Favorite



We’ve noticed that the people who cry “Support our Troops” the loudest seem to interpret “support” to mean “sacrifice.” Their idea of supporting our troops in Iraq is to keep a stiff upper lip as more of the troopers die. They don’t realize that working to bring the troops home alive and well from a place they should never have been sent in the first place is a higher form of support, and much easier on the troops. Nothing says “support” like saving somebody’s life.

If the “Support our Troops” cheerleaders had the troops’ best interests at heart, they’d have been rioting in the streets over congressional Republicans’ scheme to attach a controversial and irrelevant amendment to the bill providing financial support for American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, an attachment that would have put the bill itself in jeopardy. But the outrage came instead from high-minded legislators like Arkansas’s Blanche Lincoln. “Drilling rights in Alaska has been debated and defeated in this Congress for many years, and I am disappointed that Alaska senators have used our troops as pawns to try to win passage of an economic development project for their region,” Senator Lincoln said, in language remarkably restrained for the circumstances. “This extraordinary attempt to insert it into a bill that funds our troops and provides for their safety at a time of war is inappropriate.”

Both Lincoln and Arkansas’s junior senator, Mark Pryor, voted against the effort led by Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, and supported by the president, to allow oil drilling in a unique natural resource, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, that belongs to all Americans. The amount of oil in the Refuge is insufficient to break the U.S. dependency on foreign oil, or even to lower gasoline costs significantly. But there’s enough to make a potful more money for Big Oil, and to assert again the right-wing rule that the private interest always takes precedence over the public interest.

Stevens’ effort failed. When private greed endangers American servicemen and women, even this Congress flinches.

A majority of the Congress did not flinch, however, at cutting spending on programs that aid Americans who most need aid — the poor, the sick, the uneducated, the very young and the very old. Vice President Dick Cheney, heart as black as the oil in ANWR, rushed home from meddling overseas to cast the 51st and decisive vote for the bill in the Senate. No one is more diligent than Cheney when it comes to denying relief to the poor in order to give more tax refunds to the rich. He deserves to be impeached for gross meanness, but, as the current joke goes, that would make George Bush president. Both Lincoln and Pryor voted against the punishment of the poor. They have consciences.


Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • TGIF

    Here's the Friday open line, plus a roundup of news and comment.
    • Feb 24, 2017
  • Fake news stings Tom Cotton

    Satirist Andy Borowitz invoked the name of U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton in a humor column poking fun at Republicans running from town hall meetings. Maybe a little unfair to Cotton, who DID hold such an event.
    • Feb 24, 2017
  • Price of a free press: Political retribution

    The Trump administration freezes some reporters out of press gatherings. Dejavu all over again for us at the Arkansas Times.
    • Feb 24, 2017
  • More »

More by Arkansas Times Staff

Most Shared

Latest in Editorials

  • The end of an era

    We're sad to report that Doug Smith has decided to retire. Though he's been listed as an associate editor on our masthead for the last 22 years, he has in fact been the conscience of the Arkansas Times. He has written all but a handful of our unsigned editorials since we introduced an opinion page in 1992.
    • May 8, 2014
  • A stand for equality

    Last week, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel became the first elected statewide official to express support for same-sex marriage. His announcement came days before Circuit Judge Chris Piazza is expected to rule on a challenge to the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Soon after, a federal challenge of the law is expected to move forward. McDaniel has pledged to "zealously" defend the Arkansas Constitution but said he wanted the public to know where he stood.
    • May 8, 2014
  • Same old, same old

    Remarking as we were on the dreariness of this year's election campaigns, we failed to pay sufficient tribute to the NRA, one of the most unsavory and, in its predictability, dullest of the biennial participants in the passing political parade.
    • May 1, 2014
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

Little River County gears up for Sesquicentennial

Little River County gears up for Sesquicentennial

Historical entertainment planned for joint celebration of three Southwest Arkansas milestone anniversaries

Event Calendar

« »

February

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28  

Most Viewed

  • Arkansas voters know what they want

    With a surprisingly strong vote, 53 percent of Arkansas's voters said last Nov. 8 that they wanted to bring medical marijuana to the state.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Trump and Russia

    • By the by - two days after Trump talked about Sweden having problems - there…

    • on February 23, 2017
  • Re: Hating the media

    • I believe in a free press. And I always believed that the mainstream media was…

    • on February 23, 2017
  • Re: Trump and Russia

    • Well, I'm certainly glad that Gene Lyons finally describer himself perfectly: "a daffy old-timer with…

    • on February 23, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation