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Veterans for Congress

January 21, 2010

We need more veterans in Congress.  Tuesday night we got one more in the Senate.

I’ll admit I’m biased toward veterans, being a 22-year veteran myself.  In a time when we are actively engaged in two wars against terrorists it just makes sense that Congress should have an idea of what they’re doing when they vote for defense appropriations.  That’s not to say DoD should get everything they ask for or that Congress should be more hawkish: just that they ought to have more experience in the field.  There are too many lawyers in Congress and too few veterans.

How many vets are there in Congress?  According to Charlie Rangel’s website, there are 25 in the Senate and 96 in the House (that’s 25% and 22% respectively).  For all his many faults, Rangel is a vet.  There are lists of Senate veterans and House veterans compiled by Richard Aragon on 2 January 2009; the House Committee on Veteran Affairs lists 101.

Not all who served did so equally.  Some were drafted, some volunteered.  Some saw combat and some were wounded.  Aragon’s list describes each vet’s service in outline.  But all took an oath to support and defend the Constitution.  These days that is pretty significant.

There are organizations dedicated to electing veterans to Congress.  There is the Combat Veterans for Congress PAC, which has endorsed 17 candidates and the Iraq Veterans for Congress PAC which supports Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.

Veterans, like any other group of Americans, have a variety of opinions and positions on the issues and they may not agree with you (or me).  But in light of their service and willingness to serve again, they deserve your serious consideration.

Tuesday the voters rejected a lawyer with a sense of entitlement in favor of a Army veteran who drives a pickup truck.  Scott Brown is my kind of guy–we need more like him.

  1. January 21, 2010 9:22 pm

    No offense, but we don’t need more veterans in Congress per se, though I understand your point.

    More veterans like Scott Brown who appears to want to carry on the Neocon Wars, or more veterans like the decorated Jim Webb, who does not?

    We need more statesmen who aren’t lawyers or businessmen. We need more statesmen who refuse to rubber stamp the idiotic GWOT.

    We need more Jeffersons. And Washingtons. And Eisenhowers. All three of whom understood the dangers of militarism.


    • January 21, 2010 9:50 pm

      Yes, I agree: people who have served in defending our country make better statesmen than lawyers turned career politicians. Military people don’t go to war lightly–they know first-hand the cost. And both Washington and Eisenhower were generals.

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