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May 15, 2007

Not just an alternate version of the VFW
Posted by Patrick at 11:01 PM *

Remembering who the American Legion are, and what they come from: Digby, Jonathan Schwarz, and Rick Perlstein.

Perlstein bonus: a reminder of why many good people couldn’t bring themselves to vote for Hubert in ‘68.

Comments on Not just an alternate version of the VFW:
#1 ::: Andrew ::: (view all by) ::: May 16, 2007, 12:05 AM:

You'd think people would remember the AL's appearance in Grapes of Wrath.

#2 ::: Josh ::: (view all by) ::: May 16, 2007, 12:45 AM:

Apologies for relapsing into old drive-by correction habits, but I hope, being PNH, you'll understand the compulsion:

Perlstein.

Now back to policing the web for "Delaney"s.

#3 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: May 16, 2007, 01:51 AM:

The American Legion has conveniently forgotten all the lovely "support" given to the troops by their very own government, not only in this war, but in all others past. The support by the military medical facilities, the support by the Veterans' Administration*, the support of prisoners of war, etc. ad nauseum. Or maybe it's not amnesia but apology.

The point about the Grapes of Wrath goes a little deeper. When that was written, it was only a few years since the US Army had fired on and killed US Army veterans in Washington. But that was in another century and, besides, the troops are dead. And we are condemned to relive our history.

* The agency that controls veterans, not so?

#4 ::: FS ::: (view all by) ::: May 16, 2007, 10:22 AM:

a reminder of why many good people couldn’t bring themselves to vote for Hubert in ‘68.

Yes, and what a monumental case of cutting off your nose to spite your face that was.

#5 ::: cathy ::: (view all by) ::: May 16, 2007, 10:49 AM:

Another happy thought about the past history of the American Legion - they were one of the groups that actively lobbied congress and helped kill a bill that would have created a U.S. version of the kindertransport.

#6 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: May 16, 2007, 12:08 PM:

It's entertaining seeing the rhetoric about "supporting the president in time of war" turned around on them. This is just so common in politics--the grandly-stated principle of today is contradicted tomorrow when it's expedient to do so, and nobody much blinks. Remember when the Clinton administration was in power, and it was Democratic mouthpieces giving us the line about supporting the president, the broad powers of the presidency, etc.? And the Republicans worried about too much power concentrated in the White House, wars with little popular support and no real US interest at stake, etc?

Perhaps with the web and the blogosphere, we can end up with a bit more institutional memory. (It's not like nobody in the media remembers last year's rhetoric or lies, though--they just don't mention them.)

#7 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 16, 2007, 01:28 PM:

'Politicise' always seems to mean 'use for your political advantage and my disadvantage'.

Or, since this is so obviously an irregular verb:

I use for patriotic purposes.
You politicise.
S/he commits treason.

#8 ::: Henry ::: (view all by) ::: May 16, 2007, 06:56 PM:

You're not alone on Pearlstein/Perlstein; see also BdL. There's lots, lots more juicy stuff about Humphrey (and esp. his relationship with LBJ) in Perlstein's Nixonland, forthcoming next year.

#9 ::: bad Jim ::: (view all by) ::: May 17, 2007, 03:48 AM:

Whenever anyone trots out the old line, "Why do you care about illegal surveillance if you aren't doing anything wrong?", it's handy to be able to point out that they continually and emphatically equate dissent with treason.

First they came for the amphibians...

#10 ::: aaa ::: (view all by) ::: May 19, 2007, 02:35 PM:

Former chief UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter has also recently written about the American Legion here.

#11 ::: Dan MacQueen ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2007, 08:44 PM:

This entry was just reposted on the livejournal feed: I don't know if that's due to a technical problem on your end or livejournal's, though.

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