A grown woman in public office who acts like Lindsay Lohan has no business comparing one of America’s finest generals to Charlie Sheen. But anti-war Democratic Rep. Lynn Woolsey of California has never shown any restraint when it comes to smashing America’s military leaders before the world. That’s because being a Code Pink liberal like being a Hollywood brat — means never having to apologize for your reckless words and deeds.
Woolsey took to the House floor on Wednesday to report on her “Congressional Progressive Caucus Peace and Security Task Force” hearing with critics of the Afghanistan war. She parroted Rolling Stone journalist Michael Hastings (he’d be labeled an “activist,” of course, if he supported the surge), who said: “Gen. (David) Petraeus is giving us the Charlie Sheen counterinsurgency strategy, which is to give exclusive interviews to every major network, and to keep saying “we’re winning’ and hope the public actually agrees with you.”
Instead of sober-eyed expert testimony on how U.S. troops are combating the Taliban in Kabul and the northern and western regions of Afghanistan, Woolsey favors Jane Fonda theatrics and bloody hand waving for the paparazzi.
Instead of honest assessments of the difficulties of training an Afghan national security and civilian defense force and waging a long war, Woolsey wants simpleton chants of “No War!” and “Give Peace a Chance!”
I don’t go as far as Ms. Malkin. Rep. Woolsey is sometimes injudicious in her own language and her endorsement of statements made by others. She lacked good judgment when she aligned herself with the foolish Gen. Petraeus/Charlie Sheen comparison. And she certainly does tend to express her anti-war sentiments in less than Congressional ways. In that sense, one could argue she does act somewhat like the irresponsible, spoiled Ms. Lohan.
On the subject about which Lynn Woolsey is sometimes “too” passionate — war — it is always wise for Americans, be they in positions of power or not, to consider that grim option as the very last resort in any conflict. Lynn Woolsey does and for that I do not fault her one bit. She has also been consistent on the subject of her opposition to our military actions and then our occupations in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Now, as President Obama has committed U.S. forces to reportedly short-term military operations in Libya (the short-termness of which is now being opposed by John Bolton, a neoconservative), Lynn Woolsey has again spoken against that action: “The idea that we could be stepping into a third war … just makes me sick to my stomach to tell you the honest truth.” Although her comment is emotional, not logical in nature, other lawmakers did criticize the move more factually. For instance,
“The president has violated the War Powers Resolution,” said Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-San Jose.
Lofgren read the 1973 law aloud in a telephone interview from San Jose. It allows three instances when the president can use force: “(1) a declaration of war, (2) specific statutory authorization or (3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.”
“Have any of those things happened?” Lofgren asked.
Libya will undoubtedly be a source of debate as events unfold. But back to the behavior of our congresswoman. Is it just how she chooses to express her views on U.S. military intervention in other countries that deserves scrutiny and rebuff, or it is her actual, philosophical opposition to such intervention. I would say the former. As someone who does not think it is America’s responsibility to “police” the world, the congresswoman’s original opposition to our entry in Iraq was one of the few points on which I have mostly agreed with her over time. Afghanistan, to begin with, was a little different since our soldiers were moving against a force (al Qaeda) that had attacked us directly, but we have stayed in that country longer than we should have in my opinion too. We had the opportunity to remove ourselves several years ago when things were relatively quiet, but we did not do so.
In this time when reasonable, concerned Americans worry about out-of-control federal spending, it is important that we don’t forget that a responsible country does not overreach itself on the world stage. In 2010, according to this pie chart, we spent $670 billion on the Defense Department budget. Looking at those expenditure as a piece of a pie in which all federal departments make the whole, the Defense Department claimed nearly as many dollars as all the rest put together. Does our country really “need” all the bases it has around the world? Did it really “need” to build huge, expensive bases in Iraq? Our country does not encompass the world; we have our own geographical place here on earth, and while it is essential that the federal government spend what is needed to keep our country from would-be attackers, it is not essential that our federal government spend money keeping our men and women in uniform globally.
Anyway, back to our congresswoman. Lynn Woolsey can’t really be compared to Lindsay Lohan any more than David Petraeus can be to Charlie Sheen. But Rep. Woolsey did rather invite someone to say something similar when she agreed with the Petraeus/Sheen comparison, didn’t she? Maybe if our congresswoman were a little more respectful of our leaders in uniform, she would not be open to such ridicule. Also, if our congresswoman would recognize the flip side of the coin regarding spending — that we must cut domestic spending! — perhaps she would be taken more seriously by those of us in her constituency who can only be impatient with her constant demand for MORE spending on all kinds of programs that should not be run by the government at all. A member of Congress who cannot or will not understand the necessity of reining in our federal spending on all levels really can’t be taken seriously.