Published May 29, 2012
Conservatives have long complained the left doesn’t like the military. MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, host of "Up with Chris Hayes" and an editor at the liberal journal The Nation, served as a vivid reminder of that theme this past weekend when he got into trouble for criticizing U.S. troops during a discussion of Memorial Day.
Hayes told his audience on Sunday, May 27 that he was “uncomfortable” with referring to “war dead” as “heroes.” As evident by the “ums” and “ahs,” Hayes was clearly trying to be politically correct in his comment. Instead, he expressed a typical left-wing sentiment: “I feel comfortable, ah, uncomfortable, about the word because it seems to me that it is so rhetorically proximate to justifications for more war.”
The term “tone deaf” doesn’t even begin to describe how out of touch Hayes appeared on the eve of a holiday designed to honor the military’s fallen.
Not long after VFW National Commander Richard DeNoyer called Hayes out for “his obvious disregard for the service and sacrifice of the men and women,” Hayes apologized.
Hayes went from stupidity to “truly sorry” in one day, trying hard to keep a weekend news story from creeping into the weekly news cycle. On the "Up with Chris Hayes," website he wrote:
“But in seeking to discuss the civilian-military divide and the social distance between those who fight and those who don't, I ended up reinforcing it, conforming to a stereotype of a removed pundit whose views are not anchored in the very real and very wrenching experience of this long decade of war.”
The Hayes comment posed a danger to Team Obama, which is already struggling to get veterans to support the president's reelection campaign. On the same day as Hayes issued his apology, The Christian Science Monitor was reporting that Romney “has a big lead over incumbent Barack Obama among vets – 58 percent to 34 percent, according to new Gallup survey.”
President Obama wants to chip away at that lead. He even used Memorial Day to honor Vietnam Veterans and mark the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the war. He told veterans how “some Americans turned their backs on you.”
Obama tried to stay on the lefty message that is now allegedly pro-troops.
He told a crowd at the Vietnam Memorial on Monday, May 28, that: “You came home and were sometimes denigrated when you should have been celebrated. It was a national shame, a disgrace that should have never happened.”
But who “denigrated” those soldiers? It certainly wasn’t conservatives who have long been pro-military. It was the very hardcore lefties who both back Obama and form the press corps that gives him enormous support.
As the election approaches, you can bet that liberals will try to hide that reality.
But it’s not like Hayes was the only one who was using this holiday weekend by showing typical liberal discomfort for the military.
Liberals used this Memorial Day for everything from bashing the military to urging cuts in defense spending to discussing the “war on cancer” or the “war on gays."
Writing for the lefty site Commondreams.org, Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez said “Let’s De-Militarize Memorial Day.” She urged Americas to honor everyone who has died, saying: “Let’s take Memorial Day back from the military.” The website says that De Hernandez “teaches comparative literature and gender studies with an activist bent at Bard College.”
That’s a shock.
Former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich took the holiday as a time to talk about shrinking the military. “We can best honor those who have given their lives for this nation in combat by making sure our military might is proportional to what America needs,” he wrote on May 26.
Yes, honor the best military in the world by cutting it back and making its job impossible.
And, even on Memorial Day, the left can’t avoid discussing the gay agenda.
Long-time New York Times foreign correspondent Chris Hedges’ Memorial Day offering focused not on the wars around the world but on the “War on Gays.” One person quoted in the story told readers: “Married gays in the military are miserable.”
Because that’s the big issue on Memorial Day?
Though some lefties conceal it better, this is the same kind of sentiment that had the folks from Code Pink protesting wounded soldiers at Walter Reed in 2005. The Code Pink supporters are simply so far to the left that they can’t hide their disdain for the military.
Despite all that, the United States of America remains a nation fighting foreign wars in Afghanistan and elsewhere. But back home, it’s still the left fighting the war against our military.
Dan Gainor is the Boone Pickens Fellow and the Media Research Center’s Vice President for Business and Culture. His column appears each week on The Fox Forum. He can also be contacted on Facebook and Twitter as dangainor.