Ed Driscoll

Johnny Got His Pension Plan

Past performance is…Oh wait, in this case it is a guarantee of what to expect:

The Nov. 4 edition of Time magazine has a long look by the estimable Mark Thompson at the state of the Army. It quotes me and other suspects, but the best comment is from Arnold Punaro, about the cost of benefits to the Pentagon: “We’re going to turn the Depart­ment of Defense into a benefits company that occasionally kills a terrorist.”

Thomas E. Ricks, October 28, 2013, Foreign Policy, as found by Orrin Judd.

Yeah, that’s going to end to well, considering that the above formulation is nearly identical to a line from Jonah Goldberg’s 2008 book,  Liberal Fascism, which foreshadowed GM’s union-induced meltdown by the end of the year and its transformation into the corporatist “Government Motors:”

There’s a reason liberal economists joke that General Motors is a health-care provider that makes cars as an industrial by-product.

And speaking of the postmodern military in what Obama groupie Fareed Zakaria of Time likes to call “The Post-American World,” a Red State contributor and self-describer former Marine is not happy about Mr. Obama’s plans to alter the Marines’ caps, or covers, as the Marines call them, and has some thoughts on what it says about the psyche of their Commander-in-Chief:

And you have to salute these men back. And it galls you, to the deepest pit of your soul, because you know that when you salute those Marines standing by that helicopter, you’re actually saluting better men than yourself.  Men that share a tradition of excellence that goes back 238 years, and it’s something that, no matter how many elections you win, or how many bad laws you manage to ram through a dithering and ineffectual Congress, you can never be a part of. They have something you don’t, and never will, have.

They have the title.

They are U.S. Marines. They weren’t given the title, They weren’t elected to the title, and they didn’t buy the title with money from Wall Street or Big Oil.  They earned it. They earned the title Marine with sweat, with blood, with fortitude, and with honor.  They have something you can’t have, and you can’t take away. For a man like you, the title United States Marine is utterly out of reach.

So what do you do? Do you simply accept that you’re merely the President, salute the better man, and move on? No. You figure out a way to make them look ridiculous. That way, when you pass them, you can remind yourself how fortunate you are that you don’t have to dress like that.  It’ll make the saluting easier the next time you have to go on an extended Blame-A-Thon.

Dress them up in pink pajamas if you like, Mr. President. They’re still better than you’ll ever be.

You can see photos of the proposed covers in this New York Post article from last week. As Troy Senik recently noted at Ricochet, “Populism’s Hard When You Don’t Like the People.” The young Obama disdained the business world and the suburbs. In 2008, we all heard Candidate Obama’s cracks about the moderate Hillary-supporting left being bitter clingers. Two years later, his then-press secretary sneeringly dubbed hardcore “Progressives” — Obama’s diehard supporters — “the Professional Left.” In 2009, Obama “joked” about auditing his enemies. Joe Biden reportedly called the Tea Party “terrorists” the following year. And Mr. Obama’s unwillingness to negotiate with Republicans in Congress has been a five year running psychodrama. Coupled with his loathing of the military — even worse than Bill Clinton’s self-professed early loathing of the military — is there anyone, or any group, in this nation whom the president and his staff actually like?