’s Gill’s overreaction Sunday on Mueller’s show:
"I’m…offended that the Obama team has not responded in a week to what Tom Harkin, their leader in Iowa, the U.S. Senator from Iowa, [who] came out with some disparaging statements about our troops, those who have volunteered to serve us in uniform, those who come from a military family. He calls them dangerous. He says that those people who come from a military mindset are dangerous, and those who volunteer rather than being drafted are people that we should suspect [sic]. I think that those statements are a lot more vile than anything that was done to Michelle Obama, and Obama hasn’t spoken on that nor has the Democratic party condemned those statements....[addressing Sasser] Will you call for Tom Harkin to be condemned and stripped of his duties when he’s a guy attacking our troops, attacking our all-voluntary military force?"
People from a military family are dangerous? An attack on the all-volunteer military? Yo Steve, did you bother to read Harkin’s actual remarks, or just the Fox News talking points? Harkin’s meaning was clear enough to anyone with sixth-grade reading comprehension skills: the "danger" is narrow-minded thinking arising from narrow life experiences. Reasonable people can disagree about whether this applies to McCain as a potential president, or about whether it was an artful rhetorical moment for Harkin. But spinning it into an act for which Harkin should be “stripped of his duties” borders on unhinged. Are we to understand that conservatives now want to impeach public officials for their exercise of free speech?
How desperate are conservatives right now in an election cycle that has GOP disaster written all over it? Pretty damn desperate, to judge by Steve Gill’s immoderate rant Sunday morning on WKRN’s