Anyone observing politics these days will have noticed the razor sharp edge of debate around the release of Bowe Bergdahl. I believe this debate is leading to a tipping point about the insanity of the radical right in general, and the Republican party in particular. With madness going mainstream, average people are shaking their heads and wondering, WTF is going on here?
Only two months ago, Republican leaders were singing the praises of Bergdahl, rightly calling for action to get him released. But now, in the throes of a smear campaign that rivals the swiftboating of John Kerry, these same leaders are accusing Bergdahl of desertion, treason, and worse. Some are even calling for Obama's impeachment because of his handling of Bergdahl's release.
Tripping over one another in a ridiculous rush to get in front of a camera, Republicans are politicizing something that every person in America should be happy about. A prisoner of war is returned safely.
It is against this backdrop of lunacy that the tide may be beginning to turn. People who understand war and military service are finding themselves baffled by opportunists, like Thom Tillis, who have jumped on the Bash Bergdhal Bandwagon. It is a sickening display, and people are taking notice.
One person wrote this comment on Daily Kos:
Not sure why nothing has disturbed me as much as this political response to getting back our POW. The sheer hypocrisy? The bald faced lying? The fake, fake, 'support the troops' meme and the lack of real help? Having my children serving now after going through their dad serving in Vietnam? Whatever, this has brought flashbacks like nothing since the Gulf war was declared and our baby sat waiting for orders to go.
I wasn’t going to weigh in on the Bergdahl story but then as is often the case, my mind traveled back in time and dredged up a little know bit of history; the G.I. resistance movement during the Viet Nam war.
I'm having similar thoughts. So are some of my former colleagues from the Navy, even those who lean far right on many issues. What we're all noticing is that the Republican party has become a parody of itself, breathtaking theater backed by a laugh track and nothing more.
When I was at the Naval Academy and then on active duty after that, there were many officers who openly and respectfully questioned the war we were being told to fight. Yes we followed orders, always, but we also had our own ideas about what the tragedy of it all. We also wanted the war to end. At a time when the entire country seemed to be against us, we hung together as best we could, and we always had the others' back.
And now this? Now we have a soldier who was captured by the enemy and held prisoner for five years ... and the Republican party in America wants to use him as a pawn in their political game? It is deja vu all over again, and it turns my stomach.
I'm not alone. People all across the political spectrum are rising in support of Obama and Bergdhal, rising like the seas themselves. They are looking at this situation and seeing a Republican political orgy, pure and simple.
Sure there are a few asses who can't ignore the chance to be in the spotlight. Like one of Bergdahl's platoon members (dishonorably discharged) who has been crying crocodile tears all over Fox News. And, of course, there's the Republican party leadership, and candidates like Tillis. They've walked out on a limb of artificial outrage and don't have the good sense to climb back.
Regular people are noticing. Yes, they were willing to ignore growing income inequality. Yes, they were willing to go along with cuts to education and threats to safe drinking water. But this is different. People are seeing the vast shallowness of the Republican party, their hypocrisy, and their willingness to lie about anything that comes across their petty little minds.
People are noticing.