Saturday, September 18, 2010

“I support unlimited war... and limited government"

"When I give food to the poor, I'm called a saint. When I ask why they are poor, I'm called a communist." -Archbishop Dom Helder Camara.

Chris Gibson is the local Tea Party-backed candidate for Congress. Gibson is the pro-war corporate Republican who claims to be a fiscal conservative running against Scott Murphy, the incumbent pro-war Democrat who claims to be a fiscal conservative.

Gibson’s campaign motto is succinct: “[Iraq] Combat Veteran. Fiscal Conservative.” I’d love to hear him rationalize this given that, their inherent immorality aside, interminable wars of choice and aggression like Iraq are pretty much the most fiscally reckless thing any elected official can support.

But I suppose coming up with such a rationalization would require him to recognize the contradiction in the first place.

2 comments:

PlanetAlbany said...

Identifying yourself as a combat veteran does not imply either that you are pro-war or fiscally irresponsible. The decisions to fight wars and spend money are made by elected representatives (I recall both of New York's senators voting for the Iraq war). What grounds do you have for saying Gibson (or Murphy) supports "unlimited war"?

Brian F said...

Bob,
I find it significant that Mr. Gibson does not merely mention his combat history but has integrated it into half of his four word campaign slogan. It’s obviously something he wants to emphasize in order to bolster his aggressive foreign policy credentials.

“Identifying yourself as a combat veteran does not imply either that you are pro-war or fiscally irresponsible.”

You are right in clarifying that identifying yourself as a combat veteran does not imply being pro-war (there are a great many veterans who are opposed to our current wars) or fiscally irresponsible. My point was that being pro-war, particularly pro-war of aggression, IS inherently fiscally irresponsible (among other things).

In an op-ed piece he wrote and linked to on his website, the retired colonel made very clear his support for militarism, for a meddling, aggressive foreign policy that goes well beyond the goal of defending Americans in America. He may well think such folly is a good idea but it is not under any circumstance fiscally conservative.

Wars of choice are the least fiscally responsible thing you can do. As such, he needs to pick his rhetorical line and stick with it.