Friday, November 07, 2008

Muzzling the Troops

Two groups are not allowed to have political opinions: journalists and soldiers.

The public, of course, makes its own assumptions. Soldiers, being obedience-trained, are Republican; journalists, being skeptical and informed, are Democrats. Because neither is supposed to tip their hand, we never really know.

This year, military leaders, especially those near the top––especially the men in conservative suits advising the President, who, like him, have never experienced battle––were afraid to find out what the ranks really felt. The military managerial class––the middle-aged guys who wear camouflage outfits in their air conditioned offices in Tampa––will always be Republican to a man. But the men and women in theater have minds of their own. And their families showed a marked preference for the Democrat this year.

To mute any outbursts in favor of Obama on Tuesday night, the military brass told the military press to avert its eyes and not report. You can assume that reporting would have been thorough and enthusiastic if they knew their troops were with them, and if John McCain had been expected to win.


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