Oct 23 2012

Obama’s Snark Cost Him Virginia, and Probably Colorado

Published by at 8:21 am under 2012 Elections,All General Discussions

Update: I really like this post at Hot Air on the multidimensional screw up this incident really is.

Update: Breitbart also notes the damage Obama did in VA (H/T Hot Air)

Update: Someone from across the pond (in the UK) saw it the same way I did:

Well, governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets because the nature of our military’s changed.” The audience laughed, Obama laughed, I laughed. It was funny.

But here’s why it was also a vote loser. For a start, Twitter immediately lit up with examples of how the US Army does still use horses and bayonets (horses were used during the invasion of Afghanistan). More importantly, this was one example of many in which the President insulted, patronised and mocked his opponent rather than put across a constructive argument. His performance was rude and unpresidential. Obama seemed to have a touch of the Bidens, wriggling about in his chair, waving his hands dismissively and always – always – smirking in Romney’s direction. By contrast, Romney sucked up the abuse and retained a rigid poker face all night. He looked like a Commander in Chief; Obama looked like a lawyer. Who would you rather vote for?

For the record, with family and friends in the military, I did not laugh. – end update

Mitt Romney made an important comment last night, one that apparently went right by a sadly ignorant nation (given this morning’s glowing response to President Obama’s snarky retort). It goes to the “Bayonets & Horses” comment of Obama, which in its full context also noted ships upon which aircraft land called “carriers”, and ships that go underwater called “submarines”. I felt I was back watching Sesame Street again.

This retort tracked well with some of Frank Luntze’s undecided voters – which also sadly exposed the ignorance of the electorate on history, technology and the military.

Trust me, the snarky comment did not go over well in Navy-heavy Virginia – home of all the services and the Pentagon – nor military-heavy Colorado. Both states have large communities well versed on the topic so flippantly dismissed by the current Command in Chief.

Romney’s point was Obama plans to cut the military to early World War I levels (1916). At this point in our history we could barely protect ourselves. Roughly  year later America mobilized a lot of men to die in Europe without the military technology and weapons that could save them for dying for Europe’s freedom. Our tanks were joke.

By the beginning of World War II we had invested in more military capacity, but it was not nearly enough. The German’s and Japanese started the war with much better tech – across the board. They could not produce our numbers, but at the War’s start their ships, planes and tanks were superior and killed 100’s of thousands of Americans. US Tech won the war, but brutally. We did not toss a horse or bayonet at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

If our forces were equipped and sized like they were coming out of World War II, Germany may not have (who can tell with a mad man), and Japan more than likely would not have initiated their plans of global conquest. Proof is in the cold war, where Stalin (another insane mass murderer) was contained along with his brutal successors. Once America was well enough equipped, the world stopped the World Wars and was faced with regional conflicts (until madmen like Saddam Hussein built up a military to rival China’s).

Peace through strength. It is not a cheap slogan. Our fire power and resolve to use it keeps much of the world’s hot spots from becoming regional or global. The reason we have the largest military compared to the next 10 nations is because all the European nations have shrunk their military capacity down to nothing. It is why the US deploys 80% of international and UN forces when actual fighting is required.

Russia too has slimmed down their forces. We are the largest in The West because we are the last ones capable of policing the world when called.

But not China. China is now building aircraft carriers (only a handful of nations can afford them, let alone staff them). Obama said we would be the Pacific naval power – but his military cuts don’t add up anymore than his deficit cutting does. He will expose us to an aggressive China who may feel like experimenting with US resolve. This is very dangerous.

The Horse and Bayonet line, while I guess funny to some, was arrogant and ignorant. First off, Romney was not asking for horses (and yes, we still use bayonets in the Marine Corp).

Romney wants to make sure we have enough of those fancy carriers and submarines to project the peace. And we need updated modern tech, since the rest of the world is not using horses any more either. We need more of these (click to enlarge):

And more of these:


These fast, powerful and stealthy ships will protect our forces, our allies and all civilians by projecting accurate and deadly force where and when we need it. It is this ability to reach out and tap someone like a Bin Laden that keeps many frustrated people from becoming the next Adolph Hitler.

This subject – what is our role in the world and how much military fighting power do we need to perform our missions – is not a laughing matter. Protecting people overseas in harms way, disaster relief after tsunamis, wars are all deadly serious business. This is not a game of Battleship.

See the difference?

Also note how snark is easy and useless when it comes to serious matters.

While I grant most citizens are woefully naive about this important community of defenders in our nation, that does not mean they are not out there, listening and turned off. Colorado and Virginia are epicenters of national defense. And the military’s extended family (families of soldiers and contractors) is massive. We have an enormous capacity to secure the world because we have an enormous work force doing the job..

It is quite clear people who serve should be proud of their service and sacrifice. I doubt that American pride translates to those now serving on Obama food stamp programs. I know which service I would prefer.

8 responses so far

8 Responses to “Obama’s Snark Cost Him Virginia, and Probably Colorado”

  1. Mike M. says:

    Beg pardon, but LCS is precisely what we do NOT need. It’s overpriced, underarmed, and incredibly vulnerable.

    More DDGs (guided missile destroyers), subs, and carriers would be welcome, though. Airplanes that aren’t Reagan-era antiques.

    This country desperately needs a serious discussion on national security policy and the force structure. Romney has made noises indicating he understands this, even if the general public does not. Obama? He regards the Department of Defense as a pot of money to loot so he can pay off his campaign contributors.

  2. AJStrata says:

    Mike M,
    Agreed, but I was comparing it to horses….


  3. Mike M. says:

    I’ll extend and revise my remarks….

    In many ways, LCS is emblematic of the Obama regime. Overpriced, underarmed – and we are selling, scrapping, or sinking servicable warships to get them.

    This is a problem that has been brewing for twenty years. The force structure the U.S. had in the late 1980s was designed to fight a land war in Europe against the Soviet Union. Big Army, Big Air Force (weighted toward tactical aviation), Medium Navy (with lots of convoy escorts). The collapse of the Soviet Union SHOULD have produced a serious rebalancing – but didn’t. Instead, Bush the Elder hit everybody with a 20% cut, Clinton hit every service with another 20% cut.

    Now, Obama is talking about a “strategic pivot” to the Pacific. Which many people agree with. But talk is ALL he’s done. Operations in the Pacific are dominated by seapower, with land-based airpower in a secondary role. It implies a substantial increase in the Navy, a shift in the Air Force from tactical aviation to strategic aviation, and a significant shrinkage of the Army. Instead, Obama has cut all three services.

    If you check the Naval blogs, Romney has been sounding like he understands the issues for some time. Gets the idea that we need to be rebalancing the force structure. And that we need to do provide more than cheap talk to defend the nation.

  4. penguin2 says:

    Obama’s condescending snarkiness wouldn’t play well in Connecticut (Groton, big sub hub) either, and while we’re not going to get that state, it can move local races a few points – enough to affect them.

    Someone ought to tell Obama that “ships” that go underwater (submarines), are actually referenced as “boats.”

    One of the things that I’ve observed about Obama is his actual “unworldliness.” He seems ignorant about so many things ordinary Americans have some awareness of. But as president, he really lacks knowledge.

    We weren’t laughing here in this Navy household either.

  5. patrioticduo says:

    Obama knows that the military is not going to vote for him so his snark was directed at all of the nuts out there that don’t know the issues and measure his abilities by how he appears and talks; not for what he is. I think that many undecided voters are repulsed by Obama’s very visible despotic/narcissistic tendencies. How does someone so disinterested in the first debate become so activated in the second and third? Well, the people have interpreted Mr O’s inconsistent performance for what it is; only when his own skin is on the line does Mr O become animated. He stands for little more than his own ego. On the other hand, Mr Romney is clumsy, often lacks the fast comeback but appears genuinely measured. He looks like someone who gives a damn about America and the people in it; cares enough to be less politically suave and far more humble in face of the enormity of the task. Obama has been trying to look like he can do this job with his eyes closed. But we have worked out that he actually IS doing much of the job with his eyes closed. So these debates truly were about style or substance; which do we want? The substance can’t be displayed in three short debates, but the underlying basis from which the candidates will operate could be divined. When Obama takes cheap shots at his opponent, you know he is no longer interested in debating on substance. And his boilerplate stump speeches show it. The sound bites that we’re getting out of the media now really show the contrast.

  6. Fai Mao says:

    Something that is missed I think, at least a little is that Romney does not have to fight snark with snark because he has people like Sununu and Gingrich and Christie to do that for him. The democrats cannot do this because they’re whole political platform is built on it. Obama MUST be snarky. Socialist believe they occupy a moral high ground and they are more compassionate, more enlightened, smarter, better educated and a higher form of human. When Republicans question those assumptions they must be shouted down. If Obama recognizes Romney’s positions as actually a viable option that reasonable people could consider then socialism loses the cloak of inevitability that allow its adherents to believe it will eventually work. Without the artificial moral high ground the democrats claim they cannot win.

  7. Redteam says:

    I’m a supercarrier guy. I served most of my time on one of those big things that have airplanes land on them. One thing the enemy does not want is a big aircraft carrier cruising around. Obama doesn’t care about the military. He certainly doesn’t want them voting. While I’m not a real fan of Romney’s politics (I don’t see him as a real conservative) I do respect him for his ‘business qualities’. I was in executive management and Romney is the kind of exec I would respect. He listens, thinks about it and then responds calmly. And I have the assurance that with his experience, when he’s thinking, it’s from a solid base of knowledge of the business world. Let’s get him in office…