I read a fascinating article this morning by Dana Milbank of the Washington Post.Â I highly recommend everyone read it in full, which you can do here.Â He starts off his piece describing the intellectual dishonesty of Sarah Palin this way:
â€œItâ€™s not about me,â€ Sarah Palin said as she rode a bus emblazoned with her name in three-foot letters. â€œItâ€™s not a publicity-seeking tour,â€ she told her Fox News interviewer, as the cameras rolled.
It was, rather, â€œabout highlighting the great things about America.â€ Such as: Donald Trumpâ€™s digs at Trump Tower and Fox News headquarters in New York â€” both stops on her â€œOne Nationâ€ bus tour.
Milbankâ€™s article later goes on to describe other aspects of Palinâ€™s media manipulation and buffoonery.Â Interspersed are Milbankâ€™s comments about another tour, of sorts, being undertaken by Defense Secretary Robert Gates.Â Gates, who showed true duty to country, served his first two years under former President George W. Bush, then stayed on at current President Barack Obamaâ€™s request.Â During that time, unlike Sarah Palin, Bob Gates has shown that he loves his country and has a penchant for straight talk and honesty.Â According to Milbank:
Gates, who remained on the job at Obamaâ€™s request, took on sacred weapons programs at the Pentagon, fired ineffective generals, won the surge in Iraq, revived a crumbling war effort in Afghanistan and got Osama bin Laden.
Gates brought new accountability, firing top officials over the outrages at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the mishandling of nuclear weapons. He fought with Congress and the military bureaucracy to redirect funds toward troop protection. His championing of mine-resistant vehicles saved countless lives, and his push for better Medevac in Afghanistan cut the average time-to-hospital for wounded soldiers to 40 minutes from 100.
His unusual frankness continued right into his farewell tour. During his trip, he affirmed that â€œeverything is on the tableâ€ for defense spending cuts, spoke in detail about disputes with China, discussed shortcomings in Afghanistan and acknowledged his disagreement with Obamaâ€™s decision to attack Libya.
As I read Milbankâ€™s excellent article I realized that he had succinctly captured the problem with this country.Â We reward vacuous and hubristic celebrities who contribute nothing to society, and in fact cynically seek to manipulate society via distortion and dishonesty for their own financial gain.Â But we largely ignore the very real and positive contributions of true Americans who have served their country with great humility and capability.
Shame on you Sarah Palin, and shame on all of us Americans who give so much attention to such an insubstantial personality.
Thank you Robert Gates for reminding us what true service to our country and to humanity entails.Â PGH hopes that all of us will take the occasion of your coming retirement as an opportunity to reaffirm the values that make this country great.Â The values of service, of honesty, and of taking on the difficult battles both here and abroad to keep America the world leader that it has been, continues to be, and will be in the future.Â Leadership like yours and the Presidentâ€™s are an inspiration for us all.
If you havenâ€™t already, please read Dana Milbankâ€™s article in the Washington Post.
Â© David K, June 2011
Note that this article is cross-posted from Political Gum Hockey.Â PGH is a political blog that delves into the political circus we lovingly call the 2012 election.Â It includes analysis, opinion, humor, and anything else that seems to fit under the meaning of Political Gum Hockey.