Here’s what Charles Rangel said:
If a young fella has an option of having a decent career or joining the army to fight in Iraq, you can bet your life that he would not be in Iraq.
Here’s the headline at Michelle Malkin’s sister blog Hot Air:
Rangel says men join the army only if they can’t have “a decent career”
And there you go. A fair and accurate statement is ripped from context and made to sound like something terrible – as if only total losers join the army. Only that isn’t what Rangel actually said. But no matter: Malkin’s usual mob of sensationalist dunces are all over it, puffing up Rangel’s words just as they did a few weeks ago with John Kerry. All these links say Rangel is insulting everyone who would join the Army, saying they only do so because they can’t find good careers.
Rangel is saying, correctly, that those we send to fight and kill and die in Iraq wouldn’t be doing so if they had a better option. Is there anything there to argue against? Is that a crazed statement? So out of nothing, we now have “a big story,” and Rangel will be raked over the coals and maybe even crucified. Such is the juvenile state of the Bush bloggers, who are reduced to playing idiotic word games. Intellectually, emotionally and morally vacuous.
Update: One of the world’s best bloggers gets it right:
Charles Rangel essentially said what we all know to be true. Nobody really wants to go to Iraq to fight and most enter into the service to take advantage of the increased bonuses and educational opportunities. So while John Hinderaker calls it “foolishness“, perhaps he can explain why neither he, Paul Mirengoff, or Scott Johnson (all three of whom have children old enough to serve) have yet to have a child enlist to fight this Clash of Civilizations that threatens Apple Valley via Baghdad.
Read his whole amusing (as always) post.
Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.