I can't stand it when I open my morning paper and get right-wing spin masquerading as a news story in my local news. Today:
Returning vets form a political surge
Five years in Iraq is a long time.
Long enough to spend $600 billion and lose nearly 4,000 uniformed lives.
Also long enough for rank-and-file to deploy, come home, discharge and run for office. Come November, an unprecedented number of Iraq war veterans will battle on ballots. From coast to coast, they're running guerrilla-style campaigns against career politicians.
Can they win?
"I'll be the youngest member of Congress," said 28-year-old Lee Zeldin, an Army reservist courting New York's 1st District, on the east end of Long Island. The JAG-attorney-turned-private-practice-lawyer is one of a dozen candidates who have joined a Republican coalition called Iraq Vets for Congress.
Since its inception in January, the group has enlisted candidates from key states such as Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida and California.
This is in my local paper because one of these whackjobs (he runs a website called "The Eternal Vigilance Society") is running against my freshman Congressman, John Hall, in NY's 19th district--a Congressman who has focused on veterans issues since taking office. (Notice how the reporter makes the freshman Congressman into a "career politician.")
This quote in particular galls me:
Roughly a quarter of the House of Representatives has military service on its resume. That's down from nearly 50 percent in 1991, before the Soviet Union collapsed. According to a recent study out of Duke University, veterans are currently under-represented in Congress compared to the population as a whole — a first in U.S. history.
That trend is changing, bolstered in recent months by the strength of the Republican's probable presidential nominee, John McCain, a decorated Naval aviator who spent more than five years as a prisoner in North Vietnam.
Huh? More vets are running because McCain is running for President? What kind of leap of logic is that? She also makes it sound like this is a new phenomenon.
Sure, some of the Iraq vets who are running for office are Republicans. But I remember from the 2006 cycle that the majority of the vets who were running (Iraq or other) were running as Democrats. The reporter conveniently leaves out Eric Massa (NY-29, right?) and Jon Powers in NY-26 from her article.
Does anybody have the statistics from the 2006 cycle and from this cycle as to the number for vets running as Democrats versus those running as Republicans so I can write a decent LTE in response to this one-sided piece?
Thanks, I certainly can't let this go unchallenged.