More Harsh Rhetoric in the Doolittle-Brown Race

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It’s almost election time, and the war of words has spilled over. You can tell when a race is close, by the heat of the rhetoric. You can tell who is feeling nervous and who is feeling confident by who is reaching a little further for traction.

The latest in the race for California’s Fourth Distrct comes from Duncan Hunter, a California Republican who heads the House Armed Services committee. At issue, an email sent by Brown in 2004. Hunter attacked a Brown e-mail calling the Iraq campaign a “war of occupation/aggression” an e-mail Brown wrote in April 2004 while a civilian employee of the Roseville Police Department.

Hunter: “It is not a war of aggression in Iraq. I think his statement is an affront to the troops.”

Is Iraq a war of aggression? You could certainly make the argument that it is, after all the U.S. attacked Iraq with little to no provocation on the premise that they possessed weapons of mass destruction–a notion that we now know is false. Iraq a nation that was not a threat and not involved in the September 11 attacks on the US.

Whether it is, or whether it is not, the striking feature of Hunter’s statement was that Brown’s statement somehow represented “an affront to the troops.” The decision to attack Iraq was not made by the troops but rather by the civilian and political leaders in this country. Any criticism of the motives for the war does not reflect on the troops but rather on the civilian leadership. So the entire idea that whenever the civilian leadership is challenged, it somehow represents an affront to the troops is nothing more than a political red herring.

Hunter knows that the Fourth District is a heavily patriotic district and strongly supportive of our military. The question is whether the Fourth District like the rest of the country has had enough of the war on Iraq and sees it for what it is.

The rhetoric in the last week of attacking Brown’s association with the anti-war movment is premised on the notion that the allies of Brown will make the constituents in the Fourth District uncomfortable and force them to come back home to the Republican party. We believe that the voters in the Fourth District see through this kind of cynical manipulation. And realize it for what it is–a desperate attempt to defend what is an indefensible policy in Iraq.

Meanwhile the fun continues with comments made yesterday by House Majority Leader John Boehner:

In an interview Wednesday on CNN, Boehner said, “Let’s not blame what’s happening in Iraq on Rumsfeld.”

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer replied, “But he’s in charge of the military.”

“The fact is, the generals on the ground are in charge, and he works closely with them and the president,” Boehner, an Ohio Republican, said.

Apparently John Kerry isn’t the only one putting his foot in his mouth.

—Doug Paul Davis reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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