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Send Congress To Boot Camp
August 5, 2011 9:44 AM   Subscribe

Lt. Gen. Russell Honore has a solution to the increasing splintering and radicalization of Congress: send all the members of Congress to boot camp and keep them there until they recognize their duty to America.
posted by reenum (56 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Wouldn't Congress come back angry and bitter? And then wouldn't they take that out on the American people?

Wait, maybe they've already been to boot camp then...
posted by Servo5678 at 9:45 AM on August 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm uncomfortable with the tone of this from a military man.
posted by empath at 9:45 AM on August 5, 2011 [9 favorites]


He's retired now. IMO he can say whatever he wants, and in fact I welcome it.
posted by BeerFilter at 9:48 AM on August 5, 2011 [8 favorites]


Oh yeah hey I got this forward from my grandma too.
posted by graventy at 9:49 AM on August 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


I know I'm getting old and grumpy, 'cause I agree with him.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 9:50 AM on August 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


Wait, maybe they've already been to boot camp then...

I don't have numbers handy, but I can recall at least a few Congressional names with military service backgrounds. Usually comes in handy in presidential runs.
posted by pwnguin at 9:50 AM on August 5, 2011


Being ex-military, I tend to agree with him... as long as they can go through it with some constituents to keep them focused.

Boot really helped me. Also: I've always said that joning the military is the best way to understand slavery, and appreciate freedom.
posted by djrock3k at 9:52 AM on August 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


For every member who accuses Obama of commiefacistsocialism, they should be shipped off to North Korea for a year or so. And also possibly slapped with a large angry fish.
posted by elizardbits at 9:52 AM on August 5, 2011 [10 favorites]


The mental picture of Eric Cantor sweaty and doing pushups while keeping his fucking mouth shut makes me very happy.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 9:53 AM on August 5, 2011 [4 favorites]




He's retired now. IMO he can say whatever he wants, and in fact I welcome it.

The Origins of the Military Coup of 2012
posted by empath at 9:56 AM on August 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


let's just have a coup then
posted by grobstein at 9:56 AM on August 5, 2011


ah
posted by grobstein at 9:56 AM on August 5, 2011


Perhaps he has read Starship Troopers, where citizenship required military service.

Would you like to know more?
posted by DreamerFi at 9:57 AM on August 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


There are 113 military veterans in the 2011 Congress:

25 in the Senate (12 Democrats, 13 Republicans.)
and
88 in the House of representatives (23 Democrats, 68 Republicans)
posted by zarq at 9:58 AM on August 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


And then we do the same with those damn kids with their skateboards and videogames, right General?
posted by rocket88 at 10:04 AM on August 5, 2011


I'm OK with this if it comes with a law that all commissioned military officers have to live in the poorest neighborhood of whatever state they live in.
posted by rhizome at 10:05 AM on August 5, 2011


I'm OK with this if it comes with a law that all commissioned military officers have to live in the poorest neighborhood of whatever state they live in.

Spoken like someone who's never been to Fayetteville or Killeen.
posted by Etrigan at 10:15 AM on August 5, 2011 [5 favorites]




Here's a direct link (not via Google Docs) to empath's link: The Origins of the Military Coup of 2012.
posted by Jahaza at 10:20 AM on August 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Instead of boot camp, let's just send all of Congress to preschool until they learn how to cooperate and share.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:29 AM on August 5, 2011 [12 favorites]


He's retired now. IMO he can say whatever he wants, and in fact I welcome it.

The Origins of the Military Coup of 2012
posted by empath at 12:56 PM

what does that article (OMC-2012) have to do with the CNN link?
Is it that he is a retired general.
here is something more rational to compare with if your willing to do so.

BILL WASIK: Let us begin with the most straightforward approach. Would it be possible for a renegade group of military officers, or the officer corps as a whole, to simply plot and carry out a coup d'état in the United States?

EDWARD LUTTWAK: If somebody asked me to plan such a coup, I wouldn't take on the assignment.

CHARLES DUNLAP: I wouldn't either. [Laughs]

LUTTWAK: I've done it for other countries. But it just wouldn't work here. You could go down the list and take over these headquarters, that headquarters, the White House, the Defense Department, the television, the radio, and so on. You could arrest all the leaders, detain or kill off their families. And you would have accomplished nothing.
posted by clavdivs at 10:37 AM on August 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


Pathetic. Put the people who voted them in there into boot camp.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:45 AM on August 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


He's just pissed off they're slashing the Defense Department budget.
posted by Afroblanco at 10:49 AM on August 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


More from that article clavdivs posted:

The question that arises is whether, in fact, we're not already experiencing what is in essence a creeping coup d'état. But it's not people in uniform who are seizing power. It's militarized civilians, who conceive of the world as such a dangerous place that military power has to predominate, that constitutional constraints on the military need to be loosened.

Really interested read, that interview/roundtable.
posted by jquinby at 10:52 AM on August 5, 2011


clavdivs, the lasting relevance of that article, published in 1992, is shown by the fact that when Harpers assembled that panel 14 years later in 2006 they included its author and cited his authorship of it in his capsule biography.
posted by Jahaza at 10:56 AM on August 5, 2011


Pathetic. Put the people who voted them in there into boot camp.
posted by Ironmouth

Then we will begin with you.
posted by clavdivs at 11:04 AM on August 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


how does that sound Ironmouth, sounds sinister and childish doesn't it.
posted by clavdivs at 11:05 AM on August 5, 2011


did not catch that Jahaza, what do you think the correlation is?

IM, I hate employing rhetorical tricks but putting people in camps is kinda raw at the moment, though I understand the frustration as displayed by bi-partisan inanity
posted by clavdivs at 11:11 AM on August 5, 2011


If you actually read the paper, Clavdivs, it was written by someone in the US Military warning the government not to rely on using the military to perform civilian duties, and not to spend so much on military spending that you starve the rest of the government to the point that the military is the only functioning part of it.
posted by empath at 11:21 AM on August 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Boot camp would probably kill off some of the older ones. I don't know whether that would be a good thing or a bad thing, so I'm going to say that I think a regular congressional culling may be a good thing, but perhaps should not involve actually killing congresspeople.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 11:30 AM on August 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm going to say that I think a regular congressional culling may be a good thing

Battle Royale: 2012 Mid-Term Elections?

The winners get to represent their constituents.
posted by mrbill at 11:44 AM on August 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have a better idea, let's send them out into the fields to work in agriculture just like Pol Pot Thomas Jefferson said was most noble.
posted by ennui.bz at 11:58 AM on August 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Believe it or not, not every one of us who went thru boot camp came out angry and / or bitter. And yes, I know this comes off as angry and bitter.
posted by dwbrant at 12:33 PM on August 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Bunny Ultramod: "Boot camp would probably kill off some of the older ones. I don't know whether that would be a good thing or a bad thing, so I'm going to say that I think a regular congressional culling may be a good thing, but perhaps should not involve actually killing congresspeople."

Piker.
posted by Splunge at 12:39 PM on August 5, 2011


Don't they still have a few more weeks to wait before they'd let Barney Frank attend?
posted by benito.strauss at 12:44 PM on August 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


Bunny Ultramod: "I'm going to say that I think a regular congressional culling may be a good thing, but perhaps should not involve actually killing congresspeople."

Oh, I don't know. A good, old fashioned culling might be in order. Imagine at the end of every Congress, the doors of the Capitol Building bursting open as hundreds of congressfolk come pouring out, pushing as shoving each other out of the way as they scream in terror. Behind them, leaping from rooftop to rooftop are dark clad figures in tattered robes wielding scythes. The emit unearthly shrieks as then occasionally pounce down into the fleeing crowd, their blades wet with congressional blood. Eventually the group scatters, leaving behind only the bodies of the weak strewn on the ground while the survivors go on to reelection.
posted by charred husk at 12:47 PM on August 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


Of course, this would all be part of a sacred Stock Market fertility ritual to ensure a strong t-bill harvest.
posted by charred husk at 12:48 PM on August 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


And also possibly slapped with a large angry fish.

ANGRY FISH!
posted by cashman at 1:00 PM on August 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, boot camp instilled a bunch of virtues in Germany's leaders in the 30s.
posted by rodgerd at 1:47 PM on August 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


yes empath I read it and have re-read it, and...? The last thing anyone wants is the military to provide policing roles with-in the u.s. The have been deployed in riots but that is civil disorder which by it's definition means a lack of basic public security i.e. a police force. (a competant legal system is a another matter) History has proven this so pardon me if the coup-2012 does not impress and I still see little relevence to this post. This general is saying shame on congress for playing with tax dollars that help solders etc. I don't agree with his sending congress to play tennis and have some canvass summer camp on the Mall discussing the error of thier ways and apologetic meet and greets.
posted by clavdivs at 1:57 PM on August 5, 2011


Yeah, boot camp instilled a bunch of virtues in Germany's leaders in the 30s.

Actually I think many of the career military folks thought Hitler was a crazy asshole and there were a number of plots to kill him or remove him from power.

The danger is, as has been noted, a bunch of civilians trying to act tough and play armchair general.
posted by Zalzidrax at 2:19 PM on August 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


elizardbits: "For every member who accuses Obama of commiefacistsocialism, they should be shipped off to North Korea for a year or so. And also possibly slapped with a large angry fish."

One of my slogans for my presidential bid next year is "You call that socialism? I'll show you socialism!"
posted by symbioid at 2:31 PM on August 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


Bitter and Angry you say? (SLYT)...

http://www.plyrics.com/lyrics/sickofitall/justlookaround.html

The question they keep asking me
how can one so young be so bitter and angry
well, the answer is plain to see
maybe if they wern't so blind they'd see what i see
i see the homeless livin' out on the street
on every corner they're asking for money
i try to help them whenever i can
but sometimes i can't afford to help myself
i see diseases and modern plagues of our times
the greed of our leaders has made them blind
to our problems
they spend millions overseas,
people right here are fightin' wars everyday
posted by symbioid at 2:37 PM on August 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I know, why don't we divert the incredible anger we're all feeling right now by fantasizing about stupid impossible, imaginary scenarios concerning Congressmen, and thus lessen our rage and make it less likely we'll remember how mad we are in a year?
posted by JHarris at 2:43 PM on August 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


DreamerFi: "Perhaps he has read Starship Troopers, where citizenship required military service.

Would you like to know more?
"

Service was a requirement for citizenship, but 95% of citizens were veterans of civil service, not the military. Sorry, it's one of my pet peeves.
posted by ob1quixote at 3:41 PM on August 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, just in case it isn't clear, Honore was the man placed in command in New Orleans after Katrina who ordered his troops to sling their rifles because they were there on a humanitarian mission, not a military one.
posted by ob1quixote at 3:51 PM on August 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


"Many disabled veterans, the ones who are praying the check comes in the mail after all, can't work as result of injuries sustained on duty."

Obama urges firms to hire vets, offers incentives
posted by homunculus at 7:04 PM on August 5, 2011


Service was a requirement for citizenship, but 95% of citizens were veterans of civil service, not the military. Sorry, it's one of my pet peeves.

Yeah, drives me nuts as well. Verhoeven turned an interesting story into a tongue-in-cheek mess.
posted by FormlessOne at 11:05 PM on August 5, 2011


As if the poor congresscritters bear more responsibility for our predicament than the unelected staff and lobbyists whose power would only grow in response to term limits, herd culling, boot camps or other schemes for punishing congress.
posted by straight at 11:29 PM on August 5, 2011


I think a majority veterans don't give a fuck about Obama or his "urging" or his petty "incentives".

We are all to blame, time everyone face that and move forward.

Straight, congress no longer has effective power, they are a mere procedure, an apparatus of self interest.
posted by clavdivs at 10:48 AM on August 6, 2011


that was harsh of me homunculus, of course the prez is doing some things but a majority of veterans are very upset. And they feel the same if not worse about congress for they control the purse strings so to say. He is the Commander and Chief and most (IMV) still view that with respect even if they disagree. What he does need to do is bring our solders home and give them first crack, if qualified, at new government job vacancies or create a infra structure program that gives thoses solders with skills a chance to use them in civilan life in a civil service capacity.

we need a new deal because we tried the tax cuts and look were that got us, not far, besides the model of capitalism has changed for example China. (cheap labor, capitalism with communist old guard control) One cannot fight that, let them build a navy and war machine to police thier sphere of influence. History will tell if the resources they have garnered from thier wealth will be worth it to the chinese people.
posted by clavdivs at 1:10 PM on August 7, 2011


Wait, maybe they've already been to boot camp then...

I don't have numbers handy, but I can recall at least a few Congressional names with military service backgrounds. Usually comes in handy in presidential runs.


pwnguin, military service backgrounds <> attending boot camp. I would suspect most Congressional vets were officers.
posted by IAmBroom at 12:23 PM on August 8, 2011


DreamerFi: "Perhaps he has read Starship Troopers, where citizenship required military service.

Would you like to know more?"

Service was a requirement for citizenship, but 95% of citizens were veterans of civil service, not the military. Sorry, it's one of my pet peeves.


It's true that there were forms of service other than military that could qualify one as a citizen -- but "civil service" is not the way I remember it.

The available non-military postings were supposed to be as hard and dangerous as the military ones. For example, you could volunteer to be a medical test subject; it was suggested that the odds of death or maiming in this occupation was very high.

Am I misremembering this? Where are you getting your "95%" "civil service" gloss?
posted by grobstein at 12:57 PM on August 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


grobstein: "It's true that there were forms of service other than military that could qualify one as a citizen -- but "civil service" is not the way I remember it.

Am I misremembering this? Where are you getting your "95%" "civil service" gloss?
"


I used the linked Wikipedia article for reference, which in turn was supported by a footnote referencing an interstitial essay in Heinlein's Expanded Universe. I've not re-read Starship Troopers as many times as I have Expanded Universe and clearly remembered Heinlein's own gloss better than I did the original text of the novel. Indeed, according to the Heinlein Concordance, Federal Service is defined as, Only those who serve their full stint are granted voting rights. When the Federation is not at war, most service is equivalent to nonmilitary Civil Service jobs, and anyone who applies must be found some sort of job.

As I apparently misremembered the recruiting scene the amputee sergeant encourages Rico to join the civil service instead. In looking for evidence to support my thesis, I found the essay The Nature of Federal Service in Robert A. Heinlein’s Starship Troopers [PDF] by James Gifford. In it Mr. Gifford lays out the passages in the text that support both theories of Federal Service in Starship Troopers, and the evidence pretty clearly favors, although not entirely, service being either in the combat arms or military support.[1] Gifford summarizes it thusly,
I have already summarized my interpretation of the nature of Federal Service. To reiterate: I believe that the evidence in the text of Starship Troopers is overwhelmingly in favor of the “exclusively military and military support” Federal Service. The only contrary evidence is sparse, vague and subject to varying interpretation.

Except, of course, for Heinlein’s own flat and uncompromising statement.
Gifford then goes on to give a short history of the interstitial material in Expanded Universe, and theorizes on how Heinlein could have been in error regarding his own quite popular and controversial novel.
The statement “In STARSHIP TROOPERS it is stated flatly and more than once that nineteen out of twenty veterans are not military veterans. Instead, 95% of voters are what we call today “former members of federal civil service” is one such [statement Heinlein might have revised if he was more careful editing the interstitial material]. It seems likely that if Heinlein had been writing the essay, he would have taken the book from the shelf and skimmed it for supporting statements. Not finding any, it is likely that he would have modified his statement.

On the other hand…

Heinlein would not have made such a statement did he not believe it. I believe that Heinlein’s intention was for Federal Service to be only five percent military, and that in the haste and fury of writing it and due to the nature of the protagonist’s service, the supporting statements were left out or inadvertently edited out.

By the text of the novel, Federal Service is entirely military in nature. But if any reader chooses to take Heinlein’s separate comment as evidence of his intent to make Federal Service ninety-five percent “civil service,” they will get no argument from me.
Thus, in some ways it appears we are both right. However, I still stand corrected because my mind had apparently retroactively applied Heinlein's statement in Expanded Universe to the novel. This is doubly embarrassing because I have engaged in skirmishes over this subject for at least a decade, including at least one particularly egregious and now thankfully expurgated example on Ward's Wiki.

[1] I must admit that I don't have a copy of Starship Troopers handy to check Gifford's quotes, but I have no reason to suspect they are innacurate. However, cf. re: Gifford Heinlein: The Man, The Myth, The Whack Job by D. A. Madigan
posted by ob1quixote at 3:05 PM on August 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Fascinating, thank you.
posted by grobstein at 3:14 PM on August 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


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