Mitt Romney on why his sons aren’t serving in Iraq.

I know life on the campaign trail is supposed to be hard, but I didn’t think it equated to serving in Iraq. However it appears Mitt Romney does:

At an “Ask Mitt Anything” forum this morning in Iowa, former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) was asked about why his sons have not served in the military. His response:

“My sons are adults. They’ve chosen not to serve in the military in active duty and I respect their decision in that regard. … And one of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping me get elected because they think I’d be a great president.”

He should’ve stopped after explaining they’re adults and it’s their decision and I would’ve been fine with that, but that extra bit just makes him sound like a pompous ass.

20 thoughts on “Mitt Romney on why his sons aren’t serving in Iraq.

  1. Politicians need to stop and think before they open their mouth.  I understand what he meant to say, but as Les said he just comes off a pompous ass.

  2. He just comes off a pompous ass.

    Not really. The man thinks he’d be a good president (or he’d be able to milk the system richly) or he wouldn’t be running.

    Of course, I understand that, as a professional in any field, your image hangs on the precipice that the people who will most likely criticize you are probably not smart enough to wipe their ass without assistance. I don’t mean that literally, of course, but that you should always expect the very worst from the general public.

    Pompous? Nah. There’s nothing virtuous about demeaning yourself so others aren’t offended. I don’t back his opinion, but I respect that he offered it straightforward. It’s not an unreasonable position.

  3. Why do his sons think he’ll make a great president? Will he beat them if he loses? (not necessarily physically)

  4. I’m with Les. It’s nobody’s business why any able-bodied person who could serve in the American military doesn’t. Ignoring for the moment that it’s debatable whether service members primarily serve the nation or the interests of war profiteers, it takes quite an ego to even compare military service with political cheerleaders.

  5. I was thinking – the military is a tool for politically influencing forein affairs, campaingers are a tool for politically influencing domestic affairs, but it’s complicated by the domestic reaction towards forein affairs, and vice versa (but less effect vice versa – people seem to care more about what their own countrie’s doing abroad than what others are doing internally)

    Political power is not the entirity of power though – economics is a force in itself for both citizens and politicians, and (perhaps fortunately) economics is not completely seperated from politics either, whilst also not completely linked (it would fall entirely within governmental politics if it was)

  6. Thinking that one sort of power isn’t the same as other sorts of power is a mistake. Power is power, at least when you’re talking about people and not batteries.

  7. MM- The forms of power are cumulative, and factor into the same decision, but when they do compete, or where it looks to affect you, it’s helpful to make a distinction as to where it’s coming from in order to make an assessment.

    Recognising broad similarities does help you notice patterns, but in addition recognising the specific differences can only help in situations which are best dealt with specificly – (generally speaking) this way also allows you to target one particular point without needing to go completely against the grain (in the extreme, the exact opposite on all levels isn’t always the best, it’s more efficient to be precise about what conflicts)

  8. I agree with Les.  I will even go further and say that it is an irrelevant question in the first place-the last thing this blood-loving country needs is more wannabe warlords anywhere near positions of influence!  I felt it was almost irrelevant when the same issue was brought against Bush.  I say almost irrelevant for a few reasons:

    1. The questions were about his service record, not family members’ records.

    2.He claimed to have served, but really did no more than the rest of us(or the vast majority of republican chickenhawks, for that matter)

    3. Most importantly, he actively tried to be taken seriously as an experienced leader in military matters.  If you’re going to pretend to be some sort of heroic warlord, maybe you shouldn’t be such a pussy in reality!

    I guess #3 still applies to Romney, since we’ll no doubt be treated to more mass-murdering,pro-torture, freedom hating, sex-fearing republican family values if he’s elected!

  9. On a separate side of the same issue: There is a simple law that could be passed but never will be-Families of congressmen and the executive branch should be required to serve if war is declared.  I would like to see a day when every congressman has an understudy or back-up to take over their term in an emergency, and in the case of war, the congressmen themselves would go as well!  If we could include arms manufacturers and their families, we would never have a war again.  Of course there would just be “police actions” instead of wars.  Because if you haven’t figured it out by now, when a conservative says “personal responsibility” or “accountability” or “sacrifice” they are never referring to themselves.  EVER.

  10. Why stop there?

    Think Heinlein’s Starship Troopers. You don’t get full citizen’s rights unless you serve.

    Because if you haven’t figured it out by now, when a conservative says “personal responsibility” or “accountability” or “sacrifice” they are never referring to themselves.  EVER.

    Lots of other people croaking is a sacrifice they’re willing to make—from a safe distance.

    To quote another author, it’s all about blood and gold: the king’s gold and the soldier’s blood.

    Feh.

  11. This I agree with:

    I would like to see a day when every congressman has an understudy or back-up to take over their term in an emergency, and in the case of war, the congressmen themselves would go as well!

    Someone once asked me how I’d manage things if the USA were my country, and the first thing I’d do is train every able-bodied citizen; especially politicians. Not saying I’d send every able-bodied citizen to war, but one of the problems Canada has, I think, is that, even if we conjured a significant military force, in the case of an emergency, the time it would take to mobilize would be too slow. We just aren’t prepared for a large-scale military conflict.

    But it’s to take the opportunity, in the end, to show citizens that, as citizens, we owe, and must protect, ourselves, our families, and our communities in compromised times. However, noble as that sounds, merely training a militia for a couple years and then doing nothing with it, you’d end up retraining a lot of people when the time comes.

    The tough part is creating an effective, large-scale citizen militia to deal with times of conflict. I idealize in how it would turn out, but of course, I have no idea how to get it done. Perhaps that’s for the better.

  12. I don’t think the majority of Americans, or the majority of the military even, are responsible enough to trust with the sort of duties you’re really talking about as a soldier. Or a policeman, or a politician, for that matter.

    The majority of people who sign up for those jobs say “responsibility” but what they really are is thirsty vampires trying to suck up the power, wealth, glory and recognition that comes from the positions. It takes a small-minded person to get a hard-on for handing out a traffic ticket, but it doesn’t mean I don’t think there are plenty of small people out there willing to fill those shoes.

  13. Neil: Families of congressmen and the executive branch should be required to serve if war is declared

    I don’t agree, military service should be of one’s free will (except maybe in cases of dire emergency). Imagine being the son of a congressman, through no fault of your own, and being sent off to a war you didn’t agree with, it wouldn’t be your fault.

    Elwed: You don’t get full citizen’s rights unless you serve.

    This would result in pacifists, as well as genuine cowards (which I am) being treated as 2nd rate citizens. Is this fair? Depends on your perspective…

    Patness: to show citizens that, as citizens, we owe, and must protect, ourselves, our families, and our communities in compromised times

    I dislike the notion of being expected to kill, it would put a pacifist in a dire moral position – kill to protect? would it make a difference anyway? If I knew the other side was gonna win anyway I’d just surrender, or run away (in the heat of battle you’d be low priority to both sides)

  14. The Heinlen idea could work, but I doubt it ever will.  By today’s standards, all that would result would be an unstoppable military force with even less oversight than we have now.  Try conscienciously objecting then!  It would concentrate authority, not water it down or make it more thoughtful.

    Also, philosophically I don’t like the implication that you can’t be on the team, you can’t contribute anything without blind allegiance being your first priority.  Sending leaders and rich folks first would stop many wars-sending everybody would only increase the ingroup identity and the exclusion of those who disagree.  Given what I’ve learned from life and history, “shut up and do what you’re told” will never be a political maxim that I can live by.
    I have no problem honoring those who make sacrifices.  It’s the constant use of this emotion as a political tool that is beyond disgusting.

  15. I dislike the notion of being expected to kill, it would put a pacifist in a dire moral position – kill to protect? would it make a difference anyway? If I knew the other side was gonna win anyway I’d just surrender, or run away (in the heat of battle you’d be low priority to both sides)

    Sure it would make a difference – you live, the other guy dies. If you die, you have nothing. That’s a pretty big difference.

    Anyone who puts you in a position of mortal threat is, obviously, not very considerate of your welfare. You should count yourself lucky that you make it through such an ordeal in once piece.

    As for disliking the notion of being expected to kill, I dislike that idea too – but the reality is, there will always be times when at least some among us (if not most of us) are required to act for our own immediate survival or the survival of those around us, killing, fleeing, controlling, whatever. We cannot simply wish away conflict. At the very least, an individual must be prepared to protect the self. When they are not, then they put their welfare in the hands of another, who may or may not share their concerns.

    When it’s your ass on the line, who will you depend on?

  16. I’m not too keen on mandatory military service myself. I’m not sure that would really solve anything other than perhaps the low recruitment numbers the military has been having lately.

    As I said, I thought the first half of his answer was perfectly fine. I just thought the second half was amazingly stupid. Jon Stewart appears to have through so as well:

  17. patness: you live, the other guy dies. If you die, you have nothing

    But in terms of protecting others…
    I’m not sure i’d kill to protect myself, it’s difficult to judge who has more right to live (and killing alters that right), but at least with fleeing theres a chance that both will. Part of the decision would be whether I had a kid. Alternatively aim to miss and hope to hell it ends in a surrender.

    Also if you do kill another under mortal threat, you are a lot less guilty than a murderer, but still have to live with the idea that you’ve taken a life.

    Anyone who puts you in a position of mortal threat is, obviously, not very considerate of your welfare. You should count yourself lucky that you make it through such an ordeal in once piece.

    If they had a choice or are willing to kill then true, but they may also be forced-conscripts who don’t wanna be there and don’t wanna kill

    When it’s your ass on the line, who will you depend on?

    I’ll just hope they’ll concentrate their fire on those who present a threat to them (though I would be easy pickings if running)

  18. Nothing to enlightening to add except that as a MA tax-payer (husband is Active Navy, that is why we are in Hampton Roads VA) I just wanted to let you know that Mit is an ass. No need to ever question that.

  19. Les you would never conquer Canada.
    Have you noticed the amount of Canadians in the U.S. media?
    These are the advanced “Spin Doctors,” plus we have hundreds of thousands more people who have infiltrated the States disquised as Americans.
    Watch out!
    Your “subversive” scribe;
    Allan W Janssen

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.